Democrats in Nassau County are proposing a new law that would extend protections under the county’s human rights law that would penalize anyone who perpetuates the notion that Asians are responsible for COVID-19.
The bill is aimed at the rash of attacks against Asian people in New York City and elsewhere in the U.S. Nassau County has not had any recent reports of hate crimes against Asians.
The bill allows for both criminal and civil penalties, and it would allow courts to award attorney fees.
“It will hit them in their wallet as well, a dual approach that I think will be far more impactful,” said legislator Arnold Drucker, a Democrat from Plainview.
The bill is supported by County Executive Laura Curran. The bill empowers the county attorney’s office to bring civil lawsuits on behalf of the county’s Human Rights Commission for as much as $25,000.