February 2016 Issue
January 26, 2016

NYSUT-backed Women's Equality, ABLE laws take effect

Source: NYSUT United

Two bills supported by NYSUT resolutions and passed in the state Legislature became laws late last year.

The Women's Equality Act comprises a number of laws designed to end discrimination and inequality based on gender. The act:

  • helps achieve pay equity by prohibiting employers from paying men more than women for the doing the same work;
  • protects victims of sexual harassment in the workplace by including all employers, even those with fewer than four employees;
  • removes barriers to remedying discrimination, allowing plaintiffs to recover attorney's fees;
  • ends employment discrimination based on family status and pregnancy;
  • protects victims of domestic violence by strengthening order-of-protection laws and ending housing discrimination against them.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows New Yorkers with a disability to create a tax-exempt savings account for maintaining their health, independence and quality of life. It recognizes the significant cost of living with a disability and the importance of being able to plan for future expenses so no one is forced into poverty due to crushing medical bills.

The new law allows an individual to deposit money into an ABLE account that is exempt from any Medicaid or Supplemental Security limit as it relates to their personal assets. It could affect more than 400,000 New Yorkers.