The New York State Division of Human Rights is a New York State agency created to enforce the state's Human Rights Law. The Division is a unit of the New York State Executive Department under New York Executive Law section 293. The head of the Division is the Commissioner, who is appointed by the Governor of New York.
The Division was created in 1968, with responsibility to enforce the New York State Human Rights Law, which is codified at New York Executive Law sections 290-301. From 1945 to 1968, the Division was called the State Commission on Discrimination and the Human Rights Law was called the Law Against Discrimination.
The Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in the provision of housing, employment, credit, and access to certain public places based on specified protected characteristics, which include age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. The Division is responsible for investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating complaints of discrimination brought under New York's Human Rights Law.
- "§ 293. Division of human rights. 1. There is hereby created in the executive department a division of human rights hereinafter in this article called the division. The head of such division shall be a commissioner hereinafter in this article called the commissioner, who shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate and shall hold office at the pleasure of the governor."
- Jeffrey M. Stonecash, John Kenneth White, Peter W. Colby, Governing New York State, SUNY Press, 1994, p. 43
- Stacy Lara Loizner, Diffusion of Local Regulatory Innovations: The San Francisco Cedaw Ordinance and the New York City Human Rights Initiative, Columbia Law Review, April 2004 
- New York State Division of Human Rights Mission Statement
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