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A04328 Summary:

COSPNSRO'Donnell, Simon, Bendett, Beephan
Amd §297, Exec L
Preserves the right to a jury trial for actions commenced pursuant to a human rights law that include a demand for equitable relief.
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A04328 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 14, 2023
        Introduced by M. of A. KIM -- read once and referred to the Committee on
          Governmental Operations
        AN  ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to preserve the right to
          a jury trial for certain actions
          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 chapter 140 of the laws  of  2022,  is  amended  to  read  as
     3  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  employment  discrimination
     7  related  to  private employers and housing discrimination only, punitive
     8  damages, and such other remedies as may be  appropriate,  including  any
     9  civil  fines and penalties provided in subdivision four of this section,
    10  unless such person had filed a complaint hereunder  or  with  any  local
    11  commission  on  human rights, or with the superintendent pursuant to the
    12  provisions of section two hundred ninety-six-a of this article, provided
    13  that, where the division has dismissed such complaint on the grounds  of
    14  administrative  convenience,  on  the grounds of untimeliness, or on the
    15  grounds that the election of remedies is  annulled,  such  person  shall
    16  maintain all rights to bring suit as if no complaint had been filed with
    17  the  division. At any time prior to a hearing before a hearing examiner,
    18  a person who has a complaint pending at the division  may  request  that
    19  the  division  dismiss  the  complaint  and annul his or her election of
    20  remedies so that the human rights law claim may be pursued in court, and
    21  the division may, upon  such  request,  dismiss  the  complaint  on  the
    22  grounds  that  such  person's  election  of  an administrative remedy is
    23  annulled. Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of section two hundred four of
    24  the civil practice law and rules, if a complaint is so annulled  by  the
    25  division,  upon  the request of the party bringing such complaint before

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 4328                             2
     1  the division, such party's rights to bring such cause of action before a
     2  court of appropriate jurisdiction shall be limited  by  the  statute  of
     3  limitations  in  effect  in  such  court  at  the time the complaint was
     4  initially  filed with the division.  Notwithstanding any other provision
     5  of law to the contrary, when a person commences an  action  pursuant  to
     6  this  subdivision  or  pursuant  to  a local human rights law, and  such
     7  action includes a demand for equitable relief, such person shall  never-
     8  theless   retain   the  right  to  a  jury trial. Any party to a housing
     9  discrimination complaint shall have the right within twenty days follow-
    10  ing a determination of probable cause pursuant  to  subdivision  two  of
    11  this  section to elect to have an action commenced in a civil court, and
    12  an attorney representing the division of human rights will be  appointed
    13  to present the complaint in court, or, with the consent of the division,
    14  the  case  may be presented by complainant's attorney. A complaint filed
    15  by the equal  employment  opportunity  commission  to  comply  with  the
    16  requirements  of 42 USC 2000e-5(c) and 42 USC 12117(a) and 29 USC 633(b)
    17  shall not constitute the filing of a complaint  within  the  meaning  of
    18  this  subdivision.  No person who has initiated any action in a court of
    19  competent jurisdiction or who has an action pending before any  adminis-
    20  trative  agency under any other law of the state based upon an act which
    21  would be an unlawful discriminatory practice  under  this  article,  may
    22  file  a  complaint with respect to the same grievance under this section
    23  or under section two hundred ninety-six-a of this article. In  cases  of
    24  housing discrimination only, a person whose complaint has been dismissed
    25  by  the division after investigation for lack of jurisdiction or lack of
    26  probable cause may file the same cause of action in a court of appropri-
    27  ate jurisdiction pursuant to this section,  unless  judicial  review  of
    28  such  dismissal  has been sought pursuant to section two hundred ninety-
    29  eight of this article. The attorney general  shall  have  the  power  to
    30  commence  an  action  or proceeding in the supreme court of the state of
    31  New York, if, upon information or belief, the attorney general is of the
    32  opinion that an employer has been,  is,  or  is  about  to  violate  the
    33  provisions  regarding  unlawful  discriminatory  retaliation pursuant to
    34  subdivision seven of section two hundred  ninety-six  of  this  article.
    35  Nothing  in this section shall in any way limit rights or remedies which
    36  are otherwise available under law to the attorney general or  any  other
    37  person authorized to bring an action under this section.
    38    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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