Commission Supervising Attorney Paul Keefe with New Yorker at #FairChanceNYC Press Conference, November 2017 (Photo credit: Adrienne Nicole Productions).
The Commission has the authority to assess fines and obtain monetary damages for those aggrieved by violations of the New York City Human Rights Law. Additionally, the Commission may negotiate additional remedies including rehiring, policy change, training, and modifications for accessibility.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital Pays $30,000 to Settle Gender Identity Discrimination Case, and Agrees to Trainings, Postings, and Affirmative Relief
Complainant, a transgender person, filed a complaint against New York-Presbyterian Hospital after being misgendered when registering to receive emergency room care at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Complainant was repeatedly misgendered upon admission and was provided a patient wristband with the improper gender marker despite requesting their information accurately reflect their gender identity. After a finding of probable cause, the respondent agreed to pay $25,000 in emotional distress damages and $5,000 in civil penalties. Respondents also revised their gender identity non-discrimination policy and agreed to post it on its website and in the admissions area that the complainant had visited. Prior to the settlement, New York-Presbyterian conducted trainings on gender identity and sexual orientation to personnel in their NYC Hospitals, commenced using new internal record-keeping with the capacity to track an individual’s gender and name consistent with their gender identity, and provided training to admissions personnel on how to appropriately request and enter gender identity information for all patients.
65-84 Realty Co., LLC, and B & R Management co., LLC, Settle for $10,500 in Emotional Distress Damages, Agree to Set-Aside of Apartments for Voucher Holders, and Additional Affirmative Relief
Complainant alleged that her landlord, building management company, and property manager failed to accommodate her disability and ignored her requests to discuss reasonable accommodations. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau investigated and found that Respondents did not engage Complainant in a discussion of her individual needs for an accommodation. To settle this matter, Respondents agreed to pay $10,500 in emotional distress damages, attend training, create a reasonable accommodation policy, post the Commission’s Fair Housing poster in its properties, and set aside six apartments for tenants with housing vouchers.
Wonder Homes Realty, and 11 Essex Street Corp., Brownstone Bldg. Mgmt. Services Corp. Agree to Pay $11,000 in Emotional Distress Damages and Extensive Affirmative Relief in Source of Income Discrimination Case
Complaint alleged that she was denied a housing opportunity because she was using a voucher. Respondents agreed to pay Complainant $11,000 in emotional distress damages, attend a training on the NYC Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), and attend a training on the source of income provisions of the Law. Respondents also agreed to post the Commission's "Notice of Rights" and "Fair Housing, It's the Law" posters in their buildings and offices, send an email to all employees with links to the Commission's source of income discrimination FAQ's and other information on the NYCHRL, and attach the Commission's source of income discrimination FAQ's to all application materials.
Syed Enterprises, Inc., and Syed Restaurants Enterprises, Inc. (Burger King) pays $5,000 in Damages, Agrees to Collaborate with Re-entry Organizations on Outreach, and Provide Training
Complainant filed a complaint against Syed Enterprises, Inc., and Syed Restaurants Enterprises, Inc. (dba Burger King)based on an illegal application question concerning criminal history. Respondents, who operate 29 stores with a total of 845 employees, had a job application form that asked whether, in the last seven years, an applicant had ever been convicted, pled guilty, or pled “no contest” to a felony or misdemeanor other than a traffic violation and if so, to “please explain,” in violation of the NYC [ or City’s] Fair Chance Act. Complainant responded, “Yes” and wrote that he would explain “upon interview.” There was an interview, and then Complainant did not hear from Respondents. After the complaint was filed, Respondents removed the criminal history question from the application. As a result of the [Conciliation/Settlement], Respondents agreed to pay $5,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant, and train all of the companies’ executive officers and general managers who conduct hiring about their NYC Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) obligations. Respondents also agreed to revise [workplace] policies to conform with the NYCHRL, and engage in employment-related outreach for a year with three reentry organizations serving people with criminal records.
Westside Market Agrees to Settle Gender and National Origin Harassment Case For $35,000 in Damages and Civil Penalties
Westside Supermarket 2171 Broadway Ltd., and a manager agreed to settle a case by a former employee alleging harassment based on her gender and national origin. After the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau investigated, found probable cause, and referred the matter to the Office of Administration Trials and Hearings, Respondents agreed to settle the matter, paying the Complainant $25,000 for emotional distress and a $10,000 civil penalty.
Jericho Project Settles Age Discrimination Claim for $35,000, Agrees to Training, Policy Changes and Legal Postings
A fifty-five-year-old case manager employed by Jericho Project, a non-profit, filed age-based hostile work environment and retaliatory termination claims against her employer. Respondent Jericho Project agreed to conciliate the claims for $35,000 in emotional distress damages, training on their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law, policy revisions, and “Notice of Rights” postings.
Hampshire Properties Settles Disability Discrimination Case: Will Construct Permanent Ramp, Provide Affirmative Relief and Notify Employees and Tenants of Rights
Complainant, who uses a mobility assistance device, alleged that she was denied a reasonable accommodation to access her building. After an investigation, respondent Hampshire properties agreed to construct a permanent ramp, repair access to another entrance to the building, attend a training on the NYC Human Rights Law, adopt a robust reasonable accommodation policy for all New York City-based buildings in its portfolio, inform all employees on the new policy, and post workplace notices “Fair Housing, It’s the Law” and the Commission’s “Notice of Rights” in all buildings. Respondents also agreed to inform its tenants on its reasonable accommodation policy at all New York City-based buildings by posting a notice for tenants that describes rights.
Fox News Network Fined $1,000,000 in Civil Penalties After Commission-Initiated Investigation into Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Claims; Will Forego Mandatory Arbitration; and Agrees to Affirmative Relief
The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau initiated an investigation and complaint alleging a pattern and practice of sexual harassment and retaliation by Fox News Network. The Commission fined Fox News $1,000,000 in civil penalties. The conciliation requires the network to waive forced arbitration in agreements executed with its employees, talent, and contributors for any claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law for four years. The agreement requires the network to hold regular, Commission-approved sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention training for all its New York City employees, including executives. Additionally, the agreement requires the network to implement, for a period of at least two years, a policy and complaint procedure for reporting of discrimination and harassment complaints that allows for multiple levels of reporting.
Arrochar Club d/b/a Staten Island Friendship Club Inc. Agrees to Affirmative Relief for Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Complainant, a gay man, filed a complaint against Staten Island Friendship Club Inc. alleging that some of the club’s patrons made derogatory statements about complainant’s sexual orientation and that the club failed to promptly intervene. To resolve the case, the club’s owners agreed to meet with complainant in a mediation session facilitated by the New York Center for Interpersonal Development, to hear how the events impacted complainant and to express to complainant that he is welcome to return to the club. The club also agreed to create anti-discrimination policies, conduct anti-discrimination training, and display the Commission’s Notice of Rights poster in all their places of business.
HeartShare Human Services of New York Settles Fair Chance Act Discrimination Complaint for $20,000, Trainings, and Postings
A prospective employee filed a complaint against HeartShare Human Services of New York, a nonprofit agency providing services to individuals with disabilities, alleging that her job offer was unlawfully rescinded after a background check. An investigation conducted by the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau confirmed that HeartShare Human Services of New York failed to conduct a complete analysis of the Article 23-A factors under the New York State Corrections Law and the Fair Chance Act of New York City. The parties agreed to enter into a conciliation agreement in which HeartShare agreed to pay the complainant $10,000 in emotional distress damages and a $10,000 civil penalty to the City of New York. HeartShare also agreed to create a comprehensive policy regarding assessment of applicants with criminal conviction histories, to provide NYC Human Rights Law training to human resources employees, and to display postings outlining its obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law in a conspicuous place in its office.
Venchi Agrees to Make Union Square Store Accessible, Change Policies, Attend Training, and Post Notices
Testing conducted by the Commission found Venchi’s chocolate store in Union Square to be inaccessible for people using wheelchairs. After the Law Enforcement Bureau informed Venchi of the violation, the owner agreed to undertake the necessary work to make its Union Square store accessible to people with disabilities. Venchi also agreed to create a policy addressing the right of members of the public to be free from discrimination, including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, attend training on the NYC Human Rights Law and post the Commission’s Notice of Rights and Equal Access posters in their store.
Douglas Elliman Settles Source of Income Discrimination Case for $20,000, Trainings and Postings
Based on testing, the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau filed a complaint against Douglas Elliman, alleging that a real estate agent associated with Douglas Elliman’s Smith Street office discriminated against a tester posing as a housing voucher holder. Douglas Elliman agreed to pay $20,000 in civil penalties, require all real estate agents associated with the Smith Street office attend Source of Income Discrimination training, display the Commission’s Notice of Rights and Fair Housing postings in the Smith Street office, and send an email to all New York City-based real estate agents associated with Douglas Elliman notifying them of their responsibilities under the NYC Human Rights Law.
Landlord, 159 Gelston LLC, Settles Source of Income Discrimination Case for $10,000 and Affirmative Relief, Including Monitoring and Set-Aside of Apartment
Based on testing, the Commission filed a Commission-initiated complaint against 159 Gelston LLC, landlord José Otero, and the superintendent, alleging source of income discrimination. The landlord agreed to pay $10,000 in civil penalties and to set aside a unit exclusively for individuals with public sources of income. The landlord also agreed to post the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Source of Income, and Fair Housing discrimination posters in their buildings, revise policies, attend training on their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law, and submit to two years of monitoring by the Commission.
Co-Op Board 4380 Vireo Avenue Owners Inc., and Hudsoncrest Properties Inc., Settles Source of Income Discrimination Claim for $6,000, Training and Policy Changes
A NYCHA Section 8 voucher holder inquired about renting a co-op apartment and was told that rental assistance programs were not accepted. The real estate agent and co-op board each agreed to pay the Complainant $3,000 in emotional distress damages and attend training on source of income discrimination. The co-op board also agreed to display the Commission’s Notice of Rights and Fair Housing postings in all places of business, include the Commission’s FAQs on source of income discrimination in their application materials, and to adopt policies on the evaluation and approval of sublease applications from applicants with public sources of income.
Perrigo Company Pays $20,000 for Fair Chance Act Violations
Complainant, a temporary warehouse worker, alleged that Perrigo, a pharmaceutical company, conditioned an offer of a permanent position on the successful completion of a criminal background check, drug screening, verification of prior employment, and work authorization. Respondents withdrew their conditional offer of employment, without engaging in the process required under the Fair Chance Act and Article 23-A of the Correction Law. As part of a conciliation agreement, Respondents agreed to pay $5,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant and $15,000 in civil penalties; train all New York City-based managers and supervisors on their obligations under the Fair Chance Act; and revise its hiring policies to conform with the NYC Human Rights Law.
CityMD Agrees to Policy Changes and Training After Tip Regarding Service Animals
In response to a tip, the Commission initiated an investigation into an incident in which a customer of Respondent City Medical of Upper East Side, PLLC d/b/a CityMD (“CityMD”) in Harlem was turned away after attempting to enter a CityMD site with a service animal. The customer informed Respondents of their right to a service animal, but the office refused service and called the police. Through a Stipulation and Order, Respondent CityMD agreed to revise its policies to clearly outline the rights of customers with service animals; to create and post notices regarding service animals at all CityMD sites in New York City; and to train all CityMD employees who work in New York City on the NYC Human Rights Law and its specific protections relating to service animals.
The Shubert Organization Agrees to Settle Theatergoer’s Race Discrimination Complaint for $10,000 and Affirmative Relief, Including Implicit Bias and De-Escalation Training
The Shubert Organization agreed to settle a case filed by a Black theatergoer alleging that security profiled him for ticket checks because of his race and called the police after Complainant objected and the parties engaged in a verbal altercation. Respondents agreed to pay Complainant $5,000 in emotional distress damages and $5,000 in civil penalties and to update signage concerning the ticket-checking policy in all NYC theaters. Respondents also agreed to provide anti-discrimination training; update their policies to comply with the NYC Human Rights Law; train all customer-facing employees and security guards in conflict-resolution and de-escalation; and provide implicit bias training to managers and supervisors.
RAM LLC Settles Allegations of Source of Income Discrimination for $20,000 and Broad Affirmative Relief
Two complainants filed cases alleging source of income discrimination against landlord RAM LLC. In a settlement agreement, the Respondents agreed to pay $10,000 in emotional distress damages to the Complainants and $10,000 in civil penalties, and agreed to broad affirmative relief, which includes ensuring their application criteria complies with the NYC Human Rights Law. Respondents also agreed to post the Commission’s Fair Housing posters throughout all their properties and to attach the poster to their applications and lease renewals to alert their tenants to their rights under the NYC Human Rights Law. In addition, Respondents agreed to attend NYC Human Rights Law trainings; send notices of obligations to all agents; and adopt policies compliant with the NYC Human Rights Law.
Landlord and Management Company 323 West 4th Street Associates, LLC, Urban Associates, LLC and The Brodsky Organization, LLC Agree to Commission-Initiated Pre-Complaint Resolution by Creating a Reasonable Accommodations Policy and Attending Anti-Discrimination Training
A landlord and management company in a Commission-initiated matter agreed to a pre-complaint resolution of a Commission-initiated investigation into their anti-discrimination policies. As part of the resolution, Respondents signed a Stipulation and Order agreeing to create a reasonable accommodations policy for all current and prospective tenants under the NYC Human Rights Law and agreed to have employees in their management and leasing departments attend the Commission’s training on reasonable accommodations in housing.
Richmond University Medical Center Agrees to Pay $10,000 in Emotional Distress Damages
Complainant, who was perceived to not be a US citizen, alleged that a Richmond University Medical Center’s (“RUMC”) employee dispatched to an automobile accident scene in Staten Island subjected her to discrimination based upon race and national origin. No one dispatched to the automobile accident scene communicated with Complainant because she did not speak English, and assumed that she did not wish to be treated on scene or transferred for treatment. As a result, Complainant did not receive immediate medical treatment for her injuries, which included a fractured nose, on scene. RUMC agreed to provide its existing language access training to RUMC’s emergency medical technicians (“EMTs”) and paramedics, post the Commission’s Notice of Rights in all New York City locations, and pay $10,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant.
Hua Lian Supermarket Agrees to Affirmative Relief In a Commission-Initiated Case Alleging National Origin and Race Discrimination
During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission received several tips from non-Asian customers of color that Hua Lian Supermarket turned them away from the store and were told they had to use a Chinese-language phone app to pay. When Respondent failed to respond to a letter, the Commission filed a complaint and Respondents agreed to training as well as placing Notice of Rights posters in Chinese, Spanish and English in a conspicuous location in the store.
Landlord Astoria 30 Co. and Broker Pay $61,000 in Civil Penalties for Source of Income Discrimination
In a Commission-initiated case against landlord Astoria 30 Co., and a broker listing the landlord’s units, Respondents were alleged to have discriminated against testers posing as prospective tenants with housing vouchers. The broker respondent paid $6,000 in civil penalties and agreed to policy changes. The landlord respondent paid $55,000 in civil penalties and helped place three separate tenants with housing vouchers in set-aside units within their portfolio. In addition to the set asides, the landlord agreed to policy changes, edits to their rental application, and training on the NYC Human Rights Law.
Landlord Gatling Realty Co. Pays $10,000 for Source of Income Discrimination, Agrees to Policy Changes and Set Asides
In a Commission-initiated case against landlord Gatling Realty, the superintendent for Respondent’s building was alleged to have discriminated against testers posing as prospective renters with housing vouchers. The landlord respondent paid $10,000 in civil penalties and also helped place two separate tenants using housing vouchers in units within its portfolio. In addition to the two set asides, the landlord respondents agreed to place two more tenants with housing vouchers in its portfolio and agreed to policy changes and trainings on the NYC Human Rights Law.
Exit Realty Private Client and Broker Pay $17,000 and Agree to Affirmative Relief in Source of Income Discrimination Case
A complainant attempting to use a rental voucher administered by NYC Human Resources Administration alleged source of income discrimination against Respondent Exit Realty Private Client and a former broker of Respondent. The former broker paid the Complainant $5,000 in damages and agreed to attend training on the NYC Human Rights Law. Exit Realty agreed to pay the Complainant $10,000 in emotional distress damages and $2,000 in civil penalties. In addition to the civil penalties, Exit Realty worked with the Commission to create company-wide incentives for their brokers to work with voucher-holding tenants seeking apartments. Respondent also agreed to make policy changes, display the Commission’s Notice of Rights posters, and receive training on the NYC Human Rights Law.
Forrest Solutions Group Settles Unemployment Discrimination Claim for $30,000, Training, Postings, and Policy Changes
Complainant alleged that Respondent discriminated against him based on his unemployment status by first asking impermissible questions in the job application and interview and subsequently rejecting him based on his unemployment status. After the Commission found probable cause, Respondent agreed to pay $25,000 in damages to Complainant and $5,000 as a civil penalty. In addition, Respondent agreed to display the Commission’s Notice of Rights postings in the workplace, submit revised policies to the Commission for review, and arrange an anti-discrimination training for its owners and managers.
JRM Real Estate Settles Prospective Tenant's Lawful Source of Income Discrimination Case for $5,000, Affirmative Relief, and an Apology
Complainant applied for an apartment for herself and her family with a Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (“FHEPS”) voucher. Respondents initially offered Complainant the apartment, even providing her with a key to her new home, but later withdrew the offer and took back the apartment key after finding out that Complainant's voucher did not include incentives like a signing bonus, upfront rent payment, or a broker fee. After an investigation, the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau issued a finding of probable cause. Respondents agreed to issue an apology to Complainant’s family, pay $5,000 in emotional distress damages, attend an anti-discrimination training on the NYC Human Rights Law and create a policy to comply with the law.
CUNY Settles on Behalf of Individual Respondent Who Agreed to 20 Hours of Community Service and Race-Based Anti-Discrimination Training
Complainant, a Black woman, alleged that Respondents subjected her to different terms, privileges, and conditions of employment and a hostile work environment based on her race, and that a colleague made a racist comment to her. The conciliation agreement provides for the individual Respondent who said the racist comment to perform 20 hours of community service with a not-for-profit organization focusing on racial justice issues and attend an anti-discrimination training focused on race-based discrimination.
Area New York and Broker Pay $5,000 for Source of Income Discrimination, Agree to Affirmative Relief
A complainant attempting to use a rental voucher administered by New York City Human Resources Administration alleged lawful source of income discrimination against Respondent brokerage firm Area New York and a former broker of Respondent. The former broker agreed to attended training on the NYC Human Rights Law. Respondent Area agreed to pay the Complainant $5,000 in emotional distress damages and take training on the NYC Human Rights Law.
Marbella Restaurant Settles Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Complaint for $5,000, Agrees to Create an Anti-Discrimination Policy and Attend Training
Complainant, a former employee who identifies as a gay man, filed a complaint against Lonia Restaurant Group, d/b/a Marbella Restaurant, alleging that he had endured a hostile work environment and name calling by the restaurant’s kitchen staff, and was fired in retaliation. Marbella agreed to pay Complainant $5,000 in emotional distress damages, have the owner attend training on the NYC Human Rights Law, create and implement anti-discrimination and harassment policies and display the Commission’s postings outlining their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law in employee-accessible areas.
Advantage Management Property and NME Housing Development Fund Settle Disability Complaint for $3,000, Rent Credit, Reasonable Accommodation and Affirmative Relief
Complaint alleged that her disability was not reasonably accommodated by Respondents Advantage Management and NME Housing Development Fund, the management company and landlord for her building. The parties entered into a conciliation agreement, under which the Complainant will be offered the opportunity to relocate to another apartment in one of Respondents’ buildings as soon as one becomes available that meets her housing and disability accommodation needs. Respondents also agreed to pay Complainant $3,000 in emotional distress damages and apply a $3,000 rent credit to her account. Respondents agreed to ensure that their policies regarding reasonable accommodations are in compliance with the NYC Human Rights Law, including appointing a specific employee to handle reasonable accommodations requests and creating a formal policy regarding waitlists for apartment transfers; to provide training to employees; and to display postings outlining their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law.
Gourmet Garage Grocery Store Settles Gender and Pregnancy Discrimination Case for $17,000
Complainant filed a claim against her former employer, Gourmet Garage, alleging that on several occasions, she requested and was denied reasonable accommodations for her pregnancy such as bathroom breaks and a stool to sit on. The investigation found that Complainant’s supervisor responded to her accommodation requests by threatening to terminate her if she could not do her job. As part of the conciliation agreement Respondent agreed to pay Complainant $17,000 in emotional distress damages.
Richmond Events, Inc. Agrees to Create and Implement Reasonable Accommodations Policies and Procedures, Attend Trainings, and Postings
The Commission initiated an investigation regarding the reasonable accommodation policies of an events planning business based on information uncovered as part of a prior Commission-initiated investigation. Through a Stipulation and Order, Respondent agreed to create reasonable accommodation policies and procedures, attend training, distribute the new policies to staff, and display NYC Human Rights Law postings in their office.
Apple Home Care LTD. d/b/a Medi Trans pays $40,000 in Anti-Black Racial Discrimination Case
Complainant, a Black employee of Medi Trans, alleged racial discrimination and a hostile work environment at the company. Specifically, Complainant’s non-Black coworkers frequently used the N-word in the office in the Complainant’s presence. Although Complainant brought numerous complaints about the incidents to the attention of management, the company refused to take immediate and appropriate action. As part of the conciliation agreement, Respondent agreed to pay $25,000 in emotional distress damages and $15,000 in civil penalties. Respondents also agreed to attend anti-discrimination training, display NYC Human Right Laws postings, and to amend its anti-discrimination policies.
MDB LLC d/b/a GreenPearl Events Settles Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination Case for $20,000
Complainant was employed at GreenPearl Events, an event management company, as the director of event operations. She alleged that, while on maternity leave, she was laid off as part of a company-wide staff reduction. Complainant alleged that she was the only manager whose position was eliminated, and that Respondent illegally relied on her recent pregnancy and caregiver status as factors in the decision to end her employment. After an investigation, the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau found probable cause to support Complainant’s allegations. Respondent GreenPearl settled the pregnancy and caregiver discrimination case, agreeing to pay Complainant $20,000 in emotional distress damages and to have its employees attend anti-discrimination training.
Marketing Firm Ibericus, Inc. Settles Fair Chance Act and Salary History Case
The Commission initiated a case against Ibericus, Inc, a Manhattan-based marketing firm, based on a tip that the company’s employment application asked questions about criminal history and salary history in violation of the NYC Human Rights Law. Pursuant to a conciliation agreement, Respondent agreed to change its application and policies; display the Commission's Notice of Rights, Salary History Ban, and Fair Chance Act posters in the workplace; and have all managerial staff, including the president of the company, attend training on its obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law. Based on Respondent’s showing of financial hardship relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission waived civil penalties.
Safeguard Storage Properties, LLC Settles Fair Chance Act Violations for $15,000, Implements Ban the Box Policies Nationwide
Testing conducted by the Commission revealed that Safeguard Storage Properties, LLC., the operator of self-storage units in six states, advertised positions in New York City that included the unlawful statement in job postings, “We conduct background checks.” Respondent agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty; implement a ban the box policy on a nationwide basis; train all New York City-based managers and employees who make hiring decisions for New York City employees on the NYC Human Rights Law, including the Fair Chance Act; revise its policies to conform with the NYC Human Rights Law; and post the Commission’s Fair Chance Act Legal Notices in employee-accessible areas.
YMCA of Greater New York Agrees to Settle Gender Identity Discrimination Complaint For $10,000 and Affirmative Relief
Complainant is a non-binary, transgender person who, at the Park Slope branch, was twice denied access to the YMCA gendered changing room that most closely corresponded with their gender identity. The YMCA of Greater New York agreed to pay $10,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant, have the manager attend a training on the NYC Human Rights Law, post notices outside their NYC-based single sex facilities stating that patrons have a right to use the facility which corresponds with their gender identity and expression. The YMCA of Greater New York also agreed to collect and submit gender identity-related complaints to the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau for monitoring gender identity-related complaints at 12 NYC-based YMCA locations for six months.
LA Fitness Agrees to Policy Creation, Training, and Postings to Ensure Equal Treatment of Transgender Patrons
Testing by the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau revealed that a Bronx location of Fitness International, LLC d/b/a LA Fitness, a national gym chain, would not allow transgender women to use the women’s locker room unless they had gender affirming surgery. The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau sent a cease and desist letter in December 2019. Respondent signed a stipulation and order agreeing to institute an anti-discrimination policy for members of the public that includes protections based on gender identity; to update its employment policy to include all of the protected classes of the NYC Human Rights Law; to send one of its managers from the Bronx location to the Commission’s Human Rights Law training; and to post and distribute the Commission's Notice of Rights and Transgender Rights poster at all of its locations within New York City.
NYC Department of Education Settles Disability Discrimination Claim for $47,000, Policy Changes, and Training
Complainant, a public school teacher, alleged that he was discriminated against based upon his disabilities when he was not renewed for the academic year afterhe missed a substantial amount of school due to two separate medical conditions. The Commission found that Respondent NYC Department of Education (DOE) failed to properly engage in the cooperative dialogue process and retaliated against Complainant. Respondent agreed to pay Complainant $27,000 in back pay and $20,000 in emotional distress damages and to propose policy changes on leave and time away to the Panel for Education Policy (PEP), to better conform to the requirements of the NYC Human Rights Law. Once approved by PEP, DOE will update trainings on time away and leave to align with the requirements of the NYC Human Rights Law and offer trainings on reasonable accommodations to all administrators.
Blades on 34th Street Restaurant and Bar Settles Disability Discrimination Case for $5,000 and Training
Complainant suffers from a disability which causes her to slur her speech. Respondent Blades on 34th Street Restaurant and Bar believed Complainant was intoxicated due to her manner of speech and adamantly refused to serve her alcohol despite her health aide offering to show evidence of the disability. Respondents agreed to pay Complainant $5,000 in emotional distress damages and agreed to provide training on the NYC Human Rights Law to the owners and managers of the bar.
AvalonBay Communities, Inc. Settles Fair Chance Act Violations For $60,000, Affirmative Relief and Targeted Outreach to Organizations Serving Jobseekers With Criminal Histories
Testing by the Commission revealed that Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., one of the nation’s largest apartment owners, advertised open positions in New York City with unlawful language stating that “AvalonBay conducts drug and background screening for all hires.” The Commission filed a complaint and Respondent removed the language from their job advertisements. The Law Enforcement Bureau’s investigation found other unlawful language in Respondent’s employment application and other advertisements with similar language posted after the filing of the Commission’s complaint, amounting to a continuing violation. Respondent agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty, partner with three organizations for targeted outreach to jobseekers with criminal histories and submit to two years of monitoring by the Commission. Respondent also agreed to revise its employment application and policies to conform with the NYC Human Rights Law, implement a written background check policy applicable to New York City employees, provide NYC Human Rights Law training to all New York City employees and all employees who make hiring decisions for NYC employees, and post the Commission’s Fair Chance Act Notices in their buildings and on their intranet.
Small Landlord Settles Source of Income Discrimination Complaint for $30,000 in Damages, Training and Posting of Rights
Complainant, a New York State Department of Health voucher recipient, alleged that Respondent—the owner of a six-unit residential building in Queens—denied him and his partner an apartment because of his lawful source of income. The Commission’s investigation confirmed that Respondent signed a lease, then rescinded that lease after learning about Complainant’s lawful source of income, in violation of the NYC Human Rights Law. Respondent agreed to pay the Complainant $30,000 dollars in emotional distress damages, attend training on the NYC Human Rights Law and post the Commission’s Know Your Rights notices in the residential building.
Rochdale Village Agrees to Settle Disability Discrimination Matter through Pre-Complaint Intervention
Two residents of Rochdale Village required parking space accommodations for their disabilities, but their housing provider did not have a system for processing reasonable accommodation requests. Rochdale Village, and its managing agent Marion Scott Real Estate, Inc. agreed to engage in Pre-Complaint Intervention to create a reasonable accommodation policy and procedure for its parking lots, distribute the policy to its residents, create a priority parking waiting list for residents with disabilities, and have its management office staff attend an anti-discrimination training. Rochdale Village will resume the cooperative dialogue process with any residents who previously requested a parking space as a reasonable accommodation, prioritizing the two residents who originally reported the matter to the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau.
Super Outflation Discount Agrees To Revise Its Service Animal Policy, Attend Training, and Post Notices
The Commission responded to a tip from the public that Respondent Outflation Discount Corp. refused service to a customer with a service animal. The Commission sent a cease-and-desist letter and Respondent agreed to a Stipulation and Order, committing to revise its polices, inform all employees of the revised policy, attend training, and post the Commission’s Notice of Rights, Equal Access, and Service Animals Welcome notices in the store.
Apex Technical School Agrees to Settle Transgender Student's Discrimination Case for $25,000, Training, Postings, And Affirmative Relief
Complainant, a transgender man and former student of Apex Technical School, filed a complaint against the vocational school after it refused to register Complainant under his current name, leading a staff member to repeatedly call on Complainant by his former, traditionally feminine name in front of a class of cisgender men who were previously unaware that the Complainant is transgender man. The school also insisted that Complainant use a women's restroom, and he instead chose to walk more than a block to a nearby restaurant to use a restroom consistent with his gender identity. The Complainant withdrew from the school, citing the harassment he received from classmates after they learned his gender identity. After a finding of probable cause by the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau, Apex Technical School agreed to pay $15,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant and $10,000 in civil penalties. Respondents also agreed to post new signage outside its single-gender restroom facilities, remove all locks requiring a key for access from its single-gender facilities, modify the school's enrollment paperwork to allow students to self-identify their gender, name, title, and pronouns, distribute the Commission’s Gender Identity/Gender Expression Legal Enforcement Guidance to its staff, and provide anti-discrimination training to all staff.
Story: Gay City News
201 East 164 Associates LLC, Bronx Landlord Agrees To Adopt Reasonable Accommodations Policies and Procedures, Attend Trainings, Display Postings and Submit to Monitoring
In response to a tip, the Commission initiated an investigation regarding the accessibility of a Bronx building for individuals with disabilities. Several applicants had been denied a reasonable accommodation even after providing proof of their need for accommodation. Through a Stipulation and Order, landlord Respondent agreed to adopt reasonable accommodation policies and procedures, attend training, distribute the new policies to residents and staff, and submit to monitoring by the Commission for a five-month period.
Mamajuana Café Settles Public Accommodations Pregnancy Discrimination Case For $5,000, Training, Policy Changes and Postings
Complainant, who was visibly pregnant, was denied entry to Mamajuana Café in the Bronx. The security guard was alleged to have pointed at Complainant’s stomach and informed her she could not enter the café. The manager confirmed that the policy was to not allow pregnant women to enter “out of concern for [her] health and that of her baby.” The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau conciliated the matter, which included $5,000 in emotional distress damages to the complainant, policy changes, trainings and display of NYC Human Rights Law postings.
Housing Co-Op Third Beech Hills Corporation Agrees To Settle Emotional Support Animal Case for $24,000, Training, Policy Changes and Postings
Complainant, a parent and shareholder of a cooperative apartment in Queens, filed a complaint against her co-op after its Board required the submission of invasive medical documentation with her minor daughter's application for an emotional support animal (ESA) as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. The Board then allegedly sent the Complainant a Notice to Cure to remove the ESA when she declined to provide the information. Respondents agreed to settle the matter, paying $20,000 in emotional distress damages to Complainant's daughter and $4,000 in civil penalties to the City of New York. Respondents also agreed to attend an anti-discrimination training, display NYC Human Rights Law postings, and edit its policy to comply with the NYC Human Rights Law.
Zam 1015 Corp. and Zam Realty Management Company LLC Waives $33,000 in Rent, Pays $40,000, and Agrees To Transfer Complainants to an Accessible Apartment, Install and Maintain Ramps, and Other Affirmative Relief to Settle Disability Discrimination Case
Two complainants reported to the Commission that their building refused a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Complainant 1 has a disability and relies on a mobility assistance device and Complainant 2 assists Complainant 1 with daily living. Complainants filed a complaint alleging Zam 1015 Inc., Zam Realty Management Company LLC, and Maurizo Zamboli, their landlord and managing agents, denied Complainant 1 a reasonable accommodation and damaged Complainant 2 in the process. After a finding of probable cause, and a referral to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), Respondents agreed to settle the complaint for $33,000 in waived rent/arrears, $2,500 in emotional distress damages to Complainants, $15,000 in civil penalties and $22,500 in Complainant attorney fees. Respondent Zam Realty also agreed to assist Complainant 1 in entering and exiting the building, as necessary, make two portable ramps available for his use, and agreed to transfer Complainants to an accessible apartment if one becomes available. Respondent Zam Realty also agreed to construct a ramp in Complainants’ current building if renovations occur, amounting to $10,000 per project. In addition to this relief, Respondent Zam Realty agreed to train its staff on the NYC Human Rights Law, adopt the Commission’s model disability policy, display Notices of Rights and Fair Housing posters in its buildings, and inform their tenants on how they may request a reasonable accommodation.
Fordham Fulton Realty, Corp. Agrees To Modifications and Affirmative Relief in Disability Discrimination Matter
The Commission launched an investigation into allegations that Fordham Fulton Realty, Corp. failed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, in violation of the NYC Human Rights Law, by not activating and/or repairing the electronic door of a residential building in the Bronx. In a Stipulation and Order, Fordham Fulton agreed to activate the electronic door opener and program the door to remain open for a period long enough for individuals with disabilities to enter. Fordham Fulton also agreed to conduct a monthly inspection of the electronic door, maintain certain records, create an anti-discrimination policy, and distribute and display the Commission’s Notice of Rights and Fair Housing posters.
Pefko Realty Inc, and Talent Real Estate Inc., Settle Source of Income Discrimination Case for $20,000 and Affirmative Relief, Including the Set Aside of Five Apartments For Voucher Holders
Testing by Commission partner The Fair Housing Justice Center resulted in the Commission filing a Commission-initiated complaint against landlord Pefko Realty LLC, and brokerage Talent Real Estate Inc. alleging source of income discrimination for falsely informing a tester with a voucher that an apartment was unavailable but informing testers with employment income that that unit was still available. The Respondents conciliated, paying $20,000 in civil penalties and agreeing to set aside five units specifically for people with public sources of income. Respondents also agreed to display the Commission's Notice of Rights, Source of Income FAQs, and Fair Housing posters in all of their buildings and offices within New York City, revise their policies to accept public sources of income, and attend training on their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law.
Small Landlord Settles Complaint Alleging Lawful Source of Income Discrimination For $30,000 in Damages, Training and Postings
Complainant is a New York State Department of Health voucher recipient and alleged that Respondent—the owner of a six-unit residential building in Queens—denied him and his partner an apartment because of his lawful source of income. Respondent signed a lease and rescinded that lease upon finding out about Complainant’s lawful source of income. Respondent agreed to pay the Complainant $30,000 dollars in emotional distress damages, attend training on the NYC Human Rights Law, and display the Commission’s Know Your Rights poster in the residential building.
Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc. Agrees In A Stipulation and Order To Revise Its Reasonable Accommodation Policies and Train Its Employees
After Complainant settled privately with Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc., also known as Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, the Commission opened an employment investigation to address reasonable accommodation policies of the employer that did not comply with the NYC Human Rights Law. Through a Stipulation and Order, Responded agreed to revise their reasonable accommodation policies to comply with the NYC Human Rights Law as well as attend trainings on the NYC Human Rights Law.
49 McKay Realty Settles Source of Income Discrimination Case For $20,000 and Affirmative Relief, Including Monitoring and the Set Aside of an Apartment for Voucher Holders
As a result of testing by Commission partner The Fair Housing Justice Center, the Commission filed a Commission-initiated complaint against landlord 49 Mackay Realty LLC alleging source of income discrimination. Respondents agreed to conciliate for $20,000 in civil penalties, set aside one unit specifically for a tenant with a housing voucher, display the Commission's Notice of Rights, Source of Income FAQ, and Fair Housing posters in all of their buildings and offices within New York City, revise their policies to comply with the NYC Human Rights Law’s source of income provisions, and to attend training on their obligations under the NYC Human Rights Law.
Marshalls of MA, Inc. Agrees To Settle Disability Discrimination Case For $15,000, Training and Postings
Marshalls agreed to settle a case filed by an employee of a Marshalls store who claimed that he was given fewer hours, refused accommodations, and mocked for his disabilities. After an investigation by the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau, Respondents agreed to pay Complainant full back pay of $7,500, $2,500 in emotional distress damages, and $5,000 in civil penalties. Respondents also agreed to train the store’s employees and management on the NYC Human Rights Law and display the Commission’s Anti-Discrimination and Equal Access posters in New York City stores.
Pinnacle Management Settles Disability Discrimination Case For $35,000, Policy Changes, Postings, Trainings and Monitoring
Building-wide elevator renovations prevented Complainant, a tenant with a disability, from easily accessing the building and his apartment. Respondents Pinnacle Managing Co. and 441 Convent LLC agreed to pay the Complainant $20,000 in emotional distress damages, $15,000 in civil penalties, adopt the Commission’s model disability policy, display Notices of Rights posters in the building, inform tenants on how to request a reasonable accommodation, and for 51 buildings in Pinnacle’s portfolio, submit reasonable accommodation requests and decisions to the Commission for a one-year monitoring period.