Alexandria, VA Human Rights

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Alexandria, VA, US

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Type: Municipal Code

Status: First Adopted in 1975

Source File: http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=10349&sid=46 (Under Title 12, Chapter 4)

Text:

The Chapter on Human Rights is very, very long. Only the beginning sections are shown here. To view or print the entire chapter, please utilize the Source File.

CHAPTER 4 Human Rights

Sec. 12-4-1 Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Human Rights Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia." (Code 1963, Sec. 18A-1)

Sec. 12-4-2 Findings of fact and declaration of policy.

(a) Findings. The City Council of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, having conducted public hearings finds:

(1) The population of the City of Alexandria consists of people of different races, colors, sexes, religions, ancestries, national origins, marital statuses, familial statuses, ages, sexual orientations and disabilities, many of whom, because of their race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or disability, in some instances have been unjustly discriminated against with respect to housing, employment, public accommodations, health and social services, education, credit or city contracts.

(2) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or disability with respect to housing causes, at least in part, circumscribed and segregated areas within the city and deprives many persons of the opportunity to live in the city or the opportunity to live in decent housing.

(3) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability with respect to employment denies job opportunities to many citizens of Alexandria and causes depressed living conditions.

(4) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability in places of public accommodation causes embarrassment and inconvenience to citizens and visitors of the city and is detrimental to the welfare of the city.

(5) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability with respect to credit, credit-related services or credit ratings arbitrarily denies financial opportunities and purchasing power to many citizens.

(6) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation or disability with respect to education denies appropriate role models and career and athletic opportunities to the students, teachers and administrative staff.

(7) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability with respect to health and social services is detrimental to the health of many citizens and deprives many needy and unfortunate citizens of the bare essentials of life.

(8) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, age or disability with respect to city contract employment denies job opportunities to many citizens and causes depressed living conditions.

(9) Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, familial status, age or disability is contrary to the law of the United States of American and the spirit of the Constitution of Virginia.

(10) It is in the public interest and in furtherance of the welfare and well being of all citizens of Alexandria, Virginia, to assure that each citizen is treated fairly, provided equal protection of the law and afforded full and equal opportunity to enjoy life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

(11) The conditions set forth in subsections (1) through (9) above have caused or are capable of causing or encouraging crime, riots, disturbances, disorders, delinquency, breach of peace, fires, poverty, slums, blighted areas, overcrowding, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions, disease, increased mortality, unstable family life, increased cost of government, excessive public assistance problems, unemployment, loss of manpower, loss of womanpower, loss of tax revenue, and loss of trade, commerce, business and productivity.

(b) Policy. The City Council of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, hereby declares:

(1) That it is contrary to the policy of the city to permit the conditions mentioned in this section to exist or to arise.

(2) That it is the duty and policy of the city to exercise all available means and every power it possesses to protect the city and its citizens from such conditions and from the undesirable results that have been or may be caused or encouraged by the existence of such conditions.

(3) That, except as hereinafter provided, it is and shall be the policy of the city, in the exercise of its police power and all other powers it may possess, to protect the safety, health, peace, good order, comfort, convenience, morals and welfare of its inhabitants, to assure all persons the opportunity to obtain housing, public accommodations, employment, health and social services, credit, education and city contracts without regard to race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or disability.

(4) That to carry out these goals and policies it is and shall be the policy of the city generally, except as hereinafter provided, to prohibit discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or disability with respect to housing, public accommodations, employment, health and social services, credit, education and city contracts. (Code 1963, Sec. 18A-2; Ord. No. 2517, 10/14/80, Sec. 1; Ord. No. 3328, 10/15/88, Sec. 1; Ord.No. 3498, 2/23/91, Sec. 1; Ord. No. 3850, 3/23/96, Sec. 1)

Sec. 12-4-3 Definitions.

(a) Affirmative action employment program. A positive program designed to ensure that a good faith effort will be made to employ applicants without regard to race, color, sex or disability. Such program, to be developed by the commission and approved by city council, shall include, where applicable, but shall not be limited to, the following: recruitment and recruitment advertising, selection and selection criteria, upgrading, promotion, demotion or transfer, lay-off or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, other terms or conditions of employment and selection for training, including apprenticeship, and shall include realistic and attainable goals, methodology and timetable for implementation of the program.

(b) Age. Unless stated or the context clearly indicates otherwise, the word "age" as used in this chapter shall refer exclusively to persons who are 18 years of age or older.

(c) Commercial real estate. Land or any improvement thereon, or both, or an interest in land or any improvement thereon, that is offered for sale or lease and that is being utilized, or may be utilized, by a commercial or industrial use under the City of Alexandria Zoning Ordinance, whether such use is a permitted or special use. The fact that some alterations to land or improvements, or both, must be made after the sale or lease is completed, or that permits, licenses or other approvals are necessary after the sale or lease to put the land or improvements into an actual commercial or industrial use shall not preclude the land or improvements from constituting commercial real estate.

(d) Commission. The human rights commission created by section 12-4-15 of this chapter.

(e) Complainant. Any person filing a complaint or on whose behalf a complaint is filed by the human rights administrator pursuant to this chapter.

(f) Credit. The right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.

(g) Disability. A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. "Physical or mental impairment" means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic or lymphatic; skin and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mentalretardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities. "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.

(h) Discriminate, discrimination, discriminatory practice. Any arbitrary difference in treatment not permitted by this chapter, including harassment.

(i) Educational institution. Any nursery, day care center, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school, academy, college, university, extension course or nursing, secretarial, business, vocational, technical, trade or professional school or joint apprenticeship program.

(j) Employer. Any person who employs four or more employees for wages, salaries or commission within the city, exclusive of parents, spouse or children, and excluding any bona fide religious, fraternal or sectarian organization not supported in whole or in part by governmental appropriations.

(k) Employment agency. Any person regularly undertaking with or without compensation to advertise for or otherwise procure opportunities to work or to procure, recruit, refer or place employees.

(l) Familial status. One or more individuals who have not attained the age of 18 years and who are domiciled with:

(1) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or
(2) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.
The term "familial status" shall also apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years. The provisions regarding familial status do not apply with respect to housing for older persons.

(m) Family. One or more individuals living together on the premises as a single housekeeping unit.

(n) Harassment. Any verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.

(o) Health or social service agency. Any person rendering health or social services. The term includes but is not limited to any hospital, clinic, dispensary, nursing home, convalescent home, rehabilitation center, social work agency, community service center, group work-recreation center, counseling and guidance services agency, day camp or resident camp, protective service organization or facility; but except for a hospital, clinic or dispensary, this term shall not include any health or social service agency operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society exclusively or primarily for members of its own faith.

(p) Housing. Any building, structure or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.

(q) Human rights administrator. That person appointed pursuant to section 12-4-14 of this chapter.

(r) Labor organization. Any organization which exists for the purpose in whole or in part of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers on behalf of employees concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or of other mutual aid or protection in relation to employment.

(s) Lending institution. Any person, including but not limited to a bank, insurance company or savings and loan association, regularly engaged in the business of lending money, guaranteeing loans or furnishing consumer credit or other credit-related services.

(t) Owner. Any person, including but not limited to a lessee, sublessee, assignee, manager or agent, and also including the city and its departments, boards, commissions, authorities, committees and agencies, having the right of ownership or possession or the authority to sell or rent any dwelling.

(u) Pattern or practice of discrimination. Any event, course of conduct or way of doing business with respect to housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, health and social services or city contracts which happens on several occasions and which actually or predictably results in different treatment which is discriminatory on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or disability.

(v) Person with a disability. Any person who has a disability, as defined above, or had a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. "Has a record of such impairment" means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. "Is regarded as having an impairment" means:

(i) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but is treated by a respondent as constituting such a limitation;
(ii) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or
(iii) has none of the impairments defined under "disability" above but is treated as having such an impairment by any person within the jurisdiction of this chapter. Notwithstanding any contrary provision in this chapter, the term "person with a disability" shall not include any person who engages in the current, illegal use of a controlled substance, as defined in Virginia or federal law.

(w) Public accommodation. Includes every business, professional or commercial enterprise, refreshment, entertainment, sports, recreation or transportation facility in the city, whether licensed or not, public or private, whose goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations are extended, offered, sold or otherwise made available in any manner to the general public. Public accommodation does not include a bona fide private club or other establishment not in fact open to the general public.

(x) Public funds. Any funds derived from any governmental body or agency.

(y) Qualified person with a disability. (i) With respect to employment, a person with a disability, who with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question; and (ii) with respect to other services, a person with a disability who meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of such services.

(z) Real estate broker. Any person, who for a fee or other valuable consideration, manages, sells, purchases, exchanges, rents or negotiates, or offers or attempts to negotiate the sale, purchase, exchange or rental of the real property of another, or holds himself or herself out as engaged in the business of managing, selling, purchasing, exchanging or renting the real property of another, including real estate salespersons, agents or any other persons employed by a real estate broker to perform or to assist in the performance of his or her business.

(aa) Respondent. Any person against whom a complaint is filed pursuant to this chapter.

(bb) Restrictive covenant. For purposes of this chapter, this is a provision written into a deed, lease, mortgage, deed of trust or contract that bars any person from owning or occupying housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, familial status, age, sexual orientation or disability.

(cc) Sexual orientation. Having a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, having a history of such a preference or being identified with such a preference.

(dd) To rent. Includes to lease, to sublease, to let or otherwise to grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant. (Code 1963, Sec. 18A-3; Ord. No. 2517, 10/14/80, Sec. 2; Ord. No. 3328, 10/15/88, Sec. 2; Ord. No. 3498, 2/23/91, Sec. 2; Ord. No. 3729, 6/18/94, Sec. 1; Ord. No. 3850, 3/23/96, Sec. 2)

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