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NYCLU Hails New York City Legislation Strengthening Civil Rights Protections

The New York Civil Liberties Union joined several leading civil rights organizations in applauding the passage of legislation that preserves and strengthens the City’s human rights law, and calls on the Mayor to sign it into law. The Local Civil Rights Restoration Act restores specific civil rights protections that have been chipped away by federal and state courts in the areas of marital status discrimination, retaliation claims in the employment discrimination context, and recovery of attorneys’ fees.

“Historically, New York City’s human rights law has provided broad protection of civil rights independent of federal and state law. But misguided and restrictive federal and state court decisions have scaled back existing civil rights protections and have construed the City’s human rights law so narrowly as to undermine the intent of the law” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU.

The Local Civil Rights Restoration Act also clarifies the scope of New York City’s human rights law and strengthens its enforcement mechanisms, thereby ensuring that the law is an effective tool for the vindication of the rights of those who have been the victims of discrimination.

“As the curtailment of civil rights protections continues on the national level, the Local Civil Rights Restoration Act sends a strong message that New York City, a city that prides itself on its diversity and openness, aims to preserve the vigor of its local civil rights laws. It is now time for the Mayor to sign this legislation into law” said Irum Taqi, Legislative Counsel at the NYCLU.

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