State Awards $7 Million to Discrimination Victims

J.M. Lesinski
A shot of traffic on Como Park Boulevard in Lancaster, New York.Photo byPhoto by J.M. Lesinski

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the awarding of roughly $7 million in compensation through the New York State Division of Human Rights to over one thousand victims of discrimination across New York state for the 2023 fiscal year.

"Securing this funding furthers our efforts to help victims seek the justice they deserve and make New York a safer state for all," Hochul commented of the allotment. "Ruthless employers, housing providers, and businesses need to be held accountable for their discriminatory practices, and victims of discrimination deserve to feel heard and seen."

The New York State Division of Human Rights is the official agency charged with investigating and enforcing the State's Human Right Law, which prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, education, credit, and other public areas of jurisdiction, based on age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, military status, disability, pregnancy-related condition, domestic violence victim status, familial status, or any other protected class. New York state holds the proud distinction of being the first state to formally ratify a Human Rights Law. Several case examples can be found here.

"Under our State's Human Rights Law, every New Yorker has the equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life,” remarked Division of Human Rights Commissioner Maria Imperial. “When discrimination occurs - whether in housing, education or employment - that right and opportunity is taken away. As the enforcement agency for our state's Human Rights Law, we will continue to empower the public through educational outreach and use every tool at our disposal to ensure that every New Yorker is treated lawfully and fairly."

A full numerical breakdown of the 2023 cases by counties is as follows: 44 cases in the Capital region resulting in $324,734.75 awarded, 79 cases in Central New York resulting in $612,046.69 awarded, 148 cases in the Finger Lakes region resulting in $1,322,496.36 awarded, 87 cases in the Hudson Valley region resulting in $562,531.76 awarded, 139 cases in the Long Island region resulting in $690,595 awarded, 23 cases in the Mohawk Valley region resulting in $157,900 awarded, 299 cases in New York City resulting in $1,805,061.44 awarded, 20 cases in the North Country region resulting in $83,303.82 awarded, 31 cases in the Southern Tier region resulting in $152,131.58 awarded, and 142 cases in the Western New York region resulting in $997,208.67 awarded.

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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