NY TOP COURT VINDICATES STRICT LIABILITY PROVISION OF CITY HUMAN RIGHTSLAW
The New York Court of Appeals, acting to resolve a certified question from the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals, agreed in Zakrzewska v. New School that Admin. Code § 8-107(13) means what it says, and that employers are strictly liable for the discriminatory conduct of all of their managers and supervisors. The Faragher-Ellerth defense available under Title VII is not available under the City Human Rights Law.
The decision did not discuss the 2005 Local Civil Rights Restoration Act, but the decision's affirmation of a locality's right to go beyond State Human Rights Law in proscribing discriminatory conduct, and the decision's insistence that the distinctive language of a statute must be recognized both bode well for Restoration Act enforcement.
The language of the construction provision of the City Human Rights Law (Admin. Code § 8-130) is strikingly different from the construction provision of the State Human Rights Law (Executive Law § 300), and, per the New School case and basic principles of statutory interpretation, must be interpreted as intended by the City Council. Crucially, Admin. Code § 8-130 controls the interpretation of every single provision of the City Human Rights Law -- there is no exception.
The link to the full text of the decision is below.