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February 2023: New York Expands Antidiscrimination Protections

31 Jan

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of New York

What happened?
On December 23, 2022, Governor Hochul signed into law Assembly Bill A6328A (AB A6328A), which amends the New York Executive Law § 292 (known as the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL)), to prohibit employment discrimination against employees and job applicants based on citizenship and immigration status.

What are the details?
Effective immediately upon signage, this amendment prohibits employers from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against any individual because of their citizenship or immigration status. The law defines “citizenship or immigration status” as “citizenship of any person or the immigration status of any person who is not a citizen of the United States.” 

The law does not expressly ban employers from checking the citizenship or immigration status of current and prospective employees for lawful purposes, such as to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), which prevents employers from knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants or individuals who are not authorized to be employed in the United States. 

Under the IRCA, if an employer knows that a certain job candidate does not have work authorization for U.S. employment, the employer cannot, by law, hire such a job candidate. Thus, employers are permitted to take adverse actions against individuals where obligated to do so by law. 

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill A6328A (AB A6328A)

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and communicate to supervisors and managers that New York State has amended its law to add citizenship or immigration status as protected categories and identify ways to prevent prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Employers should also revise employee handbooks, policies, and training materials to include information on anti-discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on an individual’s citizenship or immigration status.

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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