New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Harassment Of Domestic Workers

Author: New York Discrimination Attorney Alena Shautsova

Many home attendants and home health aids in New York are not aware that under the New York State law they are protected against sexual harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, the Federal Law, Title VII does not provide such protection because it requires an employer to employ 15 and more people to be covered by the Title VII provisions.


Fairly recently, however, New York adopted a new law that does provide protection against discrimination and harassment to domestic workers regardless of how many employees are hired by the same employer. The law says:

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to: (a) Engage in unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature to a domestic worker when: (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. ... NY Human Rights Law 296 b.

It is important to know that the law provides protection to all domestic workers regardless of their Immigration status. Another important factor is that an employer is prohibited from retaliating against a domestic worker who filed a charge of harassment against it.

You may read more about the protection for domestic workers.

If you have questions regarding employment discrimination, contact our Employment Discrimination attorney Alena Shautsova at 917-885-2261. You may also use our contact form to submit your inquiries.

16 November 2012
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