City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Monessen 3-29-1968 by Ord. No. 8-1968. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Municipal Authorities — See Ch. 5.
Boards, committees and commissions — See Ch. 12.
Building construction — See Ch. 153.
Housing standards — See Ch. 247.
Real estate registry — See Ch. 308.
Rental occupancy reports — See Ch. 313.

§ 209-1 Title.

This chapter may be cited as the "Monessen Human Relations Ordinance."

§ 209-2 Legislative findings; declaration of policy.

A. 
Legislative findings.
(1) 
The population of the City of Monessen consists of people of every race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin and place of birth, many of whom by reason of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth are discriminated against in employment opportunities, places of public accommodation, resort, recreation and amusement and housing facilities.
(2) 
Discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth is contrary to the constitutions, laws and policies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America.
(3) 
Discrimination in employment prevents the gainful employment of large segments of citizens of the city, tends to impair the city's productive capacity, reduce the public revenues and impose substantial financial burdens upon the public for relief and welfare and tends to create breaches of the peace and depressed living conditions which breed crime, vice, juvenile delinquency and disease and is detrimental to the public safety, economic growth and general welfare of the City of Monessen.
(4) 
Discrimination in housing results in overcrowded, segregated areas with substandard, unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, which cause increased mortality, disease, crime, vice and juvenile delinquency, fires and risk of fire, intergroup tensions and other evils, all of which increase the cost of government and reduce the public revenues and result in injury to the public safety, health and welfare of the City of Monessen.
(5) 
Discrimination in places of public accommodation, resort, recreation, amusement and places of business causes humiliation, embarrassment and inconvenience to citizens and visitors of the city, tends to create breaches of the peace, intergroup tensions and conflicts and similar evils and is detrimental to the public safety, general welfare and economic growth of the City of Monessen.
B. 
Declaration of policy.
(1) 
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City of Monessen in the exercise of its powers for the protection of the public safety and the general welfare, for the maintenance of peace and good government and for the promotion of the city's trade, commerce and manufactures to assure the right and opportunity of all persons to participate in the social, cultural, recreational and economic life of the city and to assure equal opportunity for all persons to live in decent housing facilities, free from restrictions because of color, race, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
(2) 
To accomplish these goals it shall be the public policy of the City of Monessen to prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth in employment, housing and places of public accommodation, resort, recreation or amusement.

§ 209-3 Scope.

This chapter applies to discriminatory practices, including but not limited to discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, which occur within the territorial limits of the City of Monessen and to employment, contracted for, performed or to be performed within these limits, and to housing accommodations and places of public accommodation, resort, recreation and amusement located within the territorial limits of the city.

§ 209-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from context:
COMMISSION
The Commission on Human Relations established in the office of the Mayor of the City of Monessen by this chapter.
DISCRIMINATE AND DISCRIMINATION
The terms "discriminate" and "discrimination" include any difference in treatment based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
EMPLOYER
Any person who employs five or more employees exclusive of the parents, spouse or children of such person, including the City of Monessen, its departments, boards, commissions and authorities, and any other governmental agency within its jurisdiction, but excluding any religious, fraternal, charitable or sectarian organization which is not supported in whole or part by any governmental appropriations.
EMPLOYMENT
Does not include the employment of individuals in domestic service.
EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
Any person regularly undertaking, with or without compensation, to procure opportunities for employment or to procure, recruit, refer or place employees.
A. 
A building, structure or portion thereof which is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as a home, residence or sleeping place by a person, by a family or by a group of persons living together; or
B. 
A parcel of real property or lot available for the construction of a housing accommodation.
LABOR ORGANIZATION
Any organization which exists for the purpose in whole or in part of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment or of other mutual aid or protection in relation to employment.
LENDING INSTITUTION
Any bank, insurance company, savings and loan association or any other person regularly engaged in the business of lending money or guaranteeing loans.
OWNER
Includes the owner, co-owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee, assignee, manager, agent or any other person having the right of ownership or possession or the authority to sell, rent or lease any housing accommodation, or any person having an equitable or security interest in any housing accommodation, including the City of Monessen and its departments, boards, commissions and authorities.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, corporation, labor organization or other organization or association, including those acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by a court or otherwise. The term "person," as applied to partnerships or other organizations or associations, includes their members, and as applied to corporations includes their officers.
PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION, RESORT, RECREATION OR AMUSEMENT
Includes any place, business or activity which is open to, accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public or offers goods, services or recreation to the general public.
REAL ESTATE BROKER
Any natural person, partnership, corporation or other association which for a fee or other valuable consideration manages, sells, purchases, exchanges or rents or negotiates, or offers or attempts to negotiate the sale, purchase, exchange or rental of the property of another, or holds itself out as engaged in the business of managing, selling, purchasing, exchanging or renting the real property of another, or collects rent for the use of the real property of another, and includes real estate salesmen or agents or any other person employed by a real estate broker to perform or to assist in the performance of his business.

§ 209-5 Commission on Human Relations. [1]

A. 
There is hereby established in the Office of the Mayor a Commission on Human Relations to administer, implement and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The Commission shall consist of 15 members to be appointed by the Mayor for four-year terms. Commissioners may be reappointed to successive terms of office. Each member of the Commission shall continue to serve after his term until his successor has been appointed and qualified.
[Amended 12-12-1969 by Ord. No. 18-1969]
C. 
The term of all present members of the Commission shall not be affected by the enactment of this chapter.
D. 
The Commission shall elect one of its members as Chairman and may elect such other officers as it may deem necessary. The Chairman may, with the approval of the Commission, appoint such committees as may be necessary to carry out the powers and duties of the Commission, and the Commission may authorize such committees to take any necessary action for the Commission.
E. 
The Commission shall adopt such rules and regulations for its own organization, operations and procedures as the Commission shall deem necessary to administer, implement and enforce this chapter.
F. 
The Commission shall hold at least ten monthly meetings during each calendar year. Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and a majority vote of those present at any meeting shall be sufficient for any official action taken by the Commission, except that approval of a majority of the members of the Commission shall be required before any public hearing may be held.
G. 
The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but they may be reimbursed for all expenses necessary incurred in the performance of their duties in accordance with appropriations made by City Council.
[1]
Editor's Note: A State Human Relations Commission is established under 43 P.S. § 951 et seq.

§ 209-6 Executive Director.

A. 
The Mayor may appoint an Executive Director and such other personnel as may be authorized by City Council to assist the Commission in administering, implementing and enforcing the provisions of this chapter. In proposing a budget for the operation of the Commission and in selecting the Executive Director and other personnel, authorized by City Council, the Mayor shall take into consideration the recommendations of the Commission.
B. 
The Executive Director, when appointed, shall serve as the staff executive officer for the Commission. He shall promote the efficient transaction of its business, the orderly handling of complaints and other matters before the Commission and shall supervise the Commission staff.
C. 
The Commission may authorize the Executive Director to initiate complaints of unlawful practices, as set forth in this chapter.

§ 209-7 Powers and duties of Commission on Human Relations.

The Commission shall have the power and it shall be the duty to:
A. 
Initiate, receive, investigate and seek the satisfactory adjustment of complaints charging unlawful practices, as set forth in this chapter.
B. 
Initiate or receive and investigate other complaints of discrimination against any person because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth and to seek the satisfactory adjustment of such complaints. Any complaint filed under this subsection which the Commission believes may constitute a violation of a law of the United States of America or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be certified to the City Solicitor for such actions as he may deem proper.
C. 
Hold public hearings, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath and, in connection therewith, require the production of evidence relating to any matter under investigation or any question before the Commission, make findings of fact, issue orders and publish such findings of fact and orders and do all other things necessary and proper for the enforcement of this chapter.
D. 
Certify upon the request of any person that a particular occupation or position is exempt from the provisions of this chapter relating to unlawful employment practices if the Commission finds that the occupation or position reasonably requires the employment of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth, and that such certification is not sought as means of circumventing the spirit and purpose of this chapter, the burden of proving the facts required for such finding to be in each instance upon the person requesting the certification of exemption from the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Study and investigate by means of public hearings or otherwise any conditions having an adverse effect on intergroup relations in the City of Monessen and to study the problems of prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination as they affect the public safety and general welfare of the City of Monessen.
F. 
Institute and conduct educational and other programs to promote the equal rights and opportunities of all persons, regardless of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth and to promote understanding among persons and groups of different races, colors, religions, ancestries, national origins or places of birth. In the performance of its duties, the Commission may cooperate with interested citizens, private agencies and agencies of the federal, state and local governments.
G. 
Issue publications and reports of investigation and research in the field of human relations, and to cooperate with and accept grants from public and private agencies, including foundation, colleges and universities, engaged in similar research.
H. 
Request other departments, boards and commissions of the city government to assist in the performance of its duties, and such other departments, boards and commissions shall cooperate fully with the Commission.
I. 
Assist in the enforcement of fair practices in city contracts.
J. 
Render from time to time a written report of its activities and recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.
K. 
Recommend legislation to promote and ensure equal rights and opportunities for all persons regardless of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
L. 
Adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter.

§ 209-8 Unlawful employment practices.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice, except where based upon applicable national security regulations established by the United States, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by any political subdivision of the commonwealth having jurisdiction in the City of Monessen or except where based upon a bona fide occupational exemption certified by the Commission in accordance with § 209-7D of this chapter:
A. 
For any employer to refuse to hire any person or otherwise to discriminate against any person with respect to hiring, tenure, compensation, promotion, discharge or any other terms, conditions or privileges directly or indirectly related to employment because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
B. 
For any employer, employment agency or labor organization to establish, announce or follow a policy of denying or limiting, through a quota system or otherwise, the employment or membership opportunities based on ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
C. 
For any employer, labor organization, employment agency or any joint labor-management committee controlling apprentice training programs to deny to or withhold from any person the right to be admitted to or participate in a guidance program, an apprenticeship training program, an on-the-job training program or any other occupational training program because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
D. 
For any employer, employment agency or labor organization to require of any applicant for employment or membership any information concerning race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
E. 
For any employer, employment agency or labor organization to publish or circulate or to cause to be published or circulated any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership which indicates any discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
F. 
For any employment agency to fail or refuse to classify properly or refer to employment or otherwise to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
G. 
For any employer substantially to confine or limit recruitment or hiring of employees, with intent to circumvent the spirit and purpose of this chapter, to any employment agency, employment service, labor organization, training school, training center or any other employee-referring source which serves persons who are predominantly of the same race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
H. 
For any labor organization to discriminate against any person in any way which would deprive or limit his employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an applicant for employment or as an employee with regard to tenure, compensation, promotion, discharge or any other terms, conditions or privileges directly related to employment because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
I. 
For any employer, employment agency or labor organization to discriminate against any person because he has opposed any practice forbidden by this chapter or because he has made a complaint or testified or assisted in any manner in any investigation of proceeding under this chapter.
J. 
For any person, whether or not an employer, employment agency or labor organization, to aid, incite, compel, coerce or participate in the doing of any act declared to be an unlawful employment practice by this chapter or to obstruct or prevent any person from enforcing or complying with the provisions of this chapter or any rule, regulation or order of the Commission or to attempt directly or indirectly to commit any act declared by this chapter to be an unlawful employment practice.

§ 209-9 Unlawful housing practices.

It shall be an unlawful housing practice, except as otherwise provided in this section:
A. 
For any owner, real estate broker or any other person to refuse to sell, lease, sublease, rent, assign or otherwise transfer or to refuse to negotiate for the sale, lease, sublease, rental assignment or other transfer of the title, leasehold or other interest in any housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer when in fact it is so available, or otherwise to deny or withhold any housing accommodation from any person because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth, or to discriminate against, segregate or assign quotas to any person or group of persons in connection with the sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer of the title, leasehold or other interest in any housing accommodation or housing accommodations.
B. 
For any person, including any owner or real estate broker, to include in the terms, conditions or privileges of any sale, lease, sublease, rental, assignment or other transfer of any housing accommodation any clause, condition or restriction discriminating against or requiring any other person in the use or occupancy of such housing accommodation because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
C. 
For any person, including any owner or real estate broker, to discriminate in the furnishing of any facilities or services for any housing accommodation because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
D. 
For any person, including any owner or real estate broker, to publish, circulate, issue or display, or cause to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind relating to the sale, rental, lease, sublease, assignment, transfer or listing of a housing accommodation or accommodations which indicated any preference, limitation, specification or discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth.
E. 
For any person, including any bank, banking organization, mortgage company, insurance company or other financial or lending institution, or any agent or employee thereof, to whom application is made for financial assistance for the purchase, lease, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any housing accommodation or housing accommodations:
(1) 
To discriminate against any person or group of persons because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth of such person or group of persons or of the prospective occupants or tenants of such housing accommodation in the granting, withholding, extending, modifying, or renewing or in the rates, terms, conditions or privileges of any such financial assistance or in the extension of services in connection therewith; or
(2) 
To use any form of application for such financial assistance or make any record of inquiry in connection with applications for such financial assistance which indicates, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination.
F. 
For any real estate broker or real estate salesman or agent, or any other person for business or economic purposes, to induce, directly or indirectly, the sale or rental or the listing for sale or rental of a housing accommodation by representing that a change has occurred or will or may occur with respect to the racial, religious or ethnic composition of the street, block, neighborhood or area in which said housing accommodation is located.
G. 
For any person, whether or not a real estate broker, real estate salesman or agent, owner or lending institution to aid, incite, compel, coerce or participate in the doing of any act declared to be an unlawful housing practice under this chapter or to obstruct or prevent enforcement or compliance with the provisions of this chapter or any rule, regulation or order of the Commission or to attempt directly or indirectly to commit any act declared by this chapter to be an unlawful housing practice.
H. 
Nothing in this chapter shall bar any religious or sectarian institution or organization or any charitable or educational organization which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious or sectarian organization or any bona fide private or fraternal organization from limiting admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or sect or to members of such private or fraternal organization or from making such selection as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious or sectarian principles or the aims, purposes or fraternal principles for which it is established or maintained.

§ 209-10 Unlawful public accommodations practices.

It shall be unlawful public accommodation practice:
A. 
For the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any business or place of public accommodation, resort, recreation or amusement to:
(1) 
Refuse, withhold from or deny to any person because of his race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth, either directly or indirectly, any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges, products or goods of such place of public accommodation, resort or amusement; or
(2) 
Publish, circulate, issue, display, post or mail, either directly or indirectly, any written or printed communication, notice or advertisement to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, products, services and privileges of any such place shall be refused, withheld or denied to any person on account of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth or that the patronage of any person of any particular race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or place of birth is unwelcome, objectionable or not acceptable, desired or solicited.
B. 
For any person, whether or not included in Subsection A of this section, to aid, incite, compel, coerce or participate in the doing of any act declared to be an unlawful public accommodations practice under this chapter.

§ 209-11 Obstruction of fair practices.

It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not within the named classifications set forth in this chapter, to aid, incite, compel, coerce or participate in the doing of any act declared to be an unlawful practice under this chapter or to obstruct or prevent enforcement of compliance with the provisions of this chapter or any rule, regulation or order of the Commission or to attempt directly or indirectly to commit any act declared by this chapter to be an unlawful practice.

§ 209-12 City contracts.

A. 
All contracts of the City of Monessen and its contracting agencies shall obligate the contractor to comply with this chapter and with any state or federal law or laws or regulations relating to unlawful employment practices in connection with any work to be performed thereunder and shall require the contractor to include a similar provision in all subcontracts.
B. 
The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations for the processing of complaints of discrimination received under this section.

§ 209-13 Procedure.

A. 
A complaint charging that any person has engaged or is engaging in any unlawful practice as set forth in this chapter may be made by the Commission, by an aggrieved person or by an organization which has as one of its purposes the combating of discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunities, and any complaint may be amended by the complainant or the Commission at any time before final action has been taken by the Commission, in accordance with such rules and regulations as the Commission shall prescribe.
B. 
The complaint shall be in writing, signed and verified, and include the name and address of the person or persons alleged to have committed the unlawful practice and the particulars thereof and such other information as may be required by the Commission.
C. 
The Executive Director and staff shall make a prompt and full investigation of each complaint of an unlawful practice and report to the Commission.
D. 
If the Commission shall determine that there is no basis for the allegations in a complaint, the complaint shall be dismissed and the complainant notified in writing. Within 10 days from the receipt of such notice, the complainant, or his attorney, may file with the Commission a request for review and the Commission shall provide the complainant and his attorney an opportunity to appear before the Commission, a member thereof or a staff representative of the Commission. After such a review, the Commission may reverse its decision, or if the Commission or its representative determines that there is no basis for the allegation, the dismissal of the complaint shall be affirmed and there shall be no further review of such decision.
E. 
If the Commission determines after investigation that probable cause exists for the allegations made in the complaint, it may attempt to eliminate the unlawful practice by means of private conferences or meetings with all parties. The Commission shall not make public the details of such informal proceedings, but it may publish the terms of any agreement when a complaint has been satisfactorily adjusted.
F. 
If the Commission determined that a housing accommodation or housing accommodations involved in a complaint of an unlawful housing practice under § 209-9 of this chapter may be sold, rented or otherwise disposed of before a determination of the case has been made, and the Commission believes that there is probable cause for the complaint, the Commission may request the City Solicitor to seek an injunction restraining the sale, rental or other disposition of the housing accommodation or housing accommodations in accordance with the provisions of Section 9.1. of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of October 27, 1955, P.L. 744, added by Act No. 533, approved January 24, 1966, as hereafter amended, supplemented or modified by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 43 P.S. § 951 et seq.
G. 
In case of failure to eliminate the unlawful practice charged in the complaint by means of informal proceedings, or in advance thereof, if in the judgment of the Commission the facts so warrant, the Commission may hold a public hearing to determine whether or not an unlawful practice has been committed or, without holding such a hearing, certify the case to the City Solicitor in accordance with § 209-14 of this chapter.
H. 
Where a public hearing is ordered, the Commission shall designate one or more members to conduct such a hearing. The Commission shall serve upon the person charged with having engaged or engaging in the unlawful practice, hereinafter referred to as "respondent," a statement of the charges made in the complaint or amended complaint and a notice of the time and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be held not less than 10 days after the service of the statement of charges. The respondent shall have the right to file an answer to the statement of charges, to appear at the hearing in person or to be represented by an attorney or, subject to the approval of the hearing panel, by any other person and to examine and cross-examine witnesses. The complainant shall also have the right to be represented by an attorney or, subject to the approval of the hearing panel, by any other person. The Commission shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity. The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and may be transcribed.
I. 
If upon the evidence presented the Commission finds that the respondent has not engaged in any unlawful practice, it shall state its findings of fact in writing and dismiss the complaint. If upon all the evidence presented the Commission finds that the respondent has engaged or is engaging in an unlawful practice, it shall state its findings of fact in writing and shall issue such order in writing as the facts warrant to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. Such order may require the respondent to cease and desist from such unlawful practice and to take such affirmative action, including but not limited to the hiring, reinstatement or upgrading of employees with or without back pay, admission or restoration to membership in any respondent labor organization, the selling, renting or leasing of a housing accommodation or housing accommodations upon equal terms and conditions and with such equal facilities, services and privileges, the tendering of money, whether or not secured by mortgage or otherwise for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any housing accommodation, the granting, permitting, selling or admission to any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges, products or goods of any respondent place of public accommodation, resort, recreation or amusement, upon such equal terms and conditions to any person discriminated against or to all persons as, in the judgment of the Commission, will effectuate the purposes of this chapter and are warranted by the facts presented at the hearing, including a requirement for a report or reports of the manner of compliance. Copies of the order shall be served on all parties.

§ 209-14 Enforcement.

In the event that the respondent refuses or fails to comply with any order of the Commission or violates any of the provisions of this chapter, the Commission shall certify the case and the entire record of its proceedings to the City Solicitor, who shall invoke the aid of an appropriate court to secure enforcement or compliance with the order or to impose the penalties set forth in § 209-15, or both.

§ 209-15 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter relating to unlawful practices or any rule or regulation pertaining thereto adopted by the Commission or any order of the Commission shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before any District Justice having jurisdiction of such offense, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300 or to undergo imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).