Commission on Human Rights
Rulings on Discrimination Complaints for August and September
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Board of Directors met earlier this month to rule on discrimination complaints on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The commission dismissed 10 complaints with findings of no probable cause to believe discrimination occurred. The body ruled to accept three case withdrawals without settlements but with the right to file private civil suits. Also accepted was one case withdrawal resolved with an undisclosed settlement between the complainant and respondent.
At its August meeting, the commission ruled to approve one conciliation agreement, dismiss 46 cases with findings of no probable cause to believe discrimination occurred, and accept one case withdrawal without settlement but with the right to sue and five case withdrawals resolved with private settlements. Conciliation agreements are similar to settlements.
In the case of Deanna Latanzio v. the McDonalds Restaurant in Owensboro, Ky., Latanzio alleged the company discriminated against her based on a perceived disability in the area of employment, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.040) and the U.S Americans with Disabilities Act. She alleged that a customer of the McDonalds who routinely harassed her based on disability complained about Latanzio’s behavior and that management disciplined Latanzio without giving her the opportunity to defend the charge. Latanzio alleged she had previously reported the customer’s harassment to management in an effort to seek help. Latanzio said she believed she was disciplined based on the customer's harassment of a perceived disability and that the company disciplined her based on it.
The Owensboro McDonalds denied all violations of discrimination and asserted that it did not discriminate against Latanzio by either subjecting her to customer harassment or disciplining her based on any perceived or real disability.
Before the commission made a determination, the parties agreed to conciliate the matter. McDonalds agreed to compensate Latanzio in the amount of $3,000 and affirmed that it will investigate any future allegations of unlawful harassment and correct any such harassment or hostile behavior. The branch agreed to undergo civil rights compliance training and compliance monitoring by the commission.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state enforcement authority of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and federal civil rights laws. The Kentucky Civil Rights Act protects people from discrimination based on the protected classes of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, familial status and tobacco smoking status. The law applies with varying requirements to the jurisdictions of employment, public accommodations, housing and financial transactions. The commission has the authority to investigate private club memberships for discrimination under the Kentucky Tax Code.