The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits all public and private employers from harassing applicants or employees based on their actual or perceived sex (IL Comp. Stat. Ch. 775 Sec. 5/2-102 et seq.). Employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating based on sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or pregnancy.
For purposes of the Act’s sexual harassment provision, the definition of “employee” includes an unpaid intern.
An “unpaid intern” is defined as a person who performs work for an employer under the following circumstances:
• The employer is not committed to hiring the person performing the work at the conclusion of the intern's tenure.
• The employer and the person performing the work agree that the person is not entitled to wages for the work performed.
The work performed must meet the following requirements:
• It supplements training given in an educational environment that may enhance the employability of the intern;
• It provides experience for the benefit of the person performing the work;
• It does not displace regular workers;
• It is performed under the close supervision of existing staff; and
• It provides no immediate advantage to the employer providing the training and may occasionally impede the operations of the employer.