Birmingham Passes Ordinance Prohibiting Discrimination By Fox Rothschild LLP on September 30, 2017 Alabama never ceases to surprise. On September 26, 2017, the Birmingham City Council passed an ordinance that makes it a crime for any entity doing business in the city to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or familial status. The ordinance passed unanimously and is the first of its kind in Alabama. In announcing the measure, the City Council took a bit of defiant tone, noting that Birmingham had to act since the state legislature was unwilling. It remains to be seen if the state legislature will try to take steps to pass legislation prohibiting Birmingham and other cities from passing such ordinances. The City also created a local human rights commission to process and try to resolve such complaints. If the matter cannot be resolved, an employee must swear out a complaints in criminal court. The criminal court has the power to order a fine, but not reinstatement or back pay.