Discrimination Charges: How to Appeal a Commission Finding

Discrimination charges in NYC

Discrimination charges can be filed against employers if the NYC Commission on Human Rights sends their cases to trial. More specifically, the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (LEB) handles all NYC discrimination cases. LEB can only send cases to trial if they have a Probable Cause Determination. Furthermore, an administrative law judge (ALJ) will oversee the trial and write a Report and Recommendation after it is over. The ALJ will then send this report to the Commission’s Office of the Chairperson (OC). The OC will write a Final Decision and Order. This document will reveal whether or not discrimination charges were made.

So what can employers do if they are facing discrimination charges? This article will reveal what happens once the LEB gives a case a Probable Cause Determination. It will also discuss possible steps that employers can take to combat discrimination charges.

What Happens if the Commission Determines an Employer Violated the Law?
Employers can appeal discrimination charges.
The LEB can charge employers for discrimination.

The Commissioner can order respondents (the accused) to take multiple actions if they are considered guilty of discrimination. Some of the orders include:

  • – a cease and desist from engaging in lawful conduct
  • – reinstatement of an employee
  • – accommodation
  • – payment for lost wages
  • – payment for emotional distress damages

Some civil penalties (payment or actions for NYC) include:

  • – payment of up to $125,000 for violations
  • – payment of up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful or malicious conduct
  • – training for managers and employees



How Can Employers Appeal a Commission Finding?

Employers do not have a right to review a Probable Cause Determination. They can object to an ALJ’s Report and Recommendation however. Additionally, employers will have to send their objections and comments to the Commission’s Office of General Counsel (OC). This means that an employer will be unable to contact the judge in the discrimination trial. They are unable to contact the judge because he or she is a part of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). OATH is also independent from the Commission. Thus, employers will have to contact   the OC in order to fight discrimination charges.


Please check out our Anti-Discrimination Course should you have been charged to obtain a certification of completion and help with your charges. Feel free to contact us with any questions around discrimination charges.