Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, July 01, 1961, Page Page 5, Image 5

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    JULY-AUGUST 1961
Pago 5
The following statement re
garding the civil rights laws that
are in force in the State of
Oregon has been provided to the
Klamath Tribune by Russell A.
Peyton, representative of the
Civil Rights Division of the
Oregon State Bureau of Labor.
The Civil Rights Division of
the Oregon State Bureau of
Labor is the official state agency
charged with the responsibility
of developing improved inter
group relations and with elimin
ating acts of discrimination be
cause of race, religion, color and
national origin.
Twelve years ago it was de
clared to be the public policy of
the state of Oregon that practices
of discrimination against any of
its inhabitants because of race,
religion, color or national origin
are a matter of state concern and
that such discrimination threat
ens not only the rights and priv
ileges of its inhabitants but
menaces the institutions and
foundation of a free democratic
In 1949 the first law implement
ing this public policy was in the
area of employment. This law is
known as the Fair Employment
Practices Act. The purpose of the
law is to eliminate and prevent
discrimination in employment by
employers, employment agencies,
labor organizations or other per
sons who aid, abet, compel, coerce
the doing of the acts forbidden
under the law.
Administration of the law was
assigned to the Bureau of Labor.
In the twelve years since, we now
have jurisdiction over discrimina
tion in public accommodations,
vocational schools and housing.
Having jurisdiction means that
the Rureau of Labor is empower
ed to eliminate and prevent dis
crimination in these areas on ac
count of race, religion, color or
national origin. This means that
the Rureau of Labor is authorized
to receive complaints, to inves
tigate allegations of discrimina
tion, to enter into agreements of
conciliation and, in the event that
conciliation fails, to hold public
hearings which result in orders
that may be judicially enforced.
The Fair Employment Practices
Law, as do the other laws men
tioned herein, establishes special
privileges for no one. In employ
ment it sets the job qualifications
(aptitude, training, skill, charac
ter and job experience) as the
sole prerequisite to: employment.
The Public Accomodation Law
was passed in 1953. This law is
to insure that all persons, regard
less of their race, religion, color
or national origin, have equal
access to and use of places of
public accommodation, resort and
amusement. Places of public ac
commodation include hotels, mo
tels, motor courts, trailer parks;
any places offering to the public
food or drink for consumption on
the premises; any places offering
to the public entertainment, rec
reation or amusement; any place
offering to the public goods or
services. It is an unlawful act to
withhold or deny to any person
fair and equal treatment because
of the religion or the color of his
The Housing Law is the most
recently enacted civil rights law
over which the Rureau of Labor
has jurisdiction. This law pro-
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hibits discrimination because of
race, religion, color or national
origin in the renting, leasing or
selling of real property.
All ot the statutes, of course,
set some limits as to the Bureau
of Labor's jurisdiction. For in
stance, in the Fair Employment
Practices Law, employers with
less than six employees arc ex
empt from the law. In the Public
Accommodation Law, clubs, in
stitutions, places of accommoda
tion, resort or amusement which
in its nature is distinctly private
are excluded from the law. In the
area of housing the Oregon law
provides than only persons en
gaged in the business of selling,
leasing or renting are covered by
the law. This includes a person
who, as a business enterprise,
sells, leases or rents real property,
and such a person may not re
fuse to sell, lease or rent or make
any distinction or restriction
against a purchaser in price,
terms, conditions or in the facil
ities or services in connection
Any person who believes that
he has been denied equal treat
ment because of race, creed, color
o rnational origin in employment,
in public accommodation or in
attempting to rent, lease or pur
chase real property should cer
tainly bring his complaint to the
Civil Rights Division of the
Bureau of Labor. It is known
that many people are being denied
equal job opportunity or equal
access to the housing market only
because of the religion they prac
tice or the color of their skin or
because of their national origin.
The Bureau of Labor is unable to
do anything to correct these
practices of discrimination, either
by enforcement activity or by
educational means, if the Bureau
tines not know about them. It is
tip to every individual to make
the effort to assist in bringing
to the attention of this depart
ment any discriminatory acts that
are believed to be based on race,
religion and national origin.
The Oregon State Bureau of
Labor has a continuing educa
tional program in this field, but
the cooperation of everyone is
needed. As citizens, each should
use his own initiative as a citizen
to protect his own rights. If each
person in Oregon would do this,
it would be of tremendous help
in eliminating and preventing
discriminatory practices, and by
eliminating discrimination we
will foster unity among all our
people. (lood citizenship is a
'mutual achievement, and each
one has an essential part to play.