By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A legal intern in India had an uphill battle. Not only was she trying to prove that she’d been sexually harassed, but also the person she was accusing was a judge in New Delhi, where the case was made.
Also, the accused Judge hired 24 lawyers to defend him, and he also filed a defamation lawsuit against her for making the claim. That’s an uphill battle.
And, if you think that’s unfair, guess what happens to unpaid interns in the United States who file a lawsuit for sexual harassment. If you said nothing, you’d be right because sexual harassment laws in the US only protect employees. Which is why you can’t sue some jerk in a bar who catcalls you – that’s not an employment case.
And, since unpaid interns are not employees, they can’t sue either except in Oregon, Washington, DC and New York which recently passed a law extending the protections against sexual harassment in the workplace to unpaid interns.
So, the good news is that, unlike employees, unpaid interns don’t depend on the paycheck they’d lose if they quit so they can be the judge of their own situation and get out when they rule it’s time.