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Skinner to offer bill protecting unpaid interns

An East Bay lawmaker says she’ll introduce a bill next month to protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment and other workplace discrimination.

“Interns should not have to give up their basic civil rights just because they are willing to forgo pay,” Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said in a news release. “Interns deserve the same legal protection against discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”

Skinner notes neither state nor federal law explicitly protects unpaid interns from sexual harassment.

The issue has come to the fore in part because a federal judge in New York ruled in October that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act – which protects employees from workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment – does not apply to unpaid interns because they’re not “employees.” That case involved a Syracuse University student who claimed she was sexually harassed, kissed and groped by a supervisor at her media company internship who later retaliated against her for rebuffing his sexual advances.

Here in California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employees from sexual harassment, but does not specifically include unpaid interns; a recent state court decision held that FEHA does not apply to “volunteers.”

A 2008 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found 50 percent of graduating students held internships, up from 17 percent shown in a 1992 study by Northwestern University. And women are much more likely than men (77 percent to 23 percent) to hold unpaid internships, according to a 2012 survey of college students by Intern Bridge, a consulting firm that specializes in college recruiting.

“The recession has forced young people to rely on these unpaid positions to build resumes and contacts in an incredibly competitive job market,” Skinner said. “Employers owe them a safe and fair workplace.”

Posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Under: Assembly, Nancy Skinner | 2 Comments »

More White House interns with Bay Area ties

The White House today announced its Fall 2013 interns, including several who either hail from or attended school in the Bay Area.

This crop of interns, along with their hometowns and the universities they most recently attended, includes:

    Joanna Chen of Anaheim (University of California, Berkeley)
    Caitlin Etienne of Richfield, Minn. (Monterey Institute of International Studies)
    Elva Linares of Oakland (University of California Hastings College of the Law)

Interns work in one White House departments including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | No Comments »

New White House interns have Bay Area ties

The White House today announced its Summer 2013 interns, and as usual, several either hail from the Bay Area or have attended school here:

Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 1 Comment »

Five White House interns with Bay Area ties

Five people with Bay Area ties are among the dozens announced Thursday as the Spring 2013 crop of White House interns:

    Nicholas Coe of San Mateo, a 2012 graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and a former field organizer at Organizing for America;
    Adrian Ferrari of Saratoga, a student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire;
    Brittany Frye of Santa Rosa, a student and president of the College Democrats at New York University;
    Adam Susaneck of Wellington, Fla., a student at the University of California, Berkeley and a former Obama campaign worker; and
    Maxwell Wallace of San Francisco, a senior in the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

The White House’s news release says the internship program’s mission “is to make the White House accessible to future leaders around the nation and to prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities.”

Interns work in one of several departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 3 Comments »

11 new White House interns are from Bay Area

The Spring 2011 roster of White House interns includes almost a dozen either hailing from, or who have studied in, the Bay Area:

  • Sadie Brinton, San Francisco (Arizona State University)
  • Kimberly Castle, Oakland (Northwestern University)
  • Kelly Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Chelsea Forbes-Terry, Hayward (Arizona State University)
  • Tiffany Gonzalez, San Francisco (Georgetown University Law Center)
  • Christa Hall, Citrus Heights (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Darshini Patel, Palo Alto (Wellesley College)
  • Sarah Reinheimer, Sacramento (University of San Francisco)
  • Dana Spindler, San Francisco (University of Washington)
  • Taryn Toyama, Fremont (San Jose State University)
  • Amira Valliani, Fremont (Yale University)
  • The program’s mission is to “make the White House accessible to future leaders all around the nation and cultivate and prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities.” Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of the Chief of Staff, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Health Reform, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of White House Counsel, the Office of Energy and Climate Change, the National Economic Council, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Presidential Personnel Office, the Communications Department, the Domestic Policy Council, the Office of the First Lady, and the Office of the Vice President.

    Posted on Friday, January 28th, 2011
    Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »