California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Against Interns and Volunteers

Did you know that California is one of only three states in the US to protect interns and volunteers from harassment and discrimination in the workplace?

If you are an intern, volunteer or apprentice in California, you have the right to be free from harassment and discrimination at work. Under the California Fair Gear-and-Gavel_goldEmployment and Housing Act (FEHA) (California Government Code 12940), it is unlawful for an employer to harass or discriminate against an intern, volunteer or participant in an apprenticeship training program on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or any other classification protected by law.  

Internships and volunteer positions have become increasingly common in today’s workforce. In many fields, internships are considered the natural entry point to a career or personal interest—often without compensation. Before January 1, 2015, interns were not protected under the FEHA if, for example, they were the victim of sexual harassment at work, if they were denied an accommodation for their disability, or if they were retaliated against or terminated based on their race or sexual orientation.

Today, interns and volunteers who have been subjected to harassment, discrimination or retaliation may file complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or lawsuits to protect their rights under the FEHA.

If you feel that you have been a victim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation at work, or if you have questions about your work situation, please feel free to call Hunter Pyle Law for a free consultation at (510)-663-9240 or  Hunter Pyle Law has handled numerous cases involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.