FRANKFORT, KY (12/9/11) - The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is proud to release its 2011 Annual Report. The 2011 reporting period of the commission is that of state government’s fiscal annual reporting period, from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011.
This year the commission filed 333 discrimination complaints for people alleging they were victims of discrimination in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This number is just up from 329 complaints in 2010 and 322 in 2009. The 2011 number reflects an improvement in the number of complaints filed compared to 423 complaints in 2007 and 421 complaints in 2008. (The years of 2007 and 2008 marked the highest number of discrimination complaints in the commission’s 51 year history.)
“The commission would hope the gradual drop in discrimination complaints reflects greater mutual respect in our state and an increase in equal opportunity and equal treatment for people,” said John J. Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. “However,” he said, “also this year we received 3,269 inquires from people from all over the state who were afraid they were being discriminated against or who reported discrimination problems in their regions.
“Even though the United States has come a long way, discrimination against all of our protected classes is still devastating and heartbreaking for so many,” Johnson said. “We conduct a high number of education and outreach programs every year to try to reach as many people as possible about their rights to equality and to inform people that they are required to comply with the laws prohibiting discrimination,” he said. “Discrimination can be so subtle that it may be difficult to prove, but that does not mean that it did not occur,” he said.
Just as in every year since the Kentucky Civil Rights Act was passed in 1966, the highest number of discrimination complaints in 2011 were based on the protected class of race. Discrimination was most often alleged in the area of employment.
The commission closed 422 complaints during the 2011 reporting period. Three-hundred-thirty-seven of these did not reveal during investigation sufficient evidence to prove discrimination. Twenty-five complaints resulted in conciliation agreements (similar to settlements). Complainants received various sums of money from respondents as part of their agreements.
Five cases were conciliated after the commission found probable cause to determine that discrimination had occurred. No jury trials or administrative hearings were necessary this year given that the complainants of these probable cause cases wanted to settle their complaints with conciliation agreements rather than continue to the hearing or trial phases. This resulted in less stress and faster resolution for complainants.
Twenty-three cases were withdrawn so that the complainants could file private suits and 37 complaints were withdrawn by complainants who privately settled their complaints with their respondents.
The Kentucky Human Rights Commission enforces both the Kentucky and the U.S. Civil Rights acts. It enforces the federal law in its capacity as a certified affiliate of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
See the entire report at www.kchr.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, familial status, and tobacco-smoking status. Protected classes are protected with varying stipulations in the areas of public accommodations, employment, housing, and financial transactions.
Information provided by KHRC
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