Fair employment practices law: Employers can't discriminate based on age (18 and older), race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or (effective Feb. 24, 2019) gender expression (including transgender status), military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, or domestic violence victim status. National origin includes ancestry. Effective July 12, 2019, race includes traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.
Specifically, employers can't refuse to hire or employ; bar or discharge from employment; segregate or separate;or discriminate in compensation or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. They also can't print or circulate statements, advertisements, or publications, use job applications, or make pre-employment inquiries that directly or indirectly express any actual or intended limitation, specification, or discrimination based on protected classes (excluding domestic violence victim status), unless this restriction is based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
Employers can't discriminate in guidance, apprenticeship, or other training programs based on protected classes (excluding predisposing genetic characteristics and domestic violence victim status). Specifically, employers can't discriminate against workers in their pursuit of, admission to, or participation in these programs or in terms, conditions, and privileges of the programs. They also can't print or circulate statements, advertisements, or publications, use program applications, or make program-related inquiries that directly or indirectly express any actual or intended limitation, specification, or discrimination based on protected classes (excluding predisposing genetic characteristics and domestic violence victim status), unless this restriction is based on a BFOQ. Employers must select participants for New York state-registered apprenticeship programs based on their qualifications, as determined by objective criteria.
No person (as defined in N.Y. Exec. Law § 292)can boycott, blacklist, or refuse to buy from, sell to, or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person based on the race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or (effective Feb. 24, 2019) gender expression (including transgender status), military status, sex, disability, or familial status of that person or the person's partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers, or customers. A person also can't willfully commit or refrain from committing acts that enable such discrimination. Boycotts don't include those connected with labor disputes or those protesting unlawful discriminatory practices.
No person (as defined in N.Y. Exec. Law § 292)can aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce unlawful discriminatory acts or try to do so. The opportunity to obtain employment without discrimination based on protected classes (excluding predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, and domestic violence victim status) is considered a civil right.
Separate provisions apply to discrimination based on arrest and conviction information and the use of a service animal.
Nonemployees (effective Oct. 11, 2019): It is unlawful for an employer to permit unlawful discrimination against nonemployees in its workplace. Nonemployees include contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, or other persons providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace. An employer may be held liable for discrimination against a nonemployee when the employer, its agents, or supervisors knew or should have known that such nonemployee was subjected to an unlawful discriminatory practice in the workplace, and the employer failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. The extent of the employer's control and any other legal responsibility the employer might have over the person who engaged in discriminatory conduct is considered when liability is determined.
Interns: Employers can't discriminate against interns based on age (18 and older), race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status. National origin includes ancestry. Sex includes gender identity and transgender status. Specifically, employers can't refuse to hire or employ; bar or discharge from employment; discriminate in terms, conditions, and privileges of employment; or discriminate in the internship application or selection process. They also can't print or circulate statements, advertisements, or publications, use job applications, or make pre-employment inquiries that directly or indirectly express any actual or intended limitation, specification, or discrimination based on protected classes, unless this restriction is based on a BFOQ.
Interns are people who perform work for employers for training purposes under the following circumstances:
- employers aren't committed to hire them at the end of their training period;
- they agree with employers that they aren't entitled to wages;
- their work provides or supplements training that might enhance their employability and provides experience for their benefit; and
- their work doesn't displace regular employees and is performed under the close supervision of existing staff.
Agreements and waivers (effective Oct. 11, 2019):
Mandatory arbitration agreements: A written contract can't include a clause or provision that requires the parties, as a condition of enforcing or obtaining remedies under the contract, to resolve allegations or claims of unlawful discrimination through mandatory arbitration. If a contract includes such a clause or provision, that clause or provision is null and void without impairing the enforceability of any other provision of the contract. Mandatory arbitration clause means a term or provision that:
- requires the parties to submit any matter arising under the contract to arbitration before commencing any legal action to enforce the contract's provisions; and
- provides that the findings or results of such arbitration in cases alleging unlawful discrimination are final and not subject to independent court review.
These prohibitions don't apply if they are inconsistent with federal law or if they conflict with any collective bargaining agreement.
Arbitration means the use of a decision-making forum conducted by an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators, as provided in New York arbitration law (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 7501 et seq.). For more information about this law, see New York Dispute Resolution.
[Note: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts the provisions regarding mandatory arbitration agreements, as applied to a sexual harassment claim (Latif v. Morgan Stanley Co., No. 18cv11528 (DLC), 2019 BL 236786 (S.D.N.Y. June 26, 2019)).]
Nondisclosure agreements: Employers, including their officers and employees, can't include or agree to a term or condition in a settlement agreement, stipulation, decree, assurance of discontinuance, or other resolution of a claim regarding unlawful discrimination if the term or condition would prevent disclosure of the claim's underlying facts and circumstances, unless the complainant prefers such confidentiality. A potential nondisclosure term or condition must be provided to all parties in writing in plain English and, if applicable, the primary language of the complainant. The complainant must be given 21 days to consider the term or condition after it is provided to all of the parties. If the complainant decides that such confidentiality is preferable, this preference must be included in an agreement signed by all of the parties. The agreement can be revoked by the complainant within a period of time (at least seven days) after it is signed; it isn't effective or enforceable until the revocation period expires. A nondisclosure term or condition is void to the extent that it prohibits or otherwise restricts the complainant from
- initiating, testifying, assisting, complying with a subpoena from, or participating in any manner with an investigation conducted by the appropriate local, state, or federal agency; or
- filing or disclosing any facts necessary to receive unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or other publics benefits to which the complainant is entitled.
Any contract or other agreement between an employer or its agent and an employee or potential employee entered into on or after January 1, 2020, that contains a provision preventing the disclosure of factual information related to any future claim of discrimination is void and unenforceable, unless the provision notifies the employee or potential employee that it doesn't prohibit them from speaking with law enforcement, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the state division of human rights, a local commission on human rights, or an attorney retained by the employee or potential employee.
Arrest and conviction information (correction law): This topic is covered in New York Arrest and Conviction Information.
Disability discrimination (civil rights law): This topic is covered in New York Disability Discrimination.
Flag display: This topic is covered in “Flag Display.”
Genetic information bias (unique genetic disorders): This topic is covered in New York Genetic Information Bias.
Lawful activities: This topic is covered in “Lawful Activities.”
Pay discrimination (equal pay law): This topic is covered in New York Pay Discrimination.
Pregnancy discrimination (breastfeeding rights and, effective Nov. 8, 2019, reproductive health decisions): This topic is covered in New York Pregnancy Discrimination.