Examples Of Local Laws

New York City Human Rights Law
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, it is unlawful for an employer with four or more employees to discriminate against an individual on the basis of actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, or alienage or citizenship status.

It is illegal to retaliate or discriminate against a person because he or she opposed an unlawful practice, filed a lawsuit, complaint, or testified or assisted in a discrimination case or investigation.  

What type of discrimination is unlawful?
It is unlawful to refuse to hire or employ, or to fire an individual based on a protected category. It is also illegal to discriminate against someone in training, compensation, or in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of someone’s actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, or alienage or citizenship status.

An employment agency cannot discriminate against an individual in referring an applicant for a job, or in receiving, classifying or disposing of his or her employment application on the basis of the protected categories. It is unlawful for a labor organization to discriminate against, exclude or expel an individual based on his or her actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, or alienage or citizenship status.

No employer may print or advertise any job posting that directly or indirectly expresses a limitation, specification or discrimination on the basis of a protected category.

Religious Accommodations
It is unlawful for an employer to require a person to violate or forego a sincerely held religious practice as a condition to obtain or retain employment, a promotion, or in terms or conditions of employment, unless the employer cannot reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious practice without undue hardship on the business after engaging in a bona fide effort to try to do so. An undue hardship is an accommodation requiring significant expense or difficulty

Reasonable Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to the needs of an employee or job applicant with a disability to satisfy the essential duties of a job or enjoy the privileges of the job, as long as the disability is known or should have been known to the employer.

Licensing
It is unlawful for an agency authorized to issue licenses or permits to discriminate against an applicant on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, or alienage or citizenship status. An agency may consider age or disability as a criterion where the law so requires.

Criminal Conviction & Arrest Record
It is illegal for an employer or licensing agency to deny any employment, license or permit to an individual because of a criminal conviction. It is unlawful to deny any job or license based on a determination that the individual lacks “good moral character” because of the conviction. Discrimination based on a conviction is unlawful unless the conviction is directly related to the job duty, or poses an unreasonable risk to persons or property.

It is unlawful for an employer to inquire about or discriminate based on an arrest that was resolved in favor of the individual (dismissed, declined to prosecuted, voided, etc.), unless specifically required by law, and as long as the inquiry doesn’t relate to licensing for firearms or employment as a police or peace officer.

Citizenship
It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of alienage or citizenship status, or to inquire about a person’s alienage or citizenship, or give preference to a US citizen over an equally qualified non-citizen in employment.  Inquiries or determinations into citizenship are not prohibited where necessary to obtain federal benefits. Also, work authorization may be required to obtain a license or permit issued by NYC where a law limits the number of licenses or permits that may be issued.

Filing a Complaint
Complaints are filed with the NYC Commission on Human Rights. You must file with the Commission within one year of the most recent discriminatory act. The Commission will investigate the alleged discrimination and make a determination. If the Commission finds probable cause of unlawful discrimination and the parties cannot settle, the case will proceed to an administrative hearing, similar to a trial, and an administrative law judge will make a determination in the case.

For more information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/home.html

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