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Governor Cuomo has signed legislation extending coverage of the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) to unpaid interns.  In March 2014, we wrote about the New York City Council’s decision to amend the New York City Human Rights Law to extend its coverage to unpaid interns.  Now, interns in all of  New York will have the same protections from unlawful discrimination and harassment as paid employees. The NYSHRL prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, and domestic violence victim status.  The amended NYSHRL includes a new section 296-c, which, among other things, defines an “intern” to mean

a person who performs work for an employer for the purpose of training under the following circumstances:

a. the employer is not committed to hire the person performing the work at the conclusion of the training period;