February 2023: New York Expands Antidiscrimination Protections

31 Jan


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)


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.

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