New York City Department of Education Agrees to Settle Pre-Complaint By Adding New Accessible School Entrance and Implementing New Tools for Educating Staff on School Building Accessibility
School staff at a Brooklyn public school allegedly denied a minor from entering through the school’s accessible entrance during a summer school program. The minor lives with a disability and uses crutches for mobility. Following the alleged incident, the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) created a new accessible entrance for visitors to use, and DOE agreed to create new procedures around allowing access through this entrance. DOE will hold meetings with school staff on operating the accessible entrance. The entrance will now have a doorbell, camera, as well as internal and external signage marking the door as accessible for all abilities. DOE also agreed to create a working group to develop a training by the following school year on school building accessibility throughout New York City, and it will develop a one-page document describing expectations for DOE staff who respond when needed at accessible entrances, including the required process and etiquette. This document will be distributed to DOE directors of School Food, Facilities, and School Safety, and the staff of those offices.
Real Estate Investment Company Settles Disability Discrimination Case, Paying $30,000 in Emotional Distress Damages and Civil Penalties
Complainant filed a Complaint alleging that his employer, U.S. Realty Management Co., LLC, stripped him of various responsibilities after he disclosed that he had been diagnosed with cancer. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau investigated and found Complainant’s allegations as to the timing and reason for the demotion to be credible. Rather than facing continued investigation and prosecution, Respondent agreed to resolve the matter. The Complainant, Respondent, and the Commission entered into a conciliation agreement requiring the Respondent to pay $25,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant, $5,000 in civil penalties, and to conduct anti-discrimination training for staff, create a policy reflecting compliance with the New York City Human Rights Law, and post the Commission's “Notice of Rights” poster.
Large Employer Settles Disability Discrimination Case, Paying $55,000 in Emotional Distress and Back Pay Damages
Complainant, represented by Legal Aid Society, filed a complaint alleging that her employer, Heartshare Human Services of New York, a non-profit that provides educational and recreational services to adults and children with disabilities, failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau conducted an investigation and found that Respondent provided Complainant with a reasonable accommodation for her disability in the form of a flexible work schedule for several years before a newly hired manager revoked the accommodation. The Law Enforcement Bureau issued a finding of probable cause and referred the case to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings for prosecution. The Complainant, Respondent, and the Commission entered into a conciliation agreement requiring the Respondent to pay $36,666.67 in emotional distress damages and $18,333.33 in back pay damages to Complainant, to conduct anti-discrimination training for staff, to modify their anti-discrimination policy to place an affirmative duty on Respondents to initiate a cooperative dialogue in accordance with the requirements of the New York City Human Rights Law, to submit to monitoring for four years, and to post the Commission’s “Protections for People with Disabilities” brochure. Because Respondent was a non-profit entity with limited resources and had properly accommodated Complainant for the majority of her employment, the Law Enforcement Bureau did not assess a civil penalty.
Stop & Shop Pays $65,000 in Damages and Penalties for Terminating Employee after Receiving Complaints Related to Complainant’s Hiring; Agrees to Adopt Fair Chance Act Policies State Wide and to Train All Employees in New York City on NYCHRL
Stop & Shop hired Complainant as a night time clerk where he was mainly responsible for stocking shelves. After starting his employment, a member of the community mailed an article to Stop & Shop disclosing that Complainant had been convicted of a charge related to the possession of child pornography, and Stop & Shop terminated Complainant. Respondent refused to disclose to Complainant the reason for his termination, but Complainant, with counsel from the Community Service Society of New York, filed a pre-Fair Chance Act Complaint based on the belief that Complainant’s conviction played a role. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (“LEB”) conducted an investigation and determined that Complainant was indeed terminated due to his criminal history. To resolve the case, Stop & Shop agreed to pay Complainant $28,000 in emotional distress, full backpay of $10,000, a $25,000 Civil Penalty, and attorney’s fees. Stop & Shop also agreed to follow the Fair Chance Act for all employees in New York State, to train all employees in New York State with job duties related to hiring on the Fair Chance Act, and to train all employees in New York City on the NYCHRL.
Agreement Reached with Salvation Army to House Transgender Patients in Accordance with Gender Identity
Through a Commission-initiated investigation, the Law Enforcement Bureau found evidence that Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers blatantly discriminated against transgender applicants. Respondent’s personnel told Commission testers that transgender people seeking shelter and help with alcohol abuse would be turned away entirely. On another occasion, staff told testers that if Respondent accepted a transgender woman she would be housed based on her genitalia, rather than being able to share facilities with other women. The Commission and Respondent entered into a conciliation agreement whereby Respondent agreed to implement policies that clearly prohibit gender-based discrimination and harassment, including by permitting transgender people to participate in all aspects of their services in a manner consistent with their gender identity, including gender-specific programs and facilities, conduct ongoing training, and submit to monitoring by the Commission.
Acacia Housing Network Inc. & New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) Settle Gender Discrimination Claim by Former Shelter Resident for $65,000 Damages and Penalties
Complainant alleged that DHS and Acacia network discriminated against him because of his gender. Complainant sought shelter in 2015 and was placed in a hotel operated by Acacia. He is not visibly transgender and was correctly recognized as a man by staff and the other men in the shelter. When he disclosed in confidence to a caseworker that he was transgender the worker called him a liability, told him he couldn’t stay there, and immediately transferred him to a less desirable more institutional setting. Later, in a different shelter, DHS Peace Officers picked Complainant up on a warrant. The officers could not have located him in DHS systems had they not known his present name and that he is a man. Even so, throughout the several hours process of bringing him to court they referred to him by his former name (which is culturally female) and as a woman. When they arrived in court, the officers handcuffed Complainant to a chair but allowed the other men to move freely in a holding cell while they waited to appear. LEB investigated and found probable cause to credit Complainant’s allegations of gender discrimination. Respondents agreed to pay Complainant $55,000 in compensatory damages to Complainant, $10,000 in civil penalties. Respondents also agreed to implement extensive affirmative relief tailored to prevent discrimination against transgender shelter residents including: updates to the DHS Peace Officer guide, training and Acacia agreed to designate a qualified housing specialist to help LGBTQI (and other) clients find long term housing. See: NewNowNext Article
Sharon Dorram and Sally Hershberger NYC Salons Pay $70,000 in Civil Penalties for Cases of Race Discrimination Based on Hair and Commit to Creating Anti-Discrimination Policies and Diversity Programs and to Perform Community Service and Undergo Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Training
Two former employees filed complaints against a salon owned by Sharon Dorram and Sally Hershberger, alleging that the salon’s grooming policy unlawfully targeted Black employees with natural hair and/or hairstyles associated with Black people. Following the Law Enforcement Bureau’s investigation, the Commission and Respondents entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Respondents to pay a civil penalty of $70,000 to the City of New York; cease unlawful enforcement of their grooming policy; create a policy detailing their obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law; conduct anti-discrimination training and training on obligations under the NYCHRL; distribute the Commission’s Legal Enforcement Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair; create a “Natural Hair Program” through which Respondents’ New York City salons will work with New York City based hairstyling schools to provide training to Respondents’ New York City employees on how to cut and style natural hair; create a “Multi-Cultural Internship Program” aimed at developing and mentoring student stylists from underrepresented groups, including people of color, and commit to increase the number of employees from these groups at Respondents’ New York City salons; perform community service with a racial justice organization that focuses on hair discrimination in Black communities and/or promoting Black beauty; post copies of the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Pregnancy notice, Stop Sexual Harassment Act Notice; and distribute the Stop Sexual Harassment Act Factsheet. See: Press Release | New York Times Article
Owner, Broker, and Real Estate Agent Settle for Refusing Rental to Tenant with Young Children
Complainant filed a complaint alleging that Respondents, Fabio Realty, Joesph Fabio, Won Lee and Alice Bosi, denied him an apartment because his children were under the age of fourteen. After an Law Enforcement investigation, the other Respondents, the broker and owner of the building, were found liable for the agent’s denial. Complainant and Respondents entered into a conciliation agreement requiring the broker to pay $6,000 in emotional distress and lost housing opportunity damages to Complainant. The owner agreed to pay $7,500 in civil penalties, and the real estate agent, who no longer works in the industry, agreed to complete community service. The broker and owner also agreed to attend an anti-discrimination training.
Fragrance Company Le Labo Settles Former Temporary Worker's Race Discrimination Case by Paying $27,691 in Damages and Penalties and Training Managers
A woman of color of Jamaican descent, employed as a temporary warehouse worker at Le Labo Holdings, LLC, alleged that her white supervisor spoke to her in a “Southern Mammy” voice on one occasion and, after Complainant objected, got the temporary staffing company to replace Complainant with another temp. Following the Law Enforcement Bureau’s investigation, Complainant, Respondents, and the Commission entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Respondents to pay the Complainant a full back pay award of $2,691 plus $17,500 in emotional distress damages; pay $7,500 in civil penalties; train managers on the New York City Human Rights Law; and post the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, and Pregnancy in Employment posters at its locations.
Abeco Management, LLC, Pays $20,000 Civil Penalty for Refusal To Rent to Voucher-Holders
In a Commission-initiated investigation, staff from Respondent Abeco Management, LLC, a management company overseeing approximately 40 buildings, told a Commission tester that Abeco does not accept tenants with government-issued housing vouchers. The Commission filed a complaint alleging source of income discrimination, and entered into a conciliation agreement with Respondent requiring the payment of $20,000 in civil penalties, the Commission’s “Fair Housing, It’s the Law” notice to be provided to all tenants, anti-discrimination training for all staff including the distribution of the Commission’s “Best Practices for Housing Providers to Avoid Source of Income Discrimination” document, and the creation and distribution of an anti-discrimination policy.
Small Landlord Settles Case Alleging Discrimination Based on Tenant’s Immigration Status
A tenant filed a complaint against his landlord alleging discrimination based on his perceived immigration status because his landlord repeatedly threatened to report him to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Complainant rents a basement apartment in Respondent’s only building. The conciliation agreement included Respondent waiving $9,000 owed in back rent, the return of Complainant’s $1,000 security deposit upon Complainant vacating the apartment at the end of his lease, Respondent paying $1,000 in civil penalties, and Respondent attending an anti-discrimination training.
Security Company Pays Damages for Requesting Proof for Service Dog at Whole Foods
Complainant filed a complaint alleging that an employee of Respondent, Elite Investigations which provides security services at Whole Foods, requested proof that his dog was a service animal during a visit to Whole Foods. The security officer did not deny Complainant service. Respondents cooperated fully with the Commission’s investigation. The Commission reviewed the security company and Whole Foods’s policies and training procedures on service animals. Complainant and Respondent entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Respondent Elite Investigations to pay $2,500 in emotional distress damages to Complainant.
Queens Co-op Resolves Pre-Complaint Matter By Accommodating Shareholder with Disabilities, Implement Accommodations Policy, and Train Property Manager
A Walden Terrace, Inc. shareholder who has a disability and uses a wheelchair alleged that his co-op board and property manager failed to accommodate his disability. The co-op board agreed to build a ramp or lift to accommodate the shareholder’s wheelchair at the front entrance of the building. The board also agreed to implement an accommodations policy at the building and to have its property manager attend the Commission’s anti-discrimination training.
Broker Pays Voucher Holder $3,000 in Damages for Effectively Denying Housing By Requiring Onerous Fees and Other Requirements for Voucher Holders Not Imposed on Other Prospective Tenants
A prospective tenant attempting to use her Section 8 voucher to find an apartment was told by a small broker in Brooklyn that she had to pay an up-front fee if she wanted to initiate a rental process with a voucher. The broker also had separate lists of available apartments for prospective tenants with vouchers, and had other discriminatory fees and requirements in his application materials that disproportionately impacted voucher holders. The Commission settled the complaint between the parties and secured a $3,000 emotional distress award for the Complainant. The Commission completed a separate intervention for the Complainant and helped her secure housing and retain her voucher, as it would have expired if the Commission had not intervened.
WellLife Network, Inc. Settles Disability Discrimination Claim, Agrees To Pay $45,000 in Damages and Penalties, and Agrees to Training, Policy Revisions, and Legal Postings
WellLife Network, Inc. (“WellLife”) agreed to settle a disability discrimination claim brought by Complainant, a shift supervisor at one of its assisted living facilities, alleging that WellLife did not accommodate her disability, which resulted in Complainant’s termination. After its investigation, the Commission found probable cause to credit Complainant’s allegations. The Law Enforcement Bureau, Complainant, and WellLife agreed to conciliate the matter. WellLife agreed to pay Complainant $30,000 in emotional distress damages and pay the City of New York $15,000 in civil penalties. In addition, WellLife agreed to conduct trainings on the New York City Human Rights Law, revise its anti-discrimination policies, and post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and the Commission’s Pregnancy Employment Notice.
AlliedBarton Security Services LLC Settles Disability Discrimination Claim Filed by Security Guard Applicant; Pays Over $28,000 in Damages, Backpay, and Penalties
Complainant, who has a disability, applied for two security guard positions with Respondent AlliedBarton Security Services LLC (“AlliedBarton”). Complainant alleged that he was not chosen for those positions because of his disability, based on alleged discriminatory comments about his disability made by AlliedBarton employees during the interview process. After an investigation, the Commission, Complainant, and Respondents agreed to conciliate the matter. AlliedBarton agreed to pay Complainant $15,000 in emotional distress damages and $3,744 in backpay, pay $10,000 in civil penalties to the City of New York, revise and post its anti-discrimination policies, and conduct training for all recruiting managers and staffing specialists in New York City.
Eger Health Care and Rehabilitation Center Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Claim by Former Employee; Pays $45,000 in Damages and Penalties, and Other Affirmative Relief
Complainant, a certified nursing assistant formerly employed by Eger Health Care and Rehabilitation Center (“Eger”), filed a complaint against her former employer and four of its employees for failure to reasonably accommodate her pregnancy. After an investigation, the Commission issued a probable cause determination, finding that her supervisors failed to accommodate Complainant’s scheduling requests necessitated by her pregnancy and disciplined her for lateness caused by her morning sickness. Eger agreed to pay $30,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant and $15,000 in civil penalties; conduct training for their management staff regarding their obligations to provide reasonable accommodations under the New York City Human Rights Law, institute policies compliant with the New York City Human Rights Law subject to Commission approval, and post the Commission’s Pregnancy Employment Notice.
Orva Online Shoes LLC Settles Pregnancy Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Claims
A former employee filed pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment claims against Orva Shoes, LLC, a retail store. She alleged that a store manager made sexually inappropriate comments and initiated a lewd conversation with her on several occasions. Upon Complainant’s request, the company transferred her to a different location. At the new location, Complainant alleged that as an accommodation for her pregnancy, she requested to change her position to a cashier or to transfer her to a different department where she would not have to use the stairs or stand as often. The new manager refused and placed Complainant on unpaid leave for more than four months, earlier than she anticipated to be on leave. Respondent settled the claims for $6,800 in backpay, $20,000 in emotional distress damages, and $12,000 in civil penalties paid to the City of New York. Respondent also agreed to update its employment manual to be in compliance with the New York City Human Rights Law; train all supervisory and managerial employees on the New York City Human Rights Law, post the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Pregnancy Employment Notice, and Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act Legal Notice at all of their business locations and on its website; and require that the Law Enforcement Bureau monitor all incidents of alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and all requests for reasonable accommodations made by employees for the next two years.
Landlord Pays Over $24,000 in Damages and Civil Penalties for Refusing To Accept a Tenant’s Section 8 Voucher
Respondents, who own a total of three buildings with 15 units, refused to accept Complainant’s Section 8 Voucher, ported from another jurisdiction to be used towards her rent in New York City. As a result, Complainant lost her voucher and had to seek alternative housing options. The Commission worked with Complainant’s out-of-state case worker to reinstate her voucher so she was able to re-port it to New York City. In addition to her voucher restoration, the Commission, Complainant, and Respondent entered in to a conciliation agreement requiring Respondents to pay over $20,000 to Complainant in economic and emotional distress damages, including the moving costs Complainant incurred because of the denial. Respondent paid $4,000 in civil penalties, agreed to train all employees with job duties related to reviewing and accepting prospective tenants, and to post the Commission’s Fair Housing poster in all their buildings in New York City.
NYC Department of Education Pays $18,500 to Teacher After Vice-Principal Shows Transphobic Meme
A teacher filed a complaint against the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) alleging that a middle school vice-principal approached a group of teachers grading papers and showed them a highly transphobic meme advocating violence against transgender people and disparaged people with disabilities. The Law Enforcement Bureau conducted an investigation and found evidence that this had created a hostile work environment for Complainant. The teacher and the DOE entered into a conciliation agreement in which the DOE agreed to pay $18,500 to Complainant for her emotional distress; post a Notice of Rights; and train the school’s entire staff on the New York City Human Rights Law, with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer rights, and specifically addressing why the meme which led to the filing of the case was offensive and transphobic.
GNC Pays $35,000 Civil Penalty, Revises Policies, and Conducts Anti-Discrimination Training for All Employees in New York City to Resolve Case Brought by Commission for Illegal Application
Commission testing revealed that GNC’s online employment application still contained a question about criminal history five months after the passage of the Fair Chance Act. The Commission brought suit and GNC quickly modified the application to remove the unlawful question. During the investigation, GNC demonstrated that they did not perform criminal background checks on any applicants and that no applicants were denied employment due to criminal history. To resolve the case, GNC agreed to pay a $35,000 civil penalty, revise its policies to conform with the NYCHRL, provide anti-discrimination training to every employee in New York City, and to post the Commission’s Notice of Rights Poster in every New York City location.
NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens Pays $27,000 in Damages to Resolve Pre-Fair Chance Act Complaint, Along with Affirmative Relief
Respondent asked Complainant whether he had ever been convicted of a crime during the application process at a hospital. Complainant truthfully answered “no.” After extending an offer of employment, Respondent conducted a criminal background check, which revealed a conviction for a violation. The person reviewing Complainant’s criminal history was not aware that a violation does not constitute a “crime” as defined by relevant law, and therefore interpreted Complainant’s answer that he had never been convicted of a crime to be a misrepresentation. Respondent rescinded Complainant’s job offer based on that perceived misrepresentation. After Complainant filed a Complaint, Respondent realized the mistake and hired Complainant. Because Respondent still faced liability under controlling law holding that a decision based on a mistake regarding a criminal history is still a decision based on criminal history for purposes of the NYCHRL, Respondent agreed to resolve the case for $13,652 in emotional distress and full backpay of $13,348. Respondent also agreed to update its Fair Chance Act Policies, to train employees with job duties related to hiring on the Fair Chance Act, and to post a Notice of Rights.
Non-profit Pays $47,500 in Damages for Terminating Employee Due to Criminal History
A former employee filed a pre-Fair Chance Act Complaint alleging that she was terminated four days into her employment with a not for profit property management company after Respondent learned that Complainant had been convicted of petit larceny in her early twenties. Complainant was unemployed for approximately three and a half months before finding a new job. Respondent alleged that Complainant was terminated for reasons unrelated to her criminal history and that they hired another individual with a petit larceny conviction to replace Complainant after terminating her. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (“LEB”) conducted an investigation and determined that while some of Respondent’s allegations were true, Complainant’s criminal history was at least a motivating factor in her termination. LEB issued a finding of probable cause and referred the case to OATH. After discovery, the parties resolved the matter. Respondent agreed to submit its Fair Chance Act Policies for review, train all employees on the NYCHRL; post a “Notice of Rights” at its office; and pay the Complainant $37,500 in emotional distress damages and $10,000 in back pay. The Commission did not seek a Civil Penalty because the company had a demonstrated commitment to hiring individuals with criminal histories and had limited financial resources.
Home Depot Undergoes Training, Revises Its Anti-Discrimination Policy, Makes Written Apology, and Pays $3,000 in Emotional Distress Damages to Complainant in Race Discrimination Case
A customer, who is Black, filed a complaint against Home Depot alleging that when she attempted to make a purchase at the retailer’s Bronx store, a cashier became upset and used racist language. The Commission, Complainant, and Respondent entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Respondent to pay $3,000 to Complainant for emotional distress damages; train its staff on their obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law; and make a written apology to the Complainant. Over the course of the investigation, Respondent also revised and updated its anti-discrimination policies.
Morton Williams Supermarkets Pays $22,500 in Damages in Sexual Harassment Case and Commits To Creating Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies and Training
A former employee filed a complaint against Morton Williams Supermarkets and a Morton Williams manager alleging that she was subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Following the Law Enforcement Bureau’s investigation, the Commission and the parties entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Morton Williams to pay $12,500 in emotional distress damages to the Complainant, pay a civil penalty of $10,000 to the City of New York, conduct in-person anti-discrimination training for all managerial employees, create a policy detailing its obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law, which must include policies and procedures for the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, and post copies of the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Stop Sexual Harassment Act Notice, and Pregnancy Employment Notice at all of its locations in New York City.
Taylor Recycling Center and Its Successor Company Vee Recycling Inc. Pays $60,000 in Emotional Distress Damages and $50,000 in Civil Penalties To Settle Sexual Harassment Claim; Individually-Named Owner Must Perform 50 Hours of Community Service
A former employee filed a sexual harassment claim against her employer, Taylor Recycling Center, Inc. (“Taylor Recycling”), a recycling company, alleging egregious claims of sexual harassment by the owner that escalated from harassing comments to forcible physical touching. Taylor Recycling has ceased operations. The settlement was reached with Taylor Recycling and its successor company, Vee Recycling Inc. (“Vee”) to pay $60,000 in emotional distress damages to the complainant, $50,000 in civil penalties to the City of New York, to create and implement a written policy detailing its obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law, implement procedures for the prevention and detection of unlawful discriminatory practices and a meaningful and responsive procedure for investigating complaints, and display postings outlining its obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law, including the Stop Sexual Harassment Act Notice in English and Spanish. In addition, the individually named Respondent-owner must perform fifty (50) hours of community service working with organizations that provide services to the homeless population.
Gansevoort Hotel Agrees To Pay a Black Customer Who Alleged Race Discrimination $10,000 in Damages and $5,000 in Civil Penalties to the City of New York
A Black customer filed a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights because they were denied entry to a hotel bar, despite their white friends been previously allowed in. Complainant alleged race discrimination. Following an investigation by the agency, the hotel agreed to pay $10,000 to the customer, $5,000 in civil penalties to the City of New York, and conduct anti-discrimination training for all staff.
NYC Administration for Children’s Services Settles Pregnancy Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Claims by Former Employee, Pays $23,000 in Damages, and Agrees to Monitoring of Sexual Harassment Complaints
Complainant, a former special officer at a secure facility administered by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”), filed a complaint alleging that she endured sexual harassment by a supervisor while on the job, that he tried to terminate her employment when she became pregnant, and that ACS failed to properly accommodate her pregnancy. The Law Enforcement Bureau conducted an investigation and found evidence that a former supervisor may have sexually harassed complainant and attempted to terminate her employment because of her pregnancy. The Commission, Complainant, and Respondents entered into a settlement agreement whereby ACS agreed to pay Complainant $23,000 in emotional distress damages, as well as the following affirmative relief at the relevant facility: the Law Enforcement Bureau will monitor internal complaints of sexual harassment for one (1) year; the managers and directors of the facility will take the Commission’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Training; ACS will distribute the Commission’s Stop Sexual Harassment materials to the facility’s employees; and ACS will post the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Pregnancy Accommodations at Work, and “It’s Not Just a Joke, It’s Sexual Harassment” posters throughout the facility.
Tomba Realty, a Bronx Landlord Pays Tenant Emotional Distress Damages and Institutes Lifetime Preferential Rent for Threatening Eviction for Emotional Support Animal
Tomba Realty, a Bronx landlord, has agreed to compensate a complainant living with disabilities after it threatened to raise his rent and evict him because he has an emotional support animal. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau reviewed communications that Tomba Realty had sent to the complainant and determined that they were in clear violation of the New York City Human Rights Law, which requires landlords to reasonably accommodate emotional support and service animals even if there is a “no pets” clause in the lease. Tomba and the complainant entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Tomba to pay the complainant $6,000; make complainant’s nearly $500 preferential rent credit permanent; pay a civil penalty of $2,500 to the City of New York; allow the Commission to monitor its evictions for one (1) year; put up Notice of Rights posters; and require that the building’s property manager attend a training on the New York City Human Rights Law.
The Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation Settles a Fair Chance Act Claim, Paying $6,000 in Damages and Agreeing to Change its Anti-Discrimination Policies and Train its Employees on the NYCHRL
The Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, a non-profit, settles a case alleging violations of the Fair Chance Act. The employer paid the Complainant $6,000 in damages, agreed to conduct anti-discrimination trainings for all employees annually, make extensive revisions to its anti-discrimination policies and Employee Handbook, and display postings notifying employees of their rights under the NYCHRL.
Mitchell Lama co-op, Third Housing, Electchester Development in Fresh Meadows, Queens Pays $30,000 in Damages and Penalties to Settle Disability Discrimination and Associational Discrimination Claims; Agrees to Drop Eviction Case, Create NYCHRL Policies, and Undergo Monitoring
An owner of a unit in a cooperative apartment building removed carpeting throughout the unit because it exacerbated her child’s allergies, placing the family in violation of the rules of the housing cooperative, Third Housing Inc. Corporation. After the co-op initiated an eviction case against the family, Complainant filed a disability discrimination and associational discrimination complaint on behalf of herself and her child alleging that the co-op failed to reasonably accommodate the child’s health condition. To settle the claim, the parties entered into a conciliation agreement requiring that the co-op waive the carpeting rule upon Complainant’s installation of alternate soundproof flooring. Additionally, the co-op will discontinue the housing court case with prejudice and adjust the family’s maintenance balance to remove approximately $10,000 in related legal fees; develop policies and train board members and staff regarding obligations under the NYCHRL; make postings of the Commission’s “Fair Housing” poster; undergo two (2) years of monitoring; and pay $20,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainants and civil penalties of $10,000 to the City of New York.
99 Flavor Taste Restaurant to Install Accessible Barbecue Tables at Three Locations
Complainant, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, alleged that Respondent restaurant failed to accommodate her by not providing her seating that allowed her to enjoy cooking Korean barbecue with her son for his birthday. She was forced instead to sit far from the center of the table and blocked the passageway between tables, which was humiliating for her. As a settlement in the matter, Respondent agreed to install—at a significant cost—new customized Korean barbecue tables at all three of its restaurants that will permit those using wheelchairs to participate in the table barbecue cooking like all other patrons. Moreover, Respondent paid Complainant $4,500 in emotional distress damages, will train all employees on reasonable accommodations under the New York City Human Rights Law, and will post notices of patrons’ rights under the New York City Human Rights Law.
One of Nation’s Largest Tenant Application Processors Offers Option of Using an Independent Taxpayer Identification Numbers in Lieu of Social Security Number and Landlord, Rose Associates, Who Insisted on an Additional Security Deposit, Agrees to Two Months Free Rent
Complainant, an immigrant, alleged that Respondent, Rose Associates, a major NYC landlord, discriminated against her based on her immigration status in requiring her to obtain additional security for her apartment because her social security number “was too new.” In settling the case, Respondent agreed to provide Complainant two months of free rent (a $5,400 value), reimburse her $2,500 for fees incurred as a result of the security requirement, and require one of the nation’s largest tenant application processors to offer prospective tenants the option of using an independent taxpayer identification number (ITIN) in lieu of a social security number. It has also trained its employees on the requirements for landlords under the New York City Human Rights Law.
Adorable Pillows Pays Full Back Pay, Emotional Distress Damages, Civil Penalties, Two Years of Monitoring, Training and Postings To Settle a Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Complainant was pregnant when she worked at a Brooklyn pillow factory and alleged that after suffering a seconds-long dizzy spell due to her pregnancy, Respondents terminated her employment instead of allowing her to continue working. In settling the case, Respondents agreed to pay Complainant her full back pay of about $8,300; emotional distress damages of $7,500; and civil penalties of $7,500 to the City of New York. Respondents also agreed to training; posting notices to employees in English and Spanish of their rights under the New York City Human Rights Law; revising its anti-discrimination and reasonable accommodation policies; and two years of monitoring by the Law Enforcement Bureau of their handling of requests for reasonable accommodations.
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Settles a Pregnancy Discrimination Case, Paying $28,750 in Back Pay and Emotional Distress Damages
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs settled a pregnancy, gender-based discrimination failure to accommodate claim. The allegations were that the employer failed to accommodate requests made related to her pregnancy, failed to engage in a cooperative dialogue and eventually terminated her employment because of pregnancy related absences. As part of the conciliation agreement, the employer paid $28,750 in back pay and emotional distress damages, agreed to attend anti-discrimination training, submit records of all requests for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy and/or disability to the Commission for a period of twelve months, and post a Notice of Rights about pregnancy accommodations, sexual harassment, and other requirements under the NYCHRL.