Dayton HRC

Civil Rights FAQ

The Human Relations Council attempts to resolve all issues in the timeliest manner possible. In order to save time and better serve residents of the City of Dayton, we have compiled a list of civil rights frequently asked questions.

How do I file a complaint of discrimination?

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit in violation of the City of Dayton Revised Code of General Ordinances (R.C.G.O) 32.02-32.21 and 32.99, you may contact us to discuss the filing of a complaint.

A housing complaint must be filed within one year from the date of the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory act. There are, however, certain exemptions that housing providers may be entitled to, which would preclude the filing of your complaint. Please contact our office to discuss your situation, to ensure that the property and/or housing provider is not exempt.

A public accommodation, credit transaction, or employment complaint must be filed within six months of the date of occurrence of the alleged discriminatory act. For employment complaints, the law covers employers with four or more employees.

You may file your complaint by contacting the Human Relations Council (HRC) to arrange an appointment to speak to an investigator, or you may visit the HRC’s office between 8:00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. to file complaints.

What is the difference between a charge and a complaint?

A complaint is filed with the HRC when an individual believes he/she has been discriminated in housing, employment, public accommodation or credit. The Complainant in a complaint is the individual alleging discrimination has occurred. A charge is filed after the HRC has found probable cause. The charge is filed by the HRC and the facts of the case are presented to a hearing examiner. The hearing examiner issues a finding based on the facts presented by the Complainant and the Respondent. The Complainant in the charge is the HRC.

Can I be fired or evicted for filing a discrimination complaint?

No. Retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint is against the law.

Do I need a lawyer to file a complaint?

No. It is your decision to hire an attorney. Our investigators are qualified to conduct impartial investigations using a fact finding process. However, if you have the need to appeal the decision regarding your complaint, you may decide to seek the assistance of an attorney. Should you decide to hire an attorney to handle your complaint, all communication regarding the complaint will be sent to your attorney.

What is the cost of the HRC services?

The HRC’s services are free to the public.

When is an individual considered to have a disability?

An individual is considered to have a disability if that person has one of the following:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • A record of such an impairment; or
  • Been regarded as having such an impairment.
What are major life activities?

Examples of major life activities are self-care, performing manual tasks, seeing, sleeping, hearing, speaking, breathing, and working. An individual with a disability must be substantially limited in one or more major life activities.

Employment

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way job tasks are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by employees without disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodations may range from modifying an employee’s work area to the reassignment of an employee to a vacant position.

My employer promoted another employee who is younger with less experience and training. I feel I’ve been discriminated against because of my age. Is this age discrimination?

Under the City of Dayton’s R.C.G.O, it is unlawful to discriminate because of age. You can contact the HRC and someone will assist you in determining if your complaint meets the jurisdictional requirements. If the HRC has jurisdiction to investigate your complaint, we will determine whether or not there is probable cause through a fact finding process.

My religion requires that I wear special attire, but my employer says it violates the uniform dress policy and I will be fired if I continue to wear my religious attire. Is this true?

Employees have the right to request a religious accommodation. You may file a complaint if you believe you are being discriminated against.

My supervisor, a male, makes unwelcome sexual advances toward me on a frequent basis. Even after telling him that I am offended and want the harassment to stop, he continues. I am afraid to tell anyone because he may fire me. What can I do to stop him from sexually harassing me on the job?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful under the City of Dayton’s R.C.G.O. When possible, begin with the formal channels of filing a complaint in your workplace. It is essential that your employer have the opportunity to correct the problem before you make a legal complaint. If your complaint meets the jurisdiction requirements, an investigation of sexual harassment can be conducted by HRC to determine if there is a violation of the law.

There were only four employees in my company. I was the only African-American. I was fired due to unexcused absences. Although I have missed work, other Caucasian employees were not disciplined or dismissed for the same offense. I believe I was discriminated against because of my race. May I file a complaint of discrimination?

Yes. If your complaint meets the jurisdictional requirements, an investigation can be conducted to determine if your firing was discriminatory. Under the City of Dayton’s R.C.G.O. it is illegal to discriminate because of race.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

Housing providers are required to make a reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. The specific accommodation must be requested of the housing provider, if this request is either ignored or denied, you should contact us to discuss filing a complaint.

Housing

I have a disability, but the Condominium Association will not give me a disabled parking space. Can I file a discrimination charge?

Yes, you may file a complaint. In order to determine if you have been discriminated against, your condition must meet the definition of a disability, which is related to your need for the disability parking space. In addition, there must be evidence that supports the housing provider was aware of your disability.

What is a reasonable modification?

A modification can be made to a dwelling or common use area, usually at the expense of the individual with a disability, if it is necessary for that individual to use the dwelling or common area. If you are a public housing resident, however, the cost of reasonable modifications are the responsibility of the Public Housing Agency. Also, where it is reasonable, the housing provider may permit this modification, only if the individual with the disability agrees to restore the property to its original condition, when vacating the premises.

My landlord is threatening me with eviction because I am a gay man and he believes I will infect other tenants with HIV/AIDS. Can I file a discrimination complaint?

Yes, you may file a complaint. Your situation may constitute illegal disability discrimination under the Fair Housing Act because you are perceived to have a disability, HIV/AIDS. You might also file a charge under the City of Dayton’s anti-discrimination ordinances which cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

I am a parent who attempted to rent a house for my family. The landlord stated that she does not rent to families with children because they damage the property. Can I file a discrimination complaint?

Yes, you may file a complaint.  Your situation may constitute discrimination based upon familial status under the Fair Housing Act because you are treated differently because of your kids.

What is Disability Discrimination?

Disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee less favorably because they have a history of a disability (such as cancer that is controlled or in remission) or because she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if she does not have such an impairment).

Individuals with disabilities are protected against discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Ohio Civil Rights Act—Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code, the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act, as well as Sections 32.02, 32.03, 32.04 and 32.05 of the City of Dayton’s R.C.G.O.

Public Accommodation

I was with my wife and son waiting to be seated at a restaurant when a Caucasian couple came in and were seated and served before we were served. When I mentioned something to the waiter, he told me I could leave if I did not like how they were handling their customers. I feel like we were discriminated against because of my national origin and religion. Can I file a complaint?

Yes, if you believe you were discriminated against and your complaint meets the jurisdictional requirements, you file a complaint.

Landlord Tenant

What is the Ohio Landlord/Tenant Act?

The Ohio Landlord/Tenant Act—Chapter 5321of the Ohio Revised Code governs Ohio residential landlord/tenant relations.  Some frequently asked questions regarding landlord/tenant issues include:

Can I use my security deposit to pay my last month’s rent?

Security deposits cannot be used to pay your last month’s rent.

Can the landlord enter my apartment without notice?

Landlords may not enter the tenant’s apartment without 24-hour notice unless there is an emergency.

Can the landlord shut off my water because I am behind in my rent?

No, a landlord is obligated to provide tenants with running water.

How long does a landlord have to return my deposit after I’ve moved out?

A landlord has thirty days to return a deposit after a tenant has moved out.

If my landlord has not made repairs can I just stop paying my rent?

A tenant cannot just stop paying rent if the landlord is not making repairs. A tenant may put rental payments into escrow. If you are a tenant residing within the City of Dayton, Ohio and are current with your rental payments, call 333-4483 for more information regarding escrow.

I have fallen behind on my rent payments, when I returned home today, I discovered that the landlord had changed my locks and left a note on my door telling me that I have been evicted. Is this legal?

No. This constitutes an illegal eviction. The landlord must receive a writ of restitution before reclaiming this property. Contact Legal Aid at 1-888-534-1432, or a private attorney to discuss your rights.

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