The legislation aims to close a gap in workplace protections for those who do not receive wages. Both California and federal laws on the subject currently extend only to those considered paid employees.
The issue gained national attention this fall when a federal court in New York ruled that an intern could not sue her former employer for sexual harassment because she had not been compensated for her work.
In June, Oregon became the first state to pass legislation protecting unpaid interns from discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
PHOTO: Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner D-Berkeley during the first day of session at the Capitol. on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 . The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua