New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week signed legislation expanding protections for employees under the NYC Human Rights Law, by adding “caregiver status” as an additional protected category. The Mayor added the “caregiver” category to the list of those protected from being fired, demoted or denied promotion because they’re a caregiver or perceived to be one at a signing ceremony held at City Hall. Under the new expansive protection, caregiver status is now extended to “individuals who provide caregiving to either a) a child, or b) a “covered relative” who resides in the caregiver’s household and who is living with a disability or relies on the caregiver for medical care or to meet dialing living needs.” “Covered relatives” are defined as a caregiver’s child, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, grandchild or grandparent or the child or parent of the caregiver’s spouse or domestic partner. The new protection will be effective on May 4, 2016 – 120 days after the Mayor signed it. Current New York state law offers protection from “familial status” discrimination, covering only parent caregiver status. In addition, de Blasio issued a personnel order increasing fully-paid parental leave for all city employees to 6 weeks for maternity, paternity or adoption leave (up to 12 weeks if combined with existing leave). And, if that wasn’t generous enough of the Mayor (with taxpayer or employer money), he also announced that he was guaranteeing a $15 per hour minimum wage for all city employees and “purchase of service employees” (those under contract with the City) within 3 years. It might not be long before he looks to mandate similar perks and benefits to employees of private sector employers within the City. Lastly from New York, the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) followed the lead of Governor Cuomo and approved his proposal to increase the pay of all SUNY employees to $15/hour by 2021.