Division of Human Rights

Complaint Processing

The Division of Human Rights investigates and adjudicates complaints about employment, housing and other forms of alleged discrimination pursuant to the Human Rights Law. The Human Rights Law directs that the Division complete investigations of complaints within 180 days of receipt and, when probable cause is found, require the respondent to appear at a hearing within 270 days of the complaint's filing. The Division has a chronic backlog of unprocessed complaints. In October 1999, the U.S. District Court found that existing delays in handling complaints were unreasonable and constituted further violation of the complainants' rights.

In our audit of complaint processing procedures for the 15 months ended June 30, 1999, we examined a randomly selected sample of 70 complaints. Our analysis of the processing of these complaints confirmed that delays are pervasive in the Division's handling of complaints, from the assignment of cases to their resolution. To reduce the Division's current backlog - its short- term problem - we recommend the Division obtain additional staff. To manage its workload efficiently - the Division's long-term problem - we recommend the Division develop a strategic plan that incorporates staff requirements, process reengineering and any legislative changes needed to ensure prompt complaint resolution.

For a complete copy of Report 99-S-27 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.