2020 Settlement Highlights

The Commission has the authority to assess fines and obtain monetary damages for those aggrieved by violations of the NYC Human Rights Law. Additionally, the Commission may negotiate additional remedies including rehiring, policy change, training, and modifications for accessibility.

February 2020

Securitas Security Services Settles Disability Discrimination Case for $15,000 in Damages and Penalties and Agrees to Training, Policy Revisions and Legal Postings
Complainant filed a disability discrimination complaint against Securitas Security Services alleging that Respondents failed to accommodate her disability, constructively terminated her employment, and retaliated against her based on her disability. Respondents agreed to pay $3,600 in backpay, $6,400 in emotional distress damages, $5,000 as a civil penalty and to conduct anti-discrimination training, create a reasonable accommodation policy that places an obligation on Respondents to initiate a cooperative dialogue in accordance with the requirements of the New York City Human Rights Law, submit to monitoring for one year, and post the Commission’s notice of rights in their branch office.

InDinero, Inc. Agrees to Pay $65,000 in Damages, Penalties, and Attorney’s Fees After Job Applicant was Denied a Position Because of His Criminal History
A prospective employee filed a complaint against InDinero, Inc., an accounting software and services company, alleging that Respondent had offered him a job, then suddenly withdrew the offer based on his criminal history. The employer had failed to properly apply the Article 23-A analysis pursuant to the Fair Chance Act. InDinero, Inc. agreed to pay $11,666.67 in back pay, $18,333.33 in attorney’s fees, $25,000 in emotional distress damages, and $10,000 in civil penalties, and to revise their hiring policies and practices.

Cosmopolitan Club Agrees to Gender-Neutral Admissions and Dress Policies
After receiving credible information that The Cosmopolitan Club (the “Club”), a members-only, full-service club on the Upper East Side had different admissions and dress policies for men and women, the Commission sent a document demand seeking more information. The Club signed a stipulation and order agreeing to create a new anti-discrimination policy that set the same standards for all genders. The Club will also post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and a member of its management will attend training on the New York City Human Rights Law at the Commission.

Colonial Road Associates LLC and Rosario Parlanti Agrees to Pay $10,000 in Civil Penalties and to Set Aside Units for Voucher Holders
In a Commission-initiated case, Respondents, who are landlords, were found to have refused a Section 8 voucher holder in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law. The Commission and Respondents reached a settlement agreement that required them to pay $10,000 in civil penalties; make changes to ensure their policies were compliant with the source of income provisions of the Law; attend training; send notices about the Law to Respondents’ agents; and post notices of rights in the buildings they own throughout New York City. The Respondents also agreed to place two voucher holders in immediate need of housing in “set aside” units as part of the agreement.

New York City Management, LLC and Besen & Associates Pay $40,000 in Damages for Refusing Section 8 Voucher Holder, Changes Policies and Agrees to Training
A prospective tenant who received rental assistance through Section 8 filed a complaint alleging that a broker would not allow her to apply for an apartment because of her rental voucher. At the time, Complainant was a homeless mother. Respondents cooperated fully with the Commission’s investigation. Complainant and Respondents entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Respondents to pay $25,000 in emotional distress and lost housing opportunity damages to Complainant and $15,000 in civil penalties to the general fund of the City of New York. Respondents also updated their policies on source of income discrimination and agreed to attend an anti-discrimination training.

Design House and Luxury Retailer Prada USA Corp. Agrees to Groundbreaking Settlement and Commits to Restorative Justice Measures Including Creating a Scholarship Program, Hiring a Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Undergoing Racial Equity and Training, and Increasing Staff Diversity
In December 2018, the Commission's Law Enforcement Bureau issued a cease and desist letter and launched an investigation into Prada’s display and sale of its “Pradamalia” merchandise. The monkey figurine from the collection evoked images of Sambo, a caricature that, over generations, has been used to mock and dehumanize Black people. A Complainant also filed a complaint against Prada in January 2019. Following the Law Enforcement Bureau’s investigation, the Commission, Complainant, and Prada entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Prada to ensure that its New York City employees and certain Milan-based executives receive racial equity training and training on the New York City Human Rights Law; develop a scholarship program for people historically underrepresented in fashion; appoint a senior, director-level diversity and inclusion officer who will review Prada’s advertising and products sold in the United States, as well as review and monitor Prada’s anti-discrimination policies; maintain Prada’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, launched by Prada in February of 2019, with a minimum of three to five members for a period of at least six years, with regular reporting by Prada on the council’s progress to the Commission; and commit to increasing the diversity of its staff; and submit to two years of monitoring by the Commission.

Press Release  | New York Times Story

Shin Gallery Agrees to Settle Disability Discrimination Claim by Creating Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Undergoing Training
Complainant alleged discrimination by Respondent Shin Gallery for refusing to grant Complainant’s request for a reasonable accommodation for his disabilities, i.e., CART services, in order for Complainant to attend a public event at the gallery. The parties agreed to settle the matter using the Commission’s pre-complaint intervention process. Respondent Shin Gallery agreed to create a policy in accordance with its obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law to provide reasonable accommodations and to attend training on the Law.

January 2020

Securitas Security Services Settles Disability Discrimination Case by Paying $15,000 in Backpay, Damages, and Penalties; Agrees to Training, Policy Revisions, and Postings
Complainant filed a disability discrimination complaint against Securitas Security Services alleging a failure to accommodate her disability, constructively terminating her employment, and retaliating against her based on her disability. Respondents agreed to pay $3,600 in backpay, $6,400 in emotional distress damages, $5,000 in civil penalties to the general fund of the City of New York and to conduct anti-discrimination training, create a reasonable accommodation policy that places an obligation on Respondent to initiate a cooperative dialogue in accordance with the requirements of the New York City Human Rights Law, submit to monitoring for one year, and post the Commission’s notice of rights in their office.

Bloomsbury Publishing Settles Salary History Discrimination Claim, Pays $5,000 Civil Penalty; and Agrees to Policy Changes, Training, and Postings
After receiving credible information that Bloomsbury Publishing was asking job applicants for salary history, in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law, the Commission filed a Commission-initiated complaint. The parties agreed to a settlement in which Bloomsbury paid $5,000 as a civil penalty to the City; revise its policies to prohibit discrimination based on salary history, credit, and criminal history; and revise its job application template to comply with the revised policies. Bloomsbury will also post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and Salary History Ban posters in its offices and a member of its management will attend training at the Commission.

Pacific Street Hospitality Agrees to Policy Changes, Training, and Postings for Discriminatory Admission Policies at Ethyl’s Alcohol and Food
After receiving credible information that Ethyl's Alcohol and Food, a Manhattan bar, had different standards for admitting people based on gender and on sexual orientation, the Commission sent a cease and desist letter and ultimately came to an agreement with Pacific Street Hospitality (“PSH”), the hospitality group that owns the bar. PSH signed a stipulation and order agreeing to revise its admission policies to apply equally to people of all genders and sexual orientations. PSH will also post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and a member of its management will attend training at the Commission.

97 Euclid Realty Pays $35,000 in Damages and Civil Penalties, Agrees to Affirmative Relief to Resolve Retaliation Claim
A tenant filed a complaint alleging that her building’s superintendent sexually assaulted her and that her landlord increased her rent after she obtained an order of protection against the superintendent. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau conducted an investigation and found probable cause that Respondents raised Complainant’s rent in retaliation for seeking the order of protection. After the Law Enforcement Bureau issued probable cause and referred the case to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, Respondents agreed to pay Complainant $15,000 in damages, pay a $20,000 civil penalty to the general fund of the City of New York, update its anti-discrimination policies, conduct trainings on the New York City Human Rights Law, and post the Commission’s Fair Housing poster on its premises.

HFF Realty LLC and Manager Agree to Policy Changes, Training, and Postings After Refusing to Accommodate Emotional Support Animals
Testing conducted by the Commission revealed that HFF Realty refused to reasonably accommodate emotional support animals for tenant applicants. The Commission sent a cease and desist letter and ultimately came to an agreement with both HFF and an HFF manager, who both signed a stipulation and order agreeing to revise its policies on service and emotional support animals. HFF will also post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and the manager will attend training at the Commission.

Richard Sandoval Hospitality Agrees to Training and Notice of Rights Postings for Discriminatory Questions about Immigration at a Manhattan Restaurant
After receiving credible information that Zengo, a restaurant in Manhattan, was making inappropriate inquiries regarding the immigration status of its customers, the Commission sent a cease and desist letter and ultimately came to an agreement with Richard Sandoval Hospitality (“RSH”), the restaurant’s corporate owner. RSH submitted its policy for review and signed a stipulation and order agreeing to post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and Protections Based on Immigration Status and National Origin posters at Zengo and its co-located bar, La Biblioteca de Tequila. A member of RSH’s management will also attend training at the Commission.

Uptown Dance Academy Agrees To Revise Hair Policy to Allow Braids
After receiving reports that Uptown Dance Academy was not allowing its students to perform with braided hair, the Commission sent a cease and desist letter and ultimately came to an agreement with the Academy. The Academy signed a stipulation and order agreeing to revise its policy to make clear that natural hairstyles and hairstyles commonly associated with Black people or with other racial, ethnic, or cultural identities, including, but not limited to, braids, shall be allowed, and that any safety or other restrictions on hairstyle shall not discriminate based on racially protected characteristics. The Academy will also post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and natural hair posters along with its new policy, and a member of its management will attend training at the Commission.

Yodle Inc. Settles Case for $5,000 in Civil Penalties After Using Unlawful Language in their Employment Applications
A prospective job applicant used Yodle’s online employment application system to apply for a sales position at the company. The online application contained language authorizing Yodle to contact law enforcement and credit agencies. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (“LEB”) conducted an investigation, including a review of the allegations and Yodle’s employment applications. LEB found that the authorization form used by Yodle in their employment applications was in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). Yodle and the Commission entered into a conciliation agreement requiring Yodle to pay $5,000 in civil penalties and to continue to comply with the NYCHRL in its employment applications.

NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation Pays $140,000 in Emotional Distress Damages To Resolve Gender-Based Harassment Claims
An employee of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (“H+H”) filed a complaint alleging that a senior manager within the Equal Employment Opportunity office at H+H sexually harassed her over a period of several years, attempting to kiss her, making comments about her body, attire, and appearance, and routinely making sexual innuendos and advances towards her. The Law Enforcement Bureau’s investigation established that the same manager engaged in similar harassing conduct towards other employees and issued a finding of probable cause. The Commission and the parties entered into a conciliation agreement requiring H+H to pay the Complainant $140,000 in emotional distress damages, post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and distribute the Stop Sexual Harassment Act factsheet, and establish an additional avenue for Equal Employment Opportunity staff to report allegations of harassment and discrimination. The former manager, no longer employed with H+H, was required to attend the Commission’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Training.