Discrimination complaints are handled by the New York City Commission of Human Rights. More specifically, the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (LEB) investigates and prosecutes discrimination allegations. Once the LEB receives a complaint, they follow 4 steps. These steps include:
- – intake
- – complaint filing
- – investigation
- – determination
The LEB decides whether or not the complaint has probable cause during the determination step. If it does not have probable cause, the allegation goes straight to an appeal process. If the complaint has probable cause, it goes through a series of additional steps. A complainant can decide to mediate the issue at any time during the investigation and prosecution. The following will explore LEB’s first steps after a discrimination complaint is made and the ways they can mediate the matter :
Investigation and Prosecution of Discrimination Complaints
The LEB investigates all discrimination allegations. They also determine whether an allegation is considered unlawful discrimination. The LEB will issue a Determination of Probable Cause if the allegation is unlawful. They will also issue a Determination of No Probable Cause if it is not. Furthermore, external offices hold no influence over LEB’s decisions. This includes Commission offices as well as administrative agencies.
People may appeal their case if they receive a NO Probable Cause statement. The Commission’s Office of the Chairperson (OC) will review appeal requests. Additionally, the OC is not a part of LEB enforcement operations so they may send matters back to the LEB for continued investigation. They may also send matters to LEB for prosecution or to issue No Probable Cause Determinations.
Complainants may request a mediation with respondents at any time after making discrimination complaints. This mediation can prevent further litigation. Complainants can also withdraw their complaint. The LEB transfers Discrimination complaints to the Commission’s Office of Mediation and Conflict Resolution (OMCR). The LEB will only transfer matters if they approve it for mediation. The OMCR will then discuss the allegation and schedule mediation. It is important to note, the OMCR’s mediation is separate from any other Commission office. Finally, a complainant may withdraw his/her discrimination complaint or continue with litigation if the mediation does not resolve the issue.