1. The Laws of New York
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  4. Article 7: General Provisions


Section 203-E Prohibition of discrimination based on an employee's or a dependent's reproductive health decision making

Labor (LAB)

Prohibition of discrimination based on an employee's or a dependent's reproductive health decision making. 1. An employer shall be prohibited from accessing an employee's personal information regarding the employee's or the employee's dependent's reproductive health decision making, including but not limited to, the decision to use or access a particular drug, device or medical service without the employee's prior informed affirmative written consent.

  2. An employer shall not:

  (a) discriminate nor take any retaliatory personnel action against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of or on the basis of the employee's or dependent's reproductive health decision making, including, but not limited to, a decision to use or access a particular drug, device or medical service; or

  (b) require an employee to sign a waiver or other document which purports to deny an employee the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions, including use of a particular drug, device, or medical service.

  3. An employee may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction against an employer alleged to have violated the provisions of this section. In any civil action alleging a violation of this section, the court may:

  (a) award damages, including, but not limited to, back pay, benefits and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred to a prevailing plaintiff;

  (b) afford injunctive relief against any employer that commits or proposes to commit a violation of the provisions of this section;

  (c) order reinstatement; and/or

  (d) award liquidated damages equal to one hundred percent of the award for damages pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision unless an employer proves a good faith basis to believe that its actions in violation of this section were in compliance with the law.

  4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any rights of an employee provided through any other provision of law, common law or collective bargaining unit.

  5. Any act of retaliation for an employee exercising any rights granted under this section shall subject an employer to separate civil penalties under this section. For the purposes of this section, retaliation or retaliatory personnel action shall mean discharging, suspending, demoting, or otherwise penalizing an employee for:

  (a) making or threatening to make, a complaint to an employer, co-worker, or to a public body, that rights guaranteed under this section have been violated;

  (b) causing to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this section; or

  (c) providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry into any such violation of a law, rule, or regulation by such employer.

  6. An employer that provides an employee handbook to its employees must include in the handbook notice of employee rights and remedies under this section.

  7. If any word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, or part of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall, for any reason, be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, and the application thereof to other persons or circumstances, but shall be confined in its operation to the word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered and to the person or circumstances involved. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the legislature that this section would have been enacted even if such invalid provisions had not been included herein.