NYC Human Rights Law Expanded to Protect Independent Contractors and Freelancers

The New York City Council recently passed a law that will expand the New York City Human Rights Law to cover independent contractors and freelancers. The law will become effective January 11, 2020.

Specifically, the anti-discrimination and retaliation provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law will now apply to freelancers and independent contractors allowing them to file complaints with New York City Commission on Human Rights when they face harassment or discrimination based on their race, gender, sexuality, religion or any other protected category. 

In addition, the law clarifies which workers are protected by the New York City Human Rights Law. In particular, in determining whether an employer has four or more employees, an employer’s parent, spouse, domestic partner or child if employed by an employer are included as in the employ of such employer. Independent contractors and freelancers are also included in the count.