Legal Analysts

Thursday, October 14, 2021

No More Confidential Settlements in Discrimination Cases Brought Before the New York State Division of Human Rights

Starting on October 12, 2021, discrimination cases before the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) are no longer permitted to conclude with a private settlement. 

Instead, if settlement is achieved, DHR is now requiring "complainant’s attorney [] to state in writing why they are seeking a discontinuance and, if the reason is private settlement, the discontinuance will not be granted." Rather, "the matter [will be resolved] through an Order after stipulation that indicates the terms of the settlement or to proceed through the agency’s public hearing process." 

The purpose of this new rule, according to DHR, is "to ensure that the terms of any settlement comply with our basic standards and do not violate public policy."

Further, given that three-quarters of discrimination cases result in settlement, DHR will be able to collect better data of what is happening in resolving these disputes by monitoring settlements. Hopefully, DHR will actively compile this data and inform the public of their findings so that litigants can make smart, informed decisions, when settling cases into the future.