The Westchester County Human Rights Commission receives, investigates, and adjudicates complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment. The Commission is a neutral agency. The Commission’s role is to thoroughly and equitably investigate complaints.

What types of complaints does the Commission handle?
The Westchester County Human Rights Law and the Westchester County Fair Housing Law prohibit discrimination in Westchester County in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodations, and credit lending.

Additionally, as of Dec. 7, 2021, the Westchester County Human Rights Law prohibits Discriminatory Harassment.

Discriminatory harassment is injury or intimidation, by force or threat of force, that:

  • Interferes with a person’s civil or constitutional rights; and
  • Is motivated, in whole or in part, by that person’s actual or perceived group identity.

Discriminatory harassment is also damage, defacement or destruction to the real or personal property of a person that:

  • Intimidates that person or interferes with that person’s civil or constitutional rights; and
  • Is motivated, in whole or in part, by that person’s actual or perceived group identity.

What is “Group Identity”?
The Westchester County Human Rights and Fair Housing Laws protect against unlawful discrimination based on a person’s “group identity”. Group identity includes:

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Alienage or Citizenship Status
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Familial Status
  • Gender
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Status as victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking
  • Source of Income (Housing Only)

How does a person file a complaint with the Commission?
If you think you have experienced discrimination in Westchester County, contact the Commission. A staff member will ask you a few questions to determine if the Commission can take your complaint. If so, you will be provided with the Commission’s complaint form. Complaints must be filed within twelve months of the date of the last act of discrimination.

What happens after a complaint is filed?
When a complaint is filed, the Commission will:

  • Forward a copy of the complaint to all Respondents with a demand for a position statement.
  • Forward a copy of the complaint to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where applicable.
  • Investigate the allegations. Investigation may include written questions, witness interviews, field visits, and requests for documentation.
  • Determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe discrimination has occurred.
  • At any time after a complaint is filed, the Commission may assist the parties in reaching a settlement or agreement that is acceptable to the Complainant(s), Respondent(s), and the Commission.

Complainants and Respondents can retain private counsel to represent them during the investigation, but it is not required. The Commission cannot give any party legal advice at any time during the process.

If you think you have experienced discrimination in Westchester County, contact the Commission.