Employment discrimination

Civil Rights

Fighting discrimination in employment

Every New Yorker has the right to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.  

We promote equal justice under the law and seek to combat any kind of discrimination in the workplace.

We investigate claims of employment-related discrimination under state, federal, and local laws where there is a “pattern or practice” (including an official or unofficial policy) of discrimination against employees.

Workplace discrimination includes being treated differently because of any of the following “protected classes:”

  • race
  • color
  • creed
  • sincerely held practice of religion
  • disability
  • national origin
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity or expression
  • military status
  • predisposing genetic characteristics
  • sex
  • age
  • marital status
  • status as a victim of domestic violence
  • arrest record or conviction record

Discrimination also includes harassment, or a continued pattern of unwelcome behavior, from anyone in the workplace based on any of these protected classes.

In New York City, it is also illegal to discriminate against workers based on: 

  • immigration or citizenship status
  • sexual and reproductive-health decisions
  • employment status
  • credit history
  • caregiver status

In addition, employers cannot discriminate against workers for engaging in certain activities outside of working hours, away from the employer’s premises, and without using the employer’s equipment or other property. These activities include: 

  • political activities
  • legal use of consumable products, including cannabis
  • legal recreational activities

To address discrimination and harassment in the workplace, the Civil Rights Bureau has recently sued employers in many industries, including restaurants and entertainment, construction, health care, insurance, and many others.

Think you might be the victim of workplace discrimination? Read our frequently asked questions about workplace rights.

To report repeated, illegal discrimination in your workplace, you can: 

File a complaint about illegal discrimination in your workplace

Call: 212-416-8250 to have a form mailed to you. Then mail us the completed form or fax it to 212-416-6030

Email: Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov

Visit: New York State’s Division of Human Rights website

Visit: New York City’s Human Rights website