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Historic Human Rights Commission Now Accepting Complaints


Media Contact: Devyn Giannetti: (216) 255-9813; dgiannetti@cuyahogacounty.us

Partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Provides Mediation Services at No Cost

- The historic Cuyahoga County Human Rights Commission is now accepting complaints of discrimination.

In September 2018, Cuyahoga County passed the first county-wide anti-discrimination ordinance in Ohio, which ensures that all people in the county have equal access and opportunity to employment, housing and public accommodations and provides citizens with civil rights protections against discriminatory practices. This robust ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of recognized protected class and on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression within the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation.

Last year, the Cuyahoga County Human Rights Commission was established in tandem with this ordinance. This Commission will work to promote diversity, inclusion and harmony through every facet of the county by providing education and community events, advising County Council and the County Executive, and receiving and resolving complaints alleging discrimination based on protected traits such as sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Commission hears and decides discrimination complaints through a neutral process which gives complainants and respondents the opportunity to present evidence and testimony at an administrative hearing.

“The establishment of the Human Rights Commission further solidifies our work to make sure that everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve—regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or gender identity,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “I look forward to seeing the work our commissioners do to help improve the quality of life of Cuyahoga County residents.”

Cuyahoga County has also partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) to provide mediation services at no cost to the parties. The parties may opt to reach a settlement through the services of a professional independent mediator. If an agreement is reached in mediation the case is closed.

“CMBA members are dedicated to justice for all,” said CMBA CEO, Rebecca Ruppert McMahon. “Our volunteer mediators will help those who have disputes find potential solutions without the need for full hearings. We are proud to partner with the Human Rights Commission in resolving discrimination cases.”

The newly-launched Human Rights Commission website is a valuable resource for those wishing to file a complaint or find out more information on processes and mediation. The site also contains a robust frequently asked questions section and step-by-step guide to filing a complaint.