March 5, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A bill outlawing gender discrimination in disability insurance has been passed by the New York Senate.
The legislation (S.3664B), which was sponsored by Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, prohibits insurers from using gender as a tool to determine risk when setting disability insurance policies.
If signed into law, the legislation would ban insurers from charging different rates based on the insured person’s gender.
“Small businesses should not be penalized for hiring female and gender non-conforming employees and this proposal would level the playing field for people in the workplace,” Gianaris said Monday.
“The deck is already stacked against women and gender non-conforming people in the job market and I am proud the Senate passed my legislation to make things fairer,” he added.
At present, gender is a determinative factor in insurance premiums and it can cost up to 50% more to insure a female employee than a male, according to Doctor Disability, a disability insurance brokerage firm.
“There are so many barriers to equality for women and gender non-conforming people in the workplace,” said Sheila Lewandowski, Executive Director of the Chocolate Factory Theater. “To change the cultures of discrimination we need to change laws that support it,” she added.
The bill will now go to the Assembly for a vote.