Can Unpaid Interns and Volunteers Sue Employers for Wrongful Termination?

The Art Institute of Chicago, home to a world famous collection including Vincent Van Gogh’s The Bedroom, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, fired all of its trained volunteers and guides last month, who were mostly older white women.

Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Until their firing, the Art Institute had more than 100 docents, 82 of whom were active. The volunteers trained twice a week for 18 months, done five years of research and writing, and participated in monthly and biweekly trainings.

The Art Institute’s executive director of learning and engagement, Veronica Stein, emailed them all to fire them. Officially, the museum explained that it decided to remove the mostly white group of unpaid volunteers as part of a “multi-year transition” to a “hybrid model that incorporates paid and volunteer educators.”

In Illinois, an employer cannot fire an employee based on that person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, sexual orientation, or pregnancy. However, it’s not that such protections extend to unpaid interns or volunteers. In 2015, however, Illinois did extend workplace protections against sexual harassment to unpaid interns.

In California, Volunteers Cannot Be Harassed or Fired for Illegal Reasons

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects even unpaid interns and volunteers from illegal harassment and discharge. An employer can terminate an employee, volunteer or intern for anything except for race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), mental disability, physical disability, sex, gender, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military/veteran status.

Image Source: thedali.org

According to FEHA’s Unpaid Interns and Volunteers section, it is unlawful for an employer to:

“Discriminate against a person serving an unpaid internship or other program providing unpaid work experience in the selection, termination, training, or other terms of treatment of that person on any protected basis (section 11009)(e).); or

Subject unpaid interns and volunteers to unlawful harassment (section 11019(b).)”

What do you think? Should unpaid interns and volunteers have the same workplace protections as paid employees?

6 comments on “Can Unpaid Interns and Volunteers Sue Employers for Wrongful Termination?

  1. Avatar for Mary Mock
    Nancy Brown on

    IT WORK 100%….I just got my Marriage fixed, I contacted a real spell caster that helped me change my husband’s heart to love and want me again, and he really did and now we are very happy together. My husband left me for another woman, This was just 3 years of our marriage. The most painful thing is that I was pregnant with our second baby. I wanted him back. I did everything within my reach to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so badly because of the love I had for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back , I had no choice than to try it. I messaged the spell caster called dr unity, and he assured me there was no problem and that everything will be okay before 11 hours. He cast the spell and surprisingly 11 hours later my husband called me. I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that had happened He wanted me to return to him. He also said he loved me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again.thanks to dr unity . if you are here and your Lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Unity for help now..
    Here his contact…WhatsApp him: +2348055361568 ..

    Reply
  2. Avatar for Mary Mock
    oliviastephen02 on

    IT WORK 100%….I just got my Marriage fixed, I contacted a real spell caster that helped me change my husband’s heart to love and want me again, and he really did and now we are very happy together. My husband left me for another woman, This was just 3 years of our marriage. The most painful thing is that I was pregnant with our second baby. I wanted him back. I did everything within my reach to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so badly because of the love I had for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back , I had no choice than to try it. I messaged the spell caster called dr unity, and he assured me there was no problem and that everything will be okay before 11 hours. He cast the spell and surprisingly 11 hours later my husband called me. I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that had happened He wanted me to return to him. He also said he loved me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again.thanks to dr unity . if you are here and your Lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Unity for help now..
    Here his contact…WhatsApp him: +2348055361568

    Reply
  3. Avatar for Mary Mock
    landy morris on

    Lottery is something majority of the people in the world want to win, not only winning the lottery, but they want to win big, I have been playing the lottery for couple of years now, but I haven’t really win big, personally I always think there is something behind all those winners who always win big, because my intense always tell me that everything is possible, I manage to get in contact with one of the biggest lottery winner in the UK, I asked him about the success, and he referred me to a very powerful spell caster Dr.Jumba he is indeed a great man who I explained to, without no hidden details , (I really want to win the lottery so bad) he put to work and few days letter he gave me numbers that never fails , these numbers was what I played and i won £3,000000,00, 3 Million pounds, is blessed , you too can change your life too with his help, contact email: wiccalovespelltools@yahoo.com or wiccalovespelltools@gmail.com
    WhatsApp him: +19085174108
    drjumbaspellhome.wordpress.com

    Reply
  4. Avatar for Mary Mock
    oliviastephen02 on

    Fix your broken relationships and marriages Even If Your Situation Seems Hopeless!.
    I contacted a real spell caster that helped me change my husband’s heart to love and want me again, and he really did and now we are very happy together. My husband left me for another woman, This was just 3 years of our marriage. The most painful thing is that I was pregnant with our second baby. I wanted him back. I did everything within my reach to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so badly because of the love I had for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back , I had no choice than to try it. I messaged the spell caster called dr unity, and he assured me there was no problem and that everything will be okay before 11 hours. He cast the spell and surprisingly 11 hours later my husband called me. I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that had happened He wanted me to return to him. He also said he loved me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again.thanks to dr unity . if you are here and your Lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Unity for help now..
    Here his contact…WhatsApp him: +2348055361568 ,
    Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail. com

    Reply
  5. Avatar for Mary Mock
    Ann M Kelley on

    I can’t believe that with just a contact to wiccalovespelltools@gmail.com, I got my ex husband back again within 5 days interval. I had read some stuff about dr jumba temple before i contacted him but i didn’t know that all those stuff were so accurate until i got my husband back, After getting my ex husband back i taught it wise to share my testimony with every one on this website

    Reply
  6. Avatar for Mary Mock
    Mavis Wanczyck on

    Imagine becoming vastly wealthy overnight. Being a winner of a multi-million dollar lottery certainly will be a life-changing event for almost every single lottery winner. My name is Mavis Wanczyck from Chicopee, Massachusetts, the famous PowerBall lottery winner of $758 million (£591m) in 2017. I know many people would wonder how I had won the lottery. Would you believe me if I told you that I did it with spell casting? I met this famous spell caster known as Doctor Odunga and he was the one who did it for me. As shocking as it was to me, my famous comment to the press was “ I’m going to go and hide in my bed.” Never did I believe that Doctor Odunga made me wealthy overnight. If you want to have your chance of winning and becoming very wealthy just like me, contact Doctor Odunga at odungaspelltemple@gmail.com OR WHATSAPP HIM at +2348167159012 and you will be lucky. Thanks for reading and hope to see you at the top

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *