skip to main content
CHAPTER 5-2. DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

Austin, Texas Code of Ordinances

TITLE 5. CIVIL RIGHTS.

CHAPTER 5-2. DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

BookmarkCHAPTER 5-2.  DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.
§ 5-2-1   Declaration of Policy
§ 5-2-2   Definitions
§ 5-2-3   Interpretation
§ 5-2-4   Prohibited Practices
§ 5-2-5   Complaint Procedures
§ 5-2-6   Dismissal and Appeal
§ 5-2-7   Informal Resolution
§ 5-2-8   Referral
§ 5-2-9   Access to Records
§ 5-2-10   Violations
§ 5-2-11   Authority of Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office
§ 5-2-12   Legal Assistance for Commission
§ 5-2-13   Exemptions
§ 5-2-1 DECLARATION OF POLICY.
Bookmark§ 5-2-1  DECLARATION OF POLICY.
   (A)   It is the policy of the City to bring about through fair, orderly and lawful procedures, the opportunity of each person to obtain goods and services in a public accommodation without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability.
   (B)   This policy is established upon a recognition of the inalienable rights of each individual to obtain goods and services in a public accommodation without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age or; and further that the denial of such rights through considerations based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City and constitutes an unjust denial or deprivation of these inalienable rights within the power and the proper responsibility of government to prevent.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-1; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-2 DEFINITIONS.
Bookmark§ 5-2-2  DEFINITIONS.
   In this chapter:
   (1)   AGE means a person over the age of 18 years.
   (2)   COMMISSION means the Austin Human Rights Commission.
   (3)   DIRECTOR means the director of Human Resources Department.
   (4)   DISABILITY means, with respect to an individual:
      (a)   a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity of the individual, including caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working;
      (b)   a record of the impairment; or
      (c)   being regarded as having an impairment.
   (5)   DISCRIMINATION means the direct or indirect exclusion, distinction, segregation, limitation, refusal, denial or any other differentiation in the treatment of a person based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability in a public accommodation.
   (6)   EQUAL EMPLOYMENT/FAIR HOUSING OFFICE means the staff of the Human Relations Department that handles complaints under this chapter.
   (7)   GENDER IDENTITY means a person’s various individual attributes, actual or perceived, that may be in accord with or sometimes opposed to, one’s physical anatomy, chromosomal sex, genitalia, or sex assigned at birth.
   (8)   PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION means:
      (a)   an inn, hotel, motel or other lodging establishment for transient guests, excluding an establishment located in a building with not more than five rooms for rent or hire and occupied by the owner or operation as a primary residence;
      (b)   a restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including a facility located on the premises of a retail establishment or a gasoline station;
      (c)   a movie theatre, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;
      (d)   a bar, tavern, pub, drinking establishment, or facility where alcoholic beverages are served for consumption on the premises;
      (e)   a retail establishment that sells goods or services; and
      (f)   an establishment physically located in the premises of an establishment described in this subsection or containing within the premises of which is physically located a covered establishment, and an establishment which holds itself out as serving patrons of a covered establishment.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-2; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-3 INTERPRETATION.
Bookmark§ 5-2-3  INTERPRETATION.
   In construing this chapter, it is the intent of the city council that the courts shall be guided by Federal Court interpretations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-3; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-4 PROHIBITED PRACTICES.
Bookmark§ 5-2-4  PROHIBITED PRACTICES.
   (A)   A person is entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,  national origin, age, or disability.
   (B)   A person, including the owner, operator, or lessee of a public accommodation may not directly or indirectly exclude, segregate, limit, refuse or deny a person the accommodations, advantages, facilities, benefits, privileges, services, or goods of the public accommodation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age, or disability.
   (C)   A person, including the owner, operator, or lessee of a public accommodation, may not circulate, issue, display, post, mail, or publish a statement, advertisement, or sign that indicates that the accommodations, advantages, facilities, benefits, privileges, services, or goods of the public accommodation will be denied to an individual based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age, or disability, or that the patronage or presence of an individual is objectionable, unwelcome, unacceptable, undesirable, or unsolicited based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age or disability.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-4; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-5 COMPLAINT PROCEDURES.
Bookmark§ 5-2-5  COMPLAINT PROCEDURES.
   (A)   The Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office may take action to prevent a person from engaging in an unlawful public accommodation practice.
   (B)   A person must file a charge under this chapter within 180 days following the occurrence of the alleged unlawful public accommodation practice.
   (C)   When a person alleging an unlawful public accommodation practice files a charge with the Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office (charging party), the director shall, not later than the 10th day after the charge is received, send  notice of the charge to the owner, operator, or lessee of the public accommodation (respondent).  Notice under this section shall include the date, place, and specific circumstances of the alleged unlawful public accommodation practice.
   (D)   Before a charge is accepted for investigative purposes the director or an investigator shall review the charge with the charging party and make a determination that the charge alleges a violation of this chapter.  If the preliminary review results in a determination that the charge does not allege a violation of this chapter, the charging party shall be given a clear and concise explanation by the director or investigator of the reasons why the charge will not be accepted for investigation.  The charging party may appeal a determination under this section under Section 5-2-6 (Dismissal and Appeal).
   (E)   The Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office shall maintain records that indicate the reason a charge was not accepted for investigation.
   (F)   A charge filed under this section shall be on the form provided by the Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office, and include an oath or affirmation and any other information required by the office.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-5; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-6 DISMISSAL AND APPEAL.
Bookmark§ 5-2-6  DISMISSAL AND APPEAL.
   (A)   If an investigator determines after investigation that there is not reasonable cause to believe that a charge alleges a violation of this chapter, the Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office shall dismiss the charge and promptly notify the charging party and the respondent of its action.
   (B)   Not later than the 10th day after receipt of a notice of dismissal, the charging party may file a request for review with the Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office.  The commission shall conduct a hearing and provide the charging party an opportunity to appear to present evidence.  Upon conclusion of a hearing, the commission may affirm, reverse, or modify the finding of the investigator.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-5; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-7 INFORMAL RESOLUTION.
Bookmark§ 5-2-7  INFORMAL RESOLUTION.
   (A)   If after investigation an investigator determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a charge alleges a violation of this chapter, the director or a conciliator who has not participated in the investigation shall attempt to resolve the matter through informal methods, including conference, conciliation, and persuasion.
   (B)   The Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office, the director, the investigator, the conciliator, the charging party, and the respondent shall treat the information produced during an informal proceeding as confidential, unless disclosure is required by law.  Information produced during an informal proceeding may not be used as evidence in a later proceeding without the written consent of all parties.
   (C)   An investigator shall ensure that each determination is reasonable and made as promptly as possible.
   (D)   A respondent may agree to a predetermination settlement if the charging party and the director accept the settlement and agree that it meets the objectives of this chapter.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-5; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-8 REFERRAL.
Bookmark§ 5-2-8  REFERRAL.
   If the director or conciliator is unable to secure from the respondent an acceptable conciliation agreement after investigation, the Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office shall refer the case to the city attorney for appropriate prosecution.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-5; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-9 ACCESS TO RECORDS.
Bookmark§ 5-2-9  ACCESS TO RECORDS.
   The director or an investigator shall have access to evidence relating to an investigation under this chapter, and may examine or copy the evidence unless the information is confidential under applicable law.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-6; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-10 VIOLATIONS.
Bookmark§ 5-2-10  VIOLATIONS.
   A person may not violate this chapter, or knowingly obstruct or prevent compliance with this chapter.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-7; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-11 AUTHORITY OF EQUAL EMPLOYMENT/FAIR HOUSING OFFICE.
Bookmark§ 5-2-11  AUTHORITY OF EQUAL EMPLOYMENT/FAIR HOUSING OFFICE.
   The Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office may adopt regulations, including procedural due process, to administer this chapter. The Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office shall consult with the city attorney before regulations adopted under this section become effective.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-8; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-12 LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR COMMISSION.
Bookmark§ 5-2-12  LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR COMMISSION.
   The city attorney shall assign or obtain counsel to assist the Equal Employment/Fair Housing Office and the commission in the performance of their functions.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-9; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
§ 5-2-13 EXEMPTIONS.
Bookmark§ 5-2-13  EXEMPTIONS.
   (A)   This chapter does not apply to a facility owned or operated by the federal, state, or county government, or the University of Texas.
   (B)   This chapter does not apply to a private club or other establishment not open to the public, unless the facilities of the establishment are made available to the customer of a public accommodation.
Source: 1992 Code Section 7-2-10; Ord. 031106-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 040610-7.
Disclaimer:
This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. American Legal Publishing Corporation provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances should be consulted prior to any action being taken.

For further information regarding the official version of any of this Code of Ordinances or other documents posted on this site, please contact the Municipality directly or contact American Legal Publishing toll-free at 800-445-5588.

© 2013 American Legal Publishing Corporation
techsupport@amlegal.com
1.800.445.5588.