1. What is the purpose of the GHRC? The purpose of the GHRC is to act as your local civil rights agency. We process all charges of discrimination. We are also known as the local FEPA (Fair Employment Practices Agency/EEOC) and FHAP (Fair Housing Assistance Program/HUD) agency. Additionally, the agency handles all ADA and Title VI grievances.
  2. When are commission meetings? Commissioners have meetings on the second and third Monday of each month, except on holidays. The second Monday of the month is composed of two meetings: Community Affairs from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Administrative Review from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The third Monday of the month is open to the public and recaps all information from the previous meeting along with budget items. The public is invited to meetings held on the third Monday of each month.
  3. Does the GHRC offer language assistance? Yes. Please call or email us with requests. En español: ¿El GHRC ofrece asistencia con el idioma? Sí. Por favor llame al 219-883-4151 o envíenos un correo electrónico a hkhaaliq@ci.gary.in.us.
  4. How long has the commission been in operation? For more than 50 years.
  5. Have you been a victim of discrimination? Discrimination means the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of things like race, age, or sex. If you answered yes to this question, then you believe someone else outside of your protected class has been treated better than you. This classifies as discrimination.
  6. Is sexual harassment a form of discrimination? Yes, Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  7. What is the difference between explicit and implicit discrimination? Explicit discrimination is visible and open. Implicit discrimination is hidden and covert, but still impacts a protected class or group of people.
  8. Can my employer ask me about my medical history, citizenship, etc., before offering me a job? No. Employers may not inquire on things such as your criminal history, accommodation needs, citizenship, and other personal information prior to offering you a job. The point is to prevent prejudgments and discrimination in the application process.
  9. Can my landlord evict me at anytime for any reason? No. Your landlord must follow the proper procedures for eviction that govern the State of Indiana in order to avoid discrimination claims. Please call for more information.
  10. Does the Commission take walk-ins? Generally, no. You must make an appointment prior to seeing an investigator to ensure that you have the correct documentation at intake and to ensure the investigator is prepared to handle your situation.
  11. Do I need an attorney? No. You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with the local civil rights agency. The filing is entirely free and confidential.
  12. What should I do when or if I receive a complaint? Read it carefully. While all complaints may be formalized with our agency, not all complaints will be investigated or determined by our agency. Please check the complaint documents you have received for contact information of the agency you will report to. You may contact them with any questions or concerns you have.
  13. What happens if I choose not to respond to the complaint? If you choose not to respond to the complaint or you choose to respond to the complaint inappropriately, a default determination will be entered against you and/or your company by this agency. The determination will then be forwarded to the respective federal agency for further investigation. Additionally, you may incur court costs and attorney’s fees.
  14. Are the Commission’s determinations final?  The Commission has work-sharing agreements with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Our cases are dual-filed with the respective federal agency and follow the general procedures for adjudication.
  15. Under what authority does the Commission act? Under the City of Gary Ordinance 6754, amended by 8967, under a work-sharing agreement with the Department of HUD and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and under rules and regulations governing administrative or quasi-judicial agencies.
  16. What are the steps of a case? Intake, Fact-Finding Conference, Determination, and Conciliation. Unsuccessful conciliation conferences in probable cause determinations will proceed to public hearing. The Presiding Officer will make a final determination that will be transferred to the respective federal agency. The Presiding Officer acts as an administrative law judge on an as needed contractual basis to hold administrative hearings.
  17. Does the GHRC have events? Yes. Check out our Facebook page.
  18. Does the GHRC have a museum? Yes. The GHRC has a mini-civil rights museum open to the public. Created by our investigators, the museum is not only a historical piece of Gary, IN, but it is inspiring, free and open for touring. Arrange your tour today or simply come in during our hours of operation to explore.