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2021 Press Releases

NYC Commission on Human Rights Chair and Commissioner, Annabel Palma Statement on the Passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, December 27, 2021

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a man who irrevocably changed the world for the better. His powerful and spirited voice guided South Africa out of apartheid, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. His groundbreaking work as the head of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission, provided a framework for restorative justice that today  shapes and inspires the Commission’s work in pursuing justice and accountability for New Yorkers facing discrimination. His advocacy for nonviolence, as well as his allyship toward causes such as  climate change, LBGTQ rights, and freedom of oppressed peoples all over the world, are an enduring guide for humanity to follow. We are forever in his debt.”

NYC Commission on Human Rights Launches Public Education Campaign on Domestic Worker Rights, November 18, 2021

The NYC Commission on Human Rights is launching a public education campaign to inform domestic workers and their employers of expanded workplace protections. Intro 339-B, signed in August, extends the coverage of the NYC Human Rights Law to full and part-time domestic workers, regardless of employer size - eliminating the typical 4-employee minimum for employer liability. The campaign will highlight that in many instances, private homes are a workplace where discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are prohibited.

"March of 2022 ushers in an important expansion of the NYC Human Rights Law when Intro 339-B takes effect," said Annabel Palma, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. "Domestic workers, such as caregivers, nannies, and housekeepers, are essential to New Yorker’s ability to thrive, and care work is a vital piece of the city’s infrastructure. Our campaign aims to educate domestic workers on their rights and protections, and to ensure employers understand their obligations."

NYC Commission on Human Rights Announces Vital Expansion of NYC Human Rights Law in Employment, August 25, 2021

“The NYC Commission on Human Rights fully supports Intro 339-B, which extends employment protections to domestic workers, one of the fastest growing sectors of the service economy,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “The Commission worked closely with community advocates to see these protections codified into law. Domestic workers can be uniquely vulnerable to abuse, discrimination, and many kinds of harassment – with little to no recourse when mistreated or fired. This local law allows the Commission to apply the protections of the NYC Human Rights Law to domestic workers, and we look forward to working with community advocates, partners, parent and family groups, and other groups working with people who employ domestic workers to educate employees and employers about these changes.”

NYC Commission on Human Rights Announces Landmark $1,000,000 Sexual Harassment Civil Penalty Against Fox News Network, June 29, 2021

“With this settlement, the Commission not only ordered the largest civil penalty in the Commission’s history, but has mandated dramatic and critical policy changes at Fox News Network,” said Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn P. Malalis. “Among these policy changes is a remarkable shift in how Fox News Network uses mandatory arbitration. Employers seeking to improve transparency and accountability on discrimination and harassment should look to this change in mandatory arbitration as a model for future policy. The Commission takes all allegations of sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and retaliation very seriously and our settlement today demonstrates that in New York City no one is above the law. Every New Yorker, whether in a newsroom or lunchroom, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect in their workplace." 

Statement From NYC Commission on Human Rights Chair and Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis On The Anti-Muslim Attack In London, Ontario, June 9, 2021

“The New York City Commission on Human Rights is deeply saddened to learn of the horrific anti-Muslim attack in London, Ontario yesterday. As reported by the media, four members of the Afzaal family were targeted and brutally murdered by a white nationalist because of their Muslim faith, leaving a fifth member of the family, a child, seriously injured…These murders are the most recent example in a disturbing pattern of attacks on Black, Indigenous, people of color and religious communities to further a white nationalist agenda… In New York City, there is no room for this type of hatred.”

NYC Commission On Human Rights and Public Artist In Residence Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya Announce Next Installment of Public Awareness Campaign and Art Series “I Still Believe In Our City” In Partnership With the NYC Department Of Transportation’s Art Program And the NYC Department Of Cultural Affairs, April 6, 2021

“This installation of the art series created with Commission Public Artist in Residence Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is an extension of the Commission’s public awareness campaign celebrating New York City’s AAPI communities,” said Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn P. Malalis. “Through this unprecedented crisis of anti-Asian bias, discrimination, and harassment, these artworks line a Financial District sidewalk offering hope, perseverance, and resistance as New Yorkers have stood together in community against hate. The multi-lingual messages of resilience and determination, displayed in partnership with the Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program, are a reminder that we still believe in New York City, and we are not willing to give up on her, now or ever.”

New Interactive Art Installation "May We Know Our Own Strength" Illuminates Stories of Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, April 1, 2021

“This installation is about the transformative power of collective healing,” said creator and Public Artist in Residence Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. “We’re experiencing a watershed moment where Asian youth are coming forward with their stories of sexual assault and gender-based violence. Their courage is truly remarkable. Experiencing assault can tear you into pieces on the inside, leaving you feeling helpless and alone. In those moments we can feel hollowed out, crumpled up, put in a box. Reduced to nothing more than a single strand. It takes compassion and community to find our way back, to piece together our shattered sense of self.”

“The title of the installation, ‘May We Know Our Own Strength,’ expresses my hope for survivors, and everyone who bears the weight of trauma,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “The effect of the compounding traumas of gender-based violence and anti-Asian racism cannot be overstated...This installation allows survivors to let go of some of that burden, gives a voice to those who suffer in silence, and uses their stories to take up physical space, reminding all of us that there is power in our shared experiences.”

Statement From NYC Commission on Human Rights Chair and Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis On The Anti-Asian Attack In Atlanta, GA, March 17, 2021

“Today, we mourn the senseless deaths of eight people in Georgia, six of whom were Asian women murdered at their places of work. We have lost these eight people because of brutal acts of hate. I am heartbroken for the victims’ families, loved ones, and communities, and I am horrified at the pain and devastation this act of hate is causing Asian and Asian American communities.”