By posting a notice in a location customarily frequented by employees, the law in New York requires all employers to inform their employees of their obligations, rights, and protections concerning workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. While there are many types of notices that should be posted, each law has its provisions on what should be posted. For instance, in our blog accessible at https://milettilaw.com/complying-with-sick-leave-and-pto-requirements-in-employee-handbooks/, we mentioned that pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 195(5), employers in New York are required to notify employees, either in writing or by publicly posting about their policies on paid time off (PTO), working hours, holidays, personal leave, vacation, and sick leave. Although the requirements of the law depend on the size of an employer, as codified under N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 20-913, there are even more requirements imposed by other laws, such as New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Leave Law.
In this blog, we have looked into the requirements of Title VII and the NYSHRL concerning such posting. It is crucial to note that while the information provided is only applicable to private employers, the information provided herein, for the purposes of record, was current as of February 10, 2022.
Posting Requirements Under Title VII
As mentioned in the past few blogs on key provisions in federal and state anti-discrimination laws, Title VII is a comprehensive federal law and provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects Americans from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in virtually all aspects of employment based on many attributes, categories, and classes, including, but not limited to, national origin, pregnancy, sex, gender, religion, color, citizenship status, age, and race. Generally, private employers with at least 15 or more employees are prohibited by Title VII from discriminating, harassing, and/or retaliating against individuals under their employment based on any of the protected attributes, categories, and characteristics mentioned above.
Pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1601.30(a) and in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 2000e- 10(a), Title VII requires all employers to post, in an accessible format and conspicuous places or locations on their premises, notices through which its applicable provisions are described. Notably, employers may use the poster provided on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website. This poster satisfies Title VII’s posting requirements.
Posting Requirements Under the NYSHRL
Generally, the State of New York has taken a much broader approach when it comes to protecting employees against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on protected attributes, categories, and classes as opposed to federal law. Nonetheless, just like other key federal laws such as Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), pursuant to N.Y. Exec. Law §§ 296, 296-c, protects employees, including unpaid interns, from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in virtually all aspects of employment based on many attributes, categories, and classes, including, but not limited to, color, creed, race, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, status as a victim of domestic violence, marital status, familial status, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, or disability.
It is crucial to understand that pursuant to N.Y. Exec. Law § 292(5), this state law is applicable to all employers within the State of New York. Additionally, employers should be aware that pregnancy discrimination is viewed by New York Courts as a form of discrimination on the basis of familial status or sex. Therefore, employers should, as a best practice, provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations as long as the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Pursuant to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 466.1, each employer is required to post, in conspicuous locations on their premises, notices through which NYSHRL’s substantive provisions are set forth. While employers may use it, prohibitions concerning discrimination in the workplace are also included on the “NYS Division of Human Rights Poster” offered on the website of the NYSDHR.
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