Oregon has passed legislation that extends discrimination protection to unpaid interns, putting them on the same legal page as regular employees but without creating an employment relationship.

Under the new law, unpaid interns are protected from discrimination and retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age (protected class is 18 years of age or older), military service and disability. The statute also provides protection for unpaid interns who report, in good faith, information that the intern believes is evidence of a violation of a state or federal law, rule or regulation.

The new protections also extend to interns who are domestic violence victims. In addition, Oregon's workplace protections against privacy intrusions, including breathalyzer tests, polygraph tests, psychological stress tests and brain wave tests, are also included in the legislation.

As for determining the status of interns, the state still relies on the test for unpaid interns established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).