The number of total discrimination claims received by the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights (LCHR) increased by over 40 percent from 2011 to 2012. The details are included in the LCHR annual report now available online at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: rights).
The 2012 LCHR annual report shows a total of 99 cases filed - 66 for employment discrimination, 31 for housing discrimination and two for public accommodation discrimination. That compares to 69 cases filed in the previous year - 42 for employment discrimination, 21 for housing discrimination and six for public accommodation discrimination.
LCHR's two investigators, Margie Nichols and Angela Lemke, closed 79 cases in 2012 (not all were filed in 2012). In addition to non-monetary resolutions, LCHR negotiated settlements of about $95,000. A service satisfaction survey sent to all complainants and respondents showed that 81 percent agreed or strongly agreed that the process was fair. About 78 percent said they would refer LCHR to someone else experiencing discrimination.
In 2012, LCHR reached more than 4,100 residents in about 98 sessions covering various civil rights topics.
In early February 2012, Kimberley Taylor-Riley was selected as the City's new Director of Equity and Diversity. She also serves as the City's Equal Employment Officer. Also in 2012, Loren Mestre-Roberts was named the City's Outreach Coordinator. Mestre-Roberts, who previously served as the Hispanic Liaison for the City, acts as an interpreter for the LCHR and provides education and outreach services to agencies and schools. Taylor-Riley and Mestre-Roberts are developing a plan to ensure that the City workforce better reflects the community as a whole.
More information about LCHR is available at 402-441-7624 or lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: rights).