Clarifies the scope of protections against discrimination on the basis of disability under the New York state human rights law in the areas of employment, public accommodations and government services to be consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the current policies and practices of the division of human rights.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
February 7, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. EPSTEIN, BUTTENSCHON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
of A. DINOWITZ, GLICK, PAULIN, L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred
to the Committee on Governmental Operations
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to clarifying the scope
of protections against discrimination on the basis of disability in
the area of government services
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative intent. With the enactment of chapter 988 of
2 the laws of 1974, the legislature began to extend to people with disa-
3 bilities guarantees that such individuals would not be discriminated
4 against on the basis of their disability in employment, use of public
5 accommodations and in a broad range of other areas and activities
6 subject to the requirements of the human rights provisions of the execu-
7 tive law. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990,
8 has extended similar protections throughout the nation. While current
9 state requirements are consistent with those adopted by Congress in the
10 Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal statute explicitly includes
11 a number of requirements which are implicit in state law. The legisla-
12 ture adopts this measure to reiterate this state's commitment to assur-
13 ing people with disabilities full access under state law to all of the
14 rights and remedies to which they are entitled under the Americans with
15 Disabilities Act, consistent with current policies and practices of the
16 state division of human rights, and to continue New York's preeminent
17 role as a leader in guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities to all
18 of its citizens.
19 § 2. Section 292 of the executive law is amended by adding a new
20 subdivision 42 to read as follows:
21 42. The term "public entity" means the state or any political subdivi-
22 sion thereof and any department, agency, special purpose district or
23 other instrumentality of the state or local government.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 3718 2
1 § 3. Section 296 of the executive law is amended by adding two new
2 subdivisions 3-c and 3-d to read as follows:
3 3-c. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any public
4 entity to exclude a person with a disability who meets the essential
5 eligibility requirements from participation in or deny such person the
6 benefits of services, programs, or activities of a public entity solely
7 by reason of such disability or to subject such person with a disability
8 to discrimination by any such entity.
9 3-d. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for a public
10 entity to refuse to make reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or
11 practices, to refuse to remove architectural, communication, or trans-
12 portation barriers, or to refuse to provide auxiliary aids and services,
13 including but not limited to support services for people with impaired
14 hearing or vision and acquisition or modification of equipment or
15 devices, to a person with a disability who meets the essential eligibil-
16 ity requirements which will allow such an individual to receive services
17 or participate in programs or activities provided by a public entity in
18 the most integrated manner possible.
19 § 4. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
20 ing the date on which it shall have become a law.