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NY judge rules interns can’t sue for sexual harassment

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If you thought not being paid was the worst thing about being an unpaid intern, it can actually get much worse.

According to one Manhattan Federal Judge, interns are not even protected from being sexually harassed by their bosses.

Judge Kevin Castel ruled that a former intern at Phoenix Satellite Television U.S couldn’t sue her boss for sexual harassment because she is not an employee, so she’s not covered by the city’s Human Rights Law.


Judge Castel ruled that unpaid interns are not entitled to protect under New York’s Human Rights Law.

Lihuan Wang was an unpaid intern in 2010 when she claims her boss Zhengzhu Liu grabbed her rear and tried to kiss her. Wang sued but Castel tossed out the claim, writing in his decision, “Protection of employees does not extend to unpaid interns.”

The 26-year-old’s lawyer claims she has returned to her native China, after being scarred from the incident.
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer plans on introducing legislation to protect interns under the law.
Wang is suing Phoenix on another charge, claiming she was denied an employment opportunity with the company after she denied Liu’s sexual advances.
Liu has since been fired from Phoenix after another woman came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.