Protected Classes and Prohibitions Against Discrimination

The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) prohibits discrimination against protected classes. In terms of offering protection to a greater number of protected classes, the NYCHRL is extensive. It has a broader legal scope than federal or state law.

What are protected classes?

Protected classes are categories of individuals who receive protection against discrimination. Common characteristics define the classes. However, exceptions exist where employers may consider an individual’s membership in a protected class. This is especially true for occupational qualifications. For example, the role in an acting script may call for a young adult. Under such circumstances, the employer would not be discriminating if failing to consider actors who are age 40 and older.

What are the protected classes under NYCHRL?

NYC has one of the most comprehensive human rights laws in the country. Under the NYCHRL, protected classes include:

  • Age
  • Immigration or citizenship status
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Gender (including sexual harassment)
  • Gender Identity
  • Marital status and partnership status
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodations
  • Race
  • Religion/Creed
  • Sexual orientation
  • Status as a Veteran or Active Military Service Member
  • Arrest or conviction record
  • Caregiver
  • Credit history
  • Pre-employment Marijuana Testing
  • Unemployment status
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions
  • Salary History
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, and sex offenses

For work-related situations, the NYCHRL prohibits employers from discriminating when making decisions for:

  • Hiring
  • Salary and benefits
  • Performance evaluations
  • Promotions and demotions
  • Discipline and job termination
  • The terms and conditions of employment

In addition, employers must make reasonable accommodations for workers in protected classes. The exception is when doing so would create undue hardship for the employer.

Get Experienced Legal Help in New York City Human Rights Law Cases

Our attorneys at the Law Office of Peter A. Romero have extensive experience representing clients in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Harlem/Upper Manhattan. Whether your issue involves harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination or some other type of discrimination, we can help. Call us at (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.