A complaint of discrimination can be filed by yourself, or with counsel. Filing a charge of discrimination is relatively simple.
Filing a Charge of Discrimination at the New York State Division of Human Rights is accomplished by completing a form, which is available on the website of the New York State Division of Human Rights. However, a charge of discrimination must be filed within one year of the last act of discrimination, or three years, if the claim is for sexual harassment. Otherwise, the NYSDHR will dismiss the charge as untimely.
An employee may also file a Summons and Complaint in New York State Court within 3 years of the date of the last act of discrimination. However, if the charge of discrimination was initially filed at the NYSDHR and dismissed with “no probable cause,” then the employee may not bring a claim in State Court because the employee has elected his remedy at the New York State Division of Human Rights. (An employee may also file at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) within 300 days of the last act of discrimination. However, a claim filed at the NYSDHR within 300 days of the last act of discrimination is automatically cross-filed at the EEOC, and a separate filing is not necessary).
The New York State Division of Human Rights has a simple complaint form, on its website, which can be downloaded by clicking on “Employment” on the link below:
DOWNLOAD a PDF Fillable Complaint Form
After you complete the charge of discrimination, and forward it to the New York State Division of Human Rights, it will be docketed, assigned a charge number, and served upon your employer. Your employer will then submit a “position statement,” in which it will likely deny any discrimination. Then, the New York State Division of Human Rights will forward the employer’s position statement to you, so that you may rebut the employer’s allegations. In the rebuttal, you should include any evidence — especially objective evidence, like documents, emails, affidavits or statements from third parties – which demonstrate that the employer’s contentions are false. Ultimately, the investigator and the Regional Director will determine whether or not there is “probable cause” that discrimination occurred.
Some, but not all, of the types of discrimination are discussed on this site.