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Welcome to the Human Rights Commission


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The Human Rights Commission works to protect and preserve the civil and human rights of all people in the City of Lynn as defined by existing local, state, and federal laws.  The Commission aims to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to provide education about human rights issues in the City of Lynn.  The Commission works with diverse individuals and community groups to promote tolerance, mutual respect and human rights.

The Human Rights Commission:       

  • Investigates complaints of unlawful treatment, harassment or discrimination.
  • Provides information to the public about civil rights.
  • Promotes public awareness of human rights issues through educational resources.
  • Work with other municipal departments to increase compliance of local, state and federal laws.
  • Discuss human rights problems with the Mayor and Lynn City Council in writing and make recommendations necessary to protect the human rights of Lynn residents.
  • Work with municipal departments and boards to raise the levels of awareness and sensitivity to human rights issues in municipal business with the public.
  • Work with community agencies representing various ethnic groups in advocating human rights.

La Commission de Derechos Humanos trabaja para proteger y preservar el civil y los derechos humanos de todas las personas en la Ciudad de Lynn como definido por las leyes local, del estado, y las leyes federales. La Comisión se propone eliminar discriminación ilegal y para proporcionar la educación acerca de asuntos de derechos humanos en la Ciudad de Lynn. La Comisión trabaja con grupos diversos de individuos y la comunidad para promover tolerancia, respeto y derechos humanos mutuos.

La Comision de Derechos Humanos:

  • Investiga quejas de tratamiento ilegal, el acoso o la discriminación.
  • Proporciona información al público acerca de derechos civiles.
  • Promueve el conocimiento público de derechos humanos publicos por recursos educativos.
  • Trabaja con otros departamentos municipals para aumentar conformidad  acerca de leyes local, del estado y las leyes federales.
  • Discute problemas de derechos humanos con el Alcalde de Lynn El Consulado de Lynn por escrito y  da recomendaciones  necesarias para proteger los derechos humanos de los residentes de Lynn.
  • Trabaja con departamentos y tablas municipales para levantar los niveles del conocimiento y la sensibilidad a asuntos de derechos humanos en el negocio municipal con el público.
  • Trabaja con agencias de la comunidad que representan varios groupos etnicos cuando se hacen recomendaciones acerca de derechos humanos.
List Lynn Human Rights Commission Contact Information
  Contact
Phone
Email
Theresa C. Young
781-586-6740
tyoung@lynnma.gov
Clerk
  Address Lynn City Hall Room 408
3 City Hall Square, Lynn, MA 01901
List Members
  Pamela Freeman Chairperson  
  Jeanne McAuley Vice-Chairperson  
  Jordan Avery    
 

Tiffany Bevis

   
 

Selecca Bulgar-Medina

   
 

Omozee Idusuyi

   
 

Audrey Jimenez

   
  Michael Ouk    
 

Robert F. Tucker

   
  Jesse J. Warren, Jr    
 

Attorney Vincent Phelan

   
  Theresa C. Young Clerk  
List Meeting Minutes
  2015 2014 2013 2012  
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The Human Rights Commission Complaint Process

Who can make a complaint?

Any person who believes that she or he has suffered from:

  • unlawful discrimination
  • any unfair and unequal treatment which denies a group or person equal protection of the law
  • sexual or racially-based harassment

The complainant does not have to be a citizen or a resident of Lynn; however, the alleged violation(s) must have occurred in Lynn.  Complaints may be filed against individuals, organizations, business establishments, or city agencies.

How do I make a complaint?

Complaints must be filed in writing and signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.  You may file a complaint via mail or in person at the Commissioner's Office at Lynn City Hall, Room 408, 3 City Hall Square Lynn, MA 01901.  Complaints must contain the following:

  • Identification and contact information of the Complainant (name, address, telephone number, email)
  • Iidentification and contact information of the person(s) alleged to have violated Complainant’s rights (name, address, telephone number, email)
  • A reference to the section of the Lynn Human Rights Ordinance alleged to have been violated
  • A concise statement of the alleged discriminatory act(s)
  • The date or dates of the alleged discriminatory act(s)

Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the occurrence of the discriminatory act or the last date of an alleged continuing discriminatory practice.

Download our Complaint Form | English

Download our Complaint Form | Spanish

What happens when the Commission gets a complaint?

Once the Commission receives a complaint, the Commission will serve a copy on the Respondent within twenty-one (21) days.  The Respondent must file a written answer with the Commission and the Complainant may file a written rebuttal.  The case is then assigned to a Review Committee of the Commission for investigation and negotiation.  The Commission will attempt to resolve all complaints by mediation in an effort to eliminate the unlawful practice.  If mediation fails to resolve the complaint, the Commission may refer the complainant to the Attorney General, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, or other appropriate agencies.

How can I find out more about the complaint process?

For more information, please contact the Office of Lynn Human Rights Commission at 781-586-6740 or tyoung@lynnma.gov.

Section 1 | Established | June 26, 2012

The City of Lynn hereby establishes a board to be known as the Human Rights Commission for the purpose of advocating for human rights and the prevention of discrimination.

Section 2 | Purpose

The Commission shall work toward achieving mutual respect and understanding among all individuals and groups in the City of Lynn, through improving the quality of public discourse and eliminating unlawful discrimination.  The Human Rights Commission shall work with the Mayor and Lynn City Council on matter pertaining to the human rights of City of Lynn citizens.

Section 3 | Function

The functions of the Commission are as follows:

  1. to improve the life of the City by enlisting community-based groups in educational programs and campaigns to increase mutual self-respect, harmonious intergroup relations, and the peaceful enjoyment of life in our diverse community;
  2. to educate persons in the City who believe that their human or civil rights, as defined by existing local, state, and federal laws, have been violated in Lynn;
  3. to work with municipal government departments, the School Department, commissions, and boards, to increase education with appropriate local, state, and federal laws, and to raise the levels of awareness and sensitivity to human rights issues in municipal business with the public

Section 4 | Membership

The Commission shall consist of twelve (12) members, six of whom shall be appointed by the Mayor and six (6) of whom shall be appointed by the Lynn City Council in accordance with their rules, to serve without compensation, at least one of whom shall be a an attorney from the City's Law Department and shall be a non-voting member of the Commission.

  1. The Commissioners shall initially serve for the following terms: four (4)
    members (two Mayoral and two Council appointments) shall serve for a one (1) year term; four (4) members (two Mayoral and two Council appointments) shall serve for a two (2) year term; and four (4) members (two Mayoral and two Council appointments) shall serve for a three (3) year term;
  2. A Commissioner may be removed from office for cause pursuant to provisions of Sections 3-7 and 6-6 of the City Charter;
  3. Commissioners must be residents of the City at the time of their appointment and throughout their tenure;
  4. Commissioners shall be classified as special municipal employees for the purpose of the Massachusetts General Laws and Amendments Chapter 268A, but shall receive no wages or compensation;
  5. The Commission members shall actively recruit, review, and recommend prospective members of the Commission to the Mayor and the City Council;
  6. The Commission at all times shall be representative of all socioeconomic and racial segments of the City as well as different neighborhoods.
  7. The Commission shall meet at least once every sixty (60) days on Tuesday evenings and all meetings shall be scheduled no earlier 6:00 p.m and shall be posted.
  8. Members of the Commission shall educate themselves regarding federal, state and local discrimination laws.
  9. Failure and/or inaction of either the Mayor or City Council to appoint members of this Commission, at its creation, within 45 days of the effective date of the ordinance shall be deemed a waiver of that entity's (Mayor/City Council) ability to appoint and the other entity (Mayor or City Council) shall forthwith appoint the remaining members the other had original authority to appoint.

Massachusetts General Law

Section 5 | Officers, Rule and Regulations

  1. The Commission shall elect a Chairperson among its members. The Chairperson shall be elected at the first meeting each year. The Commission members shall make an attempt to rotate the election of a Chairperson each year thereafter.
  2. Seven members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business of the Commission and all decisions shall be by majority vote of the Commission members present and voting.
  3. The Commission shall adopt rules and regulations consistent with this Ordinance and the laws of the Commonwealth to carry out the policy and provisions of this Ordinance. The rules and regulations shall insure the due process rights of all persons involved in investigations.
  4. All records of the Commission shall be public except as provided by State
    law.
  5. Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.

Section 6 | Jurisdiction

The Commission has jurisdiction:
(A) To receive complaints and to educate members of the public regarding their
legal rights concerning:

  1. the existence of unlawful discrimination in the City of Lynn which may deny or tend to deny equal access of opportunities in matters of housing, employment, education, contracts, purchasing, or other public accommodations, on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship, color, disability, economic status, ethnicity, family/marital status, gender, military status, national origin, race, religion, gender identity or expression, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or source of income; and in connection therewith;
  2. any conduct or behavior which is sexually or racially harassing;
  3. any unfair and unequal treatment which denies either a group or an individual equal protection of the law in the enjoyment and exercise of civil rights; and
  4. the presence in the City of Lynn of prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, or other conduct or behavior which encourages and brings about misunderstanding and disrespect among all resident of the City.

(B) The Commission shall not have jurisdiction to receive complaints and investigate claims against members of the Lynn Police Department as the Lynn Police Department's Professional Standards/Internal Affairs Division has jurisdiction to investigate and resolve all complaints of police misconduct

(C) To attempt, by negotiation, to resolve all complaints over which it has jurisdiction and recommend to all complainants or other parties involved which appropriate governmental agencies, federal, state or local, has jurisdiction to take any such action as it feels will resolve such complaints. With respect to complaints not resolved by negotiations:

  1. to refer a complainant or other parties to any court or governmental agency having jurisdiction over the mater in question;
  2. to use its best efforts to bring about compliance with its recommendations.

Section 7 | Recommendation of Deficiencies

  1. The Commission shall discuss human rights problems with the Mayor and the Lynn City Council in writing and make recommendations necessary to protect the human rights of all City of Lynn citizens and employees in writing.
  2. The Commission shall request of the Mayor, Lynn City Council, Department Heads and Superintendent of Schools, such information as is reasonable so that it may be properly informed.
  3. The Commission may review and comment on all matters pertaining to the human rights of citizens but can draw no conclusions of law.

Section 8 | Cooperation With Other Govermental Agencies

The Commission shall work with Federal, State and City agencies, including, but not limited to the Lynn School Department and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the City of Lynn Disability Commission, the Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Legal Services in developing materials, workshops, public presentations and other educational resources designed to eliminate prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination and to enlist the cooperation of the various racial, religious, ethnic groups, civic and community organizations, labor organizations, ftatemal and benevolent organizations and other groups to further the intent and purposes of this Ordinance.

Section 9 | Allegations of Discrimination - Powers and Duties

(A) The function of the Commission shall be to implement the policy of this Ordinance by receiving complaints of discrimination, mediating complaints, educating citizens as to their legal rights with respect to complaints of discrimination and presenting written findings to the Mayor and Lynn City Council as well as making written recommendations to complainants and any other party as to which if any governmental agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. to whom they should seek relief.

(B) The Commission shall exercise its authority through the following powers and duties:

(1) to receive complaints of violations of this Ordinance;

(2) to refer individuals alleging acts of discrimination to appropriate governmental agencies;

(3) to attempt by mediation to resolve any discrimination complaint over which it has jurisdiction;

(4) to seek or accept grants, gifts or bequests to help finance its services.

Section 10 | Complaints Resolution Procedures

(A) Any person or class of persons claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged violation of this Ordinance may make, sign and file with the Commission a complaint in writing which shall state the name and address of the person alleged to have committed such violation and the particulars as may be required by the Commission.

(B) The filing of a complaint, the failure to file a complaint, or the dismissal of a complaint by the Commission shall not bar the complainant from seeking relief in any other administrative or judicial forum. Nor shall filing or failing to file a complaint with other Federal, State or City agencies or courts bar the complainant from seeking relief through the Commission.

(D) After the filing of any complaint, the Chairperson of the Commission shall designate a Review Committee of one or more of the Commissioners to informally meet with the complainant to educate him/her with respect to his/her avenues to resolve the complaint.

(E) If such Review Committee determines after such informal meeting that
probable cause does exist for crediting the allegations of the complaint,
the Commission shall forthwith endeavor to conference, conciliate and
mediate in an effort to eliminate the unlawful practice. The Commission
shall not disclose what has occurred in the course of such endeavor
except to disclose the terms of the conciliation when the complaint has
been disposed of in this matter.

(F) The Human Rights Commission shall hear and determine a complaint of
a violation by a private individual of this section. Upon a finding of a
violation of this subject, the Human Rights Commission may
recommend to any municipal or state licensing authority that the
offender's license(s) be suspended or revoked. Nothing set forth herein
is intended to alter or limit the authority of the licensing board or any
other municipal employee, officer, board, commission, authority or
agent pursuant to any federal, state or local statute, regulation or
ordinance.

Section 11 | Applicability

The provisions of this ordinance shall be construed liberally for the accomplishment of the purposes of this Ordinance, and any ordinances or portions thereof inconsistent with any provision of this Ordinance is hereby repealed.

Section 12 | Ordinance Provisions Not Exclusive

(A) Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed to limit civil rights granted or hereinafter afforded by the laws of the federal government or of the Commonwealth.

(B) Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed exempt or relieve any person from liability, duty, penalty or punishment provided by any present or future law of the Commonwealth or the United States other than any such law which purports to require or permit the doing of any act which would be unlawful under this Ordinance.

(C) Any remedies provided by this Ordinance shall be cumulative with any other remedies provided by local, state or federal law.

Section 13 | Time of Taking Effect

This ordinance shall take effect thirty-one (31) days after its final approval as adopted and advertised.

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