New York City boasts one of the broadest employment discrimination laws in the nation. Indeed, over the past few years, New York City has offered protection to many classes of employees and job applicants who have not enjoyed protection in the past. One of the lesser known groups of people who are protected under New York anti-discrimination law are caregivers.
Over the past few decades, lawmakers have heard from countless employees and job applicants who have suffered various forms of adverse employment actions based on the fact that they care for a child or sick loved one at home. Historically, employers have been able to discriminate against caregivers by refusing to hire those who have these responsibilities and even fire employees once the need to provide care arises. However, with the passage of a 2015 rule, employees and applicants can no longer be subjected to New York caregiver discrimination.
What Constitutes a Caregiver?
The New York Commission on Human Rights defines a caregiver as anyone who has a biological or adopted child under the age of 18, or someone who provides ongoing care to a parent, sibling, spouse, child, grandparent, or grandchild with a disability. The law applies to all employment agencies as well as employers that have four or more employees. The law also applies to full-time, part-time, and intern positions. Even someone who is characterized as an “independent contractor” may be covered.
What Does the Law Prohibit?
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, employers cannot refuse to hire, fire, or discriminate in the terms, conditions, or benefits of employment due to a caregiver’s responsibilities. This means that employers that offer benefits such as flexible scheduling must make the benefit available to all employees, regardless of caregiver status. Similarly, an employer cannot include any restrictions or limitations in a job posting or advertisement indicating a preference for whom they will hire based on an applicant’s role as a caretaker.
It is important to keep in mind that employers do not necessarily need to accommodate all requests that are based on a caregiver’s needs. For example, if an employer does not offer flexible scheduling as a general rule, there is no requirement that the employer make an exception for a caregiver’s request.
Have You Been a Victim of Illegal Discrimination?
If you believe that you have been a victim of caregiver discrimination, you should contact one of the New York caregiver discrimination attorneys at the law firm of Phillips & Associates. At Phillips & Associates, we handle all types of New York employment discrimination cases, and we have decades of experience doing so. We understand the changing landscape these cases cover, and we do everything in our power to right the wrongs committed against our clients. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case today, call 212-248-7431. Calling is free, and there is no obligation to pursue your case unless it is your desire to do so.
More Blog Posts:
New York City’s Gender Pay Gap, New York Employment Attorney Blog, December 28, 2017
Recently Filed New York Discrimination Case Highlights Religious Discrimination in the Workplace, New York Employment Attorney Blog, January 4, 2018