Hunting for Violations

The Story

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights is supposed to enforce violations of the city’s robust anti-discrimination laws and has traditionally gone after offenders who actively practiced discrimination.  But under the de Blasio administration’s direction, the commission is sniffing out petty injustices that would otherwise escape everyone’s attention.  Does New York City profit from having an activist tribunal that goes out of its way to catch and fine small businesses–even in the absence of actual complaints?  

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. More Fines, Please: The previous Human Rights Commissioner, Bloomberg-appointee Patricia Gatling, was summarily dismissed when Public Advocate Letitia James complained that she had not levied enough fines. Read more

  2. Gotcha!: The Human Rights Commission trolls Help Wanted ads on Craigslist for gendered words such as “hostess” or “waitress,” and then issues $5,000 fines, without warning, to restaurants that have used the offending terms. Read more

  3. Curry Fury: An Indian restaurant that advertised for “an experienced Indian waiter or waitress” was fined $5,000 for employment discrimination based on national origin. Read more.  

“They want us to settle for $5,000. I’m not going to settle. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Giuseppe Bruno, restaurant owner

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Engineering Souls By Theodore Dalrymple

“When the cold war ended, I thought, as no doubt did many others, that the age of ideology was over. Again like many others, I underestimated man’s need for transcendence, which, in the absence of religion or high culture, he is most likely to find in a political or social cause.”

And in other news...

“WSJ goes inside the installation process of ‘Picasso Sculpture,’ opening Sept. 14 at the Museum of Modern Art. With more than 140 works, the exhibit will be the largest showing of the artist’s three-dimensional work in nearly a half-century.”