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Input sought on updating civil rights ordinances

July 14th, 2010 · Comments

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights is asking the public to weigh in on proposed changes to the city’s civil rights ordinances.

The proposed changes would bring consistency between Seattle’s Municipal Code and state and federal laws, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and add “genetics” as a protected class, clarify the definition of a service animal, and expand the statute of limitations for filing housing cases.

Members of the public have until Wednesday, July 28, 2010 to comment on the proposed changes. The full draft text of the proposed ordinance changes is available at www.seattle.gov/civilrights. The authorizing legislation is contained in SMC 1404, 1406, 1408 and 1410.

“The changes we are proposing will bring Seattle’s civil rights ordinance into closer alignment with federal and state law,” said Julie Nelson, director of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. “It also recognizes the need to provide protection for people in emerging civil rights arenas such as the use of service animals by people with disabilities and genetic information in employment situations.”

You can send comments via e-mail to nolan.lim@seattle.gov or in writing to: Seattle Office for Civil Rights, 810 Third Ave., Suite 750, Seattle, WA 98104-1627, Attn: Nolan Lim.

Comments from the public will be used to evaluate the impacts of the proposed changes, and will shape the final amendments to be considered by Seattle City Council in August.

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