NY Court of Appeals Issues Worker-Friendly Decision as to NYC Human Rights Law’s “Impact” Requirement

In Syeed v Bloomberg L.P., No. 20, 2024 N.Y. Slip Op. 01330, 2024 WL 1097279 (N.Y. Ct. App. Mar. 14, 2024), the New York Court of Appeals, answered the following certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:

Whether a nonresident plaintiff not yet employed in New York City or State satisfies the impact requirement of the New York City Human Rights Law or the New York State Human Rights Law if the plaintiff pleads and later proves that an employer deprived the plaintiff of a New York City- or State-based job opportunity on discriminatory grounds.

Answering the question in the affirmative, the Court held that “the New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws each protect nonresidents who are not yet employed in the city or state but who proactively sought an actual city- or state-based job opportunity.”

In so ruling, the Court expands upon the “impact” test it set forth in Hoffman v. Parade Publs., 15 N.Y.3d 285 (2010). That case differs from the instant one, however, since Hoffman was a termination case whose plaintiff did not seek to become New York inhabitant, the plaintiff here alleges that they were denied a position in New York.

The Court supported its conclusion by pointing to the differences between a failure to hire/promote case, on the one hand, and a discriminatory termination case, on the other, as well as the policy considerations underlying the State and City Human Rights Laws (which, e.g., “contemplate that discrimination harms the state and city as governmental institutions, in addition to the targeted individual.”).

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