Office of Human Relations
Public Accommodations Discrimination In The City Of Orlando
Chapter 57 of the Code of the City prohibits discrimination or separation because of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability, in any place of public accommodation in the City of Orlando. A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days from the date of the alleged incident.
A place of public accommodation may include, but not be limited to, one of the following establishments; meaning, this is not an attempt to list all places and types of public accommodations, but merely the most common ones.
· Lodging – inns, hotels motels, or other places which provide lodging to transient guests.
· Eateries – restaurants, delis, cafeterias, lunchrooms, lunch counters, soda fountains or other facilities principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including those located on the premises of any retail establishment or gasoline station.
· Entertainment – lounges, nightclubs, bars or other facilities principally engaged in selling alcoholic beverages or both food and alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
· Auditoriums – theaters, motion picture houses, concert halls, stadiums, sports arenas, convention centers, lecture halls or other places of exhibition and/or entertainment.
· Stores – bakeries, grocery stores, hardware stores, clothing/department stores or other similar retail establishments.
· Public Services – laundries, banks, barber and beauty shops, travel services, funeral parlors, gas stations, accountants, lawyers, pharmacies, insurance agencies, health care providers, dry cleaners, shoe repair shops, hospitals.
· Transportation – public conveyance (taxis, limousines, and buses, including terminals), charter transportation, “shuttle” buses/vans.
· Public Exhibits – museums, any library or education facility supported in part or whole by public funds, galleries, other places of public display or collection.
· Parks – parks and zoos.
· Schools – private schools (elementary, secondary, undergraduate, postgraduate), kindergarten or day care centers.
· Social Services – senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, food banks, adoption programs and their facilities, similar social service centers.
· Recreation – swimming pools, gymnasiums, health spas, bowling alleys, golf courses, similar places of exercise and recreation.
Exemptions to public accommodation discrimination:
· A private club or other establishment that is not open to the public.
· A religious organization, association or society may limit facilities and accommodations which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, association or society, or may give preference to such persons.
· Kindergartens, nurseries, day care centers, and, theaters and motion picture houses may limit their use to persons of a particular age group.
Preventing illegal discrimination from occurring is preferable to trying to deal with the consequences after the fact. The OHR is committed to providing training and technical assistance, outreach and educational programs to assist places of public accommodations in understanding in understanding and preventing discrimination. It can be averted if all employees of such places know their responsibilities as well as their legal rights.
The OHR can and will help you with your training needs, at no-cost. Our staff is available to make presentations and participate in meetings/workshops with your company. Our training is extensive, and can be general and basic or custom designed to meet your company’s specific needs, i.e., the type of accommodations provided will determine the specific type of training. The training venue may be on-site at your workplace or other place of your choosing, or, a place of our choosing, e.g., Orlando City Hall, an Orlando Community Center, etc.
A generalized presentation of public accommodation discrimination may include:
· an overview of the laws enforced by OHR, the State of FL and the federal government;
· recent updates pertaining to this issue;
· a description of each protected class; and
· how to recognize potentially discriminatory situations.
A customized presentation of public accommodations discrimination will be per the request of the housing provider, and could include:
· training for the company’s internal investigators and employees specializing in public accommodation issues;
· explanation of all protected classes;
· sexual harassment issues;
· stereotyping and how it may affect public accommodations; and,
· other issues as may be requested.
For all of your housing discrimination training and outreach needs contact:
Patricia Newton, Asst. to Director & Human Relations Official
& Human Relations Official
Complaints of public
accommodations discrimination include the bases of race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status and
· Call or walk-in to OHR to discuss your complaint with a knowledgeable staff member. If you call and your complaint meets the requisite standards, an appointment will be scheduled for you to come to the office, complete and sign the paperwork necessary to file an official complaint. If you walk-in and your complaint meets the requisite standards, an appointment will be scheduled for you or you will be able to complete and sign the paperwork necessary during your office visit, subject to openings in the schedule and staff availability.
· During your office visit you will need to complete one or more Affidavits. The information requested will include:
1. the name, address and phone number of the place of public accommodations where you were alleged discriminated against;
2. identity of the individual that committed the act, e.g., a food server, a ticket agent, a desk person at a hotel/motel, pool attendant, bank teller, etc., as appropriate; and,
3. witnesses, as may be applicable and/or appropriate.
· It is important to remember that should any of the contact information change for anyone referenced in your complaint, including yourself, prior to your receiving notification that your case is closed, you are to forward the new contact information to the OHR.
· Additionally, you will need to provide an account of the alleged discriminatory action(s), in chronological order if possible, along with any documents in your possession that may be relevant to your complaint.
· Provide as much information as possible about all parties involved in the alleged act of discrimination, most importantly the correct name and address of the place of public accommodations. Also important, if you have filed this complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, please disclose this to the OHR.
· When your complaint is taken and your signature is affixed and notarized (you will need photo identification), the investigative process begins.
· Once you have filed a complaint, you will be given a detailed explanation of what to expect regarding the investigative process and what participation is expected of you.
Determining if your complaint and the involved place of public accommodation are both subject to existing laws can be difficult because the rules and regulations may vary according to the type of discrimination and jurisdiction. A complaint of public accommodation discrimination must be filed with the OHR within 180 calendar days of the date of the discriminatory act. Therefore, it is important to contact the OHR as soon as possible if you believe you have been discriminated against. The staff is available to discuss your issue and will help you sort out the details of coverage.