Following the Presidential election and reports of increased discriminatory harassment, many Americans have expressed concerns that the federal government may weaken its enforcement of civil rights laws. For those of us who live, work or attend school in New York, it is important to know and to enforce the strong civil rights protections that exist under New York City and New York State law.
Both New York State and New York City have enacted Human Rights Laws. These laws generally prohibit discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing based on race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion/creed, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and citizenship status (City law only), as well as other categories. Concerning students, the City Human Rights Law’s protections generally apply to “educational institutions.” The State Human Rights Law currently prohibits discrimination in private, non-sectarian educational institutions.