On July 6, 2009, an amendment to the New York State Human Rights law went into effect. The amendment authorizes the Division of Human Rights to impose substantial civil fines and penalties against employers found to have engaged in discriminatory employment practices in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law. Employers that are found to have engaged in discriminatory conduct occurring on or after July 6, could be assessed monetary civil penalties and fines (paid to the state) up to $50,000, and up to $100,000 if it is found that the employer willfully, wantonly or maliciously engaged in the alleged discriminatory activity. Previously, such civil penalties only were available in cases of housing discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law.
Note: This article was published in the August 2009 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.