Discrimination Complaint

Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF)
Ordinance 979 (PDF)

Steps for filling a discrimination complaint:
Sec. 5-1204. - Enforcement.
(a)  Any aggrieved individual by an alleged violation of this article may file a written complaint with the City Clerk that the individual has been, or is being, subject to an alleged unlawful discrimination practice as set forth in this article (or if a minor, through the minor’s parent, legal guardian or attorney) by completing and signing the form provided by the city. The complaint shall state the names and contact information of the aggrieved individual, the individual(s) and/or business/businesses alleged to have committed the unlawful discriminatory practice(s), a description of the alleged unlawful conduct and all other information as may be required by the city.

(b)  The complaint form shall be submitted to the Investigator via hand-delivery, certified mail, email or fax, and shall only be considered complete if all information required by the city’s form has been provided to the extent such information is reasonably available to the aggrieved individual.

(c)  The complaint form must be filed within 60 days of the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice, unless the act complained of constitutes a continuing pattern or practice of discrimination, in which event it must be filed within 60 days of the last act of discrimination.

(d)  Upon receipt of a complete complaint, the investigator shall notify the respondent(s) of the complaint, providing sufficient details related to the complaint so the respondent(s) may respond. The investigator shall give the respondent(s) 30 days to file a written answer to the complaint, and to provide any documentation or evidence related to the complaint. The investigator may, at the request of respondent(s), extend the answer period an additional 30 days. If the respondent(s) charged with violating the provisions of this article is the city, the city will engage an independent investigator who shall not otherwise be an employee, agent, or contractor of the city and shall not have any association with the complainant or the respondent(s).

(e)  Following the conclusion of the answer period, the investigator may initiate an investigation period, requesting that the complainant and/or respondent(s) provide additional information, documentation or testimony as needed to facilitate the investigation of the complaint. The investigator shall have the power to issue process and compel the production of documents. Such process shall be executed by the chief of police and shall be enforced as in all cases of city ordinances. This investigation period shall be concluded within 60 days of the investigator’s last request for information, unless the investigator notifies the complainant and the respondent(s) in writing of the need for additional time and reason(s) therefore.

(f)  Within 30 days of the conclusion of the investigation period, the investigator will review all evidence received during the investigation and make a determination whether probable cause exists that the respondent(s) committed an unlawful discriminatory practice. The investigator will maintain all evidence received during the investigation for a period of two years after the deadline for appeal or completion of appeal, whichever is later.

(g)  If the investigator finds that probable cause does not exist, then the investigator shall notify the complainant and the respondent(s), and no further action shall be taken by the city. The complainant may appeal the investigator’s determination to the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas, in accordance with K.S.A. 60-2101(d), and amendments thereto. Within 30 days of service of the notice of appeal pursuant to K.S.A. 60-2101(d), or within further time allowed by the court or by other provision of law, the city shall transmit to the court a certified copy of the investigator’s written determination and a certified copy of all evidence received by the investigator during the investigation.

(h)  If the investigator finds that probable causes exists that an unlawful discriminatory practice was committed by respondent(s), the investigator shall notify the complainant and respondent(s) and request conciliation and settlement. If a party refuses to participate in conciliation and settlement, or if a settlement agreement is not executed within 60 days of the date of the finding of probable cause, the matter shall be referred to the hearing officer for a hearing. The investigator may extend the time for signing a settlement agreement for good cause and with written notice to the parties.

(i)  Upon referral to the hearing officer, the hearing officer shall schedule a hearing on the complaint. The parties shall be given at least ten days’ written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. At such hearing, the parties shall be entitled to call witnesses and to present such other evidence as appropriate. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with such procedures as may be established by the hearing officer, but the rules of evidence used in courts of law need not be strictly enforced. The hearing officer shall have the power to administer oaths and to issue process and compel the attendance of any party or witness. Such process shall be executed by the chief of police and shall be enforced as in all cases of city ordinances.

(j)  Following the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer may announce a determination or may take the matter under advisement for determination at a later date. Any determination of the hearing officer shall be in writing, shall be based upon preponderance of the evidence, and shall set forth the essential elements of the determination.

(k)  If the hearing officer finds that a violation of this article has occurred, the hearing officer may award to the complainant actual damages, or a civil penalty in the amount of up to $500.00, whichever is greater, for each violation. Each party is to bear their own attorneys’ fees, if any.

(l)  The hearing officer shall preserve all evidence presented at the hearing for a period of two years after the deadline for appeal or completion of appeal, whichever is later.

(m)  Any party aggrieved by a determination of the hearing officer under this section may appeal that determination to the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas, in accordance with K.S.A. 60-2101(d), and amendments thereto. Within 30 days of service of the notice of appeal pursuant to K.S.A. 60-2101(d), or within further time allowed by the court or by other provision of law, the city shall transmit to the court a certified copy of the written determination of the hearing officer and a certified copy of all evidence presented at the hearing. On appeal, the district court may enter such order or judgment as justice shall require, and may award the prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred to prosecute or defend the appeal.

(n)  The filing of a complaint for the alleged violation of this article or a response thereto shall in no way preclude any party from seeking other relief under state or federal law.

(o)  Any individual making false, malicious, or unfounded accusations against an entity subject to this article is guilty of a violation and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of $100.00 for each such violation.