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H.R. 3231 (114th): Federal Intern Protection Act of 2016

Current law does not grant unpaid federal government interns certain protections that employees have. H.R. 3231 would expand employee protection against race, gender, age, and other forms of discrimination to include federal unpaid interns.

According to the House Republican bill explanation, the lack of intern protection has been a problem in the past. “In 1997, in O’Connor v. Davis, an unpaid intern reported unwanted sexual advances by an employee, but the court indicated that because the plaintiff was not an employee, she was not protected by existing law.”

The bill is supported by both Republicans and Democrats. It passed the House with a unanimous vote.

Last updated Jan 14, 2016. View all GovTrack summaries.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 11, 2016.


Federal Intern Protection Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill extends protections against discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability to interns (individuals who perform uncompensated voluntary service in an agency to earn credit awarded by an educational institution or to learn a trade or occupation) and applicants for internship.