Belding adopts MDOT’s nondiscrimination plan

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:12 am on Thursday, October 03, 2013

BELDING — The Belding City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan for Belding.

City Manager Meg Mullendore said the adoption of the plan was a necessity in order for the city to continue to receive state and federal monies for various projects.

“Pursuant to the requirements from the state, in order for the city to continue receiving federal funding for Michigan Department of Transportation projects, we are required to have the aforementioned policy in place and update and certify annually to the state,” Mullendore said. “(The plan) covers sexual discrimination and gender discrimination.

Mullendore noted that the plan does not mention any specifics regarding specifics on sexual orientation.

The plan also includes a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) component, which MDOT states is to “ensure that persons who have language barriers are not excluded from participation in, denied the benefit of, or otherwise discriminated against when programs, services, or activities designed to improve Michigan’s infrastructure affect their communities.”

According to the Non-Discrimination Plan Program Guidelines outlined by MDOT, there are two types of illegal discrimination prohibited under Title VI and its related statutes.

One type of discrimination which may or may not be intentional is “disparate treatment.” As written in the program guidelines, disparate treatment is defined as treating similarly situated persons or groups differently because of their race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

The second type of illegal discrimination is “disparate impact.” Disparate impact discrimination occurs when a “neutral procedure or practice” results in fewer services or benefits, or inferior services or benefits, to members of a protected group.

“As federal funding is at stake and due to the fact that all individuals deserve and should be treated in the same nondiscriminatory fashion, staff recommends that council approve theTitle VI Non-Discrimination Action Plan for the city of Belding,” Mullendore said.

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