31 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 777 (1997-1998)
Local Government Anti-Discrimination Laws: Do They Make a Difference

handle is hein.journals/umijlr31 and id is 789 raw text is: LOCAL GOVERNMENT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS:
DO THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Chad A. Readler*
During the past decade, local governments have expanded their role
protecting individuals from discrimination in private employment.
Although federal and state laws already protect individuals from
employment discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, national
origin, age, and disability, local anti-discrimination ordinances protect
an even wider range of characteristic such as sexual orientation,
marital status, military statu and income level. The author details
the results of a survey indicating that the agencies and dispute reso-
lution processes mandated by local anti-discrimination ordinances
are seldom used to protect this wider range of characteristics He ar-
gues that effective, uniform anti-discrimination protection should
come from the federal government.
INTRODUCTION
Legislation protecting individuals from discrimination in
private employment has been enacted throughout the United
States at the federal, state, and local levels.' While federal
protection in employment is limited to characteristics such as
race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, and disability,2
some local governments have expanded protection by also
banning discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as
sexual orientation, marital status, military status, and income
level.3 These ordinances raise interesting questions regarding
*    B.A. 1994, University of Michigan; J.D. 1997, University of Michigan Law
School. The author would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide com-
ment and insight on the issues discussed in this note. Special thanks to Professor
Roderick Hills, Jr., University of Michigan, for his help and valuable suggestions.
1.   See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 (1994 & Supp. 1997) (codifying Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act); MICH. COMP. LAWS § 37.2102 (1985 & Supp. 1997) (barring discrimi-
nation in employment, housing, public accommodation, and education based on a wide
variety of characteristics); ANN ARBOR, MICH., CODE ch. 112, § 9:154 (1995) (effective
Mar. 13, 1978) (barring employment discrimination).
2.   See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 (1994 & Supp. 1997) (banning employment discrimi-
nation based on race, sex, color, religion, and national origin); 29 U.S.C. § 623 (1994 &
Supp. 1997) (banning employment discrimination based on age); 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a)
(1994 & Supp. 1997) (banning employment discrimination based on disability).
3.   See, e.g., ANN ARBOR, MICH., CODE ch. 112, § 9:159 (1995) (barring employ-
ment discrimination based upon pregnancy, source of income, marital status, and

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