The bill, sponsored by Brooklyn Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, expands the existing state sexual harassment law and demands a model training program to prevent all forms of discrimination.
Assemblymember Tremaine Wright and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced on Monday the passage of legislation to eliminate discrimination in the workplace by establishing prevention and training policies. The legislation expands the existing state sexual harassment law, passed in the 2018 budget, to all discrimination.
"Discrimination hurts people, it is toxic in the workplace, and it hurts us as a state," said Wright who serves the 56th Assembly District of Brooklyn, representing Bedford Stuyvesant and Northern Crown Heights. "I am proud that my legislation will put into place a mechanism to help prevent workplace discrimination, and to ensure people and organizations have the tools they need to appropriately handle cases of discrimination when they arise."
This bill aims to establish a model policy and model training program to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, and familial status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics or domestic violence victim status. Previously, the law only established model policies and training programs for sexual harassment.
But the legislation goes further than that. The bill will also require businesses, that are submitting bids to any state or public department to offer their services or goods, to have a written policy implemented addressing discrimination prevention in the workplace. Furthermore, it prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses related to discrimination in the workplace, and if a state agency or public entity pays an award in a discrimination claim, the bill will require the employee to personally reimburse them within 90 days of the payment. Finally, the bill would expand the Human Rights Law to all employers in the state and authorize the Attorney General to bring action or prosecute cases of discrimination
"No one should be forced to face discrimination — especially at work," said Assembly Speaker Heastie.