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Council to Vote on Contractor Non-Discrimination Ordinance

At next Tuesday’s regular meeting, the City Council will vote on a bill requiring City contractors comply with a set of policies on benefits they offer to their company employees. These policies mainly cover non-discrimination based on various identities, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or disability.

While I support the idea of non-discrimination in relation to City contractor employees, I think a bill is unnecessary, discouraging to businesses and costly to implement.

The bill is unnecessary because at t present, employment discrimination cases can be addressed by the anti-discrimination civil rights departments at the County, State level.

Most City contractors follow their own policies on who to be covered in their benefit plans. If passed, the bill will force the contractors to redefine that policy to fit City’s requirements. This may potentially discourage City Contractors to do businesses with College Park.

Also, there could be some enforcement issues as well. According to the bill, City manager and his staff will be responsible in investigating and enforcing the laws. This task may proved to be quite extensive and may involve many hours of staff and attorney time. On the County / State / Federal level, these issues are addressed by separate Civil rights divisions, which are comprised of many members.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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