Commission's Quaterly Newsletter
2003 Winter Edition
BACK ON TRACK
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s appointment of career
prosecutor Patricia L. Gatling to head the City Commission on Human
Rights (CCHR) has provided the agency with a huge influx of new
energy and resources.
When Commissioner Gatling arrived at CCHR in February 2002, the
hurdles she encountered were much higher than expected. She inherited
a backlog of nearly 5,000 cases – many more than ten years
old, and some even twenty years old.
Commissioner Gatling and her staff quickly rose to the challenge
– tackling the situation aggressively and methodically. Currently,
the case inventory is under 1,100, a number that includes approximately
500 new complaint filings last year. The dramatic reduction in case
inventory was accomplished by: thoroughly reviewing the merits of
all 5,000 cases; retraining the attorneys and investigators; and
beginning complaint investigations at the Intake stage.
Last year, CCHR reached settlements on over 160 of its cases. The
benefits to complainants have included: the payment of nearly one
million dollars in damages; the construction of 75 modifications
for people with disabilities; and employer training and policy changes
in 25 companies. In addition, CCHR’s efforts have resulted
in the reinstatement of ten individuals and the hiring of five individuals
who were denied employment for discriminatory purposes.
Gatling, with Mayor Bloomberg, speaks at City Hall.