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New York Employment Law Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Associational Discrimination Under New York State Human Rights Law

The New York State Division of Human Rights has issued a new regulation prohibiting “discrimination against an individual because of that individual’s known relationship or association with a member or members of a protected category covered under the relevant provisions of the Human Rights Law,” otherwise known as “associational discrimination.”  This new regulation applies to all areas of the New York State Human Rights Law, including employment, public accommodations, the purchase or rental of property, access to educational institutions and credit.

The new law states that an individual can “prove a claim of discrimination based on a known relationship or association” by establishing that “they are aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice by showing they have been be subjected to an adverse action as specified in relevant provisions of the Human Rights Law because of their known relationship or association with a member or members of a protected category covered under the relevant provisions of the Human Rights Law.”  The law protects discrimination against any individual because of that person’s “age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status.”

The protection against associational discrimination comes on the heels of the New York State Division of Human Rights regulations that were recently enacted to expressly prohibit discrimination against employees based on their gender identity. 

In its press release, the Division provides the following example of potential employment-related conduct that would be prohibited by the associational discrimination regulation: “Job seekers may not be denied employment because of the gender identity, transgender status, or other protected characteristics of their spouses.”  

If you’ve been discriminated against because of your association with someone protected under the law, you need an experienced attorney to handle your case. If you’re an employer in need of policies to protects against such claims, we can help.  The Law Offices of Yale Pollack, P.C. in Syosset, New York, serves Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Manhattan, and Queens in all phases of Employment Law. Contact the office today at (516) 262-5028 or online.



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