Earlier this year, New York State Gov. David Paterson signed a law that amends the New York Human Rights Law to prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of an individual’s status as a victim of domestic violence. As a result, it is now unlawful for employers in New York State to fire, refuse to hire, harass, or otherwise discriminate against employees with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because they have been the victim of an act of domestic violence, including stalking.
The sponsor of the statute in the New York State Assembly, Westchester County Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, noted that “financial security is one of the most import factors in whether a victim of domestic violence will be able to separate from an abusive partner.” Paulson also indicated that this new law “will help victims [of domestic violence] maintain their jobs without fear of unfair termination.”
In addition to now prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of status as a victim of domestic violence, the New York Human Rights Law also prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, or marital status.