NY Mayor Approves Legislation Inspired by B&W Client

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, on April 15, 2014, signed a bill that amends the New York City Human Rights Law to protect unpaid interns. Bernabei & Wachtel brought harassment and failure-to-hire claims on behalf of a former intern at Phoenix Satellite Television, a major media company with an office in New York City. A federal judge dismissed the harassment claim on the grounds that interns were not covered by the New York City Human Rights Law, while allowing her failure-to-hire claim to go forward. Because of this decision, the New York City Council unanimously approved this legislation. Since interns are a major part of the workforce in New York City, particularly in the media and entertainment industry, this legislation will go far in protecting these interns from workplace discrimination and harassment. The Mayor's office released a statement, and the signing was widely covered, including by the New York Times, Huffington Post, Newsweek and local tv.