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Jackson's non-discrimination ordinance, which went into effect March 9, 2017 included terms for the traditionally protected classes of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status, as well as two more - "gender identity" and "Sexual orientation." The city's ordinance protects all classes, not just those in the LGBTQ community.
Jackson was the 42nd community in the State of Michigan to pass a non-discrimination ordinance, with some communities passing similar measures more than four decades earlier. These communities passed these laws precisely because Federal and State Laws do not provide specific protections for members of the LGBTQ community.
The City of Jackson's NDO can be located in Chapter 15 of the City Municipal Code "Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion", under Article III "Non-Discrimination Ordinance", sections 15-40 "Created, purposes" through 15-51 "Severability", located in the Municode Library.
If any individual has a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, he/she has thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the individual's knowledge of the allegedly discriminatory action or thirty (30) calendar days from the date when the individual should have known of the alleged discriminatory action to file a complaint with the city's human relations commission. If an individual fails to file a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter within the specified time frame, the human relations commission will not consider the complaint.
If the individual can file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the complaint must be filed with that agency and no complaint may be filed with the City of Jackson. Complaints involving discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status must be filed with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Complaints involving discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (forty (40) or older), disability or genetic information must be filed with the equal employment opportunity commission. The city may only investigate allegations of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.
For complaints directed to Human Relation Commission, the complaint may be filed in person, by e-mail, or by mail. The complaint must contain information about the alleged discrimination, such as the name, address, and phone number of the complainant, as well as the location, date and description of the alleged violation of this chapter.
Complaints may be mailed to or hand delivered to:
Human Relations Commission
161 W Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201
(Jackson City Hall)
To email a Commissioner, select the button below and be redirected to the Commission's' official page for more details.
The City Attorney will review and investigate all complaints filed within 30 days of the alleged discrimination. Once all the information related to the claim is gathered from both sides, the City Attorney will determine whether to issue a civil infraction as a result of the alleged discrimination. The City Attorney will act as the prosecutor and must prove a violation of the NDO through the evidence gathered. If the individual alleged to have discriminated can demonstrate an alternative reason for his or her alleged discriminatory actions, a civil infraction may be avoided.
The City has discretion to recommend charges of up to $500 per day for violation of the NDO. Fines can be administered for each instance of discrimination. All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. A judge
or magistrate will decide the amount of any fine imposed, unless the parties can come to an agreement.