Coronavirus Response Related Changes & Updates
- New York State Division of Human Rights Office Operations
- Temporary Changes to the Investigation Process
- Temporary Changes to the Hearing Process
- Information on Time Limits & DHR Cases, Effective March 20, 2020
DHR staff across the State are in the process of returning to the office in conjunction with the regions in which they are located. Walk-in visits will not be possible at this time. We still strongly encourage New Yorkers to practice social distancing and to remember that the best way to connect with DHR is via telephone at 888-392-3644 and email at [email protected]
To ensure the rights of all New Yorkers continue to be protected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DHR has made several changes to its complaint process to facilitate access while safeguarding public health. DHR continues to accept and process complaints and issue decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about any of the changes below, please contact DHR via email at [email protected] or call (888) 392-3644.
- New complaints can be filed via mail, email, or fax and without notarization of the complaint. DHR staff will resolve notarization after the investigation commences. Visit www.dhr.ny.gov/complaint or call (888) 392-3644.
- DHR staff will take new complaints over the phone for any individual who requires an accommodation for a disability or without access to a computer.
- As per Executive Orders issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, if your time to file a complaint, or appeal a DHR decision, would have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic, you now have until after July 6 to do so.
- DHR has moved to electronic communications where possible. For example, investigatory conferences are continuing via telephone.
DHR continues to schedule and hold pre-hearing settlement conferences. Starting July 13, 2020, DHR will hold telephonic preliminary conferences before administrative law judges to prepare cases for videoconference public hearings. These videoconference public hearings will take place instead of in-person public hearings. At the preliminary conferences the parties will identify witnesses and proposed exhibits, as well as select hearing dates. Please email hearing[email protected] with any questions.
Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8 on March 20, 2020, suspending the time limits for most legal actions in New York State, which has been extended by subsequent Executive Orders until July 6, 2020.
Executive Order 202.8 specifically provides that “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state, including but not limited to the criminal procedure law, the family court act, the civil practice law and rules, the court of claims act, the surrogate’s court procedure act, and the uniform court acts, or by any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or part thereof, is hereby tolled from the date of this executive order until April 19, 2020 . . . .” Full text of Executive Order 202.8 can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO_202.8.pdf.
Executive Order 202.14 modifies that order and provides for the continuation of “suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order to 202, for thirty days until May 7, 2020…” Full text of Executive Order 202.14 can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO_202.14_final.pdf.
Executive Order 202.28 extends that order and provides for the continuation of “suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order up to and including Executive Order 202.14, for thirty days until June 6, 2020…” Full text of Executive Order 202.28 can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO202.28.pdf.
Executive Order 202.38 extends that order and provides for the continuation of “suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order up to and including Executive Order 202.14, as continued as contained in Executive Order 202.27 and 202.28 until July 6, 2020…” Full text of Executive Order 202.38 can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO-202.38-final.pdf.
The provisions of this Executive Order apply to all deadlines to file a complaint alleging a violation of the Human Rights Law with the Division or to file an appeal in court of a final determination of the Division. Further suspensions of deadlines may be ordered by the Governor and the Division will update its practices accordingly.
The Division continues to function, and all submissions will continue to be accepted and processed.