Authorizes the institution of a suit in any court of competent jurisdiction alleging a violation of the human rights law for a period of three years after the dismissal of a complaint for administrative convenience by the division of human rights.
Ayes (32): Adams, Addabbo, Aubertine, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Foley, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Montgomery, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky
Nays (26): Bonacic, DeFrancisco, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Nozzolio, Padavan, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Skelos, Volker, Winner, Young
Absent (1): Seward
Excused (3): Alesi, Johnson O, Morahan
BILL NUMBER: S6864
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the executive law, in relation to institution of court actions under section 297 thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : To provide a time limitation within which complainants can institute a court action after dismissal of their complaints for administrative convenience by the state Division of Human Rights.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : This legislation would amend subdivision 9 of Section 297 of the Executive Law to provide that when a complaint is dismissed by the Division of Human Rights for administrative convenience, the complainant may institute a court action within three years after the dismissal.
JUSTIFICATION : Sometimes complaints before the State Division of Human Rights are dismissed for administrative convenience after investigation and conciliation efforts. The Division has broad powers regarding its ability to dismiss and may impose such a dismissal against the wishes of a complainant to pursue their complaint. This legislation is intended to insure that the rights of the aggrieved party will be maintained to obtain redress if their complaint is dismissed after the statute of limitations set forth in the Human Rights Law has expired.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007-08: A.3331 (Peoples) 2005: A.6065 (Sanders) -- Passed Assembly 2003-04: A.1949 (Sanders) -- Passed Assembly 2001-02: A.2341 (Sanders) -- Passed Assembly 1999-00: A.675 (Sanders) -- Passed Assembly 1997-98: A.1586-A (Sanders) -- Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6864 IN SENATE February 17, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to institution of court actions under section 297 thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section 297 of the executive law, as amended by section 16 of part D of chapter 405 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 9. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice shall have a cause of action in any court of appropriate juris- diction for damages, including, in cases of housing discrimination only, punitive damages, and such other remedies as may be appropriate, includ- ing any civil fines and penalties provided in subdivision four of this section, unless such person had filed a complaint
[hereunder]PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION or with any local commission on human rights, or with the superintendent pursuant to the provisions of section two hundred ninety-six-a of this [chapter,]ARTICLE; provided that, where the divi- sion has dismissed such complaint on the grounds of administrative convenience, on the grounds of untimeliness, or on the grounds that the election of remedies is annulled, such person shall maintain all rights to bring suit as if no complaint had been filed with the division AND MAY BRING SUCH SUIT WITHIN THREE YEARS AFTER ANY SUCH DISMISSAL FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE. At any time prior to a hearing before a hearing examiner, a person who has a complaint pending at the division may request that the division dismiss the complaint and annul his or her election of remedies so that the human rights law claim may be pursued in court, and the division may, upon such request, dismiss the complaint on the grounds that such person's election of an administrative remedy is annulled. Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of section two hundred four of the civil practice law and rules, if a complaint is so annulled by the division, upon the request of the party bringing such complaint before the division, such party's rights to bring such cause of actionEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02790-01-9 S. 6864 2
before a court of appropriate jurisdiction shall be limited by the stat- ute of limitations in effect in such court at the time the complaint was initially filed with the division. Any party to a housing discrimination complaint shall have the right, within twenty days following a determi- nation of probable cause pursuant to subdivision two of this section, to elect to have an action commenced in a civil court, and an attorney representing the division of human rights
[will]SHALL be appointed to present the complaint in court [,]or, with the consent of the division, the case may be presented by complainant's attorney. A complaint filed by the equal employment opportunity commission to comply with the requirements of 42 USC 2000e-5(c) and 42 USC 12117(a) and 29 USC 633(b) shall not constitute the filing of a complaint within the meaning of this subdivision. No person who has initiated any action in a court of competent jurisdiction or who has an action pending before any adminis- trative agency under any other law of the state based upon an act which would be an unlawful discriminatory practice under this article [,]may file a complaint with respect to the same grievance under this section or under section two hundred ninety-six-a of this article. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.