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.