Email A Friend Translate this Page Printer Friendly Format Small Text Medium Text Large Text

Know Your Rights

On September 17, 2003, Mayor Bloomberg issued Executive Orders 34 & 41 to ensure that all New Yorkers, including immigrants, can access City services that they need and are entitled to receive. The Executive Orders mandate City workers to protect the confidentiality of information belonging to people that seek City services.

A person’s immigration status is protected as confidential in addition to a person’s sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a crime witness, receipt of public assistance, and information in income tax records.

Read Executive Order 34 (in PDF)
Read Executive Order 41 (in PDF)

Access
If you go to a City agency to request certain services or benefits, City employees will not ask you about your immigration status unless it is required by law or necessary to determine whether you are eligible to receive those services or benefits.

Crime
If you are the victim or witness of a crime and approach the police seeking assistance, police officers will not inquire about your immigration status. However, if police officers suspect illegal or criminal activities, they may ask you about your immigration status and/or disclose that information.

Health
If you have a medical emergency, you have the right to call an ambulance and to receive care in an emergency room, regardless of your legal status.

Housing
The law states that you cannot be denied housing because of your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, lawful occupation, alienage or citizenship status, or because children may be, are, or will be residing with you.

Tenants who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file complaints within one year of the incident by calling the New York City Commission on Human Rights at 212-306-7500 or the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) Office of Fair Housing at 212-863-7911.

Language Access
You have the right to be served in your language when you request services from a City agency.

Privacy
If you share your immigration status or other confidential information with City employees, they will not report this information to anyone, except in limited circumstances (as when required by law).

Workers’ Rights
According to the City Human Rights Law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against job seekers, based on what the employer thinks or knows to be the applicant’s alien or citizenship status, and national origin. It is also illegal to discriminate based on race, creed, color, gender (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability (including HIV/AIDS), status as a victim of domestic violence, arrest or conviction record, and/or marital status. An employer cannot discriminate in the hiring or firing of employees, compensation or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment (for example, work assignments, salary and benefits, performance evaluations, promotions, discipline), as well.

The City Human Rights Law also makes it illegal for employment agencies to discriminate against applicants seeking their services, or in referring applicants for jobs. Furthermore, unions may not discriminate in excluding or expelling persons from membership, or discriminate in any other way against their members.

New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR)
The NYC Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on numerous protected classes.

These protected classes are:
• Race
• Color
• Creed
• Age
• National Origin
• Alienage
• Citizenship Status
• Gender (including Gender Identity and Sexual Harassment)
• Sexual Orientation
• Disability
• Marital Status
• Partnership Status

Visit New York City Commission on Human Rights 

If you have more questions or concerns, please call 311 or send us a message.  

MOIA Bulletin Sign-up
Language Gateway
311 Online
We are NY