The biggest portion of the complaints came from people claiming to be discriminated against for disabilities.
The city agency that fights discrimination saw a massive rise in complaints filed over the past year, new data shows.
The Commission on Human Rights — the watchdog agency tasked with enforcing the city’s human rights law — received 8,330 reports of alleged violations in 2016, compared to 5,296 in 2015, a spike of nearly 60%, according to a report to be released Wednesday.
“I think that it’s connected to what we’re seeing nationally. The election season brought about some dangerous rhetoric,” department chair Carmelyn Malalis told the Daily News.
She credited her agency’s growing caseload to residents relying on the city with uncertainty in Washington — and to increased outreach.
“People are much more knowledgeable of their rights, and are trusting local government more to handle these types of cases,” she said.
The largest chunk of claims in 2016, roughly 20%, came from people alleging that they had been discriminated against because of disabilities. Complaints of racial discrimination made up another 14% of claims, and gender discrimination 12%.
Complaints of discrimination based on criminal history or national origin each made up about 9% of all claims.
New York City Commission on Human Rights department chair Carmelyn Malalis said she thinks the raise is "connected to what we’re seeing nationally."
In response, the city opened 883 cases in 2016, compared to 824 in 2015.
If the claims are substantiated, violators can face fines of up to $250,000 for each instance of discrimination.
The city awarded a total of $1,244,136 in damages to victims in 2016, officials said.
Cases included a design firm ordered to pay a female employee $85,000 for discriminating against her for being pregnant, and a management company fined a record $100,000 for refusing an apartment to a man with a Section 8 voucher.
The city represents complainants for free.