In addition to the laws that are enacted and are applicable throughout the State of New York, the City of New York has been very progressive enacting several expansive anti-discrimination laws. In many respects, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) are very similar in structure, legislative intent and application. Laws enforced under the NYSHRL may be adjudicated administratively at the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR). The NYSHRL may also be enforced by filing a lawsuit in federal or state court. Laws enforced under the NYCHRL may be adjudicated administratively at the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR). The NYCHRL may also be enforced by filing a lawsuit in federal or state court.
The NYCHRL prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, etc. The NYCHRL also prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of arrest or conviction record. The NYCHRL prohibits retaliation. Recently, through the New York City Local Civil Rights Restoration Act of 2005, the NYCHRL was enacted to further enhanced and broadened protections relative to both the federal laws and the NYSHRL counterparts.
In Gina Williams v. New York City Housing Authority, et al., 61 AD3d 62 January 27, 2009. The Court held that, the Restoration Act notified courts that (a) they had to be aware that some provisions of the NYCHRL were textually distinct from its state and federal counterparts, (b) all provisions of the NYCHRL required independent construction to accomplish the law’s uniquely broad purposes, [and (c) cases that had failed to respect these differences were being legislatively overruled. In short, the text and legislative history represent a desire that the NYCHRL “meld the broadest vision of social justice with the strongest law enforcement deterrent.” The Court then affirmed the lower Court’s dismissal because the Pro See plaintiff did not raise the misapplication of the law during her appeal.
In Howard Hoffman v. Parade Publishing, et al., 2010 NY Slip Op 05706 decided July 1, 2010, the court held that the protections of the NYCHRL would be available to an employee that resides in the City of New York, even if the employer is located outside of the City of New York if, its’ decision had an “impact” within the City of New York.
In Daniel M. Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc. et al., the court held that the NYCHRL applied to prohibited discrimination against transgendered individuals.
To file a discrimination complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, please call 311 if you are located within the City of New York or 212-306-7450
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