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Are Out-Of-State Workers Protected By NYC Employment Laws?


Today, it’s extremely common for employees to work remotely from their homes instead of going into the office each day. While remote work has been possible for many employees for years, the pandemic only helped make this even more widespread. Even as restrictions were lifted, many employees opted to stay home instead of returning to their workplaces. While some employees may work remotely for employers in their area, many work in a city or state that’s different from where their employer is located. 

Remote workers can still experience employment discrimination, but if you and your employer are in different states, this can lead to some confusion. Which laws are applicable to remote workers?

Do New York State and New York City Law Apply to Remote Workers?

The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) provide employees with many protections that go beyond what federal employment laws provide. If you work in a different state, but your employer is located in New York City, you might assume that the NYSHRL and NYCHRL still apply to you. This can be more complicated than you might realize.

Where the impact of discriminatory conduct was felt can affect whether or not New York State or City laws apply to the situation. Some remote employees may face discrimination at a company located in New York but have never actually been to the location themselves. Instead, the discriminatory conduct had an impact in a location outside of New York. If this is the case, it’s possible that the NYSHRL or the NYCHRL don’t apply because there was no impact in these locations, even if this is where the employer was located. This is what occurred in a recent case where a former remote worker in New Jersey, working for a New York City-based company, could not file claims under the NYSHRL or the NYCHRL. While the former employee was intended to work in person in New York City after the pandemic, it still did not pass the “impact test” required for NYSHRL or NYCHRL claims.

How Do You Know What Employment Laws Apply to You?

Knowing which employment laws apply to your situation and protect you can be difficult. If you’re a remote worker, you might not understand what employee rights and protections you have in the workplace. However, while this might not always be clear, you deserve to get help if you’re being discriminated against or harassed for your membership in a protected class. To know for certain which employment laws apply to you, you’ll need an employment discrimination attorney. An experienced attorney can help guide you and determine which federal, state, or local laws are the most applicable to your situation. 

Consult with an Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney Today

Understanding what laws protect you in the workplace can be complicated, and this can be even harder when you’re a remote worker. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we have experience assisting employees in New York City who have faced discrimination and harassment and can help protect your employee rights. We can help you understand which laws apply to your situation and how to best help you during this difficult situation.

If you believe you’ve been discriminated against, contact us for more information.