On October 12, 2021, the Wichita City Council voted to adopt a Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO), Ordinance 51-654, effective upon publication October 29, 2021 in the Wichita Eagle. Complaints will be accepted beginning January 1, 2022, in order to allow time for implementation of enforcement processes.
This ordinance is intended to assure equal opportunity for Wichitans and to ban discrimination or segregation in housing, employment and public accommodations based on age, color, disability, familial status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin or ancestry, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or other factor protected by law.
Read the full text of the City of Wichita Ordinance 51-654:
How To Submit a Complaint
- Download a printable copy of the Non-Discrimination Ordinance Complaint Form (PDF). Descargar Formulario de Queja de la Ordenanza de No Discriminación (PDF).
- This form must be filled out, notarized and submitted to the City Clerk's office within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory practice, unless the act complained of constitutes a continuing pattern or practice of discrimination, in which event, it must be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination.
- Mail or hand-deliver notarized, completed Complaint Form to:
455 N Main, 13th Floor
Wichita, KS 67202
- Alternately, filled form may be notarized, scanned and submitted via email to the Non-Discrimination Office.
What Happens Next?
- The complaint may be referred to a mediator, wherein the costs will be paid by the City of Wichita. If mediation is not successfully completed within 60 days of the referral, or either side chooses not to pursue mediation, the complaint will be referred to an investigator.
- The Investigator will notify the Respondent(s) (or those who respond to the complaint made against them), with sufficient details related to the complaint so the Respondent(s) may respond. The Respondent(s) have 30 days to file a written answer to the complaint, and to provide any documentation or evidence related to the complaint. The Investigator may extend the answer period by an additional 30 days.
- After the answer period, the Investigator may initiate an investigation period, where the Aggrieved Individual (or the person who filed the complaint) may be requested to provide additional information, documentation, statements, or testimony as needed to facilitate the investigation of the complaint. This investigation will be concluded within a reasonable period of time following the submission of the requested documentation, information, or testimony.
Determination of Probable Cause
After the investigation period, the Investigator will forward all evidence to the City of Wichita Law Department. The City Law Department will determine whether probable cause exists.
- If the City Law Department finds that probable cause does not exist, the Law Department shall notify the Aggrieved Individual and the Respondent(s) within a reasonable period of time, and this notification shall be considered a final order and no further action will be taken by the City.
- If the Law Department finds probable cause does exist, the Law Department shall notify the Aggrieved Individual and Respondent(s) and request conciliation and settlement. If a party refuses to participate in conciliation and settlement, or if a settlement agreement is not executed within 60 days of the date of the finding of probable cause, the matter shall be referred to a Municipal Court Judge of the City for review.
Scheduled Court Hearing
- After the referral is sent to the Municipal Court Judge, they shall schedule a hearing on the complaint. The parties shall be given 10 days written notice via certified mail of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
- Any determination of the Hearing Officer that the Respondent(s) committed an Unlawful Discriminatory Practice shall be issued in writing within 60 days of the hearing.
- What is the intent of the Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO)?
The ordinance prohibits discrimination in the areas of Employment, Housing and Public Accommodations, based on membership in the protected classes specified in the ordinance. It also creates a local enforcement process for complaints of discrimination on the basis of membership in the protected classes specified in the ordinance.
- What does the NDO protect?
The Ordinance provides an individual with protection from certain discriminatory acts on the basis of a person’s age, color, disability, familial status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin or ancestry, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship or military or veteran status.
- What does sexual orientation and gender identity mean?
Sexual orientation is defined as an individual’s actual or perceived (by the individual or another) emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people, such as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual or asexual. Gender identity means an individual’s actual or perceived (by the individual or another) gender-related identity, expression, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth