EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION
CITY OF MADISON
210 MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BOULEVARD
RECOMMENDED FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER
Case No. 3196
On March 2, 1988, Charles Allison (Complainant) filed a complaint of discrimination with the Equal Opportunities Commission alleging that the Respondent, the Golden Pheasant, discriminated against him on account of his race in denying him the full and equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation. The complaint was investigated by Madison Equal Opportunities Investigator Mary Pierce. Following the investigation, Pierce issued an Initial Determination finding probable cause to believe Respondent had discriminated against Complainant on the basis of his race.
Conciliation failed and the case was certified to a public hearing on June 16, 1988. A hearing was held on December 20, 1988. Complainant appeared in person, without a representative. Respondent failed to appear. Pursuant to MEOC Rule 9.4, the hearing was commenced at 9:30 a.m., one half hour after the scheduled hearing time.
Based on the record of the hearing, the hearing examiner now makes the following Recommended Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order.
RECOMMENDED FINDINGS OF FACT
RECOMMENDED CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
MEOC Rule 9.4 provides that in the event the Respondent fails to appear within one-half hour of the scheduled time for a hearing and the Complainant makes out a prima facie case showing a violation of the ordinance, the hearing examiner shall find that a violation of the ordinance has occurred and shall order such relief as is appropriate. The record herein reveals that Respondent was present at the pre-hearing conference when the date and time of the hearing were designated, and that a Notice of Hearing was issued and mailed to Respondent, and to the individual designated by Respondent as its representative, by certified mail. The file also contains certified mail return receipts indicating the Notice of Hearing was received at Respondent's place of business. Respondent failed to appear at the hearing within one-half hour of the scheduled hearing time. Thus, MEOC Rule 9.4 is applicable in this proceeding.
Complainant presented only his own testimony which established that he was referred to as "nigger lips" by a bartender in Respondent's establishment. Such direct evidence of racial discrimination is sufficient to make out a prima facie case of discrimination with respect to the enjoyment of a public accommodation and warrants a finding that Respondent discriminated against Complainant. Sec. 3.23 (5), Mad. Gen. Ord; MEOC Rule 9.4.
Complainant, however, has failed to demonstrate that any relief beyond a cease and desist order is warranted in this case. The relief awarded in this case must, therefore, be similar to that awarded in Willie Joe, Jr. v. Sunny Knoll Liquor, Inc., et al., MEOC Case No. 3070, Ex. Dec., Sep. 18, 1981. In that case, Complainant was subjected to racially abusive remarks by the owner and staff of a liquor store. Respondent was ordered to cease and desist from further discriminating on the basis of race, but no other relief was awarded. When, as here, Complainant fails to establish that he has suffered any compensable harm, the only appropriate relief is an order prohibiting Respondent from engaging in similar conduct again.
Dated at Madison this 30th day of December, 1988.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION