In March 2013, the New York City Council passed a landmark bill amending the already expansive New York City Human Rights Law to include “unemployment status” as a protected class. As a result, a job applicant’s unemployment status is now considered on equal footing with race, religion, disability, sex and other well-established protected characteristics for the purposes of the city’s anti-discrimination law. According to the city council, the bill was necessary to protect “the long-term unemployed who are increasingly becoming victims of discrimination as companies screen out candidates on the basis of their unemployment status.”
This article will discuss the scope of the law itself, recent unemployment discrimination complaints that have been filed and several tips for employers to avoid becoming the target of future complaints.
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