Division of Social Justice

New Yorkers donate billions to charity every year. The Attorney General's Charities Bureau is responsible for supervising charitable organizations to insure that donors and beneficiaries of those charities are protected from unscrupulous practices in the solicitation and management of charitable assets. The Bureau also supervises the activity of foundations and other charities to insure that their funds and other property devoted to charitable purposes are properly used. The Trusts and Estates Section protects the interest of the public as ultimate beneficiaries of gifts and bequests contained in wills, trust agreements, deeds and corporate charters. The Bureau is also responsible for monitoring charitable registrations as mandated by law.

Learn more visit the Charities Bureau homepage.

Civil Rights
The Civil Rights Bureau, which is part of the OAG’s Social Justice Division, enforces laws protecting New Yorkers from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, source of income or disability. Using federal, state, and local locals, the Bureau investigates and prosecutes alleged patterns of unlawful discrimination in a variety of areas, including employment, housing, credit, education, and places of public accommodation. The Bureau also engages in community outreach activities to educate the public about civil rights issues. If you believe that you are a victim of a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination, you can alert our office by downloading and completing the Bureau's online complaint form, and returning it by mail or fax.

Learn more visit the Civil Rights Bureau homepage.

Environmental Protection
The Environmental Protection Bureau, located within the Office of the Attorney General’s Social Justice Division, plays a central role in protecting New York’s environment and public health. With a staff that includes 40 lawyers and 8 scientists, the Bureau vigorously enforces both the State’s and Nation’s environmental laws. It also represents the State of New York in legal matters related to the environment. The Environmental Protection Bureau is recognized as a leader in the fight against global warming, reducing smog and other forms of air pollution, cleaning up our lakes, rivers and coastal waters, protecting wildlife and other natural resources, and safeguarding our families and communities against toxic contamination.

Learn more visit the Environmental Protection Bureau homepage.

Health Care
The Health Care Bureau - which is part of the Division of Social Justice in the Attorney General's Office - protects and advocates for the rights of all health care consumers statewide. The Bureau operates a toll-free Health Care Helpline, 1-800-428-9071. We help New Yorkers with individual health care and insurance problems; investigate deceptive business practices; take law enforcement actions to address systemic problems in the operation of the health care system; and where appropriate, propose legislation to enhance health care quality and availability in New York State.

Learn more visit the Health Care Bureau homepage.

The Labor Bureau is a part of the Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Social Justice. The Labor Bureau's mission is to protect the rights of New York workers, in three distinct ways.

First, we can conduct our own, affirmative investigations into persistent or repeated violations of labor laws - most commonly, those that set minimum labor standards, such as wage and hour laws. When necessary to put a stop to such persistent violations and obtain wages owed to affected workers, the Attorney General, through our bureau, sues employers in court.

Second, we argue in court for the Attorney General's legal positions on labor matters, and defend the Department of Labor in most cases in which it is sued. Most commonly, that means opposing the effort of an employer which the Commissioner of Labor has found to have violated the law, to have her decision overturned. Besides defending rulings of the Commissioner of Labor, we also defend decisions of the Workers Compensation Board and Unemployment Appeals Board.

Third, the Bureau can also prosecute employers in criminal court for violations of the New York State labor law including but not limited to wage and hour law violations, failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, and the failure of a contractor on a public work project to pay the prevailing wage.

Learn more visit the Labor Bureau homepage.