Topeka Human Relations Department Eliminated


June 23, 2010 - The city council voted 5-2 to approve the change in ordinance that eliminated the Human Relations department and all enforcement and investigative activities. The volunteer Commission has been retained and will be put under the auspices of the City Manager’s office with his existing staff to provide support. The Commission is charged with continuing outreach and education activities.

The change in ordinance went into effect upon publication on June 21, 2010. In the meantime we will be contacting the Complainants in regards to our 22 open employment complaints and discussing their options of filing with the EEOC and the Ks. Human Rights Commission, and assist them in doing that. We will then assure that the case files are available to the City Manager staff to be sent to the EEOC or KHRC upon request, or be sent to storage for the appropriate amount of time before destruction, as overseen by our City Clerk’s office.

Our remaining three housing complaints will be waived to HUD-FHEO in concordance with our Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agreement.

It is indeed a very sad day in Topeka, the home of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and home to the infamous hate group, the Westboro Church, led by Fred Phelps. It’s very disappointing that the City Council chose to eliminate a department that has been enforcing civil rights in Topeka for 49 years, and that we will not see a 50th year.

Passage of City Ordinance No. 19433 removed certain duties from the Commission. As such, the THRC will be unable to continue investigation or resolution of complaints.

To fully protect your rights we recommend that you contact the appropriate state or federal civil rights agency to file a complaint.

Employment or Public Accommodations Discrimination Contact:
Kansas Human Rights Commission, Topeka office
Main number: 785-296-3206
Toll free: 1-888-793-6874
Fax number 785-296-0589
TDD: 785-296-0245
E-mail: khrc@ink.org
Website: www.khrc.net
Address: 900 SW Jackson, Suite 568-S, Topeka, KS 66612-1258 (Walk-ins are always welcome)
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday -Friday

OR

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Kansas City Area Office
Phone: 1-800-669-4000
Fax number: 913-551-6957
TTY: 1-800-669-6820
Website: www.eeoc.gov/field/kansascity/index.cfm
Address: Gateway Tower II, 4th & State Ave., 9th Floor, Kansas City, KS 66101 (Walk-in visit between 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

Housing Discrimination Contact:
Kansas Human Rights Commission, Topeka office
Main number: 785-296-3206
Toll free: 1-888-793-6874
Fax number 785-296-0589
TDD: 785-296-0245
E-mail: khrc@ink.org
Website: www.khrc.net
Address: 900 SW Jackson, Suite 568-S, Topeka, KS 66612-1258 (Walk-ins are always welcome)
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday -Friday

OR

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
Kansas City Regional Office
Phone: 913-551-6958
Toll Free: 800-743-5323
TTY: 913-551-6972
Website: www.hud.gov
Address: Gateway Tower II, 400 State Avenue, Room 200, Kansas City, KS 66101

Landlord – Tenant Complaints / Issues Contact:
Housing & Credit Counseling Inc. (HCCI), Topeka Office
Phone: 785-234-0217
Fax number: 785-234-0237
Para Español: 1-800-383-0217 ext. 305
Email: hcci@hcci-ks.org
Website: www.hcci-ks.org
Address: 1195 SW Buchanan, Suite 101, Topeka, KS 66604