New York State Just Made It Illegal To Sexually Harass Interns, Not That That'll Stop Anybody

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Assemblyman Micah Kellner, one of three State Assembly members to face sexual harassment allegations from interns in recent years.
It's been a banner year for interns in New York hoping to get through their temporary jobs un-groped. Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill sponsored by City Council member James Vacca saying that unpaid interns have the right to sue if they're sexually harassed or otherwise discriminated against at work. Yesterday, State Senator Liz Krueger announced that the Senate had passed a similar bill she sponsored there, one that makes it illegal to subject interns to any "unwelcome harassment." A companion bill passed the Assembly earlier this week; it'll go to Governor Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law soon.

Krueger's bill stipulates that it's illegal for employers of unpaid interns to "engage in unwelcome sexual advances," and just in case that wasn't clear enough, it outlines exactly what those are.

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Assembly Decides Micah Kellner Can't Have Interns Anymore, For Obvious Reasons

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Kellner, in more dignified times.
It's never been quite clear why the New York State Assembly's legal team didn't start investigating Assembyman Micah Kellner in 2009, when he was first accused of sexually harassing a female employee. It took until this summer, when the New York Times revealed that Kellner, a Democrat from the Upper East Side, had made inappropriate remarks to his female subordinate during online games of Words with Friends, including "I like being the only man in your life" (after pressing to find out if she had a boyfriend) and ""I wouldn't mind falling asleep with you but not remotely. Did I offend?"

The woman reported the harassment to her supervisor, who in turn handed over 15 pages of chat transcripts to Bill Collins, who headed up the Assembly's legal staff. And there the matter rested, until yesterday.

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Shelly Silver: I Acted In "Best Interest" Of Gropez Victims


New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver maintains that he believes that he'll be cleared of any wrongdoing in the Vito Lopez sex debacle, during which the speaker signed off on more than $100,000 in taxpayer funded hush money to sweep allegations of sexual misconduct against Lopez under the rug.

He also claims that he "acted in the best interests" of the several victims of Lopez's alleged pervy-ness -- which, New York GOPers say, is laughable.

Further reading on the Silver/Lopez scandal:

Vito Lopez In Sex And The Assembly: How To Sweep A Scandal Under The Rug

Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work

Vito Lopez's Pervy-ness Cost Taxpayers $103,000 -- Thanks To Shelly Silver

Gloria Allred, NOW Have Shelly Silver In Sights Over Hush Money

Here's The Letter Shelly Silver Sent Assemblyman Vito Lopez

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Sign (Toothless) Petition Calling For Shelly Silver's Resignation Right Here

Powerful Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver continues to catch heat for his coverup of sexual harassment allegations against his former pal, disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and now New York Republicans are circulating a petition calling for his resignation.

Granted, it's only a petition -- it will do literally nothing to procedurally remove Silver from office. And Shelly Silver's still Shelly Silver -- he's one politician in New York who could probably weather the storm if caught with the proverbial dead woman or live boy. But, as toothless as the GOP's petition may be, it sends a message that people are sick and tired of the speaker and his "old boys club" that is the New York State Assembly.

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