Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label immigration status. Show all posts
Showing posts with label immigration status. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Major Discrimination Update - NYS Human Rights Law Expanded to Prohibit Discrimination on Citizenship / Immigration Status

Citizenship Status and Immigration Status are now protected classes throughout the State of New York when it comes to discrimination in housing, public accommodations (commercial real estate), education, and employment.

Effective December 23, 2022, A6328A has amended the New York State Human Rights Law to protect a new group of New Yorkers, those who are subjected to different terms, conditions, and privileges based on their citizenship status and immigration status. It protects against discriminatory publications (i.e., advertising / statements). It protects from hostile environments. It is all encompassing to stop discrimination. 

According to the law, Citizenship or Immigration Status is defined to mean "the citizenship of any person or the immigration status of any person who is not a citizen of the United States."

Employers, landlords, and educational administrators may have a gut pushback to this law and wonder about issues it may cause for them if they are required to verify legal status as part of their business. Have no fear, the law permits verification and consequential adverse actions "where required by law." However, that does not mean that you can check status whenever you feel like it or believe the law requires it. Instead, it is incumbent upon any person who plans to verify status to first identify the legal basis for why status is required to be verified before doing anything. Otherwise, employers, landlords, and educational administrators should expect to be defending a lawsuit that can easily result in damages over six-figures.

Monday, September 30, 2019

NYC: Using the Word "Alien" Could Result In $250,000 Fine

More discrimination lawsuits are on the horizon in NYC based upon the City's Commission of Human Rights new enforcement guidelines concerning immigration status and national origin.

Landlords, merchants, and employers now face up to $250,000 in fines for using terms and phrases like "illegal alien", "alien", and "speak english" when used in the context meant to demean, humiliate, or offend.

In their press release, the NYC Commission of Human Rights provided hypothetical examples of discriminatory behavior, including:
  • Harassing a restaurant patron because of their accent;
  • Refusing repairs on a unit occupied by an immigrant family and threatening to call ICE if they complain;
  • Paying a lower wage or withholding wages to workers because of their immigration status; and
  • Harassing a store customer by telling them to stop speaking their language and demanding they speak English.

*ATTENTION LANDLORDS AND EMPLOYERS* - your teams must be trained in the different forms of discrimination and harassment to avoid fines, lawsuits, and bad publicity.