2017 New York Laws
EXC - Executive
Article 15 - Human Rights Law
295 - General Powers and Duties of Division.
295. General powers and duties of division. The division, by and through the commissioner or his or her duly authorized officer or employee, shall have the following functions, powers and duties:
1. To establish and maintain its principal office, and such other offices within the state as it may deem necessary.
2. To function at any place within the state.
3. To appoint such officers, attorneys, clerks and other employees and agents, consultants and special committees as it may deem necessary, fix their compensation within the limitations provided by law, and prescribe their duties.
4. To obtain upon request and utilize the services of all governmental departments and agencies.
5. To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind suitable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this article, and the policies and practices of the division in connection therewith.
6. (a) To receive, investigate and pass upon complaints alleging violations of this article.
(b) Upon its own motion, to test and investigate and to make, sign and file complaints alleging violations of this article and to initiate investigations and studies to carry out the purposes of this article.
7. To hold hearings, to provide where appropriate for cross-interrogatories, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath, and in connection therewith, to require the production for examination of any books or papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the division. The division may make rules as to the issuance of subpoenas which may be issued by the division at any stage of any investigation or proceeding before it.
In any such investigation or hearing, the commissioner, or an officer duly designated by the commissioner to conduct such investigation or hearing, may confer immunity in accordance with the provisions of section 50.20 of the criminal procedure law.
8. To create such advisory councils, local, regional or state-wide, as in its judgment will aid in effectuating the purposes of this article and of section eleven of article one of the constitution of this state, and the division may empower them to study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships or in specific instances of discrimination because of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability or marital status and make recommendations to the division for the development of policies and procedures in general and in specific instances. The advisory councils also shall disseminate information about the division's activities to organizations and individuals in their localities. Such advisory councils shall be composed of representative citizens, serving without pay, but with reimbursement for actual and necessary traveling expenses; and the division may make provision for technical and clerical assistance to such councils and for the expenses of such assistance.
9. To develop human rights plans and policies for the state and assist in their execution and to make investigations and studies appropriate to effectuate this article and to issue such publications and such results of investigations and research as in its judgement will tend to inform persons of the rights assured and remedies provided under this article, to promote good-will and minimize or eliminate discrimination because of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability or marital status.
10. To render each year to the governor and to the legislature a full written report of all its activities and of its recommendations.
11. To inquire into incidents of and conditions which may lead to tension and conflict among racial, religious and nationality groups and to take such action within the authority granted by law to the division, as may be designed to alleviate such conditions, tension and conflict.
12. To furnish any person with such technical assistance as the division deems appropriate to further compliance with the purposes or provisions of this article.
13. To promote the creation of human rights agencies by counties, cities, villages or towns in circumstances the division deems appropriate.
14. To accept, with the approval of the governor, as agent of the state, any grant, including federal grants, or any gift for any of the purposes of this article. Any moneys so received may be expended by the division to effectuate any purpose of this article, subject to the same limitations as to approval of expenditures and audit as are prescribed for state moneys appropriated for the purposes of this article.
15. To adopt an official seal.
16. To have concurrent jurisdiction with the New York city commission on human rights over the administration and enforcement of title C of chapter one of the administrative code of the city of New York.