Legal Update - Amendment to New York City Human Right Law (NYCHRL)


Effective Date: October 15th, 2018

What is it? An amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) will require certain employers to engage in a cooperative dialogue with an employee who may be entitled to a workplace accommodation. The accommodation is not just for disability accommodations. In NYC, it extends to accommodations for employees' religious practices, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, as well as accommodations for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sex offenses, and stalking.

Who does it apply to? NYC employers with four or more employees.

When would an employer perform a cooperative dialogue?

The obligation to perform a cooperative dialogue is triggered when an employee makes a request or when an employer is on notice (i.e. the need for accommodation is apparent).

What does this mean for you?

Under the American Disabilities Act, an employer is already required to perform an “interactive process” which resembles the cooperative dialogue that NYC will now require, but the city’s law applies to more than disability accommodations and most importantly, it requires documentation of the cooperative dialogue process. Preparing a standard procedure is just one step to get ready for this change, but all employers should consider training managers on what to do when they receive a request, how to respond, and how to document the dialogue.

How can Kiwi Partners help? In the coming weeks, the Kiwi HR team will reach out to HR clients to discuss the new law and provide some templates and guidelines that can be used to document the cooperative dialogue.

To read the amendment, click here.

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