NYC Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis knows that workers have power to fight back against discrimination & harassment.
Carmelyn P. Malalis has been fighting against harassment and discrimination since well before she became the Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. As a partner with Outten & Golden LLP, a firm that advocates for workplace fairness, Commissioner Malalis became known as a fierce defender of some of our city's most exploited workers. She co-created and co-chaired the firm's LGBT practice group, and co-chaired other practice groups including the Disability and Family Responsibilities Discrimination practice group. For over a decade, she successfully represented workers in a wide range of discrimination claims, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, and pregnancy.
In 2015, Malalis began her first job in public service as the head of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. She quickly set about leading the agency to increase enforcement and prevent discrimination. Under her watch, the Commission is taking its mission seriously - to investigate and prosecute harassment and discrimination in our workplaces and homes. She has prioritized outreach, working across agencies in city government to hear directly from workers and offer maximum protection. When Brandworkers members at Tom Cat Bakery came under attack by ICE, Commissioner Malalis worked to uplift their voices in public forums and ensured they had a seat at the table. She's redoubled her agency's outreach, with a particular focus on those most at risk of discrimination and harassment, including trans people, religious minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and communities of color. She has also ensured her agency reflects the city it serves by hiring and championing staff members from directly impacted communities who speak over 30 languages.
During her tenure, Commissioner Malalis has also centered the issue of sexual harassment in the agency's work, recently adding a unit inside her office solely dedicated to the issue. Earlier this year, she also oversaw the development and launch of an interactive, online tool to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. The training, now mandatory for most employees in New York, incorporates real-life situations Commissioner Malalis and her staff have sourced from workers. Launched just this past April, the training has already been completed over 150,000 times.
By approaching her work from the perspective of those who have been historically disconnected marginalized by government and business, Commissioner Malalis is helping working people achieve the safety they deserve on the job and beyond. For showing us what's possible when an agency adopts an intersectional approach to its work, we couldn't be more thrilled to recognize Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis as a Champion of Economic Justice at the 2019 Brandworkers Awards Dinner.