Commission on Human Rights
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights June 08 rulings
LOUISVILLE – The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Board of Commissioners at its monthly meeting today ruled to accept two conciliation agreements to resolve discrimination complaints, both in Louisville. The commission dismissed 39 cases with findings of no probable cause, accepted four withdrawals with private, undisclosed settlements, and accepted eight withdrawals without settlements but with a right to file a private suit.
The conciliation agreements were as follows:
Karen McDonald v. HISE Inc. and MPKS Hospitality LLC at 3255 Bardstown Road in Louisville: Ms. McDonald filed a discrimination complaint based on the protected class of familial status in the jurisdiction of housing, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act [KRS 344.360]. The hotel employing her husband and in which the family lived asked the McDonalds to move from the property. Upon investigation, the commission found the hotel asked another employee family with children to move but allowed another employee with no children to continue living at the property. The company denied all allegations, asserting it asked all employees of the Quality Inn and Suites to move from its property except those related to hotel security. The commission found probable cause to believe discrimination occurred after which the parties agreed to resolve the matter by conciliation. The respondent agreed to compensate the complainant in the amount of $7,000 and to undergo commission monitoring for civil rights law compliance for the next three years.
Jennifer Ebendorf v. Curves of the Highlands in Louisville: Jennifer Ebendorf filed a discrimination complaint based on the protected class of disability in the jurisdiction of public accommodations, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act [KRS 344.120]. Ms. Ebendorf alleged the company asked her to leave and returned her money because she was not moving quickly through the exercise circuit. The company denied all allegations of wrongdoing. The parties agreed to conciliate the matter rather than pursue litigation. The respondent agreed to compensate the complainant in the amount of $600 and undergo civil rights compliance training and commission monitoring for compliance for the next three years.
In other business, the commission passed a resolution supporting policies and laws in Kentucky that include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in a person's pursuit of employment, housing, and the goods and services of public accommodations.
"Civil rights protect fundamental freedoms essential to every person in Kentucky and laws regarding civil rights should include every person in Kentucky, said John J. Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. “This reflects the promise and integrity of democracy,” he said.
The commission commended Governor Steven L. Beshear on the recent enactment of Executive Order 2008-473, which states a broad and inclusive policy of equal opportunity in state government employment. In a letter to Governor Beshear, John Johnson said, "Your inclusion of both sexual orientation and gender identity [in the executive order] is in keeping with Kentucky’s historic tradition as a leader in the protection of the dignity and fundamental rights of its citizens."
The commission passed a second resolution to honor the late Alice Wade, a well-known civil rights activist who died at the end of May. “Ms. Wade was a staunch soldier for justice in Louisville and throughout Kentucky,” said Executive Director Johnson.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the policies of federal civil rights laws. The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age and disability in the jurisdictions of employment, public accommodations, housing and financial transactions. Tobacco-smoking status is an additional protected class in the jurisdiction of employment.