Los Angeles passes historic ordinance to address discrimination claims

May 3 '19 | By Ray

On April 17th, the city of Los Angeles City approved a historic Civil and Human Rights Ordinance (CF 18-0086). The ordinance co-authored by Council President Herb J. Wesson and Council member Gil Cedillo and seconded by other Council members, is designed to create protections for workers by overseeing discrimination cases that occur within the city.

This is the second time in L.A.’s history that a civil rights ordinance was up for vote by the City Council. The city’s first civil rights ordinance was originally presented in 1955, but was voted down due in part to the racist climate of that era.

The new ordinance gives black workers and other workers in the city limits the ability to submit a complaint and have their issues of injustice heard at the local level. This ordinance,  1.) Prohibits discrimination, prejudice, intolerance and bigotry that results in denial of equal treatment of any individual; 2.) Provides remedies accessible to complainants; 3.) Creates the City of Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights Commission and other supporting unit to investigate and enforce violations of civil & human rights.

On the steps of City Hall, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, who co-authored the ordinance, addressed at crowd workers and members of the Los Angeles Black Workers Centers, who celebrated the passing of the ordinance, they helped to push, as a victory, following the vote.

"Today's vote brings us one step closer to making sure our city's rich diversity is represented in the workplace. With this vote, we are prioritizing vital protections for L.A.'s Black and Brown workers, including women, immigrants, those who identify as LGBTQ, and Muslims. Employment should be based on a person's merit, experience, and character, not the color of their skin, where they're from, or who they love. A big thank you to the Los Angeles Black Worker Center for their work in getting us to this point."

As a diverse metropolis, with over 400,000 black people living in the City of Los Angeles, the city has a duty to protect and promote public health and safety within its boundaries and to protect its residents against discrimination, threats and retaliation based on a real or perceived status.

The unemployment rate for Black workers in Los Angeles is 16%, three times the national average, and yet nearly 70 percent of the state’s workforce discrimination claims are based on race and disability. Such discriminatory and prejudicial practices pose a substantial threat to the health, safety and welfare of the community.

With the passing of the ordinance, the City of Los Angeles has taken the initial steps, along with the city of San Francisco that has passed a similar ordinance, to discourage discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry that denies equal treatment to any individual because of the individual’s race, ethnicity, creed, age, disabilities, and any other discriminatory factors.


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