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May 2013 Archives

NEW YORK CITY NOW BARS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST UNEMPLOYED

The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) bars discrimination based on factors including race, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. As of June 11, 2013, an amendment to the Law will prohibit discrimination against unemployed individuals. It adds employment status as an additional protected category. Although other jurisdictions (including New Jersey) bar discrimination against the unemployed, the New York City law seems to be the first to allow a private cause of action. Individuals can file a complaint with the New York City Division on Human Rights or file a civil lawsuit to recover compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys fees and costs. 

Insurance Company Bad Faith

When you buy an insurance policy and pay your monthly premiums, you expect your company to honor claims when you suffer a loss. One of insurance's greatest benefits is supposed to be the peace of mind it purchases - the knowledge that insurance protects you during life's most traumatic events. 

 

Same-Sex Rights in New Jersey

One of the most polarizing issues in our country today is the status of gay rights. In New Jersey, the rights of gay, lesbian, and transgender people are similar to those of heterosexual orientation, with the exclusion of the right to marriage. New Jersey, along with eight other states, offers civil unions for same-sex couples. A civil union provides couples with the legal benefits and protections of a marriage in New Jersey, including rights to family leave benefits,  regarding emergency medical care, relating to joint ownership of property, relating to insurance, health and pension benefits, relating to state public assistance benefits and a privileges not to testify against a civil union partner in court proceedings.

How Different are Civil Unions and Marriages?

The rights of gay and lesbian couples in civil unions are very different from those in heterosexual marriages in significant ways. First, a civil union is not the same type of legal arrangement as a marriage. It offers more rights than a domestic partnership, but less then those of marriage. For example, New Jersey's Domestic Partnership Act does not require employers to allow those in domestic partnerships to take family leave to care for an ill partner, whereas civil unions do afford this protection. A marriage allows for both state and federal benefits, whereas civil unions only provide for state benefits. Social security and veteran benefits are just some of the federal benefits not permitted by civil unions.

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