Federal laws protect people from discrimination by employers and state and local agencies that provide services to you. New York State law protects employers and job applicants.
The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) adheres to these laws and takes affirmative steps to ensure that all programs and services are free of discrimination based on protected class status including race, religion/creed, color, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin (including limited English proficiency), age, political affiliation or belief, military or veteran status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital or family status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record or criminal conviction history, or citizenship status.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination means to act based on a preference or prejudice. Under Federal and New York State laws, discrimination occurs when you are treated differently in a way that causes an adverse impact to you. It includes:
- Unequal/Unfair treatment because of your protected status (race, color, religion, sex, disability, etc.)
- Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in your workplace because of your protected characteristics.
- Denial of a reasonable accommodation or workplace change that you need because of your religious beliefs, disability, or domestic violence victim status.
- Denial of access to an auxiliary aid or service that you need in order to work or, under Federal laws, benefit from or participate in programs and activities afforded to individuals without a disability.
- Improper questions about or disclosure of your genetic information or medical information unless the medical information is required to determine if you are able to perform your job.
- Retaliation because you complained about job discrimination or assisted with or participated in an investigation or lawsuit involving discrimination or retaliation.
For Department of Labor customers, discrimination may also occur based on:
- Citizenship or status to work legally in the US (lawfully admitted immigrant)
- Participation in any program or activity that receives "financial assistance" from the federal government under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which includes programs or services provided through our New York State Career Centers
For descriptions of the various types of discrimination prohibited by federal law, see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) webpage. For information about the types of discrimination prohibited under New York State law, see the New York State Division of Human Rights webpage. The U.S. Department of Labor, Civil Rights Center (CRC) website provides information for those that apply to, participate in, work for, or come into contact with programs and activities supported by the United States Department of Labor.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Complaints
The WIOA was designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need.
Among other things, WIOA requires recipients of federal-financial assistance to advise DOL customers of their right to file discrimination complaints. The DOL provides notice of these rights in the Equal Opportunity is the Law posters that are displayed in career centers, made available in various languages to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP), and in various formats to individuals with disabilities.
Discrimination complaints against the NYSDOL or its employees, or any complaints of discrimination you have experienced in the provision of programs and services at Career Centers, can be filed at any Career Center, with the Department of Labor’s Division of Equal Opportunity Development (DEOD), or directly with the U.S. Department of Labor, Civil Right Center (CRC), the agency that enforces WIOA.
For more information on filing Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act complaints, see USDOL Civil Rights Center website.
Filing a Discrimination Complaint
If you have a discrimination complaint against your employer and you got your job through a referral from a New York State Career Center, OR you have a complaint against the NYSDOL, a NYSDOL employee, or a NYSDOL program or service based on discrimination (WIOA Complaint), you may file a complaint with:
New York State Department of Labor
Division of Equal Opportunity Development (DEOD)
Harriman State Office Campus, Building 12
Albany, New York 12240
TDD/TTY: 800-662-1220 or 711. New York City, dial 211
Email: [email protected]
Or directly with:
Civil Rights Center (CRC)
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210
Fax: 202-693-6505 (Attention: Office of External Enforcement)
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202-693-6500 (VOICE)
If you have a discrimination complaint against your employer, and you got your job on your own without assistance from a New York State Career Center, you may file your complaint with:
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
131 M Street, NE
NE Washington, D.C. 20507
ASL Video Phone: 844-234-5122
Email: [email protected]
Department of Labor Discrimination Complaint Forms
Complaint forms can be obtained from the Agency you file your complaint with, or you can access digital forms on their website. The following form is available in multiple languages and can be used to file complaints with the New York State Department of Labor’s, Division of Equal Opportunity Development.
If you require the form in a language that is not listed, please contact the Division of Equal Opportunity Development. Forms can be translated free of charge.
Use this form to file a complaint, including discrimination complaints, with the Division of Equal Opportunity Development. The complaint may be against: a public or private employer, employee, company, or agency, including the New York State Department of Labor or other individuals or entities. Your name and information will be kept confidential to the fullest extent of the law.
Traducción al español (Spanish)
Complaint Form, Including Discrimination Complaints (DEOD834S-Spanish)
Tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen (Haitian Creole)
Complaint Form, Including Discrimination Complaints (DEOD834HC-Haitian-Creole)
Complaint Form, Including Discrimination Complaints (DEOD834AL-Albanian)
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to use a special form to file the discrimination complaint?
You do not have to use a special form to start the process.
What Should Your Discrimination Complaint Contain?
Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?
Yes. WIOA complaints filed with the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Equal Opportunity Development or with the Civil Rights Center must be filed within 180 days of the day on which the discrimination took place. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides for 180 days, but can be extended to 300 days, and the Division of Human Rights provides for a complaint to be filed within one year.
Do I have to file the complaint myself?
You may file the complaint through a "representative." Your representative may be:
If a representative files your complaint for you, it must include these three things:
For more assistance on filing discrimination complaints, you may contact the Division of Equal Opportunity Development at the address or phone number above.
For general inquiries about the Department of Labor or any of its programs or services, you may contact the NYSDOL Contact Center at: Phone: (518) 457-9000 or (888) 4-NYS DOL (888-469-7365) TDD/TTY: 800-662-1220 or 711. New York City, dial 211