Gittels Law
New Law Protecting Therapy Patients Passes New York Legislator
June 25, 2024
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A new bipartisan New York bill, “Gittel’s Law,” aims to protect patients who go to therapists. The bill is spearheaded by Zvi Gluck of Amudim and frum Assemblymember Sam Berger, who represents the Kehila of Kew Garden Hills and Forest Hills. Berger introduced the bill that would close a loophole that prevents some patients who are victims of exploitation from seeking justice.

“This is very common sense, and there’s a lot of support for it,” Berger told Politico. The Legislature passed a similar law in 2004, and it has been illegal for most types of therapists to abuse their patients. However, the law was never updated to include the new types of therapy licenses—like a licensed mental health counselor, for instance—that weren’t included in the original bill.

The measure pushed by Assemblymember Berger—titled Gittel’s Law—is named in honor of a woman who survived abuse at the hands of a mental health counselor whose license was not part of the 2004 law. “When you have something that is common sense, it’s worth fighting for,” Zvi Gluck said.

The bill has 83 co-sponsors in the assembly and is also being sponsored by State Senator Nathalia Fernandez. (Bills need a sponsor in the other legislature body to pass.) The bill passed earlier this month and is up to the Governor to sign.

“Thanks to countless hours working with Amudim, its incredible leader Rabbi Zvi Gluck, and other community organizations, Gittel’s Law passed the state Legislature. I urge the governor to sign this bill into law to ensure justice for those exploited by mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists,” Assemblymember Berger told after the bill passed.

Zvi Gluck thanked Sam Berger “for taking this matter so seriously from the moment we brought this to your attention. Less than 6 weeks! You are a true public servant. I’m personally proud to have you as my representative in Albany.”

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