New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and Website Accessibility

In New York you will commonly see a violation of the New York State Human Rights Law as a cause of action for a complaint centered around website inaccessibility.

So what is the New York State Human Rights Law?

Well this is just this is just a law that prevents or prohibits discrimination based on any number of classes of demographics.

So, for example, race, gender, and, of course, disability among others.

So this law is like -think of it as a broad- it’s not an extension of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it’s very similar to the Americans with Disabilities act and it’s saying that you can’t discriminate based on based on any number of demographics whereas the ADA is solely focused on disability.

And so in this law it’s very similar to the ADA in that it uses the phrase “accommodations” so or it says- it actually does say place of public accommodation.

And so it’s unlawful and unlawful discriminatory practice for any person being the owner, etc. of any place of public accommodation because of the disability of any person to deny them refuse them the accommodations advantages facilities or privilege thereof.

That language is strikingly similar to that in the of the ADA but what is important is that this is another civil rights law.

This one specific to the state of New York rather than a federal law.

And with- because of this law plaintiffs lawyers now have another avenue of which to pursue damages under claims of a website being inaccessible.

So what will happen is a plaintiff’s lawyer will say that the defendant has a website, it operates in the state of New York, it’s it falls under the categories of a place of public accommodations, and it’s within the law within the New York State the right to law.

And so therefore the website is a service privileges privilege or advantage of whatever the defendant is offering.

And because the website is inaccessible, the defendant is refusing to update or update and remove barriers to access.

And so someone has been discriminated against who has a disability and therefore they fall under this protected class and there’s a violation of the law.

And so the plaintiff is entitled to damages, attorney’s fees, etc.

So that’s what’s going on with the New York State Human Rights Law it’s not it’s not complicated at all it’s more just a state version of the ADA that’s generalized amongst many different protected classes.

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Read about the New York City Human Rights Law.