New York State Senate Passes Women's Equality Agenda

John A. DeFrancisco

June 24, 2013

The New York State Senate passed an historic package of nine bills that would ensure equal pay for women, strengthen laws against human trafficking, provide greater support for victims of domestic violence, stop sexual harassment, and curb discrimination of women in the workplace.  The "Women's Equality Agenda" would:

Ensure Pay Equity - This bill would ensure that women receive the wages they are entitled to by prohibiting employers from paying employees disparate amounts due to gender;

Prohibit Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – This bill would ensure that all employees are protected from sexual harassment by ensuring that existing protections apply to businesses of all sizes;

Remove Barriers to Remedying Discrimination - This legislation would allow successful parties in employment or credit discrimination cases based on sex to recover attorney’s fees;

Prohibit Family Status Discrimination - This bill would prohibit employers from denying work or promotions to workers because they have children;

Stop Housing Discrimination - This bill will protect victims of domestic violence from housing discrimination and establishes a task force to study the impact of a source of income, such as housing vouchers, on access to housing; and

Strengthen Orders of Protection - This bill makes clear that a victim of domestic violence who has an order of protection against her abuser cannot be accused of violating the order.