How current events impact business & real estate

Showing posts with label Human Rights Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Human Rights Law. Show all posts

Thursday, March 25, 2021

UPDATE on New Tenant Disclosure Form on Reasonable Modification and Accommodation

As an update on our BLOG on the new law requiring a disclosure form on reasonable modifications and accommodations, Governor Cuomo just signed Senate Bill S867 which removes the requirement that all landlords conspicuously post the disclosure form in all vacant listings. According to the New York State Senate website, “this measure was seen as an excessive mandate on landlords and difficult to enforce uniformly.”

Also, the new law is now under Section 170-d of the Executive Law. It was previously passed under Section 296 of the New York State Human Rights Law. This change means the failure to serve the disclosure form is no longer a listed discriminatory practice under the New York State Human Rights Law. Thus, it is unclear whether any penalty or enforcement is available on the new law or if it is just another lip service law.

As to the disclosure form itself, you can now access the New York State Division of Human Rights’ published disclosure form HERE.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

HIV Patients Have Right to Cosmetic Surgery

The Federal Courts, in the Southern District of New York, awarded $125,000 to each individual who was denied cosmetic surgery due to their HIV-Positive status in interesting discrimination case. 

The case was brought under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the New York City Human Rights Law.

The penalty was based upon the HIV-Positive individuals' traumatic experiences, resulting in significant feelings of humiliation, shock, and worthlessness, as well as anxiety, stress, sleeplessness, and feelings of stigma and humiliation.

Again, $125,000 was awarded to each victim of discrimination who experienced emotional distress.

What do you think the award should have been?

  1. Nothing
  2. $20,000
  3. $125,000
  4. $1,000,000

Monday, August 03, 2020

New Housing Discrimination Law – RE Brokers Exposed to Fines & Revoked / Suspended Licenses

Effective August 3, 2020, the Department of State is given the discretion to fine, suspend, or revoke a real estate broker or salesperson's license for violations of the New York State Human Rights Law in their capacity as broker or agent.

Governor Cuomo signed Senate Bill S6874-A which specifically amends Section 441-c of the Real Property Law to include violations of Article 15 of the Executive Law or the New York State Human Rights Law as a ground for revoking or suspending a real estate broker or salesperson's license.

Ironically, the law already included the Department of State’s ability to revoke a license at 19 NYCRR 175.17(b), which states:
“No real estate broker or salesperson shall engage in an unlawful discriminatory practice, as proscribed by any federal, state or local law applicable to the activities of real estate licensees in New York State. A finding by any federal, state or local agency or court of competent jurisdiction that a real estate broker or salesperson has engaged in unlawful discriminatory practice in the performance of licensed real estate activities shall be presumptive evidence of untrustworthiness and will subject such licensee to discipline, including a proceeding for revocation. Nothing herein shall limit or restrict the Department from otherwise exercising its authority pursuant to section 441-c of the Real Property Law.”

Is the new law than just lip service to appease the public after the Newsday investigation which uncovered rampant housing discrimination violations in the real estate industry?

Weigh in.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Security Deposit Voucher Recipients PROTECTED by Source of Income Discrimination Laws

The NYS Appellate Division recently clarified that "[t]he fact that the security vouchers are a guarantee of payment, rather than a cash payment, does not render them not 'income,' as they are an item of value, worth a payment of up to one month's rent on the tenant's behalf to compensate for unpaid rent or damages to an apartment."

Landlords, brokers, and property managers be warned - you cannot deny a prospective tenant based upon the source of their money for their security deposit as well as for their rent.

Click to read the full Appellate decision, Estates NY Real Estate Servs. LLC v City of New York.

Discrimination lawsuits are everywhere, but they are easy to avoid so long as you treat everyone equally irrespective of their membership in a protected class.

If you get sued for discrimination, lawyer-up fast and watch what you say. Many defendants dig their grave when they get sued for discrimination by acting irrationally. Protect yourself and your company now with trainings at

Monday, May 18, 2020

Suffolk County Enacts "Ban the Box" Law Prohibiting Employers from Inquiring into an Applicant's Criminal Conviction History

The Suffolk County Legislature recently passed a "Ban the Box" law which will prohibit all employers in Suffolk County with 15 or more employees from inquiring as to a candidate's criminal conviction history during the application process. 

An employer cannot consider an applicant's criminal conviction history until after an application has been submitted and the initial interview has been conducted. An employer may only deny employment based on an applicant's criminal conviction history after conducting an individualized inquiry and concluding that the criminal conviction "bears a direct relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position sought, or that hiring would pose an unreasonable risk to the property or to the safety of individuals or the general public."

The law specifically exempts the Suffolk County Police Department, the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, public or private schools and any public or private provider of care or supervision for children, young adults, or physically or mentally disabled individuals. 

An aggrieved individual may file a claim with the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission or file a civil lawsuit. Employers in Suffolk County should immediately adjust their hiring practices and policies to avoid substantial liability.

The law is effective as of August 25, 2020.