This bill would extend protections against workplace harassment and discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability to unpaid interns who work in the federal government. While paid interns are already treated as employees and the federal government prohibits discrimination in the workplace through existing laws and policies, unpaid interns are not explicitly covered.
What is House Bill H.R. 136?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 136
Of Note: According to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a sexual harassment case filed by an unpaid intern was dismissed in 1997 because the courts concluded that interns couldn’t be considered employees for the purpose of employment law.
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced this bill to ensure that unpaid interns receive the same protections against discrimination as employees:
“Due to a loophole in existing law, unpaid interns are not protected from discrimination and sexual harassment. This Committee has held a number of oversight hearings on employee misconduct, and in some instances, the misconduct involved the sexual harassment of interns. We are simply closing a loophole in existing law.”
- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Press Release
- CBO Cost Estimate
- Huffington Post (Previous Version)
- National Journal (Previous Version)
- ProPublica (Previous Version)
- Roll Call (Previous Version)
(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov)
Federal Intern Protection Act of 2019
To amend title 5, United States Code, to protect unpaid interns in the Federal Government from workplace harassment and discrimination, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- senate Committees
- The house has not voted
Committee on Oversight and ReformIntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019
- house Committees