senate Bill S641

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Expands definition of place of public accommodation

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to investigations and government operations
Jan 09, 2013 referred to investigations and government operations

S641 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2507
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง292, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1791, A5359
2009-2010: S1740, A4497

S641 - Bill Texts

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Expands definition of place of public accommodation, resort or amusement in relation to unlawful discriminatory practices.

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BILL NUMBER:S641

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to unlawful discriminatory
practices

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To end discrimination because of race, creed, sex, color or national
origin in institutions, clubs or places of accommodation that are
granted licenses or tax exemption from the state or any of its
political subdivisions.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Subdivision 9 of section 292 of the executive law, as amended by
chapter 262 of the laws of 1994 is amended.

Under existing law "any institution, club or place of accommodation
which is by its nature distinctly private" is excluded from the
definition of "place of public accommodation" under the equality of
opportunity provisions of the Human Rights Law. This bill clarifies
the definition of "distinctly private" so that an institution which
receives tax exemption or licensing from the government, which are
public privileges rather than private rights, may no longer
discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, color or national
origin. The basic change is incorporated in subdivision 9 of Section
292. In two places, both in the definition of place of public
accommodation and in the exclusions, the current language is modified.

If this bill is enacted, the jurisdiction of the State Division of
Human Rights will extend to "institutions, clubs or places of
accommodation which are the recipients of any form of abatement or
exemption from taxes, in whole or in part, from the state or any of
its political subdivisions." Similarly, private institutions, clubs
or places of accommodation will be excluded from the provisions of
the Human Rights Law only if they are not the beneficiaries of public
licensing or tax exemption.

JUSTIFICATION:
While private organizations were always exempt from the jurisdiction
of the Division of Human Rights, it was never the intention of the
law to grant such exclusion to organizations which receive public
benefits.

Court cases have challenged the right of tax exempt fraternal
organizations to practice discrimination in their membership
policies. In addition, organizations which apply for liquor and other
licenses are truly
places of public accommodation rather than purely private facilities.
Even under this proposed legislation, such organizations could
continue to adhere to selective membership policies, provided they do
not seek special privileges from government in the form of licensing
or tax exemption. By enacting this law, the Legislature could
sharpen the lines of distinction between private and public
institutions, clubs or places of accommodation.


PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This legislation has been previously introduced.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the first of September next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   641

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to unlawful discriminato-
  ry practices

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.    Subdivision  9  of section 292 of the executive law, as
amended by chapter 262 of the laws  of  1994,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  9. The term "place of public accommodation, resort or amusement" shall
include,  except  as  hereinafter  specified, all places included in the
meaning of such terms as: inns, taverns, road  houses,  hotels,  motels,
whether  conducted  for the entertainment of transient guests or for the
accommodation of those seeking health, recreation or  rest,  or  restau-
rants, or eating houses, or any place where food is sold for consumption
on  the  premises;  buffets,  saloons,  barrooms,  or any store, park or
enclosure where spirituous or malt liquors are sold; ice cream  parlors,
confectionaries, soda fountains, and all stores where ice cream, ice and
fruit  preparations or their derivatives, or where beverages of any kind
are retailed for consumption  on  the  premises;  wholesale  and  retail
stores  and  establishments  dealing with goods or services of any kind,
dispensaries, clinics, hospitals, bath-houses, swimming pools, laundries
and all other cleaning establishments,  barber  shops,  beauty  parlors,
theatres,  motion  picture houses, airdromes, roof gardens, music halls,
race courses, skating rinks, amusement  and  recreation  parks,  trailer
camps,  resort  camps,  fairs, bowling alleys, golf courses, gymnasiums,
shooting galleries, billiard  and  pool  parlors;  garages,  all  public
conveyances  operated  on  land  or  water or in the air, as well as the
stations and terminals thereof; travel or tour advisory services,  agen-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03595-01-3

S. 641                              2

cies  or  bureaus;  public  halls  and public elevators of buildings and
structures occupied by two or more tenants, or by the owner and  one  or
more  tenants;  INSTITUTIONS, CLUBS OR PLACES OF ACCOMMODATION WHICH ARE
LICENSED  BY  THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS, OR ARE THE
RECIPIENTS OF ANY FORM OF ABATEMENT OR EXEMPTION FROM TAXES, IN WHOLE OR
IN PART, FROM THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.  Such term
shall not include public libraries, kindergartens, primary and secondary
schools, high schools, academies, colleges and  universities,  extension
courses,  and  all educational institutions under the supervision of the
regents of the state of New York; any such public library, kindergarten,
primary and secondary school, academy, college, university, professional
school, extension course or other education facility, supported in whole
or in part by public funds or by contributions solicited from the gener-
al public; or any institution, club  or  place  of  accommodation  which
proves that it is in its nature distinctly private. In no event shall an
institution,  club or place of accommodation be considered in its nature
distinctly private if it has more than  one  hundred  members,  provides
regular  meal service and regularly receives payment for dues, fees, use
of space, facilities, services, meals or beverages directly or indirect-
ly from or on behalf of a nonmember for  the  furtherance  of  trade  or
business.  An  institution, club, or place of accommodation which is not
deemed distinctly private pursuant to this subdivision may  nevertheless
apply  such  selective  criteria as it chooses in the use of its facili-
ties, in evaluating applicants for membership and in the conduct of  its
activities, so long as such selective criteria do not constitute discri-
minatory practices under this article or any other provision of law. For
the  purposes  of  this  section,  a  corporation incorporated under the
benevolent orders law or described in  the  benevolent  orders  law  but
formed  under  any  other  law  of this state or a religious corporation
incorporated under the education law or the religious  corporations  law
shall  be  deemed  to  be  in  its  nature distinctly private AND IS NOT
LICENSED BY THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS  AND  IS  NOT
THE RECIPIENT OF ANY FORM OF ABATEMENT OR EXEMPTION FROM TAXES, IN WHOLE
OR IN PART, FROM THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.
  No  institution,  club,  organization  or place of accommodation which
sponsors or conducts any amateur athletic contest or sparring exhibition
and advertises or bills such contest or exhibition as a New  York  state
championship contest or uses the words "New York state" in its announce-
ments  shall  be  deemed a private exhibition within the meaning of this
section.
  S 2. This act shall  take  effect  on  the  first  of  September  next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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