New York legislators are working to pass a ten-point bill to stop gender discrimination and ensure fairness to women and families for the state of New York. The bill, called the “Women’s Equality Act” promises to defend women’s employment and quality of life rights.
The Women’s Equality Act contains ten areas of protection against inequality and gender discrimination. Some simply extend current laws to a broader base, while others propose new mandates to assist women in attaining equality. Then 10-point bill proposes the following:
- Achieve Pay Equity
- Stop Sexual Harassment in All Workplaces
- End Family Status Discrimination
- Stop Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All
- Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws
- Protect a Woman’s Freedom of Choice
- Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Laws
- Stop Source-of-Income Discrimination
- Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Employment and Credit & Lending Cases
The impacts of this bill passing legislation would mean that women’s rights for employment law cases would be more strongly protected. Employees would no longer be bound by salary secrecy, which prohibits employees from sharing how much they earn with fellow co-workers. Women would be ensured every opportunity to earn the same pay as their male counterparts for equal work. All sexual discrimination laws would be extended to businesses of every size, including those smaller than four employees.
Anti-discrimination laws would also be strengthened by prohibiting females from losing positions, pay or opportunities based on their family status or for being pregnant. This bill would force employers to offer added accommodations to pregnant workers such as more frequent rest room breaks, the opportunity to sit down, or time off for doctor’s appointments.
Many of the laws in place to protect women’s safety would also be strengthened. The bill would protect women from discrimination in housing based on domestic violence disputes. Domestic violence victims would have increased protection against their aggressors with stronger legislation as well. It also strengthens human rights laws protecting women against human trafficking.
The most contentious point of the bill, though, remains the added legislation for freedom of choice. This piece would offer stronger abortion laws for women. However, while the rest of the bill would pass if this item is removed, lawmakers are taking a hard stance against separating it from the other nine protections. It remains to be seen if the entire Women’s Equality Act will die due to a political impasse on abortion, or if lawmakers can negotiate to pass the bill, either as a whole or in parts.
If you’ve been discriminated against contact our New York discrimination attorneys by calling or filling out the form for a free consultation.