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Non-Discrimination in Employment

Non-Discrimination in Employment

The New York State Human Rights Law (Article 15, § 290) applies to all state agencies and provides broad anti-discrimination coverage.  The law provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice “[f]or an employer or licensing agency, because of the age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status or domestic violence victim status of any individual to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to  or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment.”  Employment discrimination protection under the law also applies to persons with prior conviction records, prior arrests, youthful offender adjudications or sealed records.

SUNY Websites and Resources

SUNY Diversity and Affirmative Action Website

SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Website

The SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is an office within the Office of the Provost.  The Mission of the office is as follows:  ODEI is responsible for devising and implementing a range of programs to promote the diversity of SUNY’s human resources. The office promotes the integration of diversity-related instruction and research into ongoing SUNY system-wide initiatives to enhance academic excellence. ODEI partners with baccalaureate, doctoral granting institutions and community colleges to achieve the holistic integration of New York’s underrepresented and economically disadvantaged populations into the academic culture of higher education. Through its various initiatives, ODEI strengthens SUNY’s ability to create a learning environment needed to develop the extraordinary leaders who will succeed in an increasingly culturally diverse and globalized society. The office focuses on SUNY’s goal of providing the highest quality educational experience that is fully representative of the diversity of human difference in New York State.

SUNY Office of General Counsel Guidance:

Legal Issues Surrounding Employment Applications and Employment Searches, issued by the Office of General Counsel 2/14/13

The Office of General Counsel issued a Memorandum to Presidents and attached guidance on February 14, 2013,  to identify what is acceptable during an employment search.  Adherence to the federal and state laws applicable to the employment search can protect the University from unlawful discrimination claims and consideration of inappropriate information in the hiring process. The standards should serve as a guide campuses toward updating employment applications and search committee rules to reflect current legal obligations. The guidance covers the following areas related to employment searches and is applicable to classified, unclassified, and student applicants:

SUNY Policies & Procedures



Applicable Laws & Regulations:

New York State Article 15 Section 290 Human Rights Law

Governor's Executive Order No. 33:
Prohibiting Discrimination In State Employment On The Basis Of Gender Identity

This Executive Order states that no State agency shall discriminate on the basis of gender identity against any individual in any matter pertaining to employment by the State including, but not limited to, hiring, termination, retention, job appointment, promotion, tenure, recruitment and compensation.  All managers, supervisors and employees in all State agencies shall make diligent, good faith efforts to ensure that all employees are afforded equal opportunity, without regard to their gender identity.

Executive Order No. 6:
Assigning Responsibilities of the State Department of Civil Service, and Certain State Agencies for Insuring Equal Employment Opportunity for Minorities, Women, Disabled Persons and Vietnam Era Veterans in State Government, and Establishing the Governor's Executive Committee for Affirmative Action

"It is the policy of the State of New York that equal opportunity be assured in the State's personnel system and affirmative action provided in its administration, in accordance with the requirements of the State's Human Rights Law and the mandates of Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act, as amended. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the State's Department of Civil Service to enforce the State's policy of ensuring full and equal opportunity for minorities, women, disabled persons and Vietnam era veterans at all occupational levels of State government."

References to Best Practices & Other Supplemental Material:

New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER) handbook, December 2011

Rights and Responsibilities of New York State Agencies:  A Handbook for Employees of New York State Agencies,

New York State Division of Human Rights

New York has the proud distinction of being the first state in the nation to enact a Human Rights Law, which affords every citizen “an equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life.” This law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit, places of public accommodations, and non-sectarian educational institutions, based on age, race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, military status, and other specified classes.
The New York State Division of Human Rights was created to enforce this important law. The mission of the agency is to ensure that " every individual . . . has an equal opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural and intellectual life of the State." It does so in many ways, including the following:

New York State Department of Labor Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Website

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The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.