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Hearing Orders

Hearing Orders

The Missouri Human Rights Act provides that after an investigation where the Executive Director finds Probable Cause that discrimination has occurred, and the case in not resolved in the conciliation process, the Chairperson may set the case for hearing before the Administrative Hearings Commission. The hearing officer makes a recommended finding after hearing all of the evidence from both parties. A panel of three commissioners makes the final finding.

Recent Hearing Panel Orders of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights are listed below.

9/13/2013 State of Missouri ex rel. Charlene & Benjamin Burke v. Tamara & Doyle McDowell
Mr. & Mrs. Burke and their two minor children rented a dwelling from Mr. & Mrs. McDowell, in a housing complex consisting of four dwellings. The McDowells decided they wanted to only rent to older persons and terminated the tenancy of the Burkes. The hearing panel determined that the McDowells’ actions discriminated against the Burkes because of their familial status (two minor children). Complainants were awarded $2,000 in damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress; $2,000 in damages for deprivation of their civil rights; and $6,000.20 in actual damages for out-of-pocket expenses related to the Burkes’ moves for a total of $10,000.20. The McDowells were also ordered to pay MCHR a civil penalty of $1,000 to vindicate the public interest.
9/4/2013 State of Missouri ex rel. Daniel Huhn v. China Buffet Fenton, Inc.
China Buffet Fenton refused to allow Complainant, Daniel Huhn, his son and his guide dog into the restaurant. Complainant is blind and has a trained and certified guide dog. The police were called and they informed the owner that he would be breaking the law if he did not allow Complainant and his guide dog into the restaurant. But the owner still refused to admit Complainant. The hearing panel determined that the restaurant violated the law when it simply refused to allow Complainant entrance to the restaurant because he had a guide dog. Complainant was awarded $24,000 in damages for humiliation and emotional distress and $8,000 in damages for deprivation of his civil rights.
9/21/2012 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Lloyd Bay v. Ashcraft and Associates Electric Contractors
Ashcraft and Associates fired Lloyd Bay, the Complainant, a journeyman electrician, after it learned he had discoid lupus, a condition that had not prevented him from doing his job as an electrician for 32 years. The hearing panel determined that the company violated the law when it simply assumed that the Complainant couldn’t perform his job with his condition and fired him. Complainant was awarded $17, 534.50 in back pay (with 3.07% interest), $20,000 in damages for humiliation and emotional distress and $5,000 in damages for deprivation of his civil rights.
8/20/2012 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Jacquelyn Annette Sharp v. Enterprise Manufacturing, Inc. f/k/a Scot Young Research, Inc.
Complainant alleged Respondent retaliated against her for filing a previous complaint of discrimination and for constructively discharging her. The case was tried and the Commission on Human Rights' Hearing Panel determined that Enterprise Manufacturing violated the Missouri Human Rights Act. Enterprise was ordered to pay Sharp $37,609.45 in back pay, $45,000 in actual damages for humiliation and emotional distress and $15,000 for violation of her civil rights. The employer was also ordered to adopt a non-retaliation policy and to cease and desist from any further discriminatory practices.
4/26/2012 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Tammela Sarkar v. Nino Valenti
Complainant alleged Respondent harassed her because of her association with her son, who is African-American and she is Caucasian. The case was tried and the Commission on Human Rights' Hearing Panel determined that the landlord violated the Human Rights Act. He was ordered to pay Complainant the sum of $125,000 in actual damages for humiliation and emotional distress, $37,500 in actual damages for violation of Complainant's civil rights, and pre-judgment interest of 3.25%. The landlord was also ordered to pay $2,000 in civil penalties to MCHR to vindicate the public interest. Finally, the landlord was ordered to cease and desist discriminatory practices.
5/11/2011 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Anatoly Sir v. Gateway Taxi Management, Inc. d/b/a Laclede Cab Company
Complainant alleged Respondent refused to hire him because of his disability. The case was tried and the Commission on Human Rights' Hearing Panel determined that the employer violated the Human Rights Act. The company was ordered to pay Complainant $50,000 for the humiliation and emotional distress Complainant suffered and $35,000 for violation of his civil rights, to cease and desist discrimination and to submit to two years of monitoring by the Human Rights Commission. The order has been appealed.
5/03/2011 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Lashonda Hartman Reid v. Missouri Department of Corrections
Complainant alleged her employer harassed her due to her sex and her race. A hearing was held and the Commission on Human Rights' Hearing Panel determined that the Department harassed Complainant due to her sex and her race and thereby violated the Missouri Human Rights Act. The Department was ordered to pay Complainant $28,213 in back pay plus 3.25% interest, $100,000 for the humiliation and emotional distress she suffered and $66,000 for violation of her civil rights. Additionally the Department was ordered to cease and desist discrimination and within 180 days of the hearing panel order to submit to the Human Rights Commission a report summarizing the efforts by the Department to insure its compliance with the Missouri Human Rights Act. The order was not appealed.
10/06/2009 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Michelle Steger v. RKM Enterprises, LLC, d/b/a Taco Bell
The Complaintants alleged Respondent's resturant did not comply with some disability accessibility requirements. Respondent denied the allegations but agreed to pay $5,000 to a not-for-profit disability advocacy agency named by the Complainant to settle the case. Respondent also agreed to retrofit all of its stores in Missouri to meet disability accessibility requirements.
06/16/2009 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Linda Travers and Thomas Orzech, Jr. v. Ryansk, LLC and Barrett Kyle St. Onge
The Complainants alleged that the Respondents discriminated against them due to their disabilities. They are mobility-impaired and use wheel chairs and scooters. They had their own metal ramp attached to their apartment door to enter and exit. When the apartment building ownership changed hands, the new property manager removed their ramp several times after the tenant's family members reinstalled it. Finally, the defendants made changes to the apartment grounds so that it would no longer accommodate the ramp, causing the tenants to be homebound and unable to enter or exit their apartment for approximately three weeks. As a result of the defendant's actions, the tenants missed doctor appointments and had to have family members bring them groceries.
The case was heard in St. Louis County Circuit Court and the judge ordered a default judgement of $50,000 in actual damages and $100,000 in punitive damages to each resident, for a total of $300,000. This is the largest award of damages in a housing case in MCHR history. The court also ordered the landlord to cease and desist from such unlawful discrimination.
05/20/2009 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Claire Sterling v. Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation
The Complaintants alleged Respondents sexually harassed her. Respondent denied the allegations but agreed to pay the Complainants $17,500 to settle the case. Respondent also agreed to receive MCHR's equal employment training, to provide the Complainant with a letter of apology and a service letter and expunge any personnel records regarding her allegations.
08/28/2009 STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. Rebecca Steiger v. Decota Electrical Supply
The Complainants alleged Respondents sexually harassed her. Respondent denied the allegations but agreed to pay the Complainants $8,000 to settle the case. Respondent also agreed to implement a sexual harassment policy and reporting procedure and receive equal opportunity training from MCHR.