LIEB BLOG

How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Showing posts with label protected class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label protected class. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New Law: Discrimination Commissions

On November 25, 2019, General Municipal Law 239-o was amended to have local Commissions on Human Rights take into account all of the NYS protected classes when seeking to foster mutual respect and understanding in the community.

The protected classes are:

  1. ages
  2. races
  3. sexual orientation
  4. gender identity or expression
  5. military status
  6. sex
  7. disability
  8. predisposing genetic characteristics
  9. familial status
  10. marital status
  11. domestic violence victim status 
  12. creed
  13. color
  14. national origin

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Have you been the victim of employment discrimination?

Attention Employees - Have you faced inferior terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of your age, race, creed, color, national original, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, or because you have opposed discrimination at work?

Did you know that you only need to prove that this discrimination rises above what a reasonable victim of discrimination with the same protected characteristic would consider petty slights or trivial inconveniences to win your claim?

Did you know that you can recover lost wages?
Are you aware that you can be reinstated into your job?
Better yet, did you know that your employer could be required to pay you punitive damages (punishment)?

Guess what? Courts have been directed to award you reasonable attorney's fees if you win. This means that your employer's exposure goes up the entire time that they are defending the claim - it's a huge motivation for your employer to settle with you quickly.

Yesterday, 8/12/19, you were given a voice by the Governor - it's time for you to use that voice and speak up to end discrimination in the workplace.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Bans Against Smoking May Discriminate Against the Elderly and Disabled

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing a ban on smoking in public housing units nationwide to protect residents from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Citing to the higher risks of cancer and other diseases associated with secondhand smoking, HUD Secretary Julian Castro stated that this policy would protect millions of Americans from preventable diseases every year. Additionally, it would save public housing agencies millions of dollars in repairs from fire and smoke damage caused by lit tobacco products.

The “castle doctrine” is a long-standing legal doctrine allowing individuals certain protections in his or own home. However, if HUD’s proposed ban is enacted, public housing will no longer be a castle for those residents who want to smoke in the privacy of their own homes. By conducting public health studies and hearing public comments, HUD is within its rights to create such a ban.
Many public housing agencies across the country have already implemented anti-smoking policies due to the HUD’s vigorous campaign to adopt such policies since 2009. However, this proposed ban would require all public housing agencies to conform to a non-smoking policy in not only the residences but also the indoor common areas, administrative offices, and within 25 feet outdoors of these units.

It is unclear how the rule will be enforced and what kinds of accommodations will be offered to smokers who already reside in these public housing units. Though the act of smoking lit tobacco products does not fall under a protected class, this policy may have a disparate impact on elderly and disabled smokers who cannot easily leave their homes every time they want a cigarette. If the elderly and disabled are unable to conform to the rule, they be forced out of their residences without any other place to go.


Secondhand smoke is a public health issue, but HUD must tread lightly to offer reasonable accommodations to those who already reside in public housing and who may not be able to abide by the new rule.  Otherwise, HUD may face a flood of discrimination lawsuits.