Court: Whistleblower law doesn't protect interns

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court says a state law protecting health care workers who act as whistleblowers doesn't apply to unpaid interns.

The court ruled Tuesday that a former intern at the Medical College of Wisconsin did not qualify as an employee under the law because she did not receive pay or any benefits even though she worked 40 hours a week.

The court upheld decisions by the state's Labor and Industry Review Commission and lower courts in a lawsuit filed by Asma Masri.

Masri was a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, when she made an ethics complaint to a Medical College administrator. Her internship abruptly ended soon after.

The court says the commission's interpretation of "employee" is "reasonable, and there is no more reasonable interpretation."

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