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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.
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.
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
Any employer within the City limits that has four or more employees, any person who is engaged in the sale or rental of housing (with an exception for owner-occupied structures with no more than four rental units), or who offers goods, services, facilities or accommodations to the public must comply with the ordinance. The governmental entity of the City of Wichita must also comply with the amendment.
Public Accommodations include every establishment within the City that is open to the general public and offers any product, service or facility. It can include, but not be limited to:
A question about an individual's use of a particular restroom or changing facility may arise in employment or public accommodations. It may be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to mandate that an employee use a restroom or changing facility consistent with his/her biological sex rather than his/her gender identity. Likewise, a public accommodation may offer a restroom or changing facility to be used by patrons or the general public. Again, it may be an unlawful discriminatory practice to mandate that an individual use a restroom or changing facility consistent with his/her biological sex rather than his/her gender identity.
The ordinance does not require any employer or public accommodation to provide a separate facility for any individual or to otherwise physically alter any existing restroom or changing facility.
The ordinance does not prohibit any employer or public accommodation from addressing issues that may arise from any person's misuse of restrooms and changing facilities that are not based upon discrimination.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against on the basis of membership in the protected classes specified, the ordinance allows you or your attorney to complete the City’s complaint form and submit it to the City Clerk. A parent or legal guardian must file on behalf of a minor.
No. The investigating officer is designated by the City Manager and the hearing officer is the Municipal Judge. The only other involved persons are the aggrieved person, respondent and any potential witnesses or legal counsel.
If discrimination is found to have occurred, then the respondent can be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of up to $2,000 for each violation. The prevailing party is free to pursue their reasonable and necessary costs and fees accrued during the case.
No. A finding that an individual has committed an unlawful act of discrimination is not a crime. A finding that and individual has committed an unlawful act of discrimination is a civil violation and does not impact their criminal record in any way.
No. Being rude, offensive, or insulting toward an individual based on any characteristic is, on its own, not an act of discrimination under the proposed ordinance. To commit an unlawful discriminatory practice, a person must deny an individual rights or privileges in employment, housing, or public accommodations on the basis of membership in the protected classes specified. If a person, in conjunction with an unlawful discriminatory practice, is rude, offensive, or insulting toward that individual, it can be used as evidence during the complaint process.
The ordinance is in effect as of January 1, 2022. The City can only accept discrimination complaints on the basis of the ordinance for discrimination that occurred after the ordinance’s effective date.