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New York City Council Bans Discrimination Based on Caregiver Status

January 7, 2016

On December 16, the New York City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Human Rights Law to prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s caregiver status.

The bill would add “caregiver status” to the protected categories under the city’s nondiscrimination law, amending the definition to include a “person who provides direct and ongoing care for a minor child or a care recipient.”

The law defines the caregiver status broadly, extending protection to individuals who provide caregiving to either a) a child, or b) a “covered relative” who resides in the caregiver’s household and who is living with a disability or relies on the caregiver for medical care or to meet daily living needs.

The covered relatives include a caregiver’s child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent or the child or parent of the caregiver’s spouse or domestic partner.

The extension of the New York City Human Rights Law provides broader coverage than the New York State law, which bans “familial status” discrimination but covers only parent caregiver status. The law is intended to ban the practice of retaliation for employee requests for flexible scheduling due to caregiving responsibilities.

The bill is expected to be signed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and will take effect 120 days after receiving his signature.

— by Allison Cook, PHI New York Policy Associate

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