(NEW YORK, N.Y., 02/14/2020) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and HNY Ferry, LLC (HNY Ferry) today announced that they have reached a settlement to resolve NYC Commission on Human Rights charges filed on behalf of three Muslim families.
In their charges, the Muslim families alleged discriminatory treatment while attempting to board the ferry. HNY Ferry conducted a thorough outside investigation into the allegations. HNY Ferry denied allegations of unlawful discrimination practices. The parties agreed to settle the matter amicably despite disagreeing on whether HNY Ferry employees had any discriminatory intent.
The agreement includes a confidential financial settlement for the families to compensate them for the inconvenience and disruption they experienced, inclusive of attorneys’ fees. HNY Ferry also agreed to (i) enhance its existing anti-discrimination trainings, including religious and cultural sensitivity trainings for its employees; (ii) adopt new procedures for responding to complaints by passengers alleging discriminatory treatment; and, (iii) submit a formal plan to relevant authorities to place better signage at Pier 11/Wall Street, location of the alleged incident.
CAIR-New York Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed issued the following statement:
“We are gratified with the settlement reached for the three Muslim families that we represented in this proceeding, and we applaud HNY Ferry for its good faith efforts in responding to the allegations and reaching a prompt resolution.”
HNY Ferry issued the following statement:
“HNY Ferry welcomes commuters and visitors from all communities of every race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. Accordingly, it takes any allegation of discrimination very seriously, and our longstanding policies prohibit all forms of discrimination. A thorough external investigation into the complaint concluded that the deckhand did not discriminate. However, the external investigation noted that our initial response to the customers’ email complaint alleging discrimination should have better expressed our understanding of the gravity of the complaint – regardless of the fact that the initial routine investigation indicated that there was no intent to discriminate. Consistent with our commitment to good customer service and based on the good faith that CAIR-New York has shown working through these issues, we have sought to improve the service for all riders by agreeing to enhance our existing employee training and to submit a plan to place better signage at Pier 11 to the facility’s operator.
“Although the parties disagree, we appreciate that the passengers took a forward looking approach to help the company better fulfill its commitment to great service.”
CAIR-New York is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
HNY Ferry is the operator of NYC Ferry on behalf of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Its mission is to deliver a safe, efficient and reliable public transportation option to New Yorkers and visitors each and every day. Since its inception in May 2017, HNY Ferry is proud to have carried over 14 million riders from all over the world.