Commission on Human Relations
The Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations (“PghCHR” or the “Commission”) is an independent Commission that enforces and ensures civil rights protections within the City of Pittsburgh. Sections 216 through 218 of Pittsburgh’s Home Rule Charter established the PghCHR and Title 6, Article V, Chapters 651 through 659, of the Pittsburgh City Code further detail and outline the PghCHR’s authority, as well as civil and human rights protections within the City. Additionally, per contracts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEOC), the PghCHR enforces federal anti-discrimination law in housing and employment.
The Commission consists of 15 volunteer Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. They serve four-year terms.
PghCHR investigates complaints of alleged discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and the provision of City services. It can also initiate its own complaints against persons and entities, and can investigate any conditions, which it believes, is having an adverse effect on “intergroup relations.” Additionally, the Commission reviews findings and recommendations of staff, conducts confidential mediation/conciliation meetings, approves of and/or enters into mediation/conciliation agreements, holds private fact-finding meetings, subpoenas evidence and/or witnesses and interviews witnesses. It may hold public hearings, which could result in findings of fact that are legally enforceable orders. The Commission also provides outreach and education services regarding rights and responsibilities under the Fair Practices Ordinances (PCC: 651-659). These functions are performed within the following program areas:
- Unlawful Practices Administration and Enforcement: As provided in the City Code, the Commission's mandate is to receive, investigate and adjudicate complaints of discriminatory practices in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. This Office is also charged with the responsibility for the receipt, investigation and adjudication of complaints alleging civil rights violations by City employees in the exercise of their duties as City employees. The Commission is charged with seeking the satisfactory resolution or adjustment of all complaints through negotiation, mediation, and conciliation.
- Inter-Group/Police Community Relations: The Commission studies, investigates, holds public hearings and conciliates issues in the community that adversely affect inter-group relations, negatively impact the livability of city neighborhoods and lead to civil unrest.
- Education and Outreach: The Commission provides information on the laws it enforces and its work in the area of community relations through the use of a wide variety of tools, including presentations and programs specifically targeted to reach the particular needs of all segments of the population, including the City workforce. These services complement the Commission's work in the area of enforcement and serve to reduce prejudice, enhance inter-group relations, increase understanding of our need for unity and bring about a greater level of awareness and compliance with the law.
More about the Commission on Human Relations
Below is a list of content in the Commission on Human Relations' Transition Brief (prepared by Thomas Consulting Group for The Pittsburgh Foundation).
MORE ABOUT THE COMMISSION INCLUDED IN THE REPORT....