Statement From State Senator Jose R. Peraltaon Ethics Reform Agreement
"This agreement sends a clear message to taxpayers, voters and all New Yorkers about the commitment of the governor and legislature to reform and better government," said State Senator Jose R. Peralta. "We're taking a significant step toward beginning to restore at least some level of public confidence in state government."
"I applaud the mayor's decision to bring in new leadership at the Human Rights Commission. Instead of tackling the thousands of citizen-initiated complaints it receives annually, for the past several years HRC was disproportionately focusing its limited resources on fining businesses for using unintentionally gendered language in job recruiting advertisements," (i.e. posting an ad for a ‘waitress’ or ‘hostess’).
“Of the 53 discrimination settlements reported by the Commission in 2014, 18, or more than a third of all settlements, are for this sort of case. Of those 18, only two appear to have been tested to show actual discriminatory intent. There is a similar pattern in 2012 and 2013, where employment ads allegedly showing gender discrimination made up 40% and 30% of total settlements respectively and only a few were tested to prove actual discriminatory intent.
"Many of the cases don’t come out of actual complaints, but rather from college students getting paid by HRC to troll on-line classifieds.
"It is extremely troubling that this kind of questionable case comprises a third or more of the Commission’s enforcement output when so many complaints of actual discrimination go unanswered.
“New Yorkers expect and deserve a Human Rights Commission that helps bring justice to those who have been wronged, not one focused on generating revenue through petty fines.”