Coronavirus Response Related Changes & Updates


Visiting a DHR Office

Photo of DHR's Syracuse Office

You do not need to visit a DHR office to Opens in a new windowobtain a complaint form or file a complaint. If you would like to visit a DHR office, you can make an appointment for an in-person visit by Opens in a new windowcontacting the nearest regional office.

Any unvaccinated individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering is required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering during an in-person appointment. Personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, will be provided to members of the public who visit DHR offices.

Discrimination Relating to the Coronavirus Under the New York State Human Rights Law

If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of a perceived connection between your race, national origin, or disability and the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights. The New York State Human Rights Law (HRL) protects individuals from discrimination based on a wide variety of personal characteristics, including race, national origin, and disability. The HRL prohibits discrimination against individuals who are assumed to have been exposed to the coronavirus based on these traits. These protections cover employment, housing, education, and places of public accommodation. Opens in a new windowLearn more.

Filing a Complaint

Complaint forms can be obtained online at Opens in a new windowwww.dhr.ny.gov/complaint.

  • New complaints can be filed via mail, email, or fax. Visit Opens in a new windowwww.dhr.ny.gov/complaint.
  • DHR staff will take new complaints over the phone for any individual who requires an accommodation for a disability or who does not have access to a computer. Call (888) 392-3644.
  • Starting July 16, 2021, pursuant to new amendments to the Human Rights Law, complaints no longer must be notarized. Instead, a complainant may sign a declaration under penalty of perjury upon submission. Complaints filed before July 16, 2021 still need to be notarized. If you filed a complaint before July 16, 2021 and the complaint was not notarized, DHR may ask you to notarize it at a later date.

Investigations

DHR has moved to electronic communications where possible. For example, investigatory conferences may be conducted by telephone.


Hearing Process

DHR holds public hearings via a videoconference platform. DHR pre-hearing settlement conferences are scheduled and held by telephone. DHR will also hold telephonic preliminary conferences before administrative law judges to prepare cases for videoconference public hearings. At the preliminary conferences the parties will identify witnesses and proposed exhibits, as well as select hearing dates. Please Opens in a new windowemail [email protected] with any questions.

For further informationOpens in a new windowvisit our Hearings Page.

Information on Time Limits & DHR Cases

Governor Cuomo issued Opens in a new windowexecutive orders that impacted the time limits for most legal actions in New York State between March 20, 2020 and November 3, 2020. These executive orders have expired, but they may continue to impact the time you have to file a DHR complaint.

For example, if you believe you were the victim of discrimination between these dates, or if your one-year deadline to file your complaint would have fallen between those dates, your legal deadlines for filing a complaint was impacted by the Governor’s executive orders. The Division will assess the timeliness of any such complaint when it is filed.

Please contact DHR for further information on how this may apply to your case.