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NYC HUMAN RIGHTSNYC HUMAN RIGHTSLAWLAW

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Full text of Chapters 1 and 5 of the New York City Human Rights Law.

Legislative History

The intent of the City Human Rights Law varies considerably from that of its state and federal counterparts.  The differences can only be fully appreciated by understanding the legislative history of the law as it has been amended over time, particularly the 1991 and 2005 amendments.

Case Law Developments

Controlling caselaw now firmly rejects the only idea that “analysis of City law claims parallels that of state and federal claims" and accepts the guiding principles of 2005's Local Civil Rights Restoration Act:

(1) interpretations of federal and state civil rights statutues represent a floor below which the City Human Rights Law cannot fall, not a ceiling above which it cannot rise; and

(2) the City Human Rights Law must be interpreted independently of its federal and state counterparts in such a way as to accomplish the "uniquely broad and remedial" purposes of the local law. 

Administrative Enforcement

Entirely inadequate.  The problem stems both from a severe lack of funding (made ever worse in the course of the Bloomberg Administration), and from an ideology dismissive of the seriousness of discrimination.