Practice Update

The New York City (NYC) Council has passed a bill adding “sexual and other reproductive health decisions” to the list of protected classes under the NYC Human Rights Law. The legislation, dubbed "the Boss Bill," makes it illegal for New York City employers with four or more employees to discriminate against applicants or employees based on sexual and reproductive health decisions. 

The Bill defines sexual and reproductive health decisions as "any decision by an individual to receive services which are arranged for or offered or provided to individuals relating to the reproductive system and its functions," and specifically includes "fertility-related medical procedures, family planning services and counseling, access to all medically approved birth control drugs and supplies, emergency contraception, sterilization procedures, pregnancy testing, sexual transmitted disease testing and treatment, abortion procedures, and HIV testing and counseling" among the protected acts.   

The Boss Bill passed a City Council vote in December and now awaits the mayor’s signature, which is expected in early 2019. If signed, it will go into effect 120 days after enactment. 

Given the likely implementation of this Bill, New York City employers should plan to revise their handbooks to incorporate “sexual and other reproductive health decisions” into the list of categories protected from discrimination. Human resources personnel, managers, and supervisors should also be made aware of this change and instructed to prevent information relating to an employee’s reproductive health from affecting employment decisions going forward.

This Akerman Practice Update is intended to inform firm clients and friends about legal developments, including recent decisions of various courts and administrative bodies. Nothing in this Practice Update should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, and readers should not act upon the information contained in this Practice Update without seeking the advice of legal counsel. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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