January 2010 rulings on discrimination complaints
Press Release Date:
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
LOUISVILLE – The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Board of Commissioners today ruled to accept three conciliation agreements, dismiss 17 discrimination complaints with findings of no probable cause, and accept three withdrawals without settlement but with a right to sue.
Joey and Regina Lear v. James Brooks, in Clarkson, Ky.: Joey and Regina Lear, who have a minor daughter with a disability, alleged James Brooks discriminated against them based on disability in housing, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.360). The Lears claimed Brooks refused to provide a wheelchair ramp at their mobile home and gravel for a turn-around that would allow the school bus to pick up their child at the property the family rents from Brooks. The couple claimed when they asked for such reasonable accommodations for their child’s disability, Brooks issued them an eviction notice. The commission determined there was probable cause in the case. The respondent opted to take his case to Muhlenberg County Circuit Court. After depositions and other court actions, the parties agreed to conciliate the matter rather than go forward in court. Brooks signed an affidavit stating he no longer rents property in Kentucky, but that if he does so over the next three years, he will comply with civil rights laws and undergo compliance training and monitoring for three years. He compensated with $100 to the Muhlenberg County Children’s Fund.
Lisa Graas v. Kentucky State Health Insurance Program, Central Kentucky Community Action Council, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and Lincoln Trail Area Development District, in Lebanon, Ky.: Lisa Graas alleged discrimination based on disability in a pubic accommodations, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.120). She claimed when she visited the Kentucky State Health Insurance Program to keep an appointment, an employee refused to allow her to enter with her service dog. After a supervising employee finally allowed her to bring the dog, she said, employees subjected her to several minutes of questions and comments about her disability. The respondents denied all allegations of unlawful discrimination. Prior to completion of the investigation, the parties agreed to conciliate. The respondents compensated Graas with $500, and agreed to undergo compliance training and monitoring for six months.
Samuel Blackmon v. Container Port Group, in Louisville, Ky.: Samuel Blackmon alleged Container Port Group discriminated against him based on his race (African American) in employment, a violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.040). Blackmon claimed his employer treated him differently than white employees concerning his work schedule, which resulted in his constructive discharge. The respondent denied all violations of the law. Prior to making a determination, the parties agreed to conciliate. The respondent compensated Blackmon with $2,000, and agreed to undergo compliance training and monitoring.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces The Kentucky Civil Rights Act and federal civil rights laws. The laws protect people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, and tobacco smoking status. The protections apply with varying requirements to the areas of employment, public accommodations, housing, and financial transactions.