Governor Hochul signed Bill A6328A into law in the New York State Assembly on December 23, 2022. The Bill would amend the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL)), i.e., the New York Executive Law § 292, to ban discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against employees and job applicants by employers based on their citizenship and immigration status. According to this law, “citizenship or immigration status” is “citizenship of any person or the immigration status of any person who is not a citizen of the United States.”
This article by the NPZ Law Group overviews this new law.
Other Similar Federal, State, and Local Laws
The Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 USC § 1324(b) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals during the hiring or terminating process based on their citizenship status on the federal level. The United States Department of Justice enforces this law.
The NYCHRL also bans employers in New York City from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on their perceived or actual “alienage and citizenship status” (alienage, in this case, refers to “immigration status”), making this law more generous to employees and job applicants than the new law (Bill A6328A), as it penalizes based on discrimination which is based upon perceived and actual immigration or citizenship status.
Illinois amended the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) last August to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on their “work authorization status.” This amendment could protect the rights of individuals who are not United States citizens or were not born in the US but have the authorization to work in the US.
Recommendations by the NPZ Law Group
Employers in New York State must review their practices and policies to ensure they comply with the new state law and avoid claims of unlawful hiring and terminating. Below are some recommended practices employers must consider.
• Communicate clearly to company supervisors and managers that the law regarding hiring and terminating based on citizenship or immigration status in New York State has been amended to protected categories. Moreover, employers must identify and implement methods to prevent discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
• Review and update policies that may impact employees and job applicants because of their citizenship or immigration status.
• Revise company training materials and handbooks to add information on how to avoid discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on a person’s citizenship or immigration status.
• Train members of the human resources department to lawfully acquire information about applicants’ and employees’ authorization to work in the US while refraining from asking employees or job applicants about their citizenship or immigration status unless it’s to scan for appropriate work authorization. Moreover, they should know what valid documentation the employees or job applicants must provide, preventing the need for extraneous proof.
If you have any questions about how the immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family members or if you want to access additional information about the United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at www.visaserve.com