Unpaid Interns Aren’t Protected By Sexual Harassment Laws

Unpaid interns aren’t legally protected from sexual harassment in the workplace because they don’t get paid. As ProPublica explains, without pay, interns aren’t considered “employees” under the Civil Rights Act, although company policies and state and local laws could protect them.

One woman who took an unpaid internship in Washington, DC was sexually harassed, so she filed a lawsuit. But it was ultimately dismissed because she wasn’t considered an “employee” and therefore had no grounds to file suit.

That story prompted DC City Councilor Mary Cheh to propose a bill that extended its Human Rights Act to protect unpaid interns, which the city passed in 2009. Other areas have taken notice of the problem. In June, Oregon passed a law that would protect interns from sexual harassment.

Some universities and colleges have also come to the defense of their students. UCLA, for example, requires that an employer to adhere to its sexual harassment policy to list an unpaid internship on its website.

The vulnerability of unpaid interns has been written about since at least 2010, but little to nothing has been done at the federal level. If laws were set up to protect interns who experience sexual harassment, they might be more willing to come forward. But right now, they must rely on recommendations from internships to get ahead in the job market. That means that if the company or state doesn’t have a law to protect them if they come forward, they may just end up with no recourse and no recommendation.

All of this is because of the widespread practice of hiring interns without paying them. Some have launched a fight against this practice that has just begun to change the culture of internships. After a court ruled that two unpaid interns should have been paid for their labor, 15 other lawsuits popped up, and the number will likely continue to grow.



Psycho Killer Gets “Real Man” Status In Ayn Rand’s Narcissistic Worldview


It is often said that if you want to truly know a person, then meet their friends.   With this truth in mind, it turns out that (not surprisingly), cult-philosopher of the right-wing and libertarian crowd, Ayn Rand, was a big fan of the disgusting sadist William Edward Hickman, who kidnapped and dismembered a 12 year old girl in 1927.

In her journals, Rand glowingly wrote that Hickman, “is born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness — [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people … Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should.”

Normal Americans (non-Republicans) spent the past year bearing witness to the clutches of teabaggers protesting health care (of all things) while waving various signs extolling Ayn Rand philosophy, believing themselves to be the “Atlas” who would be sure to shrug off the burdens that the unwashed masses inflict on their superiority when they dare demand a society that works for everyone, but truth be told, these teabaggers themselves are often the very “humanity of mud to be ground underfoot” and  “fuel to be burned” that Rand assigned to the working class. Ayn Rand herself has been called a textbook sociopath characterized by self-preoccupation as well as unapologetic lack of empathy.  In fact, a commitment to selfishness and a rejection of altruistic behavior are elevated to the the height of morality in her worldview.



Mideast Christians: endangered in their ancestral land

As new Islamist regimes in the Middle East condone religious intolerance and introduce Sharia and blasphemy laws, the long-term trend for Christians in their ancestral lands will only grow bleaker




Last Saturday, Raymond Ibrahim reported on two more Muslim attacks on Egyptian churches, as “Egypt’s Christian Copts continue to be targeted and scapegoated for the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

As defenceless and abandoned as Mideast Christians seem today, it is worth remembering their historical roots, and recognising just how much the plight of Middle East Christians has deteriorated. Over 2,000 years ago, Christianity was born as a religion and spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the Levant, including territories in modern Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt.

The Christian faith flourished as one of the major religions in the Middle East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Despite Muslim domination of the region, Christians comprised an estimated 20 percent of the Middle East population until the early 20th century.

Today, however, Christians make up a mere 2-5 percent of the Middle East and their numbers are fast dwindling. Writing in the Winter 2001 issue of Middle East Quarterly, scholar Daniel Pipes estimated that Middle East Christians would “likely drop to” half of their numbers “by the year 2020” because of declining birth rates, and a pattern of “exclusion and persecution” leading to emigration.

The “Arab Spring” has only worsened conditions for the indigenous Christians of the Middle East. Like the Kurds, Middle East Christians are a stateless minority, struggling to survive in the world’s toughest neighborhood.

But the Kurds at least have enjoyed partial autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991 and most of them are Sunni Muslim, making it easier for them to survive in the Muslim-dominated Middle East. Christians, on the other hand, are a religious minority that controls no territory and is entirely subject to the whims of their hosts. These host countries – with the exception of Israel – offer a grim future to Middle East Christians.