Court of Appeals Clarifies that New York’s Anti Discrimination Laws Apply to Out-of-State Job Applicants

In Syeed v. Bloomberg L.P., 2024 N.Y. Slip Op. 01330, 2024 WL 1097279, at **3-4 (Mar. 14, 2024), the New York Court of Appeals held that New York State and City Human Rights Laws apply to out-of-state job applicants who are seeking employment in New York, thus clarifying its prior decision in Hoffman v. Parade Publ’ns, 15 N.Y.3d 285 (2010), which held that the plaintiff had to show some impact in New York for the laws to apply.

Plaintiff Nafeesa Syeed, a South Asian–American woman, brought suit against defendant Bloomberg for race and sex discrimination under the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws.  She alleged that in 2018, she applied for various positions with Bloomberg that were all located in New York, including a position as a United Nations reporter.  After her managing editor in Washington, D.C. told Syeed that Bloomberg had decided not to convert the U.N. job to a “diversity slot,” plaintiff informed her team leader and managing editor that she could no longer work for defendant because of the discrimination that she had encountered.  She then left defendant’s employ, claiming constructive discharge.

The Southern District of New York dismissed Plaintiff’s claims finding that Syeed could not show that defendant’s conduct impacted her in New York State or City.  Syeed v. Bloomberg L.P., 568 F.Supp.3d 314, 321 (S.D.N.Y. 2021).  The District Court read Hoffman and its progeny to hold that the Human Rights Laws are limited to people who live or work in New York.  Plaintiff appealed and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, recognizing that there were conflicting decisions at the District Court level, certified the following question to the New York Court of Appeals:

[W]hether a nonresident plaintiff not yet employed in New York City or State satisfies the impact requirement of the New York City Human Rights Law or the New York State Human Rights Law if the plaintiff pleads and later proves that an employer deprived the plaintiff of a New York City- or State-based job opportunity on discriminatory grounds.

Syeed v. Bloomberg L.P., 58 F.4th 64, 71 (2d Cir. 2023).

The New York Court of Appeals answered the question affirmatively, finding that allegations of discrimination in connection with a failure to hire or failure to promote for a job in New York constituted enough of an impact in the state for the Human Rights Laws to apply. Syeed, 2024 N.Y. Slip Op. 01330 at *4 (2024).  The Court noted that it was not overruling Hoffman and also limited its ruling to job positions that required a physical presence in New York.  So, in light of Syeed, job applicants who do not yet live or work in New York but who hope, as the song goes, to “make it there” are entitled to the protection of its anti-discrimination laws.


This article is intended as a general discussion of these issues only and is not to be considered legal advice or relied upon. For more information, please contact RPJ Partner Alice K. Jump who counsels clients on litigation, alternative dispute resolution and business counseling, with particular emphasis on representing clients in the financial services and real estate industries as well as educational and non-profit institutions. Ms. Jump is admitted to practice law in New York and before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.