Howard County has released the 2018 Office of Human Rights (OHR) Annual Report. The report covers caseload analysis, hate-bias incidents, outreach activities, the human rights commission and MLK holiday commission.
For calendar 2018, OHR investigated and issued 54 findings, closed 90 cases and took on 78 new cases. Investigators responded to an additional 215 inquiries which did not become cases; the report documents 58 hate-bias incidents in 2018, defined as acts of prejudice, hate or violence directed because of race, religion, ethnic background or sexual orientation. These numbers represent increases from the previous year.
Last year also saw 61 reports of employment discrimination, 16 reports of housing discrimination and one report of public accommodation discrimination. Cases included at least 32 complaints based on race, 22 based on disability, 16 based on gender and nine based on sexual orientation, among others. In 2018, the OHR reported closing 90 cases.
The OHR was established in 1975 to investigate complaints of discrimination and enforce the Howard County Human Rights Law.