Non-Discrimination Ordinance Last updated or reviewed on March 21, 2023 Background On April 27, 2021 the Asheville City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance prohibiting discriminatory practices in private employment and public accommodations. This action comes after Buncombe County adopted a similar ordinance on April 20, 2021. Both City and County staff worked closely to ensure to develop substantially similar non-discrimination ordinances to ensure discriminatory practices in employment and public accommodations will be consistently prohibited throughout the Asheville metropolitan area. This action supports the City Council Strategic Plan goals for an equitable and diverse community and a thriving local economy. Asheville’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Role of the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) will receive all complaints, answers to complaints, and conduct investigations into alleged discriminatory conduct in violation of the Non-Discrimination ordinance. The OEI at the conclusion of each investigation will make a determination of whether reasonable cause exist to believe that an unlawful act of discrimination has occurred, is occurring or is going to occur. The OEI will attempt to resolve each violation through voluntary methods between the parties. If voluntary efforts are unsuccessful penalties may be imposed as outlined in the Non-Discrimination Ordinance. What does the Non-Discrimination do? The City of Asheville’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodations within the City of Asheville based on upon any of the following: race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, marital or familial status, pregnancy, veteran status, religious belief or non-belief, age, or disability. Who may file a complaint under the Non-Discrimination Ordinance? Any person who claims to have been injured or claims they are currently being injured, or who reasonably believes that they will be injured, by an unlawful discriminatory practice or conduct prohibited under the NDO may file a complaint with the Office of Equity and Inclusion. How to file a complaint File online using this form File in person: Office of Equity and Inclusion, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801 File by mail: Office of Equity and Inclusion, PO Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 What if a complaint of alleged discriminatory conduct is filed against me or my organization or business? Any person or organization or business that has been notified of a filed complaint alleging discriminatory conduct that has occurred, is occurring or is reasonably likely to occur may file an answer to the complaint within 30 days of receiving the complaint and notice of filed complaint. How to respond to a complaint Respond online using this form Respond in person: Office of Equity and Inclusion, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801 Respond by mail: Office of Equity and Inclusion, PO Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 What if I make a mistake in my complaint or answer? Any person or organization or business that files a complaint or answer in compliance with the Non-Discrimination Ordinance may amend their complaint or answer at any time prior to the resolution of the complaint. How to amend a response Amend a response using this form Amend a response in person: Office of Equity and Inclusion, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801 Amend a response by mail: Office of Equity and Inclusion, PO Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 Documents and Forms Non-Discrimination Ordinance Non-Discrimination Complaint Non-Discrimination Answer Non-Discrimination Amendment Contact Information For questions please contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion at (828) 232-4517 or at email@example.com.