New York State Division Of Human Rights
New York State Division of Human Rights (the “NYSDHR”) is a state agency responsible for investigation of discrimination complaints on the state level. NYSDHR has a Work Sharing Agreement with the EEOC and as such whenever the complaint is filed with EEOC it is also filed with the NYSDHR.
What is the difference between the NYSDHR and the EEOC? The main difference if that first one is the state agency and another one is the federal agency. The second distinction is in the procedure how the case is being handled if filed with the agency, and the consequences of dismissal of claims or charges. If the EEOC finds that the charging party does not have sufficient cause of action, the individual may still proceed in Federal court and bring state law based charges as well. If NYSDHR rendered a negative determination, the state causes of action will be lost in most situations.
Currently, while the EEOC opts out for mediation more often, NYSDHR proposes hearings with an administrative judge. There are other differences in between the two organizations as well, the main would be their jurisdiction. The NYSDHR has a broader jurisdiction because NY State law protects broader groups of individuals than the Federal law. For example, NY State law provides protections to those who believe they have been discriminated or retaliated against based on their age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, disability, military status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, conviction record, predisposing genetic characteristics, and familial status (in housing only). In addition, NYSDHR has jurisdiction over workplace harassment for domestic workers. Unlawful harassment includes sexual harassment, as well as harassment on the basis of gender, race, religion, or national origin. Domestic workers are also protected from retaliation by their employers for complaining of such harassment.
Law office of Alena Shautsova assist individuals with cases pending with the NYSDHR.