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New York Court of Appeals: New York State and City Human Rights Law Apply to Non-New York Employees or Applicants too

16 Apr

Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employers in New York State and City with at least 1 worker performing work out of stateSee details below

What happened?

On March 14, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the protections of the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) can apply to non-New York state or city residents or employees, provided they “proactively sought” jobs based in the state or the city. 

What are the details? 

The case:

  • Nonresidents who worked in the state or the city have long been able to bring claims under the NYSHRL or the NYCHRL. 
  • However, it was unclear whether employees or potential employees, who did not live or work in New York at the time of their application to a New York-based role could advance a failure-to-hire or failure-to-promote claim.
  • The Court of Appeals emphasized that the plaintiff in Syeed, by applying for New York-based positions, engaged in conduct to obtain an actual job opportunity based in New York (Bloomberg New York) which, therefore, entitled them to the protections of the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL. 
  • In arriving at this conclusion, the court noted that the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL are to be liberally construed and that ruling otherwise “would serve to immunize employers from liability” for having engaged in discriminatory hiring conduct against nonresidents.
  • The court specifically limited its analysis to applying to a position that requires the employee to be physically present (in New York). 
  • For a complete breakdown of the case, please visit the Reavis Page Jump LLP law firm article here.

Why does this decision matter to employers?
Because it may cause employers to see an increase in discrimination claims from non-New York residents who are not hired or promoted into a New York-based role, which can now assert failure-to-hire or failure-to-promote claims under the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL.

Business Considerations 

  • It is recommended that you mitigate future claims from out-of-state employees and applicants by reviewing your policies.
  • Plan to communicate and train employees to be aware of and trained in the company’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment expectations.
  • This decision is an extension of the previous precedent (Hoffman v. Parade Publs 2010) in which it was held that the New York State and City anti-discrimination statutes apply to non-residents who apply for jobs that would be based physically in the State or City.


Source References

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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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