ALBANY, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced the Senate passed his legislation (S.3664B) outlawing gender discrimination in disability insurance policies. Currently, gender is a determinative factor in insurance premiums. Senator Gianaris’ legislation would prohibit insurers from using gender as a tool to determine risk.
“Small businesses should not be penalized for hiring female and gender non-conforming employees and this proposal would level the playing field for people in the workplace,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “The deck is already stacked against women and gender non-conforming people in the job market and I am proud the Senate passed my legislation to make things fairer.”
“Gender discrimination in any form is incompatible with the values of New Yorkers. I applaud Senator Gianaris and the State Senate for this important step, and I am pleased to be partnering with him to address this crucial issue. I look forward to getting this bill passed in the Assembly,” said Assembly Member Deborah Glick, who sponsors the legislation in the Assembly.
“There are so many barriers to equality for women and gender non-conforming people in the workplace,” said Shelia Lewandowski, Executive Director of the Chocolate Factory Theater. “To change the cultures of discrimination we need to change laws that support it. Thank you Senator Gianaris and the NYS Senate for moving this bill to end higher rates for disability insurance for those identifying as female in New York State forward.”
Senator Gianaris’ legislation bans insurers from charging different rates based on the insured person’s gender. Doctor Disability, a leading brokerage of disability insurance for the medical field, has stated it can cost up to 50% more to insure a female employee than a male. Small businesses in Queens have said it costs up to three times more to provide this insurance to women than men. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed similar legislation last January.
Senator Gianaris’ floor speech in support of the legislation can be found here.