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McNally bill gives unpaid interns legal protections

State Rep. Lauren McNally introduced legislation to add unpaid interns to the employment portions of the Ohio Civil Rights Law to give them the same legal protections against discrimination in employment and the workplace as paid employees.

McNally, D-Youngstown, said, “Many unpaid internships exist in a variety of employment fields in Ohio and are often required for career advancement. Yet as a state, we are not currently doing anything to make sure those internships are offered to the most deserving applicants.”

McNally said her proposed bill “corrects this flaw in Ohio’s law and will help attract and retain the best and brightest workers this state has to offer.”

McNally said her proposal would include unpaid interns in Ohio Civil Rights Law to protect them from unlawful employment discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, ancestry and / or military status.

“Someone seeking an internship should never wonder if anything other than the skills they bring to the table is what’s keeping them from getting a foot in the door and by extension into the workforce,” McNally said.

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