Under Federal, State and some local laws, it is illegal to discriminate against an individual for their:
• Skin color, or related facial features
• Country of origin
• Religious beliefs
• Political alignment
• Arrest and conviction record
What constitutes discrimination?
An act constitutes discrimination if you are subjected to treatment that is different from that way others are treated. The differentiation must be in a negative or adverse manner to be considered discrimination; if, due to your race, religion, or status, you are subjected to extra special service, or some other positive act, although you may have been treated differently, the act does not constitute discrimination. Examples of discrimination include:
• Being refused service at a restaurant due to your skin color
• Not being hired for a job due because of your religious beliefs
• Other employees are promoted over you, despite your being more qualified due to your race
• Being refused entrance into an establishment due to your country of origin
• Having to resign from your employment, due to unwarranted sexual gestures and advances towards you
• Being fired from your job after your employer learns that you have different political views
• Being fired from your job due to your sexual orientation
• Not receiving service from an employee or business with anti-war views, upon their learning of your status as a veteran
• Being turned down for a job, despite being qualified, due to your marital status
• Not being allowed to enter a church after being charged with a crime
What do I need to file a discrimination complaint?
If you plan on filing a discrimination complaint, it is imperative that you document as much as possible. For example, if you have been discriminated against while applying for a job, prepare all the documents relevant to your job application process. If you were treated unfairly at a business establishment, keep receipts or other relevant material. If you are able to take photographs or video, related to the act of discrimination against you, due so. Write down the names of the offender as well as witnesses including the surrounding circumstances.
How do I file a discrimination complaint?
Before filing your complaint, you may want to consult with an attorney. When considering legal advice, it would serve you well to consult with an attorney that handles discrimination cases. The attorney will consider your claims then suggest ways to meet your legal needs.
Complaints about discrimination covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may be filed with the federal government. To file a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, please contact the EEOC online. In New York, you may file in person at 33 Whitehall Street, 5th Floor New York, N.Y. 10004.
Complaints about discrimination covered under New York State Executive Law 296, may be filed with the state government. To file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, please contact the NYSDHR online. You may file in person but, see the website for further information as the filing locations vary depending on the type of discrimination and the location.
Complaints about discrimination covered under New York City Administrative Code 8-107, may be filed with the City of New York. To file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, please contact the CHR online. You may file in person but, see the website for further information.