New Yorkers who employ of domestic workers should note two recent amendments to the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) that went into effect on December 31, 2021, which together extend full protection of the NYSHRL to individuals employed in domestic service in New York. In addition, beginning on March 12, 2022, employment protections afforded by the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) will apply to all domestic workers.
The first amendment to the state law removed language from the definition of “employee” under section 292(6), which had previously excluded domestic workers from most of the NYSHRL’s protections. Now, the only category of persons excluded from the definition of “employee” are those individuals employed by their parents, spouse, or child. The second amendment repealed section 296-b, which had protected domestic workers from harassment, but not other types of discrimination.