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

A03137 Summary:

BILL NOA03137
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01629
 
SPONSOREpstein
 
COSPNSRSteck, Walsh, Stirpe, Burdick, Simon, Gallagher, Seawright, Santabarbara, Griffin
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add Art 17-C 369-aa - 369-ee, Exec L; add 9-a, Leg L; add 219-e, Judy L
 
Relates to establishing goals for participation by individuals with disabilities with respect to state employment, state contracts, legislative employment and judicial employment; establishes a goal of seven percent employment of individuals with disabilities within state agencies, the state legislature, unified court system and state contractors and subcontractors; defines terms.
Go to top

A03137 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A3137
 
SPONSOR: Epstein
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, the legislative law and the judiciary law, in relation to establishing goals for participation by individuals with disabilities with respect to state employment, state contracts, legislative employment and judicial employment   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To support increasing the number of people with disabilities New York State in the Legislature, the New York State Court system and Judiciary, State agencies and sub-contractors of State agencies.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: An aspirational hiring goal of 7% for disabled workers is established for the State Legislature, State Agencies, including SUNY and CUNY, State subcontractors earning over $10,000, State Courts and the Judici- ary with 50 or more employees. The Commissioner of Labor and Human Rights shall occasionally review and update the employment goal. This goal should not be viewed as a ceiling to hire disabled individuals. Each agency will conduct an annual evaluation of the Program including an analysis of agency personnel practices, including outreach and recruitment efforts. All state contracts will now contain language requiring state contrac- tors and subcontractors to advance the employment of individuals with disabilities at all levels of employment. The Commissioner of General Services shall ensure that state contractors and subcontractors initiate affirmative action and equal employment opportunities. Each state contractor and subcontractor shall annually evaluate their employment of individuals with disabilities and if not meeting the goal of 7% hiring, take steps to correct any problems that they find in their analysis. All covered organizations shall invite individuals to voluntarily self- identify as disabled using the language and manner prescribed by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights. An employer may not force an employee to self-identify as disabled. Each employer must keep all information on individuals with disabilities confidential and maintain it in a data analysis file rather than medical files of the individual.   JUSTIFICATION: One of the reasons for passing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was to drastically raise the number of people with disabilities in the workforce. Thirty years later the overall hiring of people with disabil- ities remains roughly at 34%. According to a 2019 RespectAbility.org Report, New York State ranked 38th in the U.S. in employment for people with disabilities. With greater understanding and awareness of the talents that this community has to offer we can achieve equal access in the workplace.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2020: A9118/No same as - referred to governmental operations   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after becoming law.
Go to top

A03137 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3137
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 22, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. EPSTEIN -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, the legislative law and the judiciary
          law, in relation to establishing goals for participation  by  individ-
          uals  with  disabilities  with  respect  to  state  employment,  state
          contracts, legislative employment and judicial employment
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The executive law is amended by adding a new article 17-C
     2  to read as follows:
     3                                ARTICLE 17-C
     4    PARTICIPATION BY INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES WITH RESPECT TO STATE
     5                       EMPLOYMENT AND STATE CONTRACTS
     6  Section 369-aa. Definitions.
     7          369-bb. Participation  by  individuals  with  disabilities  with
     8                    respect to state employment.
     9          369-cc. Participation  by  individuals  with  disabilities  with
    10                    respect to state contracts.
    11          369-dd. Invitation to self-identify.
    12          369-ee. Report.
    13    § 369-aa. Definitions. As used in this article,  the  following  terms
    14  shall have the following meanings:
    15    1.  "covered  employer" shall mean a state agency, state contractor or
    16  state subcontractor;
    17    2. "disability" shall mean:
    18    (a) with respect to an individual:
    19    (i) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits  one  or
    20  more major life activities of such individual;
    21    (ii) a record of such an impairment; or
    22    (iii) being regarded as having such an impairment;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02150-01-1

        A. 3137                             2
 
     1    (b)  as  used in this article, the definition of "disability" shall be
     2  construed in favor of broad coverage  of  individuals,  to  the  maximum
     3  extent permitted by law. The question of whether an individual meets the
     4  definition under this article shall not demand extensive analysis;
     5    (c)  an  impairment  that substantially limits one major life activity
     6  need not limit other major life activities in order to be  considered  a
     7  disability;
     8    (d)  an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if
     9  it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
    10    3. "major life activities" shall mean:
    11    (a) caring for oneself,  performing  manual  tasks,  seeing,  hearing,
    12  eating,  sleeping,  walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bend-
    13  ing, speaking, breathing, learning,  reading,  concentrating,  thinking,
    14  communicating, interacting with others, and working; and
    15    (b)  the  operation  of  a  major  bodily function, including, but not
    16  limited to, functions of the immune system,  special  sense  organs  and
    17  skin,  normal  cell  growth,  digestive,  genitourinary, bowel, bladder,
    18  neurological, brain, respiratory,  circulatory,  cardiovascular,  endoc-
    19  rine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions. The
    20  operation  of a major bodily function includes the operation of an indi-
    21  vidual organ within a body system;
    22    4. "physical or mental impairment" shall mean:
    23    (a) any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic  disfigurement,
    24  or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems such as neurologi-
    25  cal,  musculoskeletal,  special  sense  organs,  respiratory  (including
    26  speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive,  genitourinary,
    27  immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
    28    (b)  any  mental  or  psychological  disorder, such as an intellectual
    29  disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional  or  mental  illness,  and
    30  specific learning disabilities;
    31    5. "state agency" shall mean: (a)(i) any state department; or (ii) any
    32  division,  board, commission or bureau of any state department; or (iii)
    33  the state university of New York and the city university of New York; or
    34  (iv) any public authority  or  public  benefit  corporation  established
    35  pursuant to statute; and
    36    (b) employs fifty or more employees;
    37    6.  "state  contract" shall mean a written agreement or purchase order
    38  instrument, providing for a total expenditure in excess of ten  thousand
    39  dollars,  whereby  a  contracting  agency is committed to expend or does
    40  expend funds in return for labor, services including but not limited  to
    41  legal,  financial  and other professional services, supplies, equipment,
    42  materials, the acquisition, construction, demolition, replacement, major
    43  repair or renovation of real property and improvements  thereon  or  any
    44  combination  of  the  foregoing,  to  be  performed  for, or rendered or
    45  furnished to the contracting agency;
    46    7. "state contractor" shall mean any person, corporation,  partnership
    47  or joint venture, unincorporated association holding a state contract in
    48  excess of ten thousand dollars and employs fifty or more employees;
    49    8.  "state  subcontract"  shall  mean  a  written  agreement between a
    50  contractor and a subcontractor:
    51    (a) for the purchase, sale or use of personal property or  nonpersonal
    52  services  (including construction) which, in whole or in part, is neces-
    53  sary to the performance of any one or more state contracts; or
    54    (b) under which any portion of the state contractor's obligation under
    55  any one or more state contracts is performed,  undertaken,  or  assumed;
    56  and

        A. 3137                             3
 
     1    9.  "state subcontractor" shall mean any person, corporation, partner-
     2  ship or  joint  venture,  unincorporated  association  holding  a  state
     3  subcontract  in excess of ten thousand dollars and employs fifty or more
     4  employees.
     5    §  369-bb. Participation by individuals with disabilities with respect
     6  to state employment.  1.  All  state  agencies  shall  not  discriminate
     7  because  of  physical  or  mental  disability and shall take affirmative
     8  action to employ and advance in employment  qualified  individuals  with
     9  disabilities  at  all levels of employment, including taking affirmative
    10  action to achieve seven percent employment of individuals with disabili-
    11  ties within each state agency.
    12    2. (a) Each state agency shall annually  evaluate  its  employment  of
    13  individuals with disabilities.
    14    (b)  State  agencies  not meeting the goal of seven percent employment
    15  shall take steps to determine whether and  where  impediments  to  equal
    16  employment opportunity exist. When making this determination, each state
    17  agency  shall  assess  its personnel processes, the effectiveness of its
    18  outreach and recruitment efforts, the results of its affirmative  action
    19  evaluation, and any other areas that might affect its success in employ-
    20  ment.
    21    3.  Each  state  agency  shall  develop  and  execute  action-oriented
    22  programs designed to correct any areas identified in subdivision two  of
    23  this  section.  These action-oriented programs may include the modifica-
    24  tion of personnel processes to ensure equal employment  opportunity  for
    25  individuals  with  disabilities,  alternative or additional outreach and
    26  recruitment efforts, and/or other actions designed to correct the  iden-
    27  tified problem areas and attain the established goal.
    28    4. A state agency's determination that it has not attained the employ-
    29  ment  goal  established  in  subdivision  one  of  this section does not
    30  constitute either a finding or admission of discrimination in  violation
    31  of this section.
    32    5.  The employment goal established in subdivision one of this section
    33  shall not be used as a quota or ceiling that  limits  or  restricts  the
    34  employment of individuals with disabilities.
    35    6.  The  commissioner  of  labor, in consultation with the division of
    36  human rights, shall periodically review and update, as appropriate,  the
    37  employment goal established in subdivision one of this section.
    38    §  369-cc. Participation by individuals with disabilities with respect
    39  to state contracts. 1. All state contracts and all documents  soliciting
    40  bids or proposals for state contracts shall contain or make reference to
    41  the  following: all state contractors and state subcontractors shall not
    42  discriminate because of physical or mental  disability  and  shall  take
    43  affirmative  action  to employ and advance in employment qualified indi-
    44  viduals with disabilities at all levels of employment, including  taking
    45  affirmative  action  to  achieve seven percent employment of individuals
    46  with disabilities within each state contractor and state subcontractor's
    47  workforce.
    48    2. State contractors shall include the provisions of  subdivision  one
    49  of  this  section  in  every  subcontract  in  such  a  manner  that the
    50  provisions will be binding upon each state subcontractor as to  work  in
    51  connection with the state contract.
    52    3.  The  provisions  of  this  section shall not be binding upon state
    53  contractors or state subcontractors in the performance of  work  or  the
    54  provision of services or any other activity that are unrelated, separate
    55  or distinct from the state contract as expressed by its terms.

        A. 3137                             4
 
     1    4.  The  commissioner  of  general services shall promulgate rules and
     2  regulations to ensure that state contractors  and  state  subcontractors
     3  undertake  programs  of affirmative action and equal employment opportu-
     4  nity as required by this section including:
     5    (a) each state contractor and state subcontractor shall annually eval-
     6  uate its employment of individuals with disabilities;
     7    (b) state contractors and state subcontractors not meeting the goal of
     8  seven percent employment shall take steps to determine whether and where
     9  impediments  to  equal  employment  opportunity  exist. When making this
    10  determination, each  state  contractor  and  state  subcontractor  shall
    11  assess  its  personnel  processes, the effectiveness of its outreach and
    12  recruitment efforts, the results of its affirmative  action  evaluation,
    13  and any other areas that might affect its success in employment; and
    14    (c)  each  state  contractor and state subcontractor shall develop and
    15  execute action-oriented programs designed to correct any  areas  identi-
    16  fied  in  paragraph  (b)  of  this  subdivision.  These  action-oriented
    17  programs may include the modification of personnel processes  to  ensure
    18  equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities, alterna-
    19  tive  or  additional  outreach  and  recruitment  efforts,  and/or other
    20  actions designed to correct the identified problem areas and attain  the
    21  established goal.
    22    5.  A  state contractor or state subcontractor's determination that it
    23  has not attained the employment goal established in subdivision  one  of
    24  this  section  does  not  constitute  either  a  finding or admission of
    25  discrimination in violation of this section.
    26    6. The employment goal established in subdivision one of this  section
    27  shall  not  be  used  as a quota or ceiling that limits or restricts the
    28  employment of individuals with disabilities.
    29    7. The commissioner of labor, in consultation  with  the  division  of
    30  human  rights  and  commissioner of general services, shall periodically
    31  review and update, as appropriate, the employment  goal  established  in
    32  subdivision one of this section.
    33    §  369-dd.  Invitation to self-identify. 1. (a) As part of the covered
    34  employer's affirmative action policy, a covered  employer  shall  invite
    35  applicants to inform the employer whether the applicant believes that he
    36  or  she  is  an individual with a disability as defined in section three
    37  hundred sixty-nine-aa of this article. This invitation shall be provided
    38  to each applicant when  the  applicant  applies  or  is  considered  for
    39  employment.  The invitation may be included with the application materi-
    40  als for a position, but shall be separate from the application.
    41    (b) A covered employer shall invite an applicant to  self-identify  as
    42  required  in  paragraph  (a)  of this subdivision using the language and
    43  manner prescribed by the department of labor, in consultation  with  the
    44  division  of  human  rights,  and published on the department of labor's
    45  website.
    46    2. (a) At any time after the  offer  of  employment,  but  before  the
    47  applicant  begins his or her job duties, a covered employer shall invite
    48  the applicant to inform the employer whether the applicant believes that
    49  he or she is an individual with a disability as defined in section three
    50  hundred sixty-nine-aa of this article.
    51    (b) A covered employer shall invite an applicant to  self-identify  as
    52  required  in  paragraph  (a)  of this subdivision using the language and
    53  manner prescribed by the department of labor, in consultation  with  the
    54  division  of  human  rights,  and published on the department of labor's
    55  website.

        A. 3137                             5
 
     1    3. A covered employer shall invite each of its employees to  voluntar-
     2  ily  inform the employer whether the employee believes that he or she is
     3  an individual with a disability as  defined  in  section  three  hundred
     4  sixty-nine-aa  of  this  article.  This invitation shall be extended the
     5  first  year  the  employer  becomes  subject to the requirements of this
     6  section and at five year intervals, thereafter, using the  language  and
     7  manner  prescribed  by the department of labor, in consultation with the
     8  division of human rights, and published on  the  department  of  labor's
     9  website.  At least once during the intervening years between these invi-
    10  tations, the covered employer shall remind its employees that  they  may
    11  voluntarily update their disability status.
    12    4.  A covered employer may not compel or coerce an individual to self-
    13  identify as an individual with a disability.
    14    5. A covered employer shall keep all information  on  self-identifica-
    15  tion confidential, and shall maintain it in a data analysis file (rather
    16  than in the medical files of individual employees). The covered employer
    17  shall provide self-identification information to the department of labor
    18  upon  request.    Self-identification  information  may  be used only in
    19  accordance with this article.
    20    6. Nothing in this section shall relieve the covered employer  of  its
    21  obligation  to  take affirmative action with respect to those applicants
    22  or employees of whose disability the covered employer has knowledge.
    23    § 369-ee. Report. The commissioner of labor shall promulgate rules and
    24  regulations requiring every covered employer to report, one  year  after
    25  the  effective  date  of  this  article  and annually thereafter, to the
    26  department of labor and the legislature on the representation  of  indi-
    27  viduals  with  disabilities  within  its  workforce  and  the results of
    28  action-oriented plans to improve such representation.
    29    § 2. The legislative law is amended by adding a  new  section  9-a  to
    30  read as follows:
    31    §  9-a. Participation by individuals with disabilities with respect to
    32  legislative employment. 1. For the purposes of this section, the follow-
    33  ing terms shall have the following meanings:
    34    (a) "disability" shall mean:
    35    (i) with respect to an individual:
    36    (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits  one  or
    37  more major life activities of such individual;
    38    (2) a record of such an impairment; or
    39    (3) being regarded as having such an impairment;
    40    (ii)  as used in this article, the definition of "disability" shall be
    41  construed in favor of broad coverage  of  individuals,  to  the  maximum
    42  extent permitted by law. The question of whether an individual meets the
    43  definition under this article should not demand extensive analysis;
    44    (iii)  an impairment that substantially limits one major life activity
    45  need not limit other major life activities in order to be  considered  a
    46  disability;
    47    (iv) an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if
    48  it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
    49    (b)  "joint  legislative  employer"  shall mean any legislative entity
    50  with fifty or more employees including but not  limited  to  legislative
    51  commissions, committees, task forces (irrespective of intended or actual
    52  duration),  joint  legislative  commissions,  councils or similar bodies
    53  whose membership is comprised of both senators and assembly members,  or
    54  which  consist  of commissioners, or the majority of whose membership is
    55  appointed by one or more of the following: the  temporary  president  of
    56  the  senate,  the  speaker  of  the assembly, the minority leader of the

        A. 3137                             6
 
     1  senate and/or the minority leader of  the  assembly,  and  officers  and
     2  employees of the legislative library, legislative health service, legis-
     3  lative messenger service;
     4    (c) "legislative employee" shall mean:
     5    (i) an officer or employee of the senate;
     6    (ii) an officer or employee of the assembly; or
     7    (iii) an officer or employee of a joint legislative employer;
     8    (d) "major life activities" shall mean:
     9    (i)  caring  for  oneself,  performing  manual tasks, seeing, hearing,
    10  eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching,  lifting,  bend-
    11  ing,  speaking,  breathing,  learning, reading, concentrating, thinking,
    12  communicating, interacting with others, and working; and
    13    (ii) the operation of a major  bodily  function,  including,  but  not
    14  limited  to,  functions  of  the immune system, special sense organs and
    15  skin, normal cell  growth,  digestive,  genitourinary,  bowel,  bladder,
    16  neurological,  brain,  respiratory,  circulatory, cardiovascular, endoc-
    17  rine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions. The
    18  operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an  indi-
    19  vidual organ within a body system;
    20    (e) "physical or mental impairment" shall mean:
    21    (i)  any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement,
    22  or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems such as neurologi-
    23  cal,  musculoskeletal,  special  sense  organs,  respiratory  (including
    24  speech  organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary,
    25  immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
    26    (ii) any mental or psychological disorder,  such  as  an  intellectual
    27  disability,  organic  brain  syndrome,  emotional or mental illness, and
    28  specific learning disabilities; and
    29    (f) "state legislature" or "legislature" means the legislature of  the
    30  state  of New York, including any committee, subcommittee, joint commit-
    31  tee, select committee, or commission thereof with fifty or more  employ-
    32  ees.
    33    2. The state legislature shall not discriminate because of physical or
    34  mental  disability  and  shall  take  affirmative  action  to employ and
    35  advance in employment qualified individuals  with  disabilities  at  all
    36  levels  of  employment,  including  taking affirmative action to achieve
    37  seven percent employment of individuals with disabilities as legislative
    38  employees.
    39    3. (a) The speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of  the
    40  senate  shall annually evaluate the legislature's employment of individ-
    41  uals with disabilities.
    42    (b) Upon a finding that the legislature is not  meeting  the  goal  of
    43  seven  percent employment, the speaker of the assembly and the temporary
    44  president of the senate shall take steps to determine whether and  where
    45  impediments  to  equal  employment opportunity exist.   When making this
    46  determination, the speaker of the assembly and the  temporary  president
    47  of the senate shall assess its personnel processes, the effectiveness of
    48  its  outreach  and  recruitment  efforts, the results of its affirmative
    49  action evaluation, and any other areas that might affect its success  in
    50  employment.
    51    4.  The  speaker  of  the  assembly and the temporary president of the
    52  senate shall develop and execute action-oriented  programs  designed  to
    53  correct any areas identified in subdivision three of this section. These
    54  action-oriented programs may include the modification of personnel proc-
    55  esses  to ensure equal employment opportunity for individuals with disa-
    56  bilities, alternative or additional outreach  and  recruitment  efforts,

        A. 3137                             7
 
     1  and/or  other  actions  designed to correct the identified problem areas
     2  and attain the established goal.
     3    5.  The  speaker  of  the  assembly and the temporary president of the
     4  senate's determination that the legislature has not attained the employ-
     5  ment goal established in  subdivision  two  of  this  section  does  not
     6  constitute  either a finding or admission of discrimination in violation
     7  of this section.
     8    6. The employment goal established in subdivision two of this  section
     9  shall  not  be  used  as a quota or ceiling that limits or restricts the
    10  employment of individuals with disabilities.
    11    7. The commissioner of labor, in consultation  with  the  division  of
    12  human  rights, shall periodically review and update, as appropriate, the
    13  employment goal established in subdivision one of this section.
    14    8. (a) As part of the  legislature's  affirmative  action  policy,  it
    15  shall  invite applicants to inform the legislature whether the applicant
    16  believes that he or she is an individual with a disability as defined in
    17  subdivision one of this section. This invitation shall  be  provided  to
    18  each  applicant  when the applicant applies or is considered for employ-
    19  ment. The invitation may be included with the application materials  for
    20  a position, but shall be separate from the application.
    21    (b)  The  legislature  shall  invite  an applicant to self-identify as
    22  required in paragraph (a) of this subdivision  using  the  language  and
    23  manner  prescribed  by the department of labor, in consultation with the
    24  division of human rights, and published on  the  department  of  labor's
    25  website.
    26    9.  (a)  At  any  time  after  the offer of employment, but before the
    27  applicant begins his or her job duties, the legislature shall invite the
    28  applicant to inform the legislature whether the applicant believes  that
    29  he  or  she is an individual with a disability as defined in subdivision
    30  one of this section.
    31    (b) The legislature shall invite  an  applicant  to  self-identify  as
    32  required  in  paragraph  (a)  of this subdivision using the language and
    33  manner prescribed by the department of labor, in consultation  with  the
    34  division  of  human  rights,  and published on the department of labor's
    35  website.
    36    10. The legislature shall invite each of its employees to  voluntarily
    37  inform  the  legislature whether the employee believes that he or she is
    38  an individual with a disability as defined in subdivision  one  of  this
    39  section.  This  invitation shall be extended the first year the legisla-
    40  ture becomes subject to the requirements of this  section  and  at  five
    41  year  intervals, thereafter, using the language and manner prescribed by
    42  the department of labor, in consultation  with  the  division  of  human
    43  rights,  and  published  on  the department of labor's website. At least
    44  once during the intervening years between these invitations, the  legis-
    45  lature shall remind its employees that they may voluntarily update their
    46  disability status.
    47    11.  The legislature may not compel or coerce an individual to self-i-
    48  dentify as an individual with a disability.
    49    12. The legislature shall keep all information on  self-identification
    50  confidential, and shall maintain it in a data analysis file (rather than
    51  in  the  medical  files  of individual employees). The legislature shall
    52  provide self-identification information to the department of labor  upon
    53  request.  Self-identification information may be used only in accordance
    54  with this section.

        A. 3137                             8
 
     1    13. Nothing in this section shall relieve the legislature of its obli-
     2  gation  to  take  affirmative action with respect to those applicants or
     3  employees of whose disability the legislature has knowledge.
     4    14.  One year from the effective date of this section, the legislature
     5  shall report to the department of labor on the representation  of  indi-
     6  viduals  with  disabilities  within  its  workforce  and  the results of
     7  action-oriented plans to improve such representation.
     8    § 3. The judiciary law is amended by adding a  new  section  219-e  to
     9  read as follows:
    10    §  219-e.  Participation by individuals with disabilities with respect
    11  to judicial employment. 1. For the purposes of this section, the follow-
    12  ing terms shall have the following meanings:
    13    (a) "disability" shall mean:
    14    (i) with respect to an individual:
    15    (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits  one  or
    16  more major life activities of such individual;
    17    (2) a record of such an impairment; or
    18    (3) being regarded as having such an impairment;
    19    (ii)  as used in this article, the definition of "disability" shall be
    20  construed in favor of broad coverage  of  individuals,  to  the  maximum
    21  extent permitted by law. The question of whether an individual meets the
    22  definition under this article should not demand extensive analysis.
    23    (iii)  an impairment that substantially limits one major life activity
    24  need not limit other major life activities in order to be  considered  a
    25  disability.
    26    (iv) an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if
    27  it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
    28    (b) "major life activities" shall mean:
    29    (i)  caring  for  oneself,  performing  manual tasks, seeing, hearing,
    30  eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching,  lifting,  bend-
    31  ing,  speaking,  breathing,  learning, reading, concentrating, thinking,
    32  communicating, interacting with others, and working; and
    33    (ii) the operation of a major  bodily  function,  including,  but  not
    34  limited  to,  functions  of  the immune system, special sense organs and
    35  skin, normal cell  growth,  digestive,  genitourinary,  bowel,  bladder,
    36  neurological,  brain,  respiratory,  circulatory, cardiovascular, endoc-
    37  rine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions. The
    38  operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an  indi-
    39  vidual organ within a body system;
    40    (c)  "non-judicial employee" shall mean any officer or employee of the
    41  unified court system who is not a judge or justice; and
    42    (d) "physical or mental impairment" shall mean:
    43    (i) any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic  disfigurement,
    44  or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems such as neurologi-
    45  cal,  musculoskeletal,  special  sense  organs,  respiratory  (including
    46  speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive,  genitourinary,
    47  immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
    48    (ii)  any  mental  or  psychological disorder, such as an intellectual
    49  disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional  or  mental  illness,  and
    50  specific learning disabilities.
    51    2. The unified court system shall not discriminate because of physical
    52  or  mental  disability  and  shall take affirmative action to employ and
    53  advance in employment qualified individuals  with  disabilities  at  all
    54  levels  of  employment,  including  taking affirmative action to achieve
    55  seven percent employment within the unified court system of  individuals
    56  with disabilities as non-judicial employees.

        A. 3137                             9
 
     1    3.  (a)  The chief administrator of the courts shall annually evaluate
     2  the unified court system's employment of individuals with disabilities.
     3    (b)  Upon  a  finding that the unified court system is not meeting the
     4  goal of seven percent employment, the  chief  administrator  shall  take
     5  steps  to  determine  whether  and where impediments to equal employment
     6  opportunity exist. When making this determination, the chief administra-
     7  tor shall assess the unified court  system's  personnel  processes,  the
     8  effectiveness  of  its  outreach and recruitment efforts, the results of
     9  its affirmative action evaluation, and any other areas that might affect
    10  its success in employment.
    11    4. The chief administrator shall develop and  execute  action-oriented
    12  programs  designed  to correct any areas identified in subdivision three
    13  of this section.  These action-oriented programs may include the modifi-
    14  cation of personnel processes to ensure equal employment opportunity for
    15  individuals with disabilities, alternative or  additional  outreach  and
    16  recruitment  efforts, and/or other actions designed to correct the iden-
    17  tified problem areas and attain the established goal.
    18    5. The chief administrator's  determination  that  the  unified  court
    19  system  has  not attained the employment goal established in subdivision
    20  two of this section does not constitute either a finding or admission of
    21  discrimination in violation of this section.
    22    6. The employment goal established in subdivision two of this  section
    23  shall  not  be  used  as a quota or ceiling that limits or restricts the
    24  employment of individuals with disabilities.
    25    7. The commissioner of labor, in consultation  with  the  division  of
    26  human  rights, shall periodically review and update, as appropriate, the
    27  employment goal established in subdivision two of this section.
    28    8. (a) As part of the unified court system's affirmative action  poli-
    29  cy, it shall invite applicants to inform the employer whether the appli-
    30  cant  believes  that  he  or  she  is an individual with a disability as
    31  defined in subdivision one of this section.  This  invitation  shall  be
    32  provided  to  each applicant when the applicant applies or is considered
    33  for employment. The invitation may  be  included  with  the  application
    34  materials for a position, but shall be separate from the application.
    35    (b) The unified court system shall invite an applicant to self-identi-
    36  fy  as  required in paragraph (a) of this subdivision using the language
    37  and manner prescribed by the department of labor, in  consultation  with
    38  the division of human rights, and published on the department of labor's
    39  website.
    40    9.  (a)  At  any  time  after  the offer of employment, but before the
    41  applicant begins his or her job duties, the unified court  system  shall
    42  invite  the  applicant  to  inform  the unified court system whether the
    43  applicant believes that he or she is an individual with a disability  as
    44  defined in subdivision one of this section.
    45    (b) The unified court system shall invite an applicant to self-identi-
    46  fy  as  required in paragraph (a) of this subdivision using the language
    47  and manner prescribed by the department of labor, in  consultation  with
    48  the division of human rights, and published on the department of labor's
    49  website.
    50    10.  The  unified  court  system shall invite each of its employees to
    51  voluntarily  inform  the  unified  court  system  whether  the  employee
    52  believes that he or she is an individual with a disability as defined in
    53  subdivision  one  of this section. This invitation shall be extended the
    54  first year the unified court system becomes subject to the  requirements
    55  of  this  section  and  at  five  year  intervals, thereafter, using the
    56  language and manner prescribed by the department of labor, in  consulta-

        A. 3137                            10

     1  tion  with the division of human rights, and published on the department
     2  of labor's website. At least once during the intervening  years  between
     3  these  invitations,  the unified court system shall remind its employees
     4  that they may voluntarily update their disability status.
     5    11. The unified court system may not compel or coerce an individual to
     6  self-identify as an individual with a disability.
     7    12.  The unified court system shall keep all information on self-iden-
     8  tification confidential, and shall maintain it in a data  analysis  file
     9  (rather  than in the medical files of individual employees). The unified
    10  court  system  shall  provide  self-identification  information  to  the
    11  department of labor upon request. Self-identification information may be
    12  used only in accordance with this section.
    13    13.  Nothing in this section shall relieve the unified court system of
    14  its obligation to take affirmative action with respect to  those  appli-
    15  cants or employees of whose disability it has knowledge.
    16    14.  One  year  from  the  effective date of this section, the unified
    17  court system shall report to the department of labor and the legislature
    18  on the representation of individuals with disabilities within its  work-
    19  force and the results of action-oriented plans to improve such represen-
    20  tation.
    21    § 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    22  it shall have become a law.  Effective immediately, the addition, amend-
    23  ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
    24  tation  of  this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and
    25  completed on or before such effective date.
Go to top