New York, NY- A former intern for an upstate New York branch of USB alleges some of her male coworkers, including one of her supervisors, subjected her to sexual harassment, discrimination, assault and retaliation so she’s suing the investment bank for $5 million.

Twenty-four year-old Samantha Lambui alleges in her suit, filed September 5th, that financial advisor, James Collins, recruited her from a bartending job in 2012, offering her a position as his assistant. She alleges that shortly after she began working for Collins, he began making passes at her, promising to buy her gifts of high-end shoes and handbags, Think Advisor reported. Collins allegedly promised to Lambui these items so long as she would meet him at a hotel and have sex with him.

She Collins’ advances which continued for several months until she was notified her internship would be ending. Collins offered her a permanent position, but only if she met him at the marina, presumably to have sex. She quit instead.

After quitting she complained to the company’s Human Resources Department and investigation was launched. The company found that Collins engaged in inappropriate behavior and subsequently fired him.

Lambui attempted to settle with Collins and USB, whose spokesman said the case was without merit, but they refused so she took her case to federal court. The only caveat is that under federal law, interns don’t have the same protections

In another case involving an intern, a court dismissed a young intern’s sexual harassment suit against her boss because she was not a paid employee. Basically, to be have protections against sexual harassment, a person must be receiving “significant remuneration,” or some form of payment from an employer, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Since interns are not paid, they

For that reason, it’s hard to say if Lambui’s case will be successful in federal court. A talented and experienced sexual harassment attorney may just be able to convince a federal court she has the same rights as a paid employee. Let’s hope that’s the case and if it is it could set a precedent for future cases.

Since last fall, when the truth about interns bubbled to the surface, lawmakers in numerous states, including New York have been working on legislation to extend workplace protections to unpaid interns. Only a handful of states have such a law on the books. This also needs to be done on the national scale but with the gridlock in Congress, that won’t be happening in the near future.

Whether you are an intern or a regular employee, if you are being sexually harassed, you need someone to help you stop the abuse and determine what your next moves should be. A sexual harassment attorney can give you the support and guidance you need to hold your harasser accountable. They will show how to report it and will craft a convincing case to assure you are generously compensated for your lost wages and emotional distress.