DHR & the Freedom of Information Law

DHR & the Freedom of Information Law


The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions. 

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Learn more about records access and FOIL.

Request Records

Submit a FOIL request using the online form below


GovQA Public Portal


Mail a written request to:

Siaka Paasewe
Records Access Officer
New York State Division of Human Rights
One Fordham Plaza, 4th Floor
Bronx, New York 10458
Fax number: 718-741-8256

E-mail a written request to: 
[email protected]

FOIL Process

Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request.  If you have not received a letter within five business days, please contact us at 718-741-8422 or [email protected].

An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors. 

If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:

  • an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record(s) requested;
  • the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
  • the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.

Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email, fax, paper, CD/DVD, or USB. Records are available for review at the Division’s main office at One Fordham Plaza, 4th Floor, Bronx, New York 10458.

Whenever practicable, records shall also be made available for review at a regional office most convenient to the requester. Regional offices are located throughout the State, and their addresses may be obtained from the main office of the agency, by calling 718-741-8400 or by writing to the New York State Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, 4th Floor, Bronx, New York 10458 or from the Division’s web site.

Right to Appeal FOIL Process

Under provisions of the Public Officers Law you may appeal a FOIL determination.  If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within 30 days of the written response to your FOIL request. Please include a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter you received along with your appeal letter to: 

Melissa Franco, Acting General Counsel,
New York State Division of Human Rights,
One Fordham Plaza, 4th Floor,
Bronx, New York 10458,
Fax: 718-741-8102.

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal.  Please indicate the FOIL Request Number when corresponding on this subject.

Subject Matter List

Updated: January 5, 2021

Record Location: One Fordham Plaza, Bronx, New York 10458

Please note, there may be exceptions to availability pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

  1. The Human Rights Law, Executive Law Article 15
  2. Rules and Regulations
  3. General Administrative Records. This includes but not limited to Personnel Records, Payroll Records, Finance Records & Mail Room Records
  4. Leases and Contracts
  5. Administrative Policies and Procedures
  6. Internal Training Manuals
  7. General Counsel Legal Opinions
  8. Memorandum of Law.
  9. Human Rights Resource Guide
  10. Information Technology Services Records
  11. Public Information Publications
  12. Annual Reports
  13. Press Releases
  14. Statistics
  15. Public Hearing Calendar
  16. Final Agency Determinations and Commissioner Orders
  17. Complaint Files
  18. Computerized Case Index of Complaints
  19. General Correspondence
  20. Memoranda of Understanding with Local Commissions
  21. Work Sharing Agreements with EEOC & HUD
  22. Freedom of Information Law Requests
  23. Freedom of Information Law Appeals
  24. NYS Division of Human Rights State Archives Retention Schedules
  25. Internal Control Policy

Frequently Requested Documents

In an ongoing effort to improve transparency in state government, DHR is making certain documents that are frequently requested through its FOIL process available online. More documents are being added on an ongoing basis. Email [email protected] with any suggestions or questions about this initiative.

Frequently Requested Data

Helpful Tips

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government's website.
When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc. See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.
  • Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
  • If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via US mail, e-mail or fax. We may choose to send the records by U.S. mail, if you have requested a large volume of records, for security or other important reasons. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.
  • Include your e-mail, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.
  • Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.