•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A02483 Summary:

COSPNSRSimon, Reyes, Quart, Cruz, Jacobson, Rosenthal L, Gottfried, Gonzalez-Rojas, Dinowitz, Zebrowski, Galef, Otis, Seawright
Amd §292, Exec L
Includes the state and all public employers as employers subject to the provisions of the human rights law; includes executive, legislative and judicial employers.
Go to top    

A02483 Actions:

01/19/2021referred to governmental operations
02/05/2021amend and recommit to governmental operations
02/05/2021print number 2483a
03/08/2021amend and recommit to governmental operations
03/08/2021print number 2483b
01/05/2022referred to governmental operations
02/01/2022reported referred to codes
02/17/2022advanced to third reading cal.424
02/28/2022passed assembly
02/28/2022delivered to senate
03/01/2022SUBSTITUTED FOR S3395A
03/01/20223RD READING CAL.386
03/15/2022delivered to governor
03/16/2022signed chap.139
Go to top

A02483 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the definition of "employer" for purposes of the human rights law   PURPOSE: To close the "personal staff" loophole by clarifying that the state is considered an employer of anyone serving in the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches, including the staff of elected officials or judges.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends section 292 of the Executive Law, as amended by Ch. 161 of the laws of 2019, to provide that the state shall be considered the direct employer of elected and appointed officials and their staff for the purposes of the Human Rights Law. Section 2 sets the effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION:   JUSTIFICATION: Chapter 161 of 2019 comprises the most comprehensive and aggressive anti-harassment legislation to date. The legislature took historic action to close loopholes that allowed employers to escape liability for the behavior of their employers, eliminating parts of the Faragher/Ellerth defense and requiring that employers provide all employees with a notice of their office's sexual harassment prevention policy. There is, however, another loophole left to close. Though some readers would plainly interpret subdivision 5 of the Human Rights Law, detailing that the term "employer" includes all employers within the state, as inclusive of the state itself, it has not been been so construed by the courts. In at least three high-profile cases to date, judges have agreed with arguments of attorneys general that the state is not the direct employer of either the staff of elected offi- cials in the Senate and Assembly or of court attorneys who are working for state judges. They have, instead, deferred to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which excludes elected officials and their "personal staff" from protections against harassment. This provision has even been construed to include the personal staff of appointed officials such as judges. It is therefore necessary to once and for all clarify that the state shall not be able to avoid responsibility for harassment of public employees by citing a loophole in federal law. This legislation will rectify this injustice by ensuring that 2019's sweeping new anti-harass- ment regulations protect both public and private employees.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019-2020: A8847(Niou)/S6828(Gounardes)- Referred to governmental oper- ations / passed senate, delivered to assembly   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect at the same time as Chapter 161. If Ch. 161 goes into effect and the act has not yet passed, it shall be deemed to have been in effect as of the effective date of Ch. 161.
Go to top

A02483 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 19, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  NIOU,  SIMON,  REYES, QUART, CRUZ, JACOBSON,
          L. ROSENTHAL, GOTTFRIED, GONZALEZ-ROJAS -- read once and  referred  to
          the Committee on Governmental Operations -- committee discharged, bill
          amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
          tee -- again reported from said  committee  with  amendments,  ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  executive law, in relation to the definition of
          "employer" for purposes of the human rights law
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  5  of  section  292 of the executive law, as
     2  amended by chapter 161 of the laws  of  2019,  is  amended  to  read  as
     3  follows:
     4    5.  The  term "employer" shall include all employers within the state.
     5  For the purposes of this article, (a) the state of  New  York  shall  be
     6  considered  an  employer  of  any  employee  or  official, including any
     7  elected official, of the New York state executive, legislature, or judi-
     8  ciary, including persons serving in any judicial capacity,  and  persons
     9  serving on the staff of any elected  official in New York state,
    10    (b)  a  city,  county, town, village or other political subdivision of
    11  the state of New York shall be considered an employer of any employee or
    12  official, including any elected official, of such locality's  executive,
    13  legislature  or  judiciary, including persons serving in any local judi-
    14  cial capacity, and  persons serving on the staff of  any  local  elected
    15  official.
    16    §  2.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to
    17  have been in full force and effect on and after the  effective  date  of
    18  chapter 161 of the laws of 2019.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
Go to top