A01113 Summary:

BILL NOA01113
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02782
 
SPONSORDinowitz
 
COSPNSRKavanagh, Seawright, Paulin
 
MLTSPNSRGottfried, Hooper, Simon
 
Amd 297, Exec L
 
Permits awarding of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs and exemplary damages in court actions for unlawful discriminatory practices pursuant to the human rights law; provides incentive to the employer not to discriminate against the employee knowing there will be financial repercussions for their actions.
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A01113 Actions:

BILL NOA01113
 
01/10/2017referred to governmental operations
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A01113 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A1113
 
SPONSOR: Dinowitz (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to awarding attorneys' fees and costs and exemplary damages in an action brought for an unlaw- ful discriminatory practice   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Permits awarding of reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and exemplary damages in court actions for unlawful discriminatory practices pursuant to the human rights law.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends Subdivision 9 of section 297 of the Executive Law.   JUSTIFICATION: Currently, if you feel that you are a victim of a human rights violation you can either file a suit with the Human Rights Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or you may consult your own private lawyer. The latter can be a significant financial burden on the plain- tiff costing an average of ten thousand dollars per case. The first choice will not prove any more feasible. Due to cutbacks and continual case overloading referring a case to either the Human Rights Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will only result in the victim waiting an undetermined and inconvenient amount of time. This new legislation will serve multiple purposes. First, it will ease the finan- cial burden on the victim by requiring the defendant to pay the victims attorney's fees upon being found guilty. Second, it will provide incen- tive to the employer not to discriminate against the employee knowing there will be financial repercussions for their actions.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-16- A.113 - Referred to Governmental Operations/S.758 - Referred to Investigations and Government Operations 2013-14 - A.642- Referred to Governmental Operations/S.4372 - Referred to Investigations and Government Operations 2011-12 - A.1284- Referred to Governmental Operations 2009-10 - A.635 - Referred to Governmental Operations/S.2044- Referred to Investigations and Government Operations 2007-08 - A.609 - Passed Assembly 2005-06 - A.1235 - Passed Assembly 2003-04 - A.5022 - Passed Assembly 2001-02: A.688 - Referred to Governmental Operations   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Possible if the decision of the court is rendered against the defendant and the defendant happens to be the State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.
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A01113 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1113
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 10, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. DINOWITZ, KAVANAGH, SEAWRIGHT, PAULIN -- Multi-
          Sponsored by -- M. of A. GOTTFRIED, HOOPER, SIMON  --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend the executive law, in relation to awarding attorneys'
          fees and costs and exemplary damages  in  an  action  brought  for  an
          unlawful discriminatory practice
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section  297  of  the  executive  law,  as
     2  amended  by  section 16 of part D of chapter 405 of the laws of 1999, is
     3  amended to read as follows:
     4    9. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an  unlawful  discriminatory
     5  practice shall have a cause of action in any court of appropriate juris-
     6  diction for damages, including, in cases of housing discrimination only,
     7  punitive  damages,  and upon prevailing, shall recover reasonable attor-
     8  neys' fees and costs in the action. In addition  thereto  the  trier  of
     9  fact  may  award  exemplary  damages  and  such other remedies as may be
    10  appropriate, including any civil fines and penalties provided in  subdi-
    11  vision  four  of  this section, unless such person had filed a complaint
    12  hereunder or with any local commission on  human  rights,  or  with  the
    13  superintendent  pursuant  to the provisions of section two hundred nine-
    14  ty-six-a  of  this  chapter,  provided  that,  where  the  division  has
    15  dismissed  such  complaint on the grounds of administrative convenience,
    16  on the grounds of untimeliness, or on the grounds that the  election  of
    17  remedies  is  annulled,  such  person shall maintain all rights to bring
    18  suit as if no complaint had been filed with the division.  At  any  time
    19  prior  to  a  hearing  before  a  hearing  examiner,  a person who has a
    20  complaint pending at the division may request that the division  dismiss
    21  the  complaint  and  annul  his  or her election of remedies so that the
    22  human rights law claim may be pursued in court, and  the  division  may,
    23  upon  such  request,  dismiss  the  complaint  on  the grounds that such
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00829-01-7

        A. 1113                             2
 
     1  person's election of an administrative remedy is annulled. Notwithstand-
     2  ing subdivision (a) of section two hundred four of  the  civil  practice
     3  law  and  rules, if a complaint is so annulled by the division, upon the
     4  request  of  the party bringing such complaint before the division, such
     5  party's rights to bring such cause of action before a court of appropri-
     6  ate jurisdiction shall be limited  by  the  statute  of  limitations  in
     7  effect  in such court at the time the complaint was initially filed with
     8  the division. Any party to a housing discrimination complaint shall have
     9  the right within twenty days following a determination of probable cause
    10  pursuant to subdivision two of this section to elect to have  an  action
    11  commenced in a civil court, and an attorney representing the division of
    12  human  rights  will  be appointed to present the complaint in court, or,
    13  with the  consent  of  the  division,  the  case  may  be  presented  by
    14  complainant's attorney. A complaint filed by the equal employment oppor-
    15  tunity  commission  to comply with the requirements of 42 USC 2000e-5(c)
    16  and 42 USC 12117(a) and 29 USC 633(b) shall not constitute the filing of
    17  a complaint within the meaning of this subdivision. No  person  who  has
    18  initiated  any action in a court of competent jurisdiction or who has an
    19  action pending before any administrative agency under any other  law  of
    20  the  state  based  upon an act which would be an unlawful discriminatory
    21  practice under this article, may file a complaint with  respect  to  the
    22  same  grievance  under this section or under section two hundred ninety-
    23  six-a of this article.
    24    § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
    25  have become a law.
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