Discrimination in any aspect of employment based upon an employee's genetic information is strictly prohibited by Title II of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008. Genetic information cannot be used by employers to make employment decisions and employers may not request, require, or purchase the genetic information of an employee. Although some narrow exceptions are defined regarding the acquisition and disclosure of genetic information, employers generally are prohibited from acquiring or disclosing this information.
Many individuals in New York may be aware that there are laws against certain types of employment discrimination, but they may not know exactly what the protected classes are. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and several other laws prevent discrimination against individuals in multiple categories.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently ruled that a woman who was denied a promotion to a management position was eligible to proceed with discrimination claims against her company. According to the judge, a woman who has given birth within four months of a perceived issue is still protected against pregnancy-related employment discrimination. He noted in his decision that women are clearly protected if they are pregnant or on maternity leave. If a woman was recently pregnant, details are not quite as clear in terms of how long after a pregnancy the protections remain in place. However, the judge noted that the pattern that has been observed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit uses four months as the cutoff point.
Though federal and New York law only have a limited number of categories in which to protect employees from workplace discrimination, there are other laws that require employers to look beyond single characteristics when making hiring decisions. Take, for example, a recent statement by the chief of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York Attorney General's office: "You CANNOT automatically disqualify individuals solely because they have a criminal background." While someone can be denied a job based on his or her criminal background, it cannot be the only reason why they are denied a position.
Most working adults in Long Island have made it through high school and, even if they don't remember all of the math that they've learned, they should be able to remember certain basic concepts. Some jobs require a very specialized knowledge of math and some just require the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Regardless of the job, it seems that managers are more likely to hire men than women to perform mathematical tasks.
Nothing, as the saying goes, is written in stone and that includes the law. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. However, as society has evolved, other workplace protections have been put in place, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on a disability. Many believe that workplace protections may soon expand to prohibit discrimination based on weight.
The U.S. Senate recently passed legislation that would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), passed on a vote of 61-30.