Chapter 40 - NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION¶
§ 900. Declaration of intent. It is hereby declared as the public policy of the city of New York to promote equal opportunity and freedom from unlawful discrimination through the provisions of the city's human rights law, chapter 1 of title 8 of the administrative code of the city of New York.
§ 901. The mayor may issue such executive orders as he or she deems appropriate to provide for city agencies and contractors to act in accordance with the policy set forth in this chapter.
§ 902. a. The New York city commission on human rights is hereby established and continued. b. The commission shall have the power to eliminate and prevent unlawful discrimination by enforcing the provisions of the New York city human rights law, and shall have general jurisdiction and power for such purposes. It may, in addition, take such other actions as may be provided by law against prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and unlawful discrimination.
§ 903. The commission shall consist of fifteen members, to be appointed by the mayor, one of whom shall be designated by the mayor as its chairperson and shall serve as such at the pleasure of the mayor. The chairperson shall devote his or her entire time to the chairperson's duties and shall not engage in any other occupation, profession or employment. Members other than the chairperson shall serve without compensation for a term of three years. In the event of the death or resignation of any member, his or her successor shall be appointed to serve for the term for which such member had been appointed.
§ 904. Functions. The functions of the commission shall be: a. to foster mutual understanding and respect among all persons in the city of New York; b. to encourage equality of treatment for, and prevent discrimination against, any group or its members; c. to cooperate with governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations having like or kindred functions; and d. to make such investigations and studies in the field of human relations as in the judgment of the commission will aid in effectuating its general purposes.
§ 905. Powers and duties. The powers and duties of the commission shall be: a. to work together with federal, state and city agencies in developing courses of instruction, for presentation to city employees and in public and private schools, public libraries, museums and other suitable places, on techniques for achieving harmonious inter-group relations within the city of New York, and engage in other anti-discrimination activities; b. to enlist the cooperation of various groups and organizations, in mediation efforts, programs and campaigns devoted to eliminating group prejudice, intolerance, hate crimes, bigotry and discrimination; c. to study the problems of prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, discrimination and disorder occasioned thereby in all or any fields of human relationship; d. (1) to receive, investigate and pass upon complaints and to initiate its own investigation of: (i) group-tensions, prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and disorder occasioned thereby, and (ii) unlawful discrimination against any person or group of persons, provided, however, that with respect to discrimination alleged to be committed by city officials or city agencies, such investigation shall be commenced after consultation with the mayor. Upon its own motion, to make, sign and file complaints alleging violations of the city's human rights law; (2) in the event that any such investigation discloses information that any person or group of persons may be engaged in a pattern or practice that results in the denial to any person or group of persons of the full enjoyment of any right secured by the human rights law, in addition to making, signing and filing a complaint upon its own motion pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision, to refer such information to the corporation counsel for the purpose of commencing a civil action pursuant to chapter four of title eight of the administrative code; e. 1. to issue subpoenas in the manner provided for in the civil practice law and rules compelling the attendance of witnesses and requiring the production of any evidence relating to any matter under investigation or any question before the commission, and to take proof with respect thereto; 2. to hold hearings, administer oaths and take testimony of any person under oath; and 3. in accordance with applicable law, to require the production of any names of persons necessary for the investigation of any institution, club or other place or provider of accommodation. 4. in accordance with applicable law, to require any person or persons who are the subject of an investigation by the commission to preserve such records as are in the possession of such person or persons and to continue to make and keep the type of records that have been made and kept by such person or persons in the ordinary course of business within the previous year, which records are relevant to the determination whether such person or persons have committed unlawful discriminatory practices with respect to activities in the city; 5. to issue publications and reports of investigation and research designed to promote good will and minimize or eliminate prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, discrimination and disorder occasioned thereby; 6. to appoint such employees and agents as it deems to be necessary to carry out its functions, powers and duties: provided, however, that the commission shall not delegate its power to adopt rules, and provided further, that the commission's power to order that records be preserved or made and kept and the commission's power to determine that a respondent has engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice and to issue an order for such relief as is necessary and proper shall be delegated only to members of the commission. The expenses for the carrying on of the commission's activities shall be paid out of the funds in the city treasury. The commission's appointment and assignment powers as set forth in this subdivision may be exercised by the chairperson of the commission; 7. to recommend to the mayor and to the council legislation to aid in carrying out the purposes of this chapter; 8. to submit an annual report to the mayor and the council which shall be published in City Record; and 9. to adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this chapter and the policies and procedures of the commission in connection therewith.
§ 906. Relations with city departments and agencies. So far as practicable and subject to the approval of the mayor, the services of all other city departments and agencies shall be made available by their respective head to the commission for the carrying out of the functions herein stated. The head of any department or agency shall furnish information in the possession of such department or agency when the commission so requests. The corporation counsel, upon request of the chairperson, may assign counsel to assist the commission in the conduct of its investigative or prosecutorial functions.