Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Lesson on Local Laws

In law school, you’ve probably focused mainly on federal and state law.  Municipal laws can be very important in practice as well.  Today’s Columbus Dispatch illustrates with this article: Watterson’s firing of gay teacher may violate city law

The facts:  Carla Hale was fired by a school after her mother’s obituary identified Hale’s partner, also a woman.  The Dispatch summarizes the relevant law:  “A Columbus city ordinance makes it a misdemeanor for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on sexual orientation. City law also states that an employer cannot have a policy that discriminates based on sexual orientation. Those who are found guilty could face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.”
Curious to find the text of this law?  Explore the text of the Columbus Municipal Code here.

For more on local law research, read this short piece by fellow law librarian Mary Whisner, a Greenbag honoree.