In light of the recent Southern District decision that unpaid interns are not protected against sexual harassment under the New York City Human Rights Law, it appears that new legislation may be forthcoming.
Specifically, according to a recent article, the New York City Council member Gale Brewer announced that she would propose legislation to extend harassment protections to unpaid interns.
New York State Assembly members Joe Borelli and Linda Rosenthal have said they plan to introduce legislation to address the issue at the state level.
Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio reportedly supports such action.
It should be noted that, despite Judge Castel’s decision, certain acts of sexual harassment – such as offensive touching – may amount to criminal conduct or civil wrongs such as assault and/or battery, depending on the context.