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Changes to New York’s Anti-Discrimination Laws in the Workplace

Recent amendments to New York’s anti-discrimination laws have made significant steps forward in ensuring a fair and equitable workplace. At Gash & Associates, P.C. in White Plains, NY, we’re committed to helping both employers and employees understand these changes and how they can affect their rights and obligations.

Expanded Protections for Non-Residents

A landmark ruling in 2024 by New York’s highest court has extended the reach of the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to non-resident job applicants. This means that even if you don’t currently live or work in New York, you’re protected against discrimination by New York-based employers during the hiring process. This ruling underlines the state’s commitment to a discrimination-free workplace, no matter where the potential employee lives.

Social Media Privacy Strengthened

The introduction of the Social Media Privacy Law in March 2024 marked another significant advancement. Employers in New York are now prohibited from requesting access to the private social media accounts of job applicants and employees. This protects personal privacy, but it does still allow employers to access publicly available information on their employees or applicants.

Changes to Non-Disclosure Agreements

New York has also revised its approach to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in an effort to improve transparency and fairness during the settlement process of workplace discrimination claims. Under the new rules, confidentiality can only be included in a settlement agreement if it is the plaintiff’s preference. This allows people to have more control over the disclosure of their experiences so they can warn others of significant abuse.

Protecting Diverse Body Sizes

The recent amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law now includes protections against discrimination based on height and weight. This amendment reflects the understanding that diversity in physical appearance is as important as any other kind. It ensures that all people are judged on their professional abilities and not on physical characteristics that do not impact their job performance.

Longer Window for Complaints

The period to file complaints with the New York State Division of Human Rights has been extended to three years for all unlawful discriminatory practices. This gives people more time to seek justice for the workplace discrimination that they endured. The change is particularly useful for people who may need additional time to find evidence of their complaint or those who feel intimidated to come forward.

New Regulations for Freelancers

The Freelance Isn’t Free Act took effect in May 2024, introducing necessary protections for freelance workers. It requires written contracts for specific engagements and includes additional measures against discrimination. This law ensures that freelance workers receive the same protections as people in traditional employment settings.

If You’ve Been Discriminated Against at Work, Call Gash & Associates

At Gash & Associates, P.C., we understand the issues of employment law, and we’re here to help you navigate them. Whether you’re an employer updating your policies or an employee seeking to understand your rights, our experienced employment attorneys are ready to provide guidance and support. If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace, we encourage you to contact Gash & Associates, P.C. at (914) 328-8800.