Image from "Kevin's Interview" showing an example of workplace discrimination based on conviction record

All employers in NYC with four or more employees must comply with the NYC Human Rights Law regardless of whether their employees are full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, paid on the books or off the books, or are paid or unpaid interns. Some provisions of the Law protect employees regardless of the size of the businesses. Employers cannot discriminate against job applicants and employees based on their age, immigration status, arrest or conviction record, caregiver status, color, credit history, salary history, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, marital or partnership status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion/creed, sexual orientation, status as a current or former military service member, status as victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking, and unemployment status.

The NYC Commission on Human Rights protects individuals from discrimination in employment based on the following protected classes under the Law:

  • Age
  • Alienage or Citizenship Status
  • Arrest or Conviction Record
  • Caregiver
  • Color
  • Credit History
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Gender Identity
  • Marital or Partnership Status
  • National Origin
  • Pregnancy: NYC Human Rights Law Section 8-107(22)(b)(i) requires that employers disseminate or conspicuously post a written notice developed by the Commission on the rights of pregnant workers to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.  Employers can meet the obligations by posting the notice previously developed and disseminated by the Commission in 2015, or by posting our updated pregnancy notice.
  • Race
  • Religion/Creed
  • Salary History
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions
  • Status as Victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, or Stalking
  • Unemployment Status
  • Status as a Veteran or Active Military Service Member

The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in:

  • Hiring, firing, and work assignments
  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Promotions
  • Performance evaluations
  • Discipline
  • Any decisions that affect the terms and conditions of employment

The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits your employer from:

  • Making statements, asking questions during interviews, or circulating job announcements that suggest a preference for or prejudice against individuals based on the protected classes under the Law.

The New York City Human Rights Law also applies to employment agencies and labor organizations.

Reasonable Accommodations
A reasonable accommodation is a change made to the work schedule or duties of an employee to accommodate their specific needs and allow them to do their job.  Under the City Human Rights Law, an employer must provide reasonable accommodations unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer, for the following:
  • Disability: Employers must make reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of individuals who have a physical, medical, mental or psychological impairment, or a history or record of such impairment.
  • Pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition: Employers must make reasonable accommodations to individuals based on their pregnancy, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, or medical condition related to their pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Religious observance: Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the religious needs of employees and job applicants, including the observance of the Sabbath and other holy days.
  • Status as victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking: Employers must make reasonable accommodations to the needs of individuals who are or have been subject to certain acts or threats of violence.
Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination
  • Unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes unlawful sexual harassment when:
  • Granting sexual favors is used as the basis for employment decisions or as a requirement to keep your job
  • Such conduct unreasonably interferes with job performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
  • The harasser can be a man or a woman
  • Harassment can be verbal, physical, or pictorial and can include:
  • Sexual comments
  • Jokes
  • Innuendo
  • Pressure for dates
  • Sexual touching
  • Sexual gestures
  • Sexual graffiti
  • The complainant does not have to be the person at whom the offensive conduct is directed, but anyone affected by the conduct.
If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment, you should clearly communicate to the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome. You should also immediately inform a manager or the equal employment opportunity officer.
  • It is against the Law for your employer to retaliate against you because you opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice or made a charge, or if you testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
  • The Law protects you against retaliation as long as you have a reasonable good faith belief that the employer’s conduct is illegal, even if it turns out that you were mistaken.