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Civil Rights

Civil rights protect individuals from discrimination or neglect by the government or private organizations. These rights ensure equal opportunities to participate in political and civil activities, while remaining free from discrimination based on race, gender, disability, family status, LGBT status, or national origin. At Empire Justice, we represent the people who have been denied these rights by providing them with advice and counsel and representing them in court.  


Legal Options for Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Survivors of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence in New York
In New York, many different types of civil (non-criminal) or criminal legal relief may be available to help you. However, because New York law doesn’t consistently recognize all LGBTQrelationships, certain legal protections may be challenging to obtain here. Read More

Session Wrap 2017: SWEAT- More to be done for Wage Justice
Empire Justice Center and the SWEAT Coalition, consisting of over 70 groups representing workers, businesses, unions, anti-poverty groups and faith-based groups, worked hard to advocate for the SWEAT Bill - legislation designed to fight against New York’s wage theft epidemic and wage collection crisis, and to close loopholes in our state’s labor laws. Read More


Empire Justice Center Statement on Governor Cuomo's Hate and Human Rights Laws Expansion
The horrifying events that transpired in Charlottesville this past weekend showed us all that we have a long road ahead of us to reach a place where hate has no home in our hearts. We all have a responsibility to stand for what it right. Read More

Empire Justice Stands with Immigrants & Their Families
Empire Justice Center is proud to be one of more than 180 organizations across the country to stand up and speak out against the completely un-American attack on immigrants proposed by Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), and championed by President Donald Trump. Read More


Empire Justice Testimony: 2016 NYS Joint Budget Hearing on Public Protection
Empire Justice Center's testimony before the joint legislative committees on the 2016-17 Executive Budget proposal regarding Public Protection. New York State must continue to ensure access to justice, regardless of a person's ability to pay for an attorney. Read More

Empire Justice Comments to the NYS Department of Labor on the use of Payroll Cards
As growing numbers of employers seek to steer workers to payroll cards, it is vital that New York State ensure that workers have fair and unobstructed access to their wages. We strongly support the proposed rules, which would prohibit employers in New York State from forcing workers to accept their wages on payroll cards; ban big banks and other payroll card issuers from charging workers high and hidden fees simply to access their own wages; and protect working New Yorkers from other payroll card abuses. Read More



Policy Matters October 2017
Empire Justice Center's latest edition of Policy Matters. Read More



Pro Se Name & Gender Change Guide for Transgender Residents of Greater Monroe County, New York
Empire Justice Center's pro se guide on name and gender marker changes on identity documents. A step by step guide for transgender residents of the Greater Monroe County Area in New York. Read More


Know Your Rights: A Guide to Fighting Discrimination Against Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming New Yorkers Under the New York State Human Rights Law
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people in New York State are now clearly protected by our Human Rights Law (HRL), thanks to new regulations issued earlier this year. Our NEW GUIDE explains what gender identity-based discrimination might look like, and how to exercise your rights under the HRL. Read More





Introduction to Language Access Rights
Language Access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) is a half day training for advocates and attorneys that work with LEP communities. Participants will be given an overview of the state and federal protections for LEP individuals. Read More

Special Ed Litigation: Achieving Systemic Change within School Districts
From Greece, NY to New York City, public interest attorneys have challenged school districts' systemic failures to provide appropriate educational support to students with disabilities. In this session, attorneys and advocates will learn about the most recent cases, as well as "cutting-edge strategies" for litigating systems-change lawsuits that aim to compel school districts to improve services for large numbers of students. Read More