The Senate and House are considering legislation to ban employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 is intended to amend Title VII, which currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, religious discrimination. In addition, the bills would ban retaliation against an employee for complaining of sexual orientation discrimination.
Recently, Governor David Patterson signed legislation amending the New York State Human Rights Law to prohibit an employer from discriminating against an individual based on his or her status as a victim of domestic violence. This extension of the New York law fills a gap in federal law, which does not contain any such protection. In 2001, New York City amended the New York City Human Rights Law to prohibit similar discrimination. Now, New York employees outside of New York City will be entitled to the same protections.