New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference today called for the passage of individual components of the Women’s Equality Act (WEA). Leader Kolb and Assembly members announced their intention to again introduce stand-alone bills that would greatly expand protections and equality for women. The State Senate passed eight women’s-equality bills on Monday.
“Women across New York State have already waited far too long for critical equality reform to become law. The Assembly Majority has wasted two years playing politics with an issue that demanded immediate action,” Leader Kolb said. “The Majority’s unnecessary posturing has resulted in nothing but a failed promise to people they represent. The Senate took appropriate action yesterday – now it’s our turn. After two years of stalling by the Majority, it’s time they wake up to a simple truth: the only pathway to meaningful reform is to vote on individual bills.”
Members of the Assembly Minority Conference will introduce critical measures to advance women’s equality, as they did in 2014. The measures will include:
- Pay Equity - Enacts pay equity provisions designed to strengthen equal pay protections for women in the workplace.
- Sexual Harassment - Applies sexual harassment protections in the law to all organizations of any size.
- Attorney’s Fees In Discrimination Cases - Awards attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in housing, credit and employment discrimination where the discrimination was done on the basis of sex.
- Familial Status Discrimination - Adds familial status to the list of classes protected and covered by the Human Rights Law.
- Prohibiting Housing Discrimination - Prohibits housing discrimination based upon a person’s status as a domestic violence victim and establishes a task force to study the impact of source of income upon access to housing.
- Electronic Hearings for Temporary Restraining Orders - Authorizes the establishment of a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means.
- Human Trafficking - Enacts the Human Trafficking Victims Protection & Justice Act, creating new crimes, strengthening penalties and protecting victims.
- Pregnancy-Related Employment Accommodations - Classifies pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions as temporary disabilities as defined within the Human Rights Law.