Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 428

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 4515

 

*04515SB00428LAB*

Referred to Committee on LABOR AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

AN ACT PROTECTING INTERNS FROM WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2015) (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Employee" means any individual engaged in service to an employer in a business of such employer and receives compensation for such service;

(2) "Employer" means any person engaged in business in the state, who provides a position for an intern;

(3) "Intern" means a person who performs work for an employer for the purpose of training, provided (A) the employer is not committed to hire the person performing the work at the conclusion of the training period; (B) the employer and the person performing the work agree that the person performing the work is not entitled to wages for the work performed; and (C) the work performed (i) supplements training given in an educational environment that may enhance the employability of the person, (ii) provides experience for the benefit of the person, (iii) does not displace any employee of the employer, (iv) is performed under the supervision of the employer or an employee of the employer, and (v) provides no immediate advantage to the employer providing the training and may occasionally impede the operations of the employer; and

(4) "Sexual harassment" means any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or any other conduct of a sexual nature when (A) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an intern's internship; (B) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an intern or a person seeking an internship is used as the basis for workplace decisions affecting such intern or person; or (C) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an intern's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

(b) No employer or agent of an employer shall:

(1) (A) Refuse to hire any person seeking an internship or allow any intern to work; (B) bar or discharge any intern from providing internship services; or (C) discriminate against such intern in terms, conditions or privileges of service to the employer, because of the intern's race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness;

(2) Advertise any internship opportunity in a manner that would (A) restrict such internship to; or (B) discriminate against, persons of a certain race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness;

(3) Discharge, expel or otherwise discriminate against an intern because such intern has opposed any discriminatory employment practice or because such intern has filed a complaint or testified or assisted in any proceeding under section 46a-82, 46a-83 or 46a-84 of the general statutes; or

(4) Engage in any sexual harassment toward any intern or person seeking an internship.

(c) The provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (8) of section 46a-51 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(8) "Discriminatory practice" means a violation of section 4a-60, 4a-60a, 4a-60g, 46a-58, 46a-59, 46a-60, 46a-64, 46a-64c, 46a-66, 46a-68, 46a-68c to 46a-68f, inclusive, or 46a-70 to 46a-78, inclusive, subsection (a) of section 46a-80 or sections 46a-81b to 46a-81o, inclusive, or section 1 of this act;

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2015

46a-51(8)

Statement of Purpose:

To protect unpaid interns from workplace harassment and discrimination.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.; SEN. DUFF, 25th Dist.

SEN. BYE, 5th Dist.; SEN. WINFIELD, 10th Dist.

SEN. FLEXER, 29th Dist.; SEN. LARSON, 3rd Dist.

SEN. MOORE, 22nd Dist.; SEN. CASSANO, 4th Dist.

SEN. COLEMAN, 2nd Dist.; SEN. CRISCO, 17th Dist.

SEN. KENNEDY, 12th Dist.

S.B. 428