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Frequently Asked Questions

Jurisdiction

 

What protected classes of people does the Kentucky Civil Rights Act cover?

  • Employment: race, color, religion, national origin, age (over 40), sex, disability and retaliation Housing: race, color, religion, familial status, national origin, sex, disability and retaliation Public Accommodation: race, color, religion, national origin, and disability Financial Transactions - see KRS 344.400: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, and disability

What types of discrimination does KCHR investigate?

  • Some examples include failure to hire, termination, failure to promote, sexual harassment, demotion, disability discrimination, and denial of rental housing based upon membership in a protected class.

How long after an incident do I have to file a discrimination complaint?

  • A complaint must be filed within 180 days for employment, public accommodations, and financial transactions. Housing complaints must be filed within 365 days.

How do I know if an employer is covered by the Kentucky Civil Rights Act?

  • Kentucky employers with eight (8) or more employees within the state in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year are covered, except where an employer is charged with disability discrimination, in which case only employers with fifteen (15) or more employees are covered by the Act.
Employment

 

Can I file a discrimination complaint against an employer who refuses to hire me, or fires me because I am pregnant?

  • Yes, it is illegal under state and federal laws to refuse to hire or to fire a woman just because she is pregnant.

Can my employer require that I undergo drug testing?

  • Yes, as long as the employer does not decide who will be tested based on their age, race, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

My employer has failed to pay me certain wages that I am owed. Who do I call?

Kentucky Labor Cabinet
Wage and Hour Section
(502) 564-3070

I would like to take time off for family problems, medical conditions, or other personal issues.

  • For information concerning the Family Medical Leave Act, call the US Department of Labor at (800) 959-3652.

I believe I have been discriminated against based on my sexual orientation. Can I file a claim with KCHR?

  • No, sexual orientation is not a protected classification under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. However, several local commissions may have jurisdiction. Contact your local human rights commission.
Housing

 

What types of housing are covered by the Kentucky Civil Rights Act?

  • All real property (home, apartments, lots, etc.) rented or sold, whether by or through a real estate broker, sales agent or operator, or directly by the owner.

If a landlord has a "no pets" policy, can he/she refuse to rent to a disabled person who requires a guide dog/service animal?

  • NO. A landlord may have a "no pets" policy and enforce that policy, however, a guide dog or service animal is not a pet. Its purpose is to assist a person with a disability and acceptance of the service animal would be considered a reasonable accommodation.

If a landlord is willing to accept pets, but charges a special pet fee or pet rent, can those same fees be charged for a service animal?

  • NO. Again, the landlord may establish a pet policy and related fee schedule. The fee schedule has no bearing on service animals; therefore, no pet fee or additional deposit may be charged to a person with a disability for having a service animal residing on the premises.  However, the landlord may require the tenant to follow pet policies not pertaining to fees.

If a person needs a ramp in order for a unit to be accessible, must that ramp be allowed if it would interfere with other residents access and pathways or if it would result in the violation of another law or code?

  • The law states that the modification must be "reasonable." One of the tests of reasonableness is the effect or impact the modification will have on the rights of other residents. If the modification would severely restrict or interfere with other residents’ rights, it is possible that it may not be "reasonable." The law also states a property owner may not be required to violate another law, in order to comply with the fair housing law, e.g. zoning parking requirement, or fire codes.

If a landlord agrees to permit a renter to make necessary modifications, is it all right to charge a higher rent or security deposit to cover the cost of converting back to the original condition when the premises is vacated?

  • NO. Charging higher rents or deposits is potentially unlawful in that it requires different terms and conditions based on a protected class – disability. A landlord and renter may, however, negotiate a dollar amount which would be deposited into an escrow account, which would be sufficient to cover the cost of conversion when the premises is vacated.

If a landlord has knowledge about a mental illness an applicant has and the landlord is afraid the applicant’s behavior may upset the other residents, is it legal to refuse to rent to that person?

  • A person with a mental disability who applies for Housing should be screened in the same manner and held to the same eligibility standards as other applicants. Acceptance or rejection of that person as a renter should be based on whether or not they meet the eligibility standards, not on the fact that the person has a disability. An applicant’s acceptance needs to be based on standards relating to rental history and behavior, not on the mental disability.
  • There may, however, be instances in which the disability has affected the individual’s ability to meet the eligibility standards and the landlord might permit an accommodation. For example, an individual’s credit may be low due to the disability, but everything else has checked out. The landlord then might agree to a six-month lease as a trial period and extend to the usual full year if the rent is paid in full and on time.

If a landlord knows that an applicant has a record of violent behavior must he/she rent to that person?

  • The law states that housing need not be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others. Although some behaviors may be the result of a mental illness, the law does exclude certain behaviors from the protection of the law.

Is an individual who is HIV Positive or who has AIDS protected by this law?

  • YES. Persons who have AIDS or are HIV Positive have protected class status under disability and are entitled to the full protection of the law.
  • In addition, KRS 207.250 makes it unlawful to disclose the fact that a current or former occupant is infected with HIV or has AIDS and also protects an owner or his/her agent from legal action for the failure to disclose that information.

Exception:

  • Rental of an owner-occupied duplex or one room in a private home
  • Sale of property without help from a real estate dealer and without public advertising
  • Rental of church-owned housing to the extent of giving preference to those of that religion
  • A single sex dormitory
  • Landlord chooses not to rent to unmarried couples

What should I do if an insurance agent refuses to insure my home because of the neighborhood in which I live?

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
332 W. Broadway, 7th Floor
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 595-4024
(800) 292-5566
Fax: (502)595-4801
TDD: (502) 595-4084

Is it lawful for a financial institution to charge me more interest for my mortgage because of the neighborhood in which I live?

  • No, it is unlawful to discriminate in the granting, rates, terms, conditions or services of financial assistance in real estate transactions


 

Public Accommodation

 

Are public accommodations such as restaurants and theaters required to provide accessible restrooms?

  • Yes, if restrooms are provided to the public.

I will soon make a major alternation to my public accommodation. What is required?

  • An alternation that includes a change in a "primary function area" must be made in a way that ensures that the path-of-travel to the altered area is accessible to people with disabilities. Restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains for the altered areas must be accessible, unless their cost and scope are excessive (more than 20% of the total cost of the alteration).
Financial Transactions


What do I do if I believe I denied credit because of my race?

What do I do if I believe I denied credit to purchase a car because of my national origin?

 

Last Updated 8/24/2012
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