Human Rights Appeals Board review powers limited
CBS v. State Human Rights Appeals Board, 76 AD2d 813
The Division of Human Rights had dismissed the complaint of discrimination filed by a former employee of CBS for lack of probable cause.
On appeal the Human Rights Appeals Board reversed the Division’s determination after making its own findings as to seniority and other matters concerning the complaint.
The Appellate Division held that in so doing the Appeals Board had exceeded its authority, substituting its own factual findings for that of the Division.
The Board’s function, said the court, is to determine whether the Division’s decision was based on substantial evidence or not.
The Appellate Division then reinstated the Division’s determination, stating that “in reversing [the Division] the Board must have been saying either that there was not substantial evidence or else that the ruling was arbitrary and capricious and an unwarranted exercise of discretion. There was no basis for this determination ... the Division’s expertise in evaluating discrimination claims may not be lightly disregarded.”