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Know Your Rights

Fri, 10/26/2012 - 05:52 -- crobinson
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Discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations is illegal in New Hampshire under RSA 354-A.

If you have been

  • denied employment or promotion, terminated, harassed, or treated differently in terms or conditions of employment;
  • denied housing;
  • treated differently than others in terms or conditions of purchase, rental, or financing of housing;
  • denied access to public accommodations or made unwelcome.

and the reason for the differing treatment is your

  • age (young or old),
  • race,
  • color,
  • nation of origin/ancestry (including limited English language or accent),
  • familial status (children in the house),
  • marital status,
  • religion,
  • fisability (mental or physical),
  • sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, or
  • sex (gender/pregnancy/ sexual harassment),

you can

file a complaint with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights and it will be investigated. If illegal discrimination has occurred, it can be remedied.

The Commission has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations.

To file a charge of discrimination, call the Commission at 603-271-2767. 

The Commission has investigators available to talk with you and help you understand your rights. They return phone messages and take phone calls about possible discrimination on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Leave a phone message with your name, phone number, and a time you would be available for a return call between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

You may also fill out an intake questionnaire from the Commission's website. Complete, print, and deliver the questionnaire to the Commission. 

       Intake Department
       NH Commission for Human Rights
       2 Chenell Drive Unit 2 
       Concord, NH 03301-8501

Neither writing the Commission nor filling out the questionnaire creates a formal charge of discrimination. You will be contacted by the Commission regarding the filing of a formal charge.

Things to remember

You must file a charge within 180 days of what you believe to be the illegal act. For example, from the day you were denied the rental, refused the job, or terminated from your employment.

There are some exceptions to this law, so call to find out if you can file. Keep a record of dates and incidents and names of possible witnesses. This may help you later to prove your case.

There are no filing fees or other charges. You do not need a lawyer to represent you and you do not need to be a US citizen to call or file a complaint.

It is illegal to retaliate against anyone for filing a charge of discrimination or for assisting another person who is opposing discrimination (for example, by being a witness).

Mediation is available free of charge to assist parties in reaching a satisfactory mutual resolution to a complaint. It is an informal way of settling disputes without going to court. In mediation, both parties sit down face-to-face with a trained mediator. No judge is present. The mediator helps you arrive at a solution.

Notice to employers, business owners, and landlords

If you are an employer or are starting a business or renting property to others, you should know the law.

Discrimination is costly. It leads to employee turnover, low morale, and potential complaints and fines.

The Commission for Human Rights has information about the law for employers, business owners, and landlords. The Commission also offers training and consultation to help prevent violations of the law.

Contact the Commission if you have questions or wish to obtain a copy of the poster that employers and landlords are required to display in their businesses.

The Commission is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
2 Chenell Drive
Concord, NH 03301-8501

603 271-2767
TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2694
Email: humanrights@nhsa.state.nh.us

Date: 
June 2014
Author: 
New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights

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