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

Monday, July 25, 2022

Handicapped Parking Spaces Enforcement Updated

Starting on October 19, 2022, fines are going to be issued to any person who obstructs handicapped parking areas at a shopping center with one to four retail stores throughout New York State pursuant to S8822


That is not to say that this is all that can happen if landlords don't enforce and/or provide for handicapped parking at their shopping centers. Landlords who do not provide for access for the disabled can be sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state specific laws like the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). So, such landlords should actively enforce their handicapped parking by also towing violators. Nonetheless, individuals who obstruct such spaces can't be sued under the ADA, so, it's a welcome sign that such obstructors will, at least, be ticketed for their thoughtless infraction.

 



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Major New RE Landlord / Tenant & Brokerage Regulatory Law in NYS - BOOM

New York tenants will be receiving new notices about their rights to reasonable modifications and accommodations for persons with disabilities as of today


The Division of Human Rights has officially adopted 9 NYCRR 466.15 - see our prior blog on the topic here


The new law places a tremendous onus, with awesome exposure, on the following people: "the owner, lessee, sub-lessee, assignee, or managing agent of, or other person having the right to sell, rent or lease a housing accommodation, constructed or to be constructed, or any agent or employee thereof." The law applies to both private property and publicly-assisted housing. 


There is a special section in the law just for real estate brokers, who are now obligated to provide the notice at the first point of substantive contact.


Plus, every obligee must also prominently and conspicuously display a link to the notice "on the homepage of such website." Unfortunately, the link, which is supposed to "be made available by the Division," is not so available. 


Nonetheless, here is the official notice and it's language (if you haven't realized it yet, housing providers and their real estate brokers better get up to speed on providing reasonable accommodations and modifications today. Failure-to-accommodate lawsuits are about to be filed with record speed / frequency): 


NOTICE DISCLOSING TENANTS’ RIGHTS TO REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Reasonable Accommodations The New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations or modifications to a building or living space to meet the needs of people with disabilities. For example, if you have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, you can ask your housing provider to make the common areas of your building accessible, or to change certain policies to meet your needs.


To request a reasonable accommodation, you should contact your property manager by calling ______________ or ______________, or by e-mailing ______________. (note: brokers may delete "by calling ______________ or ______________, or by e-mailing ______________.)


You will need to inform your housing provider that you have a disability or health problem that interferes with your use of housing, and that your request for accommodation may be necessary to provide you equal access and opportunity to use and enjoy your housing or the amenities and services normally offered by your housing provider. A housing provider may request medical information, when necessary to support that there is a covered disability and that the need for the accommodation is disability related. 


If you believe that you have been denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability, or that you were denied housing or retaliated against because you requested a reasonable accommodation, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights as described at the end of this notice.


Specifically, if you have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, you can request:

  • Permission to change the interior of your housing unit to make it accessible (however, you are required to pay for these modifications, and in the case of a rental your housing provider may require that you restore the unit to its original condition when you move out);
  • Changes to your housing provider’s rules, policies, practices, or services;
  • Changes to common areas of the building so you have an equal opportunity to use the building. The New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to pay for reasonable modifications to common use areas.

Examples of reasonable modifications and accommodations that may be requested under the New York State Human Rights Law include:

  • If you have a mobility impairment, your housing provider may be required to provide you with a ramp or other reasonable means to permit you to enter and exit the building. 
  • If your healthcare provider provides documentation that having an animal will assist with your disability, you should be permitted to have the animal in your home despite a “no pet” rule.
  • If you need grab bars in your bathroom, you can request permission to install them at your own expense. If your housing was built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 and the walls need to be reinforced for grab bars, your housing provider must pay for that to be done.
  • If you have an impairment that requires a parking space close to your unit, you can request your housing provider to provide you with that parking space, or place you at the top of a waiting list if no adjacent spot is available. 
  • If you have a visual impairment and require printed notices in an alternative format such as large print font, or need notices to be made available to you electronically, you can request that accommodation from your landlord.


Required Accessibility Standards 

All buildings constructed for use after March 13, 1991, are required to meet the following standards:

  • Public and common areas must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  • All doors must be sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons in wheelchairs; and 
  • All multi-family buildings must contain accessible passageways, fixtures, outlets, thermostats, bathrooms, and kitchens.


If you believe that your building does not meet the required accessibility standards, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.


How to File a Complaint

A complaint must be filed with the Division within one year of the alleged discriminatory act or in court within three years of the alleged discriminatory act. You can find more information on your rights, and on the procedures for filing a complaint, by going to www.dhr.ny.gov, or by calling 1-888-392-3644. You can obtain a complaint form on the website, or one can be e-mailed or mailed to you. You can also call or e-mail a Division regional office. The regional offices are listed on the website.




Monday, May 16, 2022

New NYS Discrimination Law Enacted - Victims of Domestic Violence Protected

On May 13, 2022, NYS protected victims of domestic violence from discrimination in credit, housing, educational institutions, employment agencies, and labor organizations. Even real estate brokers are subject to this law and everyone needs to know that they must treat victims with the respect and support that they need and deserve. 


While domestic violence victims have been protected from employment discrimination since 2019, within the state, the new law, S8417B, even expands this category by now making employment applications and advertisements subject to the law. 


Simply, if you are a victim of domestic violence, you have rights. This applies to the "1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men [who] will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime" according to CDC reports. Simply, you are not alone and if you experience discrimination you have the right to be compensated. 






Friday, May 06, 2022

Education Discrimination & Your Rights - What Victims Should Know

Education discrimination is illegal throughout the United States and in certain states, like New York, there are even greater protections, rights, and damages available to victims and their parents. 


When it comes to education, you and your child have a right to be free from harassment, bullying and other forms of wrongful discrimination that is perpetrated by teachers, the administration, or even other students (your peers). This applies to public schools, non-religious private schools, colleges and universities. Simply, you and your child can't be denied a right to learn because of who you are. 


Anti-discrimination laws in education apply regardless of whether the discrimination is explicit or implicit. While we've all heard about equal access to sports between the sexes / genders, or even teachers having sex with their students, discrimination lawsuits more commonly concern bullying of minorities, the failure to give testing accommodations to disabled students, and, even, the failure to extend days off to religious observers. Simply, it is the administration's duty to make education equally accessible to all and this failure can result in a lawsuit.  


On the federal level, Title IX of the Educational Amendments protects against sex discrimination while Title VI of the Civil Rights Act addresses race, color, and national origin discrimination, and finally Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects against disability discrimination. However, these federal laws on education discrimination were just limited by the Supreme Court and can, mostly, no longer result in victims receiving emotional distress or punitive damages.


Nonetheless, states, like New York, provide victims with the right to recover for their emotional distress and punitive damages. Moreover, New York adds protections by covering victims of discrimination with respect to additional categories, such as race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age and marital status. New York even makes clear that it's own public school districts can be held accountable for discrimination based on an amendment to its laws from July 25, 2019, A3425.


If you or your child were a victim of education discrimination, it is important to act quickly and file your claim after hiring a lawyer. In New York State, claims against public school districts must be filed within 3 months after the discriminatory event. While the State's anti-discrimination laws otherwise provide up to 3 years for lawsuits against non-public schools (i.e., private schools / colleges / universities), it's nonetheless important to act quickly to preserve all the discriminatory evidence (i.e., audio / video), which is done by immediately sending what is known as a spoliation notice.


To be clear, discrimination victims, in New York, can recover compensatory damages (being made whole with emotional distress damages), punitive damages (punishment damages), and your attorneys' fees. The perpetrator can lose their license (if licensed as educators or otherwise), be required to take trainings, and be ordered to stop their offensive behavior. There are fines and more. Discrimination is wrong and must be stopped. 


Don't be afraid to speak-up. If you are advancing an anti-discrimination right for yourself or your child, you are protected from retaliation. Even if it is ultimately found that you or your child was not discriminated against, you both can nonetheless be compensated for facing unlawful coercion, intimidation, threats, or other types of interference with your anti-discrimination rights. Again, this is not just true if you are advancing your own rights, it also applies if you are raising your child's rights, or another student's rights, because anti-retaliation laws protect anyone who aids and/or encourages someone else in exercising their rights to be free from discrimination. 




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Monday, May 02, 2022

US Supreme Court Eliminates Availability of Emotional Distress Damages in Certain Discrimination Cases - Congress?

Discrimination victims may only recover compensatory damages and injunctive relief, not punitive damages or emotional distress damages, when they bring cases under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments, unless Congress acts NOW! 


As a desk reference:

  1. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 bars funding recipients from discriminating because of disability;
  2. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act forbids race, color, and national origin discrimination in federally funded programs or activities; 
  3. Title IX of the Educational Amendments prohibits sex-based discrimination education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance; and
  4. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act outlaws discrimination on any of the proceeding grounds, in addition to age, by healthcare entities receiving federal funds.


Until April 28, 2022, it remained an open question whether discrimination victims could recover emotional distress damages under those 4 federal statutes. Without emotional distress damages, a victim's recovery is limited because discrimination under these statutes do not concern fixed damages, like in employment where there is back-pay and forward-pay. Instead, most victims only experience humiliation, frustration, and loss of dignity when they are discriminated in healthcare, education, or by general recipients of federal funding. Nonetheless, the US Supreme Court ruled that emotional distress damages are not recoverable in discrimination cases brought under these 4 statutes when it issued its decision in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller


The case involved an accommodation request by a deaf and legally blind physical therapy recipient who requested an American Sign Language Interpreter at her sessions. You know, so that she could communicate and all. But, the provider said no, which was clearly an act of discrimination and not at issue before the Court. Instead, the Court was faced with determining whether the discrimination victim could recover emotional distress damages under the applicable statutes. 


Stated otherwise, the Court was charged with determining what recovery was available to a victim of discrimination where the Court had previously ruled that punitive damages were unavailable under the 4 statutes. So, what was left? Shouldn't emotional distress damages compensate a victim for their terrible and dehumanizing experience? 


No, said the Supreme Court because these 4 statutes were enacted under Congress' Spending Clause authority and such statutes are analyzed as contracts where defendants must have received clear notice of exposure to emotional distress damages for them to be recoverable. 


Yet, this clearly devastating decision to discrimination victims also has a clear solution. Congress needs to amend these 4 statutes today and provide clear notice that emotional distress damages are recoverable in all discrimination cases. Congress needs to act now. 



 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

3 Workplace Discrimination Laws on Governor Hochul's Desk

On 3/15/2022, 3 important workplace discrimination laws made their way to the NYS Governor's Desk to be signed and enacted. 


A7101 - Prohibits the release of personnel records as a retaliatory action against employees who complain or assist in proceedings involving unlawful discriminatory practices by employers.


A2483B - Includes the state and all public employers as employers subject to the provisions of the human rights law; includes executive, legislative and judicial employers.

A2035B - Establishes a toll free confidential hotline for complainants of workplace sexual harassment to be administered by the division of human rights; makes related provisions.

Are you ready? 

As an update, all 3 were signed into law on 3/16/2022.



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Housing Discrimination - Updated Protected Classes List - As Applicable to Downstate New York

We are always updating our CE courses at Lieb School because the law is constantly changing. 


While the law changes on every topic, there is no field that seems to be evolving today more than anti-discrimination law. So, we thought it important to share our updated definitive lists of protected classes within downstate New York for Fair Housing and Discrimination Law.


Note - While these lists are similar for employment discrimination law, there are minor differences in protections between the two fields and you should consult with an attorney should you have any questions.


Fair Housing Act:

  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. National origin
  4. Religion
  5. Sex
  6. Familial status
  7. Handicap

New York State Human Rights Law
  1. Race
  2. Creed
  3. Color
  4. National origin
  5. Sexual orientation
  6. Gender identity or expression (transgender)
  7. Military status
  8. Sex
  9. Age
  10. Disability
  11. Marital status
  12. Lawful source of income
  13. Familial status
  14. Arrest / sealed conviction record
  15. Domestic violence victim status (lease / occupancy only)

New York City Human Rights Law
  1. Race
  2. Creed 
  3. Color 
  4. National origin 
  5. Gender 
  6. Age 
  7. Disability 
  8. Sexual orientation 
  9. Uniformed service
  10. Marital status 
  11. Partnership status 
  12. Immigration or citizenship status
  13. Lawful source of income 
  14. Presence of children 
  15. Occupation
  16. Victim of domestic violence, stalking or sex offenses

Westchester Fair Housing Law:
  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. Religion
  4. Age
  5. National origin
  6. Alienage or citizenship status
  7. Ethnicity
  8. Familial status
  9. Creed
  10. Gender
  11. Sexual orientation
  12. Marital status 
  13. Disability 
  14. Source of income
  15. Status as victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking

Nassau County Fair Housing (Open Housing)
  1. Race
  2. Creed
  3. Color
  4. Gender
  5. Disability
  6. Age 
  7. Religion
  8. Source of income
  9. Veteran status 
  10. Sexual orientation
  11. Familial status 
  12. Marital status
  13. Ethnicity  
  14. National origin
  15. First responder status
  16. Visible traits of an individual such as natural hair texture, protective hairstyles & donning of religious garments or items and shall include segregation

Suffolk County Human Rights Law:
  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. Creed
  4. Age
  5. National origin
  6. Alienage / citizenship
  7. Gender
  8. Sexual orientation 
  9. Disability
  10. Marital status 
  11. Sex
  12. Familial status
  13. Military status 
  14. Visible traits of an individual, such as natural hair texture, protective hairstyles & donning of religious garments or items
  15. Lawful source of income
  16. Veteran status
  17. Victim of domestic violence

To remind everyone, the federal law is the floor under which states and locales may not fall. Plus, there are often city / town / village anti-discrimination laws that are also relevant and must be respected in housing.

Discrimination is wrong and should be eliminated through trainings, policies, and lawsuits. As a society, we have to utilize all of the tools in our arsenal to make housing available to everyone irrespective of demographics.

Help us to get the word out on this one. It's important because unless everyone knows the protections, no one is really protected.





Monday, July 19, 2021

Attention Mom & Pop Landlords & Tenants - New Anti-Discrimination Law

Ever see a landlord renting the second unit in their two-family residence who posted a sign in the window stating "whites only," or what about a landlord asking a prospective tenant for their religious affiliation with the intention of refusing to rent to persons of a particular creed? 


Effective July 16, 2021, that is illegal in the State of New York. 


Previously there was an exemption to anti-discrimination laws that permitted this despicable behavior when a landlord was renting an owner-occupied two-family unit, known as Mrs. Murphy Law.


Now, under Executive Law 296, all property in this state is subject to the same law for discriminatory advertising - it is unlawful to print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of application, or to make any record or inquiry which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age, disability, marital status, or familial status, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination.


Are you happy that New York State is increasing accessibility and equality for all; or, do you miss the good old days when you could be a miserable bigot? 




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 liebcompliance.com


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.


Monday, January 20, 2020

New Law: Independent Contractors in NYC are Protected Against Discrimination and Must be Trained

Effective January 11, 2020, independent contractors in New York City are protected from discrimination or harassment in the workplace and can sue under the New York City Human Rights Law (New York State Human Rights Law already protects independent contractors). In addition, independent contractors in NYC now have a right to request and receive a reasonable accommodation related to their disability, religious observance, etc.

Because independent contractors are protected under the New York City Human Rights Law, companies in NYC with 15 or more employees are now required to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to independent contractors (It was previously encouraged). Companies must modify their policies and training materials/procedures accordingly. Training under the NYC Human Rights Law must be completed by April 1, 2020.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Enhanced Fair Housing Regulations Published in State Register - Make Your Comments IMMEDIATELY

On January 15, 2020, Enhanced Fair Housing Provisions (page 12) were officially announced for New York State in the State Register.

Public Comment period goes to March 15, 2020 - make your comments by email:
david.mossberg@dos.ny.gov - or forever hold your peace. 

The proposal includes additions to 19 NYCRR 175.28, 175.29 and 177.9.


Section 175.28. Notification of Fair Housing Laws requires real estate brokers to advise parties how to sue them for discrimination - BE WARNED - it states:

a) A real estate broker shall be responsible to ensure that each individual licensed pursuant to Article 12-A of the New York Real Property Law and associated with such broker provides to a prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord upon first substantive contact a disclosure notice furnished by the Department, containing substantive provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law. The disclosure notice shall set forth how Human Rights Law complaints may be filed, and such other information as the Department deems pertinent.

b) The disclosure notice required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, may be provided to a prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord by any of the following means: email, text, electronic messaging system, facsimile, or hardcopy. An electronic communication containing a link to the disclosure notice required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall be permissible, provided the communication also contains text to inform the prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord that the link contains information regarding the New York State Human Rights Law. Oral disclosure does not satisfy the requirements imposed by this section.

c) The disclosure notice required by paragraph (a) of this section shall apply to all real property whether or not it is used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, wholly or partly, as a home or residence of one or more persons regardless of the number of units, and shall include: condominiums; cooperative apartments; vacant lands, including unimproved real property upon which such dwellings are to be constructed; or commercial properties.

d) A real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson, or licensed associate broker that provides the disclosure notice required pursuant to this section by hardcopy, shall obtain a signed acknowledgment from the prospective buyer, tenant, seller, or landlord. Such signed disclosure notice shall be retained for not less than three years. A real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson, or licensed associate broker that provides the disclosure notice required pursuant to this section by email, text, electronic messaging system, or facsimile, shall maintain a duplicate copy of such disclosure and shall retain the same for not less than three years. If the prospective buyer, tenant, seller, or landlord declines to sign the disclosure notice, the real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson or licensed associate broker shall set forth under oath or affirmation a written declaration of the facts regarding when such notice was provided and shall maintain a copy of the declaration for not less than three years.

e) A real estate broker shall be jointly liable for any violation of this section committed by any licensed individual associated with such broker.

---
Section 175.29. Posting of Fair Housing Laws requires new fair housing signs at offices, websites, & all open houses to advise parties how to sue them for discrimination - BE WARNED - it states:

a) A real estate broker shall display and maintain at every office and branch office operated by such broker a notice, furnished by the Department, indicating the substantive provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law relative to housing accommodations. The notice shall set forth
how Human Rights Law complaints may be filed and such other information as the Department deems pertinent.

b) The notice required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be prominently displayed in the window of such office and any branch office maintained by such broker if such broker also provides listings or other postings in the window of such location and must be visible to persons on that portion of the sidewalk adjacent to such office or branch office. If any office or branch office is not accessible from the sidewalk or if postings are otherwise prohibited by any other applicable law, then the notice
required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall be prominently posted in the same location the business license is posted pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 441-a of article 12 of the Real Property Law.

c) All websites created and maintained by real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers, real estate salespersons and any real estate team, as such term is defined by section 175.25 of this title, shall prominently and conspicuously display on the homepage of such website a link to the Department’s notice as required by paragraph (a) of this section, which shall be made available by the Department.

d) A real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson, or licensed associate broker shall have displayed at all open houses of all real property the notice required by paragraph (a) of this section. In addition, a real estate broker, licensed real estate agent, or licensed associate broker shall
have available at all open houses and showings of all real property the notice required by paragraph (a) of section 175.28 of this part.

e) A real estate broker shall be jointly liable for any violation of this section committed by any licensed individual associated with such broker.

---
Section 177.9. Video Recording and Record Preservation requires schools to record their discrimination trainings - it states:

(a) Every entity approved to provide instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property shall cause a recording to be created of each course in its entirety. Such recording shall contain both video and audio of the instruction.

(b) The recording required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be maintained by the approved entity for at least one year following the date such course was provided to an enrolled student. If the entity knows or suspects that the recording is or will be the subject of litigation, then the approved entity shall maintain such recording as required by law.

(c) The recording required by paragraph (a) of this section may be subject to audit by the Department pursuant to section 177.11 of this part.


Saturday, December 07, 2019

DOS Notice to Licensees in Real Estate Brokerage

Licensees just received this notice on Fair Housing. Remember - discriminating in real estate can result in fines, license revocation, and huge judgment awards in lawsuits.

Lieb School is committed to ending discrimination in housing by educating licensees about behaviors that constitute inadvertent discrimination. Lieb School - Where the Law is Followed.


Dear Licensee:

Please see attached Fair Housing Guidance Document. This email is a reminder notification of your obligation as a Real Estate Licensee to adhere to the laws prohibiting discriminatory practices.

If you have any questions pertaining to this topic, please contact us at eAccessNY@dos.ny.gov.

Division of Licensing Services
NYS Department of State



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New Law: Discrimination Commissions

On November 25, 2019, General Municipal Law 239-o was amended to have local Commissions on Human Rights take into account all of the NYS protected classes when seeking to foster mutual respect and understanding in the community.

The protected classes are:

  1. ages
  2. races
  3. sexual orientation
  4. gender identity or expression
  5. military status
  6. sex
  7. disability
  8. predisposing genetic characteristics
  9. familial status
  10. marital status
  11. domestic violence victim status 
  12. creed
  13. color
  14. national origin

Friday, October 11, 2019

Protections for Victims of Harassment are Effective Today.

The following provisions of the recently passed New York State law which provide additional protections for victims of harassment/discrimination based on any protected class (sex, race, religion, etc.) go into effect today: 

1)  As of today, the high "severe and pervasive" standard for establishing claims of harassment no longer applies. Rather, any conduct, including isolated incidents, that merely rises above "petty slights" or "trivial inconveniences" may be considered harassment.

2) Whether or not an employee filed an internal complaint prior to filing a lawsuit is no longer determinative of an employer's liability.

3) Non-employees (contractors, vendors, etc.) can now bring claims of harassment against companies based on any protected class.

4) Non-disclosure provisions in agreements settling harassment claims are prohibited unless it is the employee's preference.

5) Mandatory arbitration of harassment claims based on any protected class is now prohibited.

Employers should ensure that these new provisions are included in their annual harassment prevention training.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Alert: Cuomo Makes it Easier for Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims

Attention Employers and HR!!!!

Cuomo signs sexual harassment law- as we first reported on June 19, 2019, A08421 passed both houses and now Cuomo has made it the law of the State of New York.

The legislation does the following:
  • Changes the severe or pervasive standard of harassment to a very low standard of more than petty slights or trivial inconveniences;
  • Eliminates part of the Faragher/Ellerth affirmative defense to a lawsuit by making the fact that the employee did not make a complaint about the harassment to the employer not determinative as to liability;
  • Extends protection for non-employees in the workplace to all protected classes;
  • Allows courts to award attorney's fees on all claims of employment discrimination, and allow for punitive damages in employment discrimination cases against private employers;
  • Provide that the Human Rights Law is to be construed liberally for remedial purposes, regardless of how federal laws have been construed;
  • Prohibit mandatory arbitration clauses for discrimination claims;
  • Prohibit non-disclosure agreements in any settlement for a claim of discrimination, unless it's the complainant's preference;
  • Provide that any term or condition in a non-disclosure agreement is void if it prohibits the complainant from initiating or participating in an agency investigation or disclosing facts necessary to receive public benefits;
  • Require that employees be notified that non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts cannot prevent them from talking to the police, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the State Division of Human Rights or a similar local entity, or a lawyer;
  • Extend the authority of the Attorney General to prosecute certain civil and criminal cases of discrimination against all protected classes;
  • Require the Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights to evaluate the impact of the model sexual harassment prevention policy every four years and update the policy as needed;
  • Require any term or condition in a non-disclosure agreement be provided in writing to all parties, in plain English and the primary language of the complainant;
  • Require the commissioner of the Labor Department to prepare templates of the model policy in languages other than English;
  • Require every employer to provide employees with their sexual harassment policy in English or their primary language when they are hired and during training; and
  • Extend the statute of limitations to file a sexual harassment complaint with the Division of Human Rights from one year to three years.

Visit discriminationpreventiontraining.com to keep your company safe from discrimination claims while maintaining a safe workplace for all.



Friday, May 31, 2019

Sexual Harassment Complaints up 62% since 2016

According to the NYS Division of Human Rights, in legislative testimony provided earlier this month, sexual harassment complaints made to the Division have increased 62% since 2016.

Plus, this gigantic increase in complaints occurred before every employee in the State received training as to their rights when either being a victim of sexual harassment or being retaliated against for attempting to stop harassment.

Remember - every employer must train their employees before October 9, 2019 per Labor Law 201-g.

Failure to train is a misdemeanor and will be the kiss of death when trying to defend the company against a complaint of sex discrimination.