There are many ways to make a complaint about discrimination including:
Webster defines discrimination as "to make a difference in treatment on the basis of other than personal merit." Simply said, it means treating people differently. Not all discrimination is illegal. For example, an employer can choose to hire one person instead of another or a restaurant can turn people away for reasons that may not be unlawful.
Discrimination is unlawful when carried out because of an individual´s race, color, gender or other characteristic protected by law. Such characteristics place people into "protected classes." Everyone belongs to a number of protected classes. For example, we all have a race, a color and a gender.
For a list of federal and state protected classes and protected activities, click here.
Discrimination in Public Accommodation
A place of public accommodation is defined in state law as any place that offers the public accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges, whether in the nature of goods, services, lodging, amusements or otherwise. It is illegal to discriminate in places of public accommodation on the basis of race, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, or age (18 years of age and older).
Discrimination in Career Schools
No career school (private vocational, professional, or trade) licensed to operate in Oregon may discriminate in its admission or instruction practices because of an individual´s race, color, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or physical or mental disabilities.
The Cities of Corvallis, Eugene, Portland and Salem, and Benton and Multnomah counties have ordinances prohibiting discrimination. The Civil Rights Division may have a contract to enforce the parts of these ordinances that are not protected under state law, including source of income. Contact a civil rights intake office for the protected classes covered under each ordinance.