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Amendments Made To NYC Human Rights Law


January 25, 2016
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In December, the New York City Council amended the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to include “caregiver status” as a protected class. The amendment is scheduled to take effect in April.

Under the amendment to the NYCHRL adopted by the City Council, New York City employers will be prohibited from taking an adverse employment action against an employee or job applicant because of his/her status (or perceived status) as a caregiver. Any person who provides direct and ongoing care for a minor child or a care recipient is considered a “caregiver” under the new law.

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The law broadly defines the terms “minor child” and “care recipient” to ensure protections for a broad range of familial dynamics. “Minor child” includes any child under the age of 18 who is: the caregiver’s biological, adopted or foster child; the caregiver’s legal ward; or a child for whom the caregiver stands in loco parentis. The term “care recipient” means a person with a disability who: (i) is a covered relative or a person who resides in the caregiver’s household; and (ii) relies on the caregiver for medical care or to meet the needs of daily living. “Covered relative” includes a caregiver’s child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, and the child or parent of the caregiver’s spouse or domestic partner. Employers covered by the NYCHRL should review their policies and procedures. In addition, it is also advisable to train managers and human resources staff regarding their new compliance obligations with regard to accommodating “caregivers.” As a reminder, New York State also adopted a new law banning “familial status” discrimination. Under amendments to New York Labor Law (NYLL), employment agencies, licensing agencies, and labor organizations are prohibited from discriminating against workers based on their familial status, including parent caregivers.