Bill Text: NY S04393 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Allows for punitive damages for unlawful discriminatory practices beyond just housing discrimination cases.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-11 - REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS [S04393 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S04393-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     March 11, 2019
        Introduced  by  Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
          ment Operations
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to unlawful discriminato-
          ry practices
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  9  of  section  297 of the executive law, as
     2  amended by section 16 of part D of chapter 405 of the laws of  1999,  is
     3  amended to read as follows:
     4    9.  Any  person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory
     5  practice shall have a cause of action in any court of appropriate juris-
     6  diction for damages, including,  [in  cases  of  housing  discrimination
     7  only,]  punitive damages, and such other remedies as may be appropriate,
     8  including any civil fines and penalties provided in subdivision four  of
     9  this section, unless such person had filed a complaint hereunder or with
    10  any  local commission on human rights, or with the superintendent pursu-
    11  ant to the provisions of section two hundred ninety-six-a of this  chap-
    12  ter,  provided  that, where the division has dismissed such complaint on
    13  the grounds of administrative convenience, on the grounds  of  untimeli-
    14  ness,  or on the grounds that the election of remedies is annulled, such
    15  person shall maintain all rights to bring suit as if  no  complaint  had
    16  been  filed  with  the division. At any time prior to a hearing before a
    17  hearing examiner, a person who has a complaint pending at  the  division
    18  may request that the division dismiss the complaint and annul his or her
    19  election  of  remedies so that the human rights law claim may be pursued
    20  in court, and the division may, upon such request, dismiss the complaint
    21  on the grounds that such person's election of an  administrative  remedy
    22  is annulled. Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of section two hundred four
    23  of  the  civil  practice law and rules, if a complaint is so annulled by
    24  the division, upon the request of  the  party  bringing  such  complaint
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 4393                             2
     1  before  the  division, such party's rights to bring such cause of action
     2  before a court of appropriate jurisdiction shall be limited by the stat-
     3  ute of limitations in effect in such court at the time the complaint was
     4  initially filed with the division. Any party to a housing discrimination
     5  complaint  shall  have the right within twenty days following a determi-
     6  nation of probable cause pursuant to subdivision two of this section  to
     7  elect  to  have  an  action  commenced in a civil court, and an attorney
     8  representing the division of human rights will be appointed  to  present
     9  the  complaint  in court, or, with the consent of the division, the case
    10  may be presented by complainant's attorney. A  complaint  filed  by  the
    11  equal  employment opportunity commission to comply with the requirements
    12  of 42 USC 2000e-5(c) and 42 USC 12117(a) and 29  USC  633(b)  shall  not
    13  constitute the filing of a complaint within the meaning of this subdivi-
    14  sion.  No  person  who  has initiated any action in a court of competent
    15  jurisdiction or who has an  action  pending  before  any  administrative
    16  agency under any other law of the state based upon an act which would be
    17  an  unlawful  discriminatory  practice  under  this  article, may file a
    18  complaint with respect to the same grievance under this section or under
    19  section two hundred ninety-six-a of this article.
    20    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.