The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation. The Law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, marital status and partnership status. In addition, the Law affords protection against discrimination in employment based on arrest or conviction record and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses. In housing, the Law affords additional protections based on lawful occupation and family status. The City Human Rights Law also prohibits retaliation and bias-related harassment.
The New York City Commission on Human Rights is charged with the enforcement of the Human Rights Law, Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and with educating the public and encouraging positive community relations. The Commission is divided into two major bureaus—Law Enforcement and Community Relations. The Law Enforcement Bureau is responsible for the intake, investigation, and prosecution of complaints alleging violations of the Law. The Community Relations Bureau helps cultivate understanding and respect among the City’s many diverse communities through its borough-based Community Service Centers and numerous educational and outreach programs.