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NYC Bans Discrimination Based on Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions

As of May 20, 2019, NYC will prohibit employment discrimination based on an employee’s “sexual and reproductive health decisions,” which the new law defines as “any decision by an individual to receive services, which are arranged for or offered or provided to individuals relating to sexual and reproductive health, including the reproductive system and its functions.”

The law, available here, provides several examples of services related to sexual and reproductive health decisions:

  • Fertility-related medical procedures;
  • Sexually transmitted disease prevention, testing, and treatment;
  • Family planning services and counseling;
  • Use of birth control drugs and supplies;
  • Emergency contraception;
  • Sterilization procedures;
  • Pregnancy testing; and
  • Abortion.

The new law adds to the growing list of protected categories under the New York City Human Rights Law, which includes age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation and alienage or citizenship status.

In anticipation of this new law, employers should update their employment policies to include “sexual and reproductive health decisions” as a protected category, and ensure that HR, managers and employees are trained on the new law.

*Jamie Moelis is a Law Clerk in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office. She contributed to this piece.

Copyright © 2020, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


About this Author

Christopher J. Collins, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm, Labor Law Attorney

Christopher Collins is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's New York office.

Areas of Practice

For more than 20 years, Chris has represented management clients in litigation alleging employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, as well as cases involving non-compete agreements and compensation disputes.  In litigated matters, he has represented clients in a wide range of fields, including financial services, insurance, technology,...