NOW-NYC continues to break barriers for women and girls by advocating for new laws and policies. We have succeeded in many fields, from repealing the statute of limitations on rape to ensuring full-time mothers are treated fairly in divorce. Our commitment is to be a voice for women at City Hall and in our State’s capitol, championing critical legislation to end gender discrimination at work and in the courts, advance pay equity, ensure reproductive rights, and make our criminal justice system more accountable.
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New York City
Salary History Bill
The Salary History Bill would prohibit employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history during all stages of the employment process. In the event that an employer is already aware of a prospective employee’s salary history, this bill would prohibit reliance on that information in the determination of salary. When employers rely on salary histories to determine compensation, they perpetuate the gender wage gap. Adopting measures like this bill can reduce the likelihood that women will be prejudiced by prior salary levels and help break the cycle of gender pay inequity.
Sponsor: The Public Advocate Letitia James and 36 New York City Council Members
Learn More: Bill
City Council: Passed 4/5/2017
Women’s Caucus Equality Legislative Package
The Women’s Caucus Equality Package will advance issues that affect all New Yorkers, with a unique focus on women. The package includes legislation to expand women’s rights in areas including: health, education, safety, labor and empowerment.
- Create a task force to review affordability, admissions, and graduation rates at CUNY (Int 1138)
- Produce a comprehensive plan to address the needs of unpaid caregivers (Local Law 97)
- Report on the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, IUDs (Int 1162)
- Implement sexual assault awareness/prevention training, TLC drivers (Int 1106)
- Provide feminine hygiene products available at no cost to students while on DOE premises (Local Law 84)
- Report procedures and policies for the Rikers Island nursery program (Local Law 120)
- Support a NY state bill which prohibit employers asking salary history (Resolution)
- Expand the definition of employer under the human rights law to provide protections for domestic workers (Int 825)
- Support a NY state bill which provide DV survivors greater access to breaking leases (Resolution)
Sponsored: The New York City Council Women’s Caucus
Learn More: Women’s Caucus Equality Legislative Package
Police Officer Sensitivity Training for Gender-Based Street Harassment and Sexual Assault (Int 1481)
This is a Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring all NYPD officers to receive sensitivity training to assist them in responding to victims of gender-based street harassment and sexual assault. This bill ensures that all NYPD officers receive sensitivity training to assist them in responding to survivors of gender-based street harassment and sexual assault as part of their academy training, as well as up-to-date training every two years. The training will be sensitive to cultural differences, gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
Learn More: Bill
City Council: Referred to the Committee on Public Safety 3/1/17
New York State
End Child Marriage (A.5524)
4,000 children were married in New York State between 2000-2010. This bill will close the loopholes allowing the marriage of children as young as 14 to adults.
Sponsor: Assemblymember Amy Paulin
Assembly: Referred to judiciary 3/7/17
Senate: Passed 3/7/17
Ban The Salary History Question Bill (A.6707/S.5233)
In honor of Equal Pay Day, New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef introduced comprehensive legislation that would prohibit employers in New York State from forcing potential employees to disclose their salary history. The salary history question enables employees to underpay women and minorities because employers use a potential employee’s past wage to determine what salary to offer.
Assembly: 03/16/2017 referred to governmental operations
Senate: 03/16/2017 referred to investigations and government operations
Landlord Liability Safety Bill (A.02088/ S.00480)
This bill would add a 14th exception to Section 1602 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), eliminating landlords and security companies ability to shift liability for inadequate building security to criminals who have injured tenants. As the current law of negligence stands in New York, a landlord who has been found negligent for failing to maintain reasonable security gets to share responsibility for his/her negligence with the criminal intruders who gained access as a result of inadequate security and physically harmed a tenant. Women and children are the losers under the current law. It is mostly women and girls who are caught alone in the common areas of their buildings by intruders who take them at knife point to the roof and rape them. It is mostly women with protective orders that need to be able to keep their abuser from entering the building where they live.
Learn More: Bill
Assembly: 01/17/2017 referred to judiciary
Senate: 01/04/2017 Referred to Judiciary
Equal Pay Disclosure With Respect to State Contracts (A.03265/S.00270)
This bill would require companies that want to bid on contracts with New York State to submit equal pay reports as a condition to winning a bid. The equal pay reports will use the same nine occupational categories that are used in federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forms (EEO-1). Small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) will be exempted from this requirement.
Assembly: 01/27/17 referred to governmental operations
03/07/2017 reported referred to codes
03/13/2017 reported referred to ways and means
Senate: 01/04/17 Referred to Finance.
Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) (A.01378/S.3668)
(1) Require state-governed health insurance companies to cover all forms of FDA approved contraception without co-pays (as already required by the Affordable Care Act). Women should have access to whichever form of birth control is best for them.
(2) Allow women to obtain emergency contraception at a pharmacy through a non-patient specific prescription and mandate that insurance companies cover it. Whether they can afford the out- of-pocket costs or not, all women should have timely access to emergency contraception.
(3) Make it easier for women to fill their birth control prescription. The CCCA will increase the amount of oral contraceptives a woman can access at one time from a three to twelve month supply. Expanding access and requiring fewer visits to the pharmacy will make it easier for women to maintain a consistent birth control plan and avoid unintended pregnancy.
(4) Expand contraceptive coverage for men, by covering condoms if prescribed and sterilization (neither of which is included in current New York State Insurance law). Fair and effective health policy for contraception access should address the needs of both men and women.
Take Action: Here’s How
Assembly: Passed 1/17/17
Senate: Referred to Insurance 01/25/17
Reproductive Health Act ( A.01748/S.2796)
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to reproductive services.
The Reproductive Health Act would safeguard women’s reproductive health, which would place the protections of Roe v. Wade squarely into New York State law. This legislation would ensure every woman’s fundamental right to make private medical decisions with her doctor and would protect both a woman’s health and life throughout pregnancy. Current law in New York State makes abortion legal by carving out exceptions in the criminal law, and fails to affirmatively guarantee abortion as a legal right in accordance with Roe v. Wade. As a result, women’s health is unnecessarily being put at risk. In this increasingly hostile climate to women’s health and reproductive rights, New York State should not rely solely on federal law to ensure women’s access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Now more than ever, it is important to keep New York State strong for women’s rights, by enshrining the protections of Roe v. Wade into New York State law.
Sponsors: Senator Liz Krueger
Learn More: Bill
Assembly: Passed 01/17/17
Senate: Referred to Health 01/17/17
Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) (A.03358/ S.00502)
Now that Trump is reversing protections for trans students, it’s clear that we must act swiftly to expand protections in our state law for the trans community.
GENDA (Gender Identity and Expression Non-Discrimination Act) would add gender expression and identity to our State Human Rights Law, protecting individuals from employment, housing, and education discrimination and expanding the categories for hate crimes in our state.
Assembly: 01/27/2017 referred to Governmental Operations
Senate: 01/04/2017 Referred to Investigations and Investigations and Government Operations
4/25/2017 F: GENDA will not become law this year.
Child Victims Act (A.2872A/S.63A)
The Child Victims Act will eliminate the statute of limitations for filing a case of childhood sexual abuse. Under current law, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse must report the claim within a 5 year window of turning 18. By abolishing the statute of limitations predators and their protectors will be held responsible for crimes and victims who were unfairly denied their day in court will have an opportunity to seek justice The Child Victims Act will help to better advocate for child victims of sexual abuse, prevent the silencing of victims, and allow victims more time to feel comfortable pursuing legal action against predators.
Sponsor: State Senator Holyman
Learn more : Bill
Senate: 01/05/2017 Referred To Judiciary
03/02/2017 Notice of Committee Consideration—Requested
04/20/2017 Committee Discharged and Committed to Rules
Equal Pay for Comparable Worth for State Employees (A.437)
This legislation seeks to comply with the federal equal pay act of 1963 by implementing a state policy of compensating employees in state service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles having been segregated by sex, race or national origin. It would require the president of the civil service commission to report annually to the legislature and the governor on those segregated titles for which wage disparity exists. It would also mandate that the governor appropriate monies to ensure wage disparities are corrected. New York State supports women’s equality, and it should commit to lead by example by working to eliminate pay disparities that exist between different jobs requiring similar levels of skill.
Sponsors: Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal
Learn more: Bill
Assembly: 01/09/2017 referred to labor
The Intern Protection Act (H.R. 651)
The Intern Protection Act (H.R. 651) aims to extend certain rights to interns that they are not currently entitled to, including freedom from employment discrimination, job security due to pregnancy, and protection against workplace sexual harassment.
Sponsor: Representative Elijah E. Cummings
Learn More: Bill
House: 01/24/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
EACH Woman Act: Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (H.R.771)
The EACH Woman Act would ensure that all women are able to access insurance coverage for abortion, including women who are covered by Medicaid. The 1976 Hyde Amendment made federal funding for abortion illegal except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman. This leaves any woman with government-funded health insurance without access to abortion care. The Hyde Amendment is an unjust penalty that specifically creates obstacles for low-income women–especially those living in poverty–who are in need of reproductive healthcare services. The EACH Woman Act would repeal the Hyde Amendment,ensuring access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare for all women, regardless of their income level or source of their insurance coverage.
Sponsored by: Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA)
House: 02/03/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
It’s easy to forget, but important to do: Please thank your leaders who are co-sponsoring pro-women’s rights legislation, so they know just how much support is behind their efforts. You should also ask your other reps to get on board. It’s easy! Call, email, write, or tweet.
Be sure to include the following in your message:
(1) Your name and neighborhood
(2) The bill name and number, and a
(3) Short and simple message about why this legislation matters to you.
Be sure to include @NOW_NYC if you send a tweet, or forward a copy of your message to firstname.lastname@example.org!
New York City: Find My City Council Member
Senator Gillibrand (212) 688-6262, @SenGillibrand, Email
Senator Schumer: (212) 486-4430, @SenSchumer, Email
Check Out NOW-NYC's Previous Legislative Agendas
IssuesAll Issues »
Wednesday, May 24 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm State of the Resistance
Saturday, Jun 03 | 11:00am - 1:00pm Hudson Women's Town Hall: Speak Out Against Violence
Tuesday, Jun 06 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm NOW and WIN.NYC Political Action Happy Hour
Saturday, Jun 10 | 1:30pm - 4:30pm Veteran Feminists of America's 2017 Feminist Reunion
Tell the Boy Scouts: Let Girls Participate in All Programs Sydney Ireland (Photo credit: Khan/WNYC)...
Pass the "Ban the Salary History Question" Bill in New York State Asking prospective employees about their...