The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability or predisposing genetic characteristics. The Law covers employers with four or more employees (NY Exec. Law Sec. 290 et seq.). The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law applies to public and private employers and prohibits job bias against individuals who use a guide, hearing, or service dog (NY Civil Rights Law Sec. 47-a).
“Disability” defined. The term "disability" means:
• A physical, mental, or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques
• A record of such an impairment
• A condition regarded by others as such an impairment
In the employment context, the term "disability" is limited to disabilities which, with reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the applicant or employee from performing the activities involved in the job in a reasonable manner (NY Exec. Law Sec. 292(21)
"Predisposing genetic characteristic" defined. A predisposing genetic characteristic is any inherited gene or chromosome that is scientifically or medically believed to predispose an individual or the offspring of that individual to a disease or disability, or to be associated with a statistically significant increased risk of development of a physical or mental disease or disability (NY Exec. Law Sec. 292 (21-a)).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compared. Although the ADA has similar provisions to the state law, amendments recently broadened the ADA's definition of disability and expressly changed its definition of a "regarded ...