Discrimination & Protected Classes in Columbus

Per Columbus City Code 2331, it is illegal to discriminate against an individual in the areas of employment, housing, or public accommodation based on the following protected classes:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity or Expression
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • National Origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Familial Status
  • Military Status

For the purpose of the City Code, the definition of discrimination is to segregate or separate, or any difference in treatment, based on the protected classes listed above.

Examples of potential discrimination include, but are not limited to the following:


  • I feel I was passed over for a promotion because I am female. (Gender)
  • I think I was terminated from my job because I am black. (Race)
  • I was denied a training opportunity because I am from Nepal. (National Origin)


  • I believe I am being charged more rent because I have three children. (Familial Status)
  • I feel that I was evicted from my apartment because I am in the Army Reserves. (Military Status)
  • My apartment is not serviced as often as others because I use a wheelchair. (Disability)

Public Accommodation

  • I was denied membership to a gym because I am Muslim. (Religion)
  • I was seated in the back of a restaurant, when many seats were available in the front, because I am gay. (Sexual Orientation)
  • I was told to use the women's restroom although I identify as a male. (Gender Identity)

The Community Relations Commission

A division of the Department of Neighborhoods, the Community Relations Commission (CRC) is authorized by Chapter 139 of the City Code to investigate, mediate, or refer for prosecution complaints of discrimination. If you believe you were subjected to discrimination, the CRC provides:

  • An efficient, thorough, and fair investigation
  • A voluntary option to resolve your complaint through mediation
  • Information and options to file with other governmental agencies charged with resolving discrimination complaints
  • Referrals to the City Attorney's Office for complaints with a "Probable Cause" determination.

Learn more about the complaint process.