RELEASED ON: January 27, 2014
Assemblyman Finch is proud to co-sponsor, along with his colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference, nine individual pieces of legislation promoting and advancing critical components of the New York State Women’s Equality Agenda. A Women’s Equality Act was proposed in 2013, but failed to become law due to opposing legislative processes used in each house of the legislature.
In 2013, Gov. Cuomo introduced a Women’s Equality Act, calling for separate provisions to be brought to the Floors of each Chamber. The Senate passed nine separate women’s equality bills. The Assembly Majority, however, introduced a single bill, thereby eliminating any chance for measures to be enacted in 2013. This was a squandered opportunity to provide the women of New York with the landmark legislation they deserve.
“It is incumbent upon us to pass this legislation in 2014 without the political grandstanding that took place in 2013,” said Assemblyman Finch.
The nine bills Assemblyman Finch co-sponsored today passed the Senate unanimously last year. They are as follows:
• Pay Equity – S.5872 – Enacts pay equity provisions designed to strengthen equal pay protections for women in the workplace. Sponsor: Assemblyman John Ceretto (R,C,I-Lewiston)
• Sexual Harassment – S.5873 – Applies sexual harassment protections in the law to all organizations of any size. Sponsor: Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R,C,I-Clarence)
• Attorney’s Fees In Discrimination Cases – S.5874 – Awards attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in housing, credit and employment discrimination where the discrimination was done on the basis of sex. Sponsor: Assemblyman Joe Borelli (R,C,I-South Shore)
• Familial Status Discrimination – S.5875 – Adds familial status to the list of classes protected and covered by the Human Rights Law. Sponsor: Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose)
• Prohibiting Housing Discrimination – S.5876 – Prohibits housing discrimination based upon a person’s status as a domestic violence victim and establishes a task force to study the impact of source of income upon access to housing. Sponsor: Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island)
• Restraining Orders – S.5877 – Specifies that the protected party in whose favor an order of protection or temporary order of protection is issued may not be held to violate that order. Sponsor: Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R,C,WF,I-Huntington Station)
• Electronic Hearings for Temporary Restraining Orders – S.5878 – Authorizes the establishment of a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means. Sponsor: Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
• Human Trafficking – S.5879 – Enacts the human Trafficking Victims Protection & Justice Act, creating new crimes, strengthening penalties and protecting victims. Sponsor: Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R,C,I-New Hartford)
• Pregnancy-Related Employment Accommodations – S.5880 – Classifies pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions as temporary disabilities as defined within the Human Rights Law. Sponsor: Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst)
These bills must be passed by both houses in 2014 in order to become law. They have been submitted to the Assembly Index Clerk and will be sent to the appropriate committees for consideration before moving to the Floor for a vote.