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Kansas law provides that any person who claims to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice in the areas of employment, housing, or public accommodations and who can articulate a prima facie case pursuant to a recognized legal theory of discrimination (based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, ancestry, national origin, age in the area of employment only, familial status in the area of housing only, and retaliation) may file with the KHRC. Genetic screening and testing in the area of employment is prohibited.
Employment and public accommodation complaints must be filed within six (6) months from the last alleged discriminatory act. Housing complaints must be filed within one year of the last date of incident.
KHRC's intake department is located in the Topeka office and is responsible for drafting complaints filed with the agency.
A complaint may be filed personally or by attorney. An individual may write, telephone or come in to one of the Kansas Human Rights Commission's offices to begin the filing process. If the complaint falls within the Commission's jurisdiction, a formal complaint may be submitted. Intake workers are available to assist in drafting a complaint based on information provided by the complainant. The intake department also provides inquirers with referrals to other agencies for issues outside of KHRC's jurisdiction. The complaint must be signed and notarized before it can be officially filed with the Commission. A complaint alleging racial or other profiling is not required to be notarized.
Inquiries outside of KHRC's jurisdiction or beyond the six month timely filing limit will be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other agencies.
The Commission offers a third-party mediation program statewide through Kansas Legal Services. Mediation services offer a possible alternative to a complete investigation.
When mediation services are not selected by both parties, or when mediation services fail, a complaint may be sent for investigation.
During an investigation, a field investigator will interview the complainant, review relevant documents, conduct interviews with witnesses, and summarize the case for the investigating commissioner. An interview may consist of a written questionnaire. The investigator's role is that of a fact finder. The investigator does not determine the outcome of the case, but rather gathers and presents the facts to a commissioner for determination. All information discovered throughout the course of the investigation is confidential and is gathered in an objective and impartial manner.
Depending upon the information obtained during the investigative process, the investigating commissioner makes a determination of either "Probable Cause" or "No Probable Cause". If the Commission finds "Probable Cause', then an attempt will be made to reach a written settlement between complainant and respondent. The Commission is responsible for conciliation of cases where the investigation has indicated there is probable cause to credit allegations of the complaints. If conciliation efforts fail, the case may be scheduled for a public hearing.
Filing a charge with the Kansas Human Rights Commission protects your rights under the Kansas Anti Discrimination laws. However, you may have rights under other laws and legal theories. Examples of other types of rights and claims you may have are:
- Breach of contract
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Conduct causing personal injury such as assault or battery
- Violations of other civil rights
The Kansas Human Rights Commission does not have authority to act upon the types of claims described above. If you want to pursue other claims, you must consult with a private attorney. Please note that the law imposes time limits for filing claims, sometimes requiring that a lawsuit be filed within one year of the incident from which the claim arises. The fact that you have filed a claim with the Kansas Human Rights Commission does not stop the time limit from running on your other claims.
If you need advice on what your rights are regarding other claims you may have, please consult with a private attorney. If you need help in selecting an attorney, a good source is the Kansas Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, located in Wichita, which can be called at (316) 265-1247.
If you do file a lawsuit on matters related to your charge filed with the Kansas Human Rights Commission, please let us know so we can coordinate the processing of your claim with the lawsuit.
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Kansas Human Rights Commission
900 SW Jackson, Suite 568-South Landon Office Building Topeka, KS 66612-2818
phone: 785-296-3206 fax: 785-296-0589 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.khrc.net
Business hours are from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday