Governor Paterson signed into law three bills that would provide greater protections for victims of domestic violence:
Chapter 80 establishes victims of domestic violence as a protected class in the employment provisions of the NYS human rights law. The new law prevents an employer from firing or refusing to hire an individual based on their status as a victim of domestic violence and prevents discrimination in compensation or in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment. Effective 7/7/09.
Chapter 72 requires, at the beginning of any divorce proceeding, automatic orders to be issued to prevent both parties from incurring unreasonable debts, dissipating assets (including personal property, real estate, retirement funds, etc.), or removing a party or the children from health or life insurance policies. Effective 9/1/09.
Chapter 83 extends protections for individuals seeking a name change. The NYS Civil Rights Law allowed a judge to seal court documents and other records associated with a name change, and to waive the requirement that the change be published in a local paper, if the court found that disclosing this information would jeopardize the safety of the person requesting the change. The new law requires the judge to order the sealing and safeguarding of all information from the time the case is opened, rather than waiting until a final decision is reached. Effective 7/7/09.
Please visit the OPDV website periodically for any additional legislative updates.