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New York City Council Passes Bill Requiring Employers to Engage Employees in Accommodations Dialogue

The New York City Council has passed a bill requiring entities covered by the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL) to engage in cooperative dialogue with individuals who may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Law. Passed on December 19, 2017, Int. 804-A applies to employers, providers of public accommodations, and providers of housing accommodations.

The bill makes it “an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, or employment agency or an employee or agent thereof to refuse or otherwise fail to engage in a cooperative dialogue” required under Int. 804-A.

The Mayor is expected to sign Int. 804-A into law.

The HRL requires the entities it covers to make reasonable accommodations for the following:

  • Victims of domestic violence;
  • Individuals with pregnancy and related conditions;
  • Religious needs; and
  • Disabilities.

Int. 804-A clarifies HRL’s reasonable accommodation requirement by expressly requiring covered entities to engage in or seek to engage in a cooperative dialogue with individuals who may be entitled to such accommodation. The purpose of the dialogue is to identify what reasonable accommodations are available to assist the individuals.

The bill requires the covered entity to provide the person requesting an accommodation a written final determination identifying any accommodation granted or denied.

Significantly, the bill states:

The determination that no reasonable accommodation would enable the person requesting an accommodation to satisfy the essential requisites of a job or enjoy the right or rights in question may only be made after the parties have engaged, or the covered entity has attempted to engage, in a cooperative dialogue.

Int. 804-A will become effective six months after the date of enactment.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 4
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About this Author

Richard Greenberg, Jackson Lewis, workplace grievances lawyer, arbitrations litigation attorney
Principal

Richard Greenberg is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He advises both unionized and union-free clients on a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.

With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Greenberg represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court. Mr. Greenberg also advises clients on the legal aspects of remaining union-free....

212-545-4080
Daniel J. Jacobs, Jackson Lewis law firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Shareholder

Daniel J. Jacobs is a Shareholder in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He assists both unionized and union-free clients with a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.
With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Jacobs represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, contingency planning, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court.
Mr. Jacobs also has experience assisting clients in numerous industries with the...

212-545-4000
James Ansorge, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Business and Policy Attorney
Associate

Mr. Ansorge tracks legislation, monitors policy developments, oversees budget advocacy, and actively lobbies on behalf of a variety of clients. These clients include trade associations, private companies and not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Ansorge also assists with hospitality matters regarding state liquor licensing and community board approval.

Mr. Ansorge has a strong background in local government, politics and policy. Before law school, he served as finance director to the campaign of a senior Member of the New York...

212-545-4000
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