New York Affirmative Action laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Affirmative Action: What you need to know

The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status (NY Exec. Law Sec. 296et seq.).
The law covers employers with four or more employees. The law has no specific provision that requires employers to implement affirmative action plans. However, it does specifically permit employers to carry out a plan to increase the employment of members of a minority group that has a disproportionately high statewide unemployment rate. Such plans must first be approved by the Division of Human Rights.
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All state contracts and subcontracts must contain a statement that the contractor will not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or marital status and that the contractor is committed to affirmative action (NY Exec. Law Sec. 310 et seq.). Contractors must make a good-faith attempt to promote employment of minorities and women and to subcontract with minority and women business owners.
The state prepares labor market statistics on women and minorities broken down by occupation and geographic area. For the latest data, see
Reviewed September 2015.

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