Brunoro Law Blog

Monday, February 20, 2017

NYC’s Human Rights Law Serves as Model for the Nation

How does New York City’s Human Rights Law protect employees against discrimination?

New York City has become a leader in the movement toward protecting the rights of all citizens to equal opportunity employment, housing, and public accommodations.  NYC recently strengthened its Human Rights Law so that today it is one of the most inclusive and powerful anti-discrimination laws in the country.  This celebrated Human Rights Law will no doubt serve as a model for other cities and states in the nation.  

Large companies and small businesses alike are taking notice of NYC’s human rights law to ensure their employees are treated in a fair and equal manner.  At Brunoro Law, our San Diego corporate law lawyers help our clients to implement company policies and procedures that protect the rights of employers and employees.  By adopting company policies against discrimination, our California businesses can move towards equality for all employees.

New York City’s Human Rights Law Explained

NYC’s new Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, creed, age, citizenship status, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, gender, partnership status, and marital status.    Updated in 2016,  the law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of unemployment status, arrest record, caregiver status, or status as a victim of domestic violence, or a predisposing genetic disposition.  Employers cannot discriminate against an employee based on these factors in the areas of hiring, compensation, or training programs.  

Further, employers must make some accommodations for an employee’s religious practice.  An employer cannot require that an employee violate or forego a religious practice in order to retain employment, unless the employer cannot reasonably accommodate the employee.  Employees that feel they have experienced discrimination can file a complaint with the NYS Division of Human Right or directly in state court.  Employers found to have violated the law may face fines and be forced to pay damages to the victim.

New York City’s comprehensive Human Rights Law is one of the strongest in the country.  California has several laws in place on the state and city level that prevent discrimination against employees on the basis of protected factors.  Employers should investigate state and local laws to ensure their compliance.


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