Seyfarth SynopsisNew York City has amended the City Human Rights Law to prohibit employment discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s sexual and reproductive health choices.  The amendment will go into effect on May 20, 2019.

Int. No. 863-A (the “Law”) amends the New York City Human Rights Law and adds “sexual and reproductive health decisions” to the list of protected categories under the law.  The Law was enacted on January 20, 2019, after Mayor de Blasio neither signed nor vetoed the proposed legislation within 30 days of receiving it, and will go into effect on May 20, 2019. 

The Law prohibits employment discrimination and harassment based on “sexual and reproductive health choices,” defined as “any decision by an individual to receive services, which are arranged for or offered or provided to individuals relating to sexual and reproductive health, including the reproductive system and its functions.”  Examples of sexual and reproductive health decisions identified in the Law are: 

  • Fertility-related medical procedures;
  • Sexually transmitted disease prevention, testing and treatment;
  • Family planning services and counseling;
  • Use of birth control drugs and supplies;
  • Emergency contraception;
  • Sterilization procedures;
  • Pregnancy testing; and
  • Abortion

The Law will apply to New York City employers with four or more employees.  Covered employers should update their handbooks and anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity policies to include “sexual and reproductive health choices” among the list of protected categories.

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