New York City employers should be aware of a recent amendment to the NYCHRL that adds sexual and reproductive health decisions as a protected characteristic. This new protected category encompasses "any decision by an individual to receive services, which are arranged for or offered or provided to individuals relating to sexual and reproductive health, including the reproductive system and its functions." Such services include but are not limited to "fertility-related medical procedures, sexually transmitted disease prevention, testing, and treatment, and family planning services and counseling, such as birth control drugs and supplies, emergency contraception, sterilization procedures, pregnancy testing, and abortion."
This amendment will go into effect on May 20, 2019 (120 days after it was enacted, on Jan. 20, 2019). The NYC Commission on Human Rights has not yet released the written notice to new and existing employees regarding the new law. In the meantime, employers should update their policies for NYC employees to include this new protected category and advise human resources employees and managers of this new law.
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