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NOW-NYC advocates for laws that defend our rights and break barriers for women and girls. We champion critical legislation to end discrimination, advance fairness in the workplace, protect and expand reproductive rights, and strengthen our criminal justice system for victims of gender-based violence.


New York State Legislation

Child Victims Act: Signed into Law!
Enables survivors of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice in the courts, by allowing victims more time to pursue legal action. This will help to prevent the silencing of victims and enable more survivors to come forward, ultimately holding more perpetrators accountable and preventing abuse.
Bill Number:
S.809-2017 / A.05885A-2017
Sponsors:
State Senator Hoylman / Assemblymember Rosenthal
Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act: Signed into Law!
Would protect women’s access to insurance coverage for contraception and make it easier to get a prescription filled.
Bill Number:
S.3668 -2017 / A.01378-2017
Sponsors:
State Senator Bonacic / Assemblymember Cahill
Reproductive Health Act: Signed into Law!
Would safeguard women’s reproductive health, by placing the protections of Roe v. Wade squarely into New York State law. Given the hostile climate to women’s reproductive rights, New York State cannot rely solely on federal law to ensure women’s access to reproductive healthcare.
Bill Number:
S.2796 - 2017 /  A.01748-2017
Sponsors:
State Senator Krueger / Assemblymember Glick
Equal Rights Amendment
Strengthens and updates equal protection language in the state constitution to prohibit denial of equality of rights on the basis or race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, marital status, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability or other immutable or ascriptive characteristic.
Sponsor:
State Senator Krueger / Assemblymember Seawright
Expanding Sexual Harassment Laws to Prevent Physical Abuse
Would close a loophole in state law to ensure abusers can be held accountable for non-consensual physical violence committed for sexual arousal or gratification. If adopted, this legislation would make it so that someone who slaps, strikes, or shoves another person for sexual arousal or gratification without consent can be charged with sexual harassment. Currently, injuries must meet a legal definition of physical injury before the abuser can face criminal charges.
Bill Number:
A.7082-2019
Sponsor:
Assemblymember Simotas
Improving Workplace Discrimination Policies
Would extend the time to file a sexual harassment/discrimination complaint with NYS human rights division from 1 to 3 years. It would also give state/legislative employees up to 6 months to file a notice of intention to sue for unlawful discrimination in the court of claims. *Note: this is one of several proposals outlined in the Sexual Harassment Working Group's legislative agenda.
Sponsors:
State Senator Biaggi / Assemblymember Simotas
Fixing NY's Rape Laws
While the statute of limitations on first degree rape was repealed in our state over a decade ago, survivors still face a five year limit on reporting 2nd or 3rd degree rape and top counts of sexual assault in New York State. Furthermore, our laws make it unreasonably difficult to prosecute drug rape. We must update NY's rape laws to ensure that survivors are able to report and get justice without unreasonable legal standards on time limits.
Latest:
Introduced in the 2019 Women's Justice Agenda
Comprehensive Sexual Education
Would require comprehensive sexuality instruction for students in grades K-12, which would address age and developmentally appropriate physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality and would reflect the national sexuality education standards.
Sponsors:
State Senator Metzger / Assemblymember Nolan

Federal Legislation

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act: Passed by the House!
The Violence Against Women Act provides critical funding for direct services, professional training, and prevention programs that address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The reauthorization includes key improvements that will expand protections for the most marginalized groups and make stronger investments in prevention.
Bill Number:
H.R. 1585
Sponsor:
Representative Karen Bass
Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019: Passed by the House!
Would require a background check for the sale of every firearm. Currently, there is a loophole that allows sellers who are not federal licensed to bypass conducting a background check.
Bill Number:
H.R.8
Sponsor:
Representative Mike Thompson
Arbitration Fairness Act
Would keep mandatory arbitration clauses out of employment contracts, giving harassed workers the option of going to court. Currently, forced arbitration thwarts the ability of workers and consumers to hold corporations accountable for abuses and crimes of sexual misconduct.
Sponsors:
Senator Blumenthal / Congressmember Johnson
Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act
Would ensure access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare for all women, regardless of their income level or source of their insurance coverage. If passed, this legislation will repeal the 1976 Hyde Amendment that made it illegal to use federal funds for abortion coverage. *This bill needs to be reintroduced in the 116th Congress to move forward
Bill Number:
H.R. 771-2018
Sponsor:
Congressmember Lee
The Family Medical Leave Modernization Act
Ensures that employees are able to take leave in order to care for their loved ones by (1) expanding medical leave eligibility to employees who work for employers with 15 employees or more, (2) extending the amount of leave an employee can take to 24 hours in a 12 month period and 4 hours in a 30 day period, (3) broadening the definition of family to incorporate more caregiving relationships. *This bill needs to be reintroduced in the 116th Congress to move forward
Bill Number:
H.R. 6098-2018
Sponsor:
Congressmember Maloney
Intern Protection Act: Passed by the House!
Aims to extend certain rights to interns, including freedom from employment discrimination, job security in case of pregnancy, and protection against workplace sexual harassment. *This bill needs to be reintroduced in the 116th Congress to move forward
Bill Number:
H.R. 653-2017
Sponsor:
Congressmember Cummings