A complaint of discrimination can be filed by yourself, or with counsel.
A charge of discrimination must be filed at the NYSDHR within one year of the last act of discrimination. 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 NYSDHR. (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 NYSDHR has a simple complaint form, on its website, which can be downloaded by clicking on “Employment” on the link below:
After you complete the charge of discrimination, and forward it to the NYSDHR, 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 deny any discrimination. Then, the NYSDHR 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.
Some, but not all, of the types of discrimination are discussed on this site.