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Sexual and Reproductive Health Law Took Effect in NYC May 20th

As we wrote last December, New York City has a new law protecting people from discrimination based on their decision to receive things like fertility-related procedures, family planning services, abortion procedures or birth-control.  The law took effect May 20th.

Under the new law, “sexual and reproductive health decisions” means any decision “by the employee to receive services which are arranged for or offered or provided to individuals relating to:”

  1. Fertility-related medical procedures;
  2. Sexually transmitted disease prevention, testing, and treatment; and
  3. Family planning services and counseling, such as birth control drugs and supplies, emergency contraception, sterilization procedures, pregnancy testing, and abortion.

The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who, among other things, choose to have an abortion or those who seek to have infertility treatments. This is not a new concept by any means. In fact, federal courts across the country are starting to take the position that discrimination for these types of activities is discrimination based on sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.  The NYC law will only solidify employee protections on the local level and raise the profile of these issues in the court of public opinion.

Brody and Associates regularly provides counsel on civil rights issues and employment laws in general.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.