Commission on Human Rights
Kentucky Human Rights Commission issues rulings on discrimination cases
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Board of Commissioners met yesterday in Lexington, Ky., to rule on discrimination complaints on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The board meets outside its Louisville, Ky., headquarters on occasion and as the budget allows, giving people across the state the opportunity to gain information about the function of their human rights commission.
This month the board ruled to accept one conciliation agreement negotiated by staff investigators and attorneys. The board ruled to dismiss six cases with findings of no probable cause to prove discrimination occurred. It ruled to accept two case withdrawals where parties came to private settlements with undisclosed compensation amounts. The board ruled to dismiss one case withdrawal giving the complainant the right to file a private suit.
Conciliation agreements negotiated by commission staff are similar to settlements. In the conciliation agreement concerning Case Number 1607-H / 04-11-0902-8, the Lexington Fair Housing Council Inc. versus Sundance Property Management and Delaware Crossing, in Independence: The Lexington Fair Housing Council alleged that Sundance Property at Delaware Crossing Apartments, 1800 Brentwood Lane, Independence, Ky., was discriminating based on disability in the area of housing, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.360, KRS 344.280, the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968 as amended. The Lexington Council, an advocate organization for fair housing, claimed it conducted a survey of the Delaware Crossing property and claimed the property was not in compliance with design and construction aspects contained in the law, therefore making the property inaccessible to people with disabilities. Sundance Property Management denied any allegations of violations of the law and asserted it was unaware that its construction and design at Delaware Crossing did not comply with the law. Before the commission made a determination of probable cause to believe discrimination occurred, the parties agreed to resolve the matter with a conciliation agreement. Sundance agreed to bring Delaware Crossing into compliance with construction and design requirements within the next eight months, making it accessible to people with disabilities. Sundance agreed to undergo civil rights law compliance training and to report to the commission on making the required changes.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The laws make discrimination illegal. The Kentucky Civil Rights Act protects people from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, family status (in housing) and tobacco-smoking status (in employment). These classes are protected with varying stipulations in the areas of employment, public accommodations (such as restaurants, department store, hotels, doctors’ offices and other businesses), housing, and financial transactions.
People who need help with discrimination or would like more information may contact the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights at 1.800.292.5566. There is information about civil rights on the commission website at www.kchr.ky.gov. Also, from the website, the commission’s Face Book and Twitter pages may be accessed. The sites contain news stories from all over regarding civil and human rights.