On September 9, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1443, which extends the state’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination protections to unpaid interns.
Employers are now prohibited from discrimination based on protected characteristics in the “selection, termination, training or other terms” of unpaid interns. A.B. 1443 also prohibits harassment of unpaid interns based on protected characteristics, and it makes employers liable for sexual harassment of unpaid interns by non-employees if an employer knew or should have known of the conduct but failed to promptly take appropriate corrective action.
In addition, employers may not take adverse actions against unpaid interns based on their religious beliefs and must provide reasonable accommodations for religious observance unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.