2021 Settlement Highlights

Two men shaking hands and smiling at a camera, with backdrop reading “The Fair Chance Act” behind them 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.

January 2021

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.