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For Victims of Unlawful DiscriminationCivil Rights Guarantees in Michigan
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) was established to identify and eliminate unlawful discrimination. This fact sheet outlines the civil rights guaranteed by law, and discusses the services available to every Michigan citizen in the protection of those rights.
Civil Rights Guaranteed by Law
Michigan law prohibits discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodations, and public service. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has authority to accept complaints based on unlawful consideration of religion, race, color, national origin, arrest record, genetic information, sex, age, height, weight, marital status and disability. Discrimination on the basis of disability must be related to the person's ability to perform on the job or use facilities which cannot be reasonably altered (1963 Const., Art. II, and Art. V, Section 29; 1976 PA 220 and PA 453; and Rules Governing Organization and Procedures of the MCRC).
The Commission has the power to order remedies appropriate to the findings of unlawful discrimination.
Rights to Equal Employment Opportunity
A complaint may be filed if, for reasons of religion, race, color, national origin, genetic information, age, sex, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, or disability, a person has been:
In employment, all jobs must be open to both men and women unless the employer proves that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ--see the Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide elsewhere on our website for more detail). A woman may not be excluded legally from a job for any of these reasons:
Rights to Equal Opportunity in Education
A complaint may be filed if, for reasons of religion, race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, or disability, a person has been:
Rights to Equal Opportunity in Housing
A complaint may be filed if, for reasons of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, familial status, or disability, a person has been:
Rights to Public Accommodation or Public Service
A complaint may be filed if, because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or disability, a person has been:
Where and How to File Complaints
A complaint may be filed at any of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights offices if the alleged act of discrimination occurred within the past 180 days. If you believe you were unlawfully discriminated against within the 180 day period, and the allegation relates to a continuing violation, you may be able to include those charges in your complaint as well. Departmental staff are available in these offices to answer questions about the protections guaranteed by law. The Department is staffed with English and Spanish-speaking personnel. You can also visit our website at www.michigan.gov/mdcr to learn about filing a complaint online.
If You Have Questions
If you have questions, please contact us by telephone or email:
Phone: (313) 456-3700
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