NYC Pride March 2017

Today is the NYC Pride March, part of an annual celebration to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 – the event(s) that sparked the beginning of the modern Gay/LGBT Rights movement.

Various laws protect employees against discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

For example, the New York City Human Rights Law provides, in relevant part:

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice: (a) For an employer or an employee or agent thereof, because of the actual or perceived … sexual orientation of any person: (1) To represent that any employment or position is not available when in fact it is available; (2) To refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such person; or (3) To discriminate against such person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment. N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(1)(a).

The statute defines “sexual orientation” as “heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.” N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102(20).

The New York State Human Rights Law also explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(1)(a).

And, while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not explicitly prohibit such discrimination, the Southern District of New York recently held that a plaintiff’s sexual orientation discrimination claim was cognizable under that statute. Philpott v. N.Y., No. 16 CIV. 6778 (AKH), 2017 WL 1750398, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. May 3, 2017).

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