2004 Summer/Fall Edition
Fined in Race Discrimination Cases
two separate Commission-initiated race discrimination cases, the
Commission's Law Enforcement Bureau received fines from the realtors
In the first case, CCHR targeted several realtors in the mainly
white Queens neighborhoods of Belle Harbor and Neponsit as part
of the Commission's proactive testing. Black and white Commission
staff members, posing as married couples looking for a house to
purchase, received disparate treatment from one realtor, West
End Realty. A house in a specific price range was made available
for the white couple but not for the African-American couple.
Staff attorney Gemini Nolan took the case to trial and obtained
$18,000 in fines paid to the City.
In the other case, the Commission followed up on a complaint it
received, sending out CCHR testers. The respondent, Harari Realty,
quickly settled a race discrimination case in September only a
month after it was filed at CCHR when confronted with the evidence
uncovered by the Commission's Law Enforcement Bureau. Although
the realty company made no admission of guilt in the agreement,
they paid a $20,000 fine to the City and an additional $15,000
to a complainant after undercover videotapes revealed that the
Queens realty had apartments available for white clients but none
for Black clients. Additionally, they agreed to display fair housing
posters in their offices, and amend their website and rental applications.
Human Rights Specialist John McCormick handled the case.