On January 23, 2013, New York’s City Council passed a bill that would modify the New York City Human Rights Law and prohibit discrimination based on unemployment status. The bill would also prohibit advertising requiring current employment as a condition of employment. However, the bill contains several notable exceptions, including that employers may (1) consider an applicant’s unemployment if a substantially job-related reason exists for doing so, and (2) ask applicants about the circumstances related to “separation from prior employment.” If enacted, Bill 814-A would create a private cause of action, as well as grant the New York City Human Rights Commission the authority to enforce the law. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expressed his intention to veto the bill. Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor the status of this bill.
Note: This article was published in the February 2013 issue of the New York eAuthority.