Human Rights Commission

Fair Housing Inquiries: 1-(888)-412-0474

Discrimination Relating to the Coronavirus Under the New York State & Nassau County Human Rights Law

NYSBias Flyer

The New York State & Nassau County Human Rights Law

If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of a perceived connection between your race, national origin, or disability and the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.

The New York State Human Rights Law (HRL) protects individuals from discrimination based on a wide variety of personal characteristics, including race, national origin, and disability. The HRL prohibits discrimination against individuals who are assumed to have been exposed to the coronavirus based on these traits.

These protections cover employment, housing, education, and places of public accommodation.

To report a Hate Crime/Bias Incident, Please contact the Nassau County Police Bias Crimes Coordinator at (516) 573-7360.

For New Yorkers / Nassau County Residents Concerned About Coronavirus-Related Discrimination

  • Public places such as hotels, restaurants, transportation services, and retail stores cannot deny you entry or access to goods or services based on a perception that your national origin, race, or disability indicates possible exposure to the coronavirus. 
  • Your employer cannot fire you, send you home, or tell you not to come to work because they think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus based solely on your race, national origin, or disability.
    It is an unlawful discriminatory practice to terminate an employee or prevent them from working based on speculation that the employee’s race, national origin, or disability indicates possible exposure to the coronavirus.
  • If your employer terminates you or sends you home based on what is later found to be a discriminatory policy, your employer could be responsible for your missed wages. 
  • If you are wearing a face mask as a precaution, you are still protected against discrimination.
    The HRL prohibits discrimination based on a perceived connection between race, national origin, or disability and possible exposure to coronavirus. Wearing a face mask does not change this.
  • If you have been harassed or threatened because someone thinks you have the coronavirus, call 911 and contact law enforcement to report the incident immediately.
    Threats and harassment based on race national origin may be considered hate crimes. You may bring this to the attention of the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force by calling 1-888-392-3644 


You can also call the NYS Attorney General at their main hotline 1-800-771-7755


  • In Nassau County, discrimination is defined as any difference in treatment based on actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, religion, source of income, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status or disability.
  • The Commission on Human Rights consists of 15 Commissioners representing men and women of various races and ethnicities, and persons with disabilities.
  • The Commission is committed to improving relations and ensuring equality of opportunity in Nassau County, and to eliminate discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accommodation and education.
  • Persuasion, conciliation, investigation, and education are the major tools used to accomplish our goals.
  • The Commission is committed to promoting harmony among the diverse populations of Nassau County, by developing and initiating programs, literature, and projects which promote mutual respect through understanding and education.
  • The Commission is comprised of an Investigation Unit, a Job Development Center, a Community Relations Unit, and a Pre-Trial Services Unit.

View a Full List of Commissioners

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Human Rights Commissioners Monthly Meeting

1st Floor Conference Room
1 West Street
Mineola, New York 11501

If you are unable to join the in-person meeting, we are also providing a conference call to participate in the meeting.

Conference Call Details:
Call in number:  1-516-572-2631
Participant Code:  0162048

*The meetings begin at 5:30pm*

2024 Monthly Commission meeting dates:

    • January 22, 2024
    • February 26, 2024  -  **MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED**
    • March 25, 2024
    • April 22. 2024
    • May 20, 2024
    • June 24, 2024
    • July: No Meeting
    • August: No Meeting
    • September 23, 2024
    • October 28, 2024
    • November 25, 2024
    • December 16, 2024

Related Resources


Human Rights Laws