What Does New York City's Expanded Anti-Discrimination Protection Mean for Employers?

On May 11, 2024, a new law went into effect, amending New York City Administrative Code §§ 8-109 and 8-502. The law prohibits provisions in agreements that shorten the timeframe an employee has to file a claim for unlawful discriminatory practices, harassment, or violence under the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL"). 

What Did the Law Amend?

Currently, an employee has one year to file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights ("Commission") alleging unlawful discriminatory practice or act of discriminatory harassment or violence and three years to file a complaint of gender-based harassment with the Commission. Additionally, an employee has three years to file a lawsuit alleging a violation of the NYCHRL.

Photo of New York City SkylineThe new law provides that: "Any provision of an agreement involving an employer, employment agency, or agent thereof pertaining to terms of employment that purports to shorten the periods in which a complaint or claim may be filed" with the Commission or under the NYCHRL "is unenforceable and void as against public policy."

Next Steps for Employers

  1. Employers operating in New York City should review their employee handbooks and employment agreements to ensure compliance with this new law.
  2. Employers must remove any language that purports to limit the timeframe in which an employee can bring a claim to the Commission or under the NYCHRL.