New Notice for NYS Employers' Handbooks: Reproductive Health
On November 8, 2019 Governor Cuomo signed legislation extending certain protections to employees based on their decisions regarding reproductive health.
This includes decisions on birth control, medical services related to reproductive health, or any drug or treatment use for reproductive health purposes.
The law prohibits employers from obtaining reproductive health information without written consent of the employee. It also affords employees protection against employer discrimination based on reproductive health decisions or decision history.
The law now gives employees the right to file a claim in court for alleged discrimination based on reproductive health decisions.
Employers are required to include notice of this protection in their employee handbooks. If you are wondering where to add the notice, it will be best placed in those sections where you prohibit other forms of discrimination.
The rights of redress granted to your employees for reproductive-health discrimination should mirror those of any other form of discrimination listed in your handbook (race, religion, sex, etc.).
Beyond making an amendment to employee handbooks, employers are also encouraged to advise supervisors to refrain from conversations or conduct that could be deemed discriminatory towards others based on reproductive health decisions.
For further information on this, please click here to read a more extensive overview of the new legislation provided by Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, a leading firm on labor and employment law.
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