Wang v. Phoenix Satellite Television US, Inc., No. 13-CV-218(PKC) (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 3, 2013) (Castel, J.): As we recently covered in our firm blog, Judge P. Kevin Castel in the Southern District of New York recently dismissed an unpaid intern’s claims under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). Judge Castel held that an unpaid intern is not an “employee” as recognized under either the NYSHRL or NYCHRL. However, he allowed the plaintiff’s failure-to-hire claim to proceed. Since the decision was issued in early October 2013, a bill is already pending in the New York State Senate that would provide broader anti-discrimination protection to unpaid interns under the NYSHRL. In addition, presumptive mayoral elect Bill de Blasio and members of the New York City Council have indicated their support for similar legislation under the NYCHRL. We will continue to monitor these anticipated legislative changes precipitated by the Wang decision.
On September 24, 2008, the Arizona Industrial Commission approved the annual increase in the minimum wage rate to $7.25 per hour effective January 1, 2009. The $3.00 per hour tip credit allowed in the minimum wage statute remains unchanged.
On April 20, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two new bills into law that authorize the New York City Commission on Human Rights to increase the number of employment discrimination investigations.
Several states are considering immigration enforcement laws modeled after Arizona’s “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” (SB 1070). SB 1070’s most controversial provision compels law enforcement officers to verify the legal status of persons reasonably believed to be illegally present in the country. The Arizona law was originally scheduled to take effect on July 28, 2010, but a court injunction delayed implementation pending a determination of the law’s constitutionality.