New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and Website Accessibility

With complaints filed in New York what you will commonly see is a cause of action for 1) A violation of the New York State Human Rights Law and then 2) a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law and so as the names indicate the difference is negligible.

The difference is one applies statewide and one applies to New York City.

And so whether the language may not be exactly the same, the sentiment is very similar.

And that is that the both laws protect against discrimination of protected classes and so protected classes include age disability of course race, sexual orientation, etc.

But what’s important and relevant to this channel is that disability is protected in places of public accommodation.

And so again the same theme is we’re seeing the language from the American Disabilities Act incorporated into these laws.

And so whereas the Americans Disabilities Act is specific to disability these laws are specific to discrimination of any number of protected classes but we see disability comes up.

And then plaintiffs law firms have taken that next step and they have applied these local laws to websites.

And so what’s happening is places of public accommodation need to make their accommodations, facilities, etc. so that they can so that they can be accessed by people with disabilities.

And so the New York State Human Rights Law and I’ll link to- I’m looking at a page right now that that has a broad overview of that they basically a summary of the law- but it lists off restaurants, stores, hospitals, museums, and theaters and it’s saying that these places need to have reasonable accommodations.

Well what happens is plaintiffs’ law firms have extended this and they’re saying well websites also need to make sure that they are accessible and if they’re not they’re in violation of not only you know sometimes they’ll- they’ll say it’s the New York State Human Rights Law not only that law but also the city law as well.

And this same- he same or very similar logic is used with these laws as it is the American Disabilities Act so when it comes to website accessibility we not only see the ADA being cited as a cause of action, but these the state and now city laws are being cited because 1) it makes the argument that makes the complaint stronger but 2) it provides for damages whereas the Americans with Disabilities act does not provide damages for the plaintiff.

It’s an- it’s provides for injunctions- injunctive relief now we have these local laws and they do provide for damages so it’s more lucrative to file complaints with causes of actions under these laws and so what you’ll see is the plaintiffs law firms will have causes of actions under the American Disabilities Act as well as the New York State and City Human Rights Law.

So I will link to the sources below where you can read the law but that’s what’s happening with the New York City Human Rights Law.