New York City Human Rights Law Cases
Explained by Our New York Employment Lawyer
The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment based on any of the following:
- National origin
- Alienage (citizenship status)
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Partnership status
Amendments to the Law
In October 2005, the New York City Council amended the City Human Rights
Law with the Restoration Act of 2005. This amendment and the growing body
of case law that has developed around it has made it clear that the City
Law requires a uniquely liberal interpretation, which is beneficial for
victims of discrimination in the workplace.
Of particular note is the fact that Courts in New York, when reviewing disability discrimination cases, have determined that what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” is anything that does not cause “undue hardship” and the burden of proving “undue hardship” is on the employer. In other words, where the burden was once on the employee to prove that he/she could perform the essential functions of his/her job with a reasonable accommodation, now the employer has to plead and prove that the employee could not perform the essential functions of his/her job with a reasonable accommodation.
On August 17, 2011, the New York City Human Rights Law was further amended when the New York City Council passed “The Workplace Religious Freedom Act.” This amendment to the law requires that employers accommodate the religious observances of its employees unless doing so would cause “undue hardship,” which is defined as an accommodation which would require “significant expense or difficulty.” The burden now rests on the employer to make such a showing. This amendment has confirmed that the New York City Council is determined to ensure that the New York City Human Rights Law is treated in the broadest way possible to achieve its goal, which is to eradicate all forms of discrimination in employment in the City of New York.
If you work in New York City and believe that you are being discriminated against for one of the reasons prohibited by the New York City Human Rights Law, the New York employment discrimination attorneys at Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP are here to help. Call Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP now to speak with one of our attorneys.
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