Applies the provisions of the human rights law to all employers regardless of the number of persons in their employ; excludes from the definition of employers those employers where at least two-thirds of the employees are family members or spouses of family members of the employer.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding the type and number of employers covered by the provisions of the human rights law
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To make all employers, including those who employ fewer than four persons, subject to anti-discrimination provisions of the state's human rights law.
PROVISIONS: This bill amends subdivision 5 of section 292 of the Executive Law, as amended by chapter 481 of the laws of 2010 which defines specific terms used in New York State's Human Rights Law. The law currently defines the term "employer" as not including any employer "with fewer than four persons in his employ."
This legislation changes the definition of the term "employer" by extending it to include employers with less than three employees. This definition is further amended by exempting only those employers where at least two-thirds of the employees are closely related by blood or marriage to the employer.
Section 292 currently exempts employers with less than four employees from all provisions of the Human Rights Law that are intended to prevent discriminatory hiring practices. Whatever the purpose of this exemption, the fact remains that some employers with less than four employees do engage in discriminatory hiring practices that are hurtful, unjust, and repugnant to the morals of a civilized society. The burden of requiring small employers to comply with the provisions of the Human Rights Law rarely outweighs the negative effects of wrongful discriminatory practices in New York State.
Perhaps the only situation in which compliance is a burden is the case of family owned businesses where close family members make up all or most of the employees. In this situation, a family business may find compliance impossible due to the family's racial or ethnic homogeneity.
Small business is a rapidly expanding element of the state's economy, and is the key to increased employment in the coming years. In some areas of our state, both rural and urban communities, small business provides significant employment opportunities. If the number of small businesses continues to grow throughout the state, their exemption from anti-discrimination laws affects not two or three job applicants, but tens of thousands of citizens seeking employment. It is unfair to allow such a large segment of the state's population to remain unprotected from unfair employment practices. This law, therefore, must be amended to cover all employers in this state.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This bill was previously introduced.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1308 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding the type and number of employers covered by the provisions of the human rights law THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 5 of section 292 of the executive law, as amended by chapter 481 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: 5. The term "employer"
[does not include]INCLUDES any employer [with fewer than four]REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF persons in his or her employ except as set forth in section two hundred ninety-six-b of this title PROVIDED, HOWEVER, SUCH TERM SHALL NOT INCLUDE AN EMPLOYER WHERE AT LEAST TWO-THIRDS OF THE PERSONS IN THE EMPLOYERS' EMPLOY ARE THE CHILDREN, PARENTS, SPOUSE OR A RELATIVE WITHIN THE THIRD DEGREE OF CONSANGUINITY, OR THE SPOUSES THEREOF, OF SUCH EMPLOYER. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04192-01-3