internsCalifornia is now America’s third state (after New York and Oregon) to extend employee rights against harassment, discrimination, and retaliation  to unpaid interns.

The new law (AB 1443) extends workplace harassment and discrimination protections under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) tounpaid interns, volunteers, and individuals in apprenticeship training programs. It will go into effect January 1, 2015.

The following classifications are protected in California: race, religious creed, religious observance, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, marital status, medical condition as defined by applicable state law, disability, genetic information, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.  The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it unlawful for any employer with over 5 employees to discriminate or harass against an employee based on an unlawful reason, such as race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, or any other protected reason.   Individuals who succeed in bringing discrimination claims are entitled to back-pay, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

AXIS Legal Counsel’s Business and Corporations Practice provides legal advice to numerous businesses with a variety of legal matters, including business formations, contracts, deals, and transactions, business administration, corporate governance, operations, risk management / insurancelabor/employment matters, intellectual property, healthcare, crisis management, directors/officers, private/data security, technology, statutory/legal compliance, and business litigation. AXIS represents businesses, corporations, LLCs, LLPS, partnerships, and startups in need of a corporate lawyer, for business legal matters as well as business litigation.

For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent your business in connection with any legal matter, contact info@axislegalca.com or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation. Axis’ managing attorney Rabeh M. A. Soofi is ranked as one of the “Top Women Lawyers of Southern California” by SuperLawyers, and is a Los Angeles Business Lawyer representing businesses and start-ups throughout Los Angeles and California.