Agency Overview

  • Office of the General Counsel
    The General Counsel provides direct legal assistance and advice to the Commissioner and other Division policy makers as to the interpretation of the Human Rights Law and other laws, including legal and procedural advice to the Administrative Law Judges and the Order Preparation Unit. The office provides legal advice to Division-Initiated Investigations and Complaints; and researches and drafts legislation and regulations affecting the Law.
  • Hearing Unit
    Administrative Law Judges conduct hearings on discrimination complaints referred after a probable cause determination; issue recommended orders after hearings; submit orders after settlement, after a request to discontinue, and for various Administrative Convenience Dismissals (ACD) reasons.
  • Prosecutions Unit
    The Prosecutions Unit presents discrimination complaints on behalf of the State and Division at public administrative hearings. This office also negotiates and drafts settlements reached at pre-hearing conferences. In addition, the Unit litigates housing discrimination complaints in court.
  • Division-Initiated Investigations and Complaints (DIIC)
    Pursuant to the HRL Section 296.6 (b), the Division can upon on its motion, file complaints alleging violations of the HRL, and initiate investigations and studies. This unit is responsible for identifying potentially high impact cases and designing investigative plans and strategies to implement the Division’s objectives in bringing its own complaints.
  • Office of Finance and Administration
    The Office of Finance and Administration provides overall administrative leadership and support for the Division’s activities and programs.
  • Regional Affairs
    The Regional Affairs Office directs and supervises the activities of the Division’s regional and satellite offices. The primary responsibility of the Division’s regional offices is to process and investigate incoming complaints of discrimination. This office is also involved in negotiating tasks and standards for union personnel, conducting a comprehensive review of all Division practices, policies and procedures affecting the regional offices, and creating strategic collaborative alliances with other entities to enable regional offices better serve their constituents.
  • Office of External Affairs
    The Office of External Affairs is charged with managing the public face of the Division. Unit duties include developing community outreach programs to educate the public about the Human Rights Law; hosting public forums for professionals or community based experts and audience to deal with emerging issues, creating and updating agency publications and materials, and managing all social media efforts. The office coordinates all external activities with the Executive Chamber to maintain consistency with the administration's vision.
  • Office of Federal Programs
    This unit is responsible for ensuring that federal funds are appropriately used to support the Division’s mission each federal fiscal year (October 1- September 30). Currently, this funding is provided through contracts with the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Unit is responsible for operations between the regional offices, HUD and EEOC on case processing.
  • The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity
    This office is the point of contact for: staff reasonable accommodation requests; internal complaints; administration of affirmative action and diversity policies and programs in DHR; Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the coordination and implementation of the state’s Language Access policy, and compliance with the Americans with Disability Act(ADA) for the Division.
  • Office of Disability Rights
    This office is responsible for overseeing DHR enforcement of the State Human Rights Law’s prohibition against discrimination of persons based upon disability, both through individual complaints and Division-initiated investigations. The office is responsible for ensuring that DHR’s offices and services are accessible to persons with disabilities and also advises the Commissioner on policy matters in the area of disability rights, including reasonable accommodation requests.