Overview:

The City of Fort Wayne's anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accomodation and education on the basis of religion, sex, race, color, disability, national origin, ancestory, place of birth, sexual orientation, age (40+, not in housing) and familial status (only in housing). An individual who feels he or she has been illegally discriminated against in employment, housing, public accomodation or in education, can file a complaint with the Commission.

History:

In 1952, the Mayor's Commission was established to study and address discrimination issues within our city. Alvin Wesley was named the Executive Secretary in 1965 and by 1967; the Ordinance was amended to create the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission. An amendment to the Ordinance is passed in 1978, prohibiting discrimination based on 'handicapped' as well as because of a person's race, sex, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, and familial status. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development granted the Commission substantial equivalency in 1993, meaning that the local ordinance mirrored federal housing laws. The Ordinance was amended in 2001 and in 2003 to include protection for sexual orientation and age discrimination, respectively.

The Commission consists of seven (7) board members and twelve (12) staff members. The Board has three members who are appointed by City Council and four members by the Mayor.

The staff is under the supervision of an Executive Director and consists of a Staff Attorney, an Administrative Assistant IV, an Administrative Assistant III, and eight (8) investigators.