Employment Discrimination Testing
Under the Commission’s new testing program in employment for race and gender
discrimination, the Commission sends out matched sets of testers (male and female
Caucasians, African-Americans, and Latinos) who apply for the same jobs with equivalent
résumés, and then analyzes if the testers were treated equally. The Commission has
conducted more than 300 tests in a one-year period and 39 of those tests have been
referred to the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau for possible discriminatory hiring
practices by employers.
The program is based upon a recent study conducted by Princeton University that
the Commission assisted with, measuring the role that race plays in obtaining entry-level
employment in the City. The study revealed that a Caucasian high school graduate was
twice as likely to obtain a position as a similarly situated African-American applicant. Unlike
the study, where no formal complaints were filed, the Commission will file charges against
any employer found to be discriminating on the basis of race or gender.
Beach Access Mats Installed
As part of its aggressive equal access efforts under the NYC Human Rights Law,
the Commission worked with the City Department of Parks & Recreation to modify City
beaches -- creating mobility and independence for the elderly and disabled communities.
In June 2007, both agencies showed off the newly installed mats at an event in Brighton
Beach. The specially designed mats, known as Mobi-Mats, provided many individuals over
the summer access to the sand and water for the first time in their lives.
The collaboration between the two agencies was a key element of the Cityís disability
access efforts in the parks and communities throughout the five boroughs. The event
underscored the Parks Departmentís commitment to making all City parks accessible
to everyone and complemented the Commissionís work in Brighton Beach and other
communities, making residential buildings and stores accessible to their residents.
NYC Human Rights Fellows
With assistance from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the
Commission established the NYC Human Rights Fellowship Program in conjunction with
the City’s Urban Fellows Program. Two individuals were selected from a large diverse
national pool of applicants. They began their one-year fellowship in September 2007 and
are currently assigned projects that will assist the Commission in meeting specific goals.
The program offers recent college graduates a unique opportunity to obtain practical
government experience in an agency that enforces one of the strongest civil rights laws in
the nation and encourages positive relations among the City’s diverse communities.
Bilingual Agency Booklets and Postcards Produced and Distributed
The Commission translated its English/Spanish bilingual booklets - Equal Access:
Itís the Law and Fair Housing: Itís the Law - and its Immigrant Employment Rights info
card into Korean and Mandarin. The Commission also produced a new bilingual info card:
Domestic Violence and Employment Rights in numerous languages. Tens of thousands of
these publications and info cards have been widely distributed at meetings, fairs, events,
schools, government offices, and businesses.