Labor / Employment, Lawsuit of the Day, Sex, Sex Scandals, Sexism, Sexual Harassment

‘Tits Or GTFO’ Now A Legitimate Requirement For Unpaid Interns

I think we all saw this day coming. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito certainly did. Last term, Alito’s holding in Vance v. Ball State essentially announced that it was open season on women you work with as long as you are not their direct superior. Thanks to “Alito time,” you can now sexually harass pretty much any woman at the office so long as she doesn’t directly report to you, without getting your employer in trouble.

And sure, while it might be fun to sexually harass your boss’s secretary, asking female colleagues to “touch it” is not without its dangers. In this crazy world, the female object of your desire might one day become your boss, or something similarly ridiculous. And who really wants to feel up a career-oriented co-worker anyway? Even if she can’t sue the company, she’s probably just going to be bitch about it in some uncool fashion anyway.

No, the gold standard for harassing people at work are the young, nubile, and generally helpless interns. They’re the ones who can’t really even complain about it. They’re the ones who might take your creepy advances as a career opportunity. And now, according to a New York judge, you can do pretty much anything you want to them, so long as they are so desperate as to be working for your company for free….

BuzzFeed, via Today’s Workplace (gavel bang: Brutha Man George Allan Jr.), has the ruling from Judge P. Kevin Castel:

A New York judge ruled Oct. 3 that a former female intern for Phoenix Satellite Television US, Inc. cannot bring a sexual harassment claim under the New York City Human Rights Law, according to Today’s Workplace.

The judge said her lack of paycheck prevents her from legally being considered an employee….

According to the district court, under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the New York State Human Rights Law, unpaid interns do not qualify as employees because of the “absence of remuneration” such as pension and life insurance, which is an “essential condition to the existence of an employer-employee relationship.”

Sweet. I love this plan, I’m excited to be a part of it. Ladies, if you want to learn about the exciting world of online journalism and legal commentary, please inquire within. You can get school credit, and if you are up for it, maybe we can go out for drinks later to talk about your career and how lovely you look in that dress.

In other “it’s awesome to be a man” news, I just took a piss, standing up, after knocking back a couple of beers with my boss at a lunch where we predominately bitched about our wives. We’ll probably go play golf this weekend, someplace nice where co-workers who are always on the rag won’t bother us.

Okay, all joking aside, WHAT THE S**T IS THIS? How can it be that a woman can be harassed because she’s working for free?

Really, this just all goes back to Alito’s (and men like him) fundamental misapprehension of the nature of sexual harassment. They think that if your career is not on the line, then you can just reject unwanted harassment. It’s kind of a nice way of saying that unpaid interns who are harassed are “asking for it” because they can just leave if they don’t like it.

But the point is, and I think this is so basic that I can quote Rebecca freaking Romijn in one of the X-Men movies here, they shouldn’t have to. Women shouldn’t be forced out of unpaid internships because lecherous randoms can’t keep it in their pants. We don’t even have to get into the debate about whether or not an unpaid intern or female co-worker can put a stop to harassment — it’s simple enough to recognize that they shouldn’t have to put up with it at all.

It’s not hard! I work with hot, under-25 fashion interns every day. I don’t sexually harass them… using my Jedi-like skills of not trying to have sex with people I work with, and jerking off after everybody goes home. The last thing these hard-working women need is somebody like me sleazing all over them while they try to document the best celebrity nip-slips.

Aren’t things crappy enough for unpaid interns that they shouldn’t have to also deal with unwanted sexual advances without legal recourse? Isn’t that the most minimal protection we can offer the sexy women with boyfriends who live someplace else who brighten up our summers and holiday parties for free?

Unpaid Intern Cannot Bring Sexual Harassment Claim Under NYC Human Rights Law, Judge Rules [Today’s Workplace]
Judge Rules Unpaid Intern Cannot Bring Sexual Harassment Claim Since She’s Not A Paid Employee [BuzzFeed]

Earlier: If Unpaid Interns Don’t Like Their Bosses, They’ll Hate Justice Alito
Uh-Oh! Federal Judge Says We Might Have to Start Paying Interns

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