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New York City Passes Bill to Ban Discrimination Based on Height, Weight

13 Jun


Update Applicable to:

All employers who employ at least one worker who performs work in the city of New York

What happened?

On May 11, 2023, the New York City Council passed a local law to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s weight or height in employment, housing and public accommodations. The law is awaiting the signature of Mayor Eric Adams (D). This is an amendment to the existing Section 8-101 of the administrative code of the city of New York.

What are the details?

The new bill would add “height and weight” to the list of categories protected by Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code, specifically to prohibit discrimination in connection with employment because of a person’s actual or perceived height or weight.

The bill would create an exemption for employers when height or weight is a “bona fide occupational qualification” reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business.

This bill mirrors efforts in the New York state Legislature to prohibit height and weight discrimination, in bills sponsored in the New York State Assembly (A7170) and New York state Senate (S2440). The city of Binghamton, New York has prohibited such discrimination since 2008.

For more information, visit the following:

Intro 209-A

Law Firm Articles: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the above and keep an eye on the when mayor signs the bill. The bill would take effect 180 days after it becomes law.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's New York PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.

This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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