The NYC Commission on Human Rights protects individuals from discrimination in the area of public accommodations. Anyone who provides goods and services to the general public is considered a public accommodation.
It is against the City Human Rights Law for a public accommodation to withhold or refuse to provide full and equal enjoyment of those goods or services based on the following protected classes under the Law:
- Alienage or Citizenship Status
- Gender Identity
- Marital or Partnership Status
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
- Status as a Veteran or Active Military Service Member
Examples of Public Accommodations:
- Medical or dental offices
- Government agencies
- Hair salons
Access to Public Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
- Many people with disabilities may need a reasonable accommodation to safely and independently enter or use a public accommodation.
- The City Human Rights Law requires that providers make reasonable efforts to grant access and services to all customers.
- Reasonable accommodation may require a structural change, such as constructing a ramp or providing accessible parking spaces, or it may require a change in policy, such as permitting service animals to accompany a disabled person into a restaurant.
- If a taxi driver refuses to pick you up or discriminates against you based on any of the protected classes under the Human Rights Law, you may file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and the Taxi and Limousine Commission by calling 311 or (718) 722-3131.
- Note the cab’s medallion number, the driver’s name, license number, the date, location, and time. Also, ask for a receipt since it could support your complaint.
- It is against the Law to be denied access to a store or refused services based on your membership in a protected class under the Law.
- A store may reserve the right to inspect your bags, check your bags at the door, or closely observe your conduct in the store in an effort to prevent shoplifting; however, such actions may not be based on a protected class, e.g. race.