sides are encouraged to participate in conciliation
efforts through the Commission’s mediation program.
a complaint has been filed, a neutral fact-finder, the investigator
or attorney, will interview the parties and witnesses, review the
respondent’s answer and supporting documentation, issue interrogatories
and document requests, and conduct field visits and tests where
appropriate. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Commission
makes a determination of "probable cause" or "no
probable cause." Where there is insufficient evidence to establish
that discrimination occurred, the Commission will issue a “no
probable cause” determination and the case will be dismissed.
If it receives a “probable cause” determination, it
will be prosecuted.
The Hearing Process
the parties do not settle at the pre-trial conference, the case
will be heard by an administrative law judge of the City’s
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. After the hearing
is completed, the judge will issue a Report and Recommendation.
A panel of Commissioners, appointed to the Commission on Human Rights
by the Mayor, will review the administrative law judge’s Report
and Recommendation and issue a final Decision and Order.
Commission will exercise its broad remedial powers if it determines
that the respondent engaged in unlawful discrimination. Remedies
may include requiring the respondent to hire, reinstate or promote
a complainant; to compensate the complainant for lost wages; to
provide a reasonable accommodation for a complainant’s disability;
to rent or sell a housing accommodation to a complainant; and/or
compensate a complainant for emotion distress. In addition, the
Commission has the power to order respondents to implement anti-discrimination
policies or participate in training. Finally, the Commission may
impose a civil penalty of up to $250,000 if the Commission finds
the discrimination was the result of a willful or malicious act.