New York State Human Rights Law

Employers in New York State should be aware of recent new laws as well as some pending bills, all of which seek to bolster harassment and discrimination protections for employees.  As detailed below, New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed several bills into law that expand harassment and discrimination protections, while the New York Senate recently passed more bills that would further bolster safeguards for employees and independent contractors in the state.

Continue Reading New York Enacts New Laws to Bolster Harassment and Discrimination Protections, with Additional Proposed Laws Passing the Senate

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 The second amendment repealed section 296-b, which had protected domestic workers from harassment, but not other types of discrimination.

Continue Reading New Protections for Domestic Workers Under the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws

On Friday, October 1, 2021, the New York State Division of Human Rights (“the Division”), the agency responsible for enforcement of the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), issued a notice, partially reproduced on the Division’s website, announcing a significant change in policy regarding the agency’s processes for complaint resolution: after October 12,

On August 20, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed A5618/S1040 (the “Amendment”) into law, amending the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) with respect to protections for victims of domestic violence. The Amendment becomes effective November 18, 2019.

The Amendment broadens the definition of “victim of domestic violence” to make it consistent with the

Building on progressive legislation passed last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a sweeping proposal to strengthen protections against harassment in the workplace. The four part sexual assault and harassment safety reforms initiative, titled “TIME’S UP New York Safety Agenda,” is contained in the Governor’s 2019 Executive Budget, which was released on January 22, 2019. The

As a follow-up to our blog post from April 24, 2017, the New York Court of Appeals has issued its decision in Griffin v. Sirva, addressing the questions certified by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit regarding the scope of liability for employment discrimination based on an individual’s criminal history

By:  William J. Milani and Anna Kolontyrsky

The Eastern District of New York has rejected a claim for relief under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) brought by a job applicant who alleged that a bank unlawfully discriminated against her based on her criminal history. In Smith v. Bank of America Corp.