Bill Text: NY A11358 | 2017-2018 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Authorizes the awarding of punitive damages to persons aggrieved by sexual harassment.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2018-09-19 - referred to governmental operations [A11358 Detail]

Download: New_York-2017-A11358-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                   September 19, 2018
        Introduced  by  COMMITTEE  ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. L. Rosen-
          thal) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Governmental Oper-
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the awarding of  puni-
          tive damages to persons aggrieved by sexual harassment
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Paragraph c of subdivision 4 and subdivision 9  of  section
     2  297  of  the  executive  law, paragraph c of subdivision 4 as amended by
     3  chapter 166 of the laws of 2000, subparagraph (vi)  of  paragraph  c  of
     4  subdivision  4  as  amended by section 1 of part AA of chapter 57 of the
     5  laws of 2009, subdivision 9 as amended by section 16 of part D of  chap-
     6  ter 405 of the laws of 1999, are amended to read as follows:
     7    c. Within one hundred eighty days after the commencement of such hear-
     8  ing,  a  determination  shall be made and an order served as hereinafter
     9  provided. If, upon all the evidence at  the  hearing,  the  commissioner
    10  shall  find that a respondent has engaged in any unlawful discriminatory
    11  practice as defined in this article, the commissioner shall state  find-
    12  ings  of  fact and shall issue and cause to be served on such respondent
    13  an order, based on such findings and setting them forth,  and  including
    14  such of the following provisions as in the judgment of the division will
    15  effectuate  the  purposes of this article: (i) requiring such respondent
    16  to cease and desist from such  unlawful  discriminatory  practice;  (ii)
    17  requiring  such  respondent  to  take such affirmative action, including
    18  (but not limited to) hiring, reinstatement or  upgrading  of  employees,
    19  with  or  without  back pay, restoration to membership in any respondent
    20  labor organization, admission to or participation in a guidance program,
    21  apprenticeship training program, on-the-job training  program  or  other
    22  occupational  training  or  retraining  program,  the extension of full,
    23  equal and unsegregated accommodations, advantages, facilities and privi-
    24  leges to all persons, granting the credit which was the subject  of  any
    25  complaint,  evaluating  applicants for membership in a place of accommo-
    26  dation without discrimination based  on  race,  creed,  color,  national
    27  origin,  sex,  disability  or marital status, and without retaliation or
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 11358                            2
     1  discrimination based on opposition to practices forbidden by this  arti-
     2  cle  or  filing  a  complaint, testifying or assisting in any proceeding
     3  under this article; (iii) awarding of compensatory damages to the person
     4  aggrieved  by such practice; (iv) awarding of punitive damages, in cases
     5  of housing discrimination only, in an amount not to exceed ten  thousand
     6  dollars, to the person aggrieved by such practice; (v) requiring payment
     7  to  the state of profits obtained by a respondent through the commission
     8  of unlawful discriminatory acts  described  in  subdivision  three-b  of
     9  section  two  hundred  ninety-six  of this article; [and] (vi) assessing
    10  civil fines and penalties, in an amount not  to  exceed  fifty  thousand
    11  dollars, to be paid to the state by a respondent found to have committed
    12  an  unlawful  discriminatory  act, or not to exceed one hundred thousand
    13  dollars to be paid to the state by a respondent found to have  committed
    14  an  unlawful  discriminatory act which is found to be willful, wanton or
    15  malicious; (vii) requiring a report of the  manner  of  compliance;  and
    16  (viii) awarding of punitive damages, in cases of sexual harassment only,
    17  to the person aggrieved by such practice. If, upon all the evidence, the
    18  commissioner  shall  find  that a respondent has not engaged in any such
    19  unlawful discriminatory practice, he or she shall state findings of fact
    20  and shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant an order based
    21  on such findings and setting them forth dismissing the said complaint as
    22  to such respondent. A copy of each  order  issued  by  the  commissioner
    23  shall  be  delivered in all cases to the attorney general, the secretary
    24  of state, if he or she has issued a license to the respondent, and  such
    25  other  public  officers  as  the  division deems proper, and if any such
    26  order issued by the commissioner  concerns  a  regulated  creditor,  the
    27  commissioner  shall  forward a copy of any such order to the superinten-
    28  dent. A copy of any complaint  filed  against  any  respondent  who  has
    29  previously entered into a conciliation agreement pursuant to paragraph a
    30  of subdivision three of this section or as to whom an order of the divi-
    31  sion  has  previously  been  entered pursuant to this paragraph shall be
    32  delivered to the attorney general, to the secretary of state  if  he  or
    33  she  has  issued  a  license  to the respondent and to such other public
    34  officers as the division deems proper, and if any such respondent  is  a
    35  regulated  creditor,  the  commissioner shall forward a copy of any such
    36  complaint to the superintendent.
    37    9. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an  unlawful  discriminatory
    38  practice shall have a cause of action in any court of appropriate juris-
    39  diction  for  damages, including, in cases of housing discrimination and
    40  sexual harassment only, punitive damages, and such other remedies as may
    41  be appropriate, including any civil  fines  and  penalties  provided  in
    42  subdivision  four  of  this  section,  unless  such  person  had filed a
    43  complaint hereunder or with any local commission  on  human  rights,  or
    44  with  the  superintendent  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of section two
    45  hundred ninety-six-a of this [chapter] article, provided that, where the
    46  division has dismissed such complaint on the grounds  of  administrative
    47  convenience,  on the grounds of untimeliness, or on the grounds that the
    48  election of remedies is annulled, such person shall maintain all  rights
    49  to  bring  suit  as if no complaint had been filed with the division. At
    50  any time prior to a hearing before a hearing examiner, a person who  has
    51  a  complaint  pending  at  the  division  may  request that the division
    52  dismiss the complaint and annul his or her election of remedies so  that
    53  the  human  rights  law  claim may be pursued in court, and the division
    54  may, upon such request, dismiss the complaint on the grounds  that  such
    55  person's election of an administrative remedy is annulled. Notwithstand-
    56  ing  subdivision  (a)  of section two hundred four of the civil practice

        A. 11358                            3
     1  law and rules, if a complaint is so annulled by the division,  upon  the
     2  request  of  the party bringing such complaint before the division, such
     3  party's rights to bring such cause of action before a court of appropri-
     4  ate  jurisdiction  shall  be  limited  by  the statute of limitations in
     5  effect in such court at the time the complaint was initially filed  with
     6  the division. Any party to a housing discrimination complaint shall have
     7  the right within twenty days following a determination of probable cause
     8  pursuant  to  subdivision two of this section to elect to have an action
     9  commenced in a civil court, and an attorney representing the division of
    10  human rights will be appointed to present the complaint  in  court,  or,
    11  with  the  consent  of  the  division,  the  case  may  be  presented by
    12  complainant's attorney. A complaint filed by the equal employment oppor-
    13  tunity commission to comply with the requirements of 42  USC  2000e-5(c)
    14  and 42 USC 12117(a) and 29 USC 633(b) shall not constitute the filing of
    15  a  complaint  within  the meaning of this subdivision. No person who has
    16  initiated any action in a court of competent jurisdiction or who has  an
    17  action  pending  before any administrative agency under any other law of
    18  the state based upon an act which would be  an  unlawful  discriminatory
    19  practice  under  this  article, may file a complaint with respect to the
    20  same grievance under this section or under section two  hundred  ninety-
    21  six-a of this article.
    22    §  2.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    23  have become a law.