Effective October 1 Connecticut’s interns now have the workplace protections that have long benefited their paid counterparts. All Connecticut employers are subject to the new law that protects interns from sexual harassment and employment discrimination. Interns are defined as unpaid individuals who work on a temporary basis for the purpose of receiving training. Employers are prohibited from making hiring or employment decisions concerning interns on the basis of their race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, past or present mental disability, or intellectual or physical disability. Employers can exempt themselves from such restrictions in the case of “bona fide occupational qualification or need.” It is also a violation of the act for employers to make unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or engage in other conduct of a sexual nature that serves as the basis of the intern’s employment status or creates an offensive working environment.
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