Each Federal agency that provides Federal financial assistance is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination. If you believe that you or others have been discriminated against, you may file a complaint with the Federal agency that provides support for the program where you believe the discrimination is occurring/has occurred. There are instances where both CRC and another federal agency may both have the authority to enforce nondiscrimination laws CRC may refer a complaint to another federal agency to investigate depending upon the basis of discrimination alleged in the complaint.
The following information provides options and resources to help you determine which agency may be able to assist you.
The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Areas covered include: admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student treatment and services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignment, grading, education, athletics, housing, and employment.If you think you or someone you know has been discriminated against by a vocational or public school, college, university, or private school that received financial assistance, contact:
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Telephone 1-800-421-3481/TTY: 1-800-877-8339
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights helps to protect you from discrimination in certain health care and social service programs. Some of these programs may include hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, Medicaid and Medicare agencies, welfare programs, day care centers, doctors offices and pharmacies, children's health programs, alcohol and drug treatment centers, adoption agencies, and mental health and development disabilities agencies. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex or religion by a health care or human services provider or by a State or local government health or human services agency, contact:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Rm. 509F HHS Blg.
Washington, DC 20201
Telephone: 1-800-368-1019/TTY (800) 537-7697
The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin. The Division’s work is carried out in eleven sections which include:
- Employment Litigation Section - Enforces against state and local government employers and private employers the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, which prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against an employee or applicant for employment because of such person's past, current or future military obligation.
- Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - Works to protect some of the most fundamental rights of individuals, including the right to access housing free from discrimination, the right to access credit on an equal basis, the right to patronize places of business that provide public accommodations and the right to practice one’s faith free from discrimination.
- Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices - enforces the anti-discrimination provision (§ 274B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. This federal law prohibits: 1) citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, 2) national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, 3) document abuse, and 4) retaliation or intimidation.
- Special Litigation Section - works to protect civil rights in the following areas: 1) the rights of people in state or local institutions, including: jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and health care facilities for persons with disabilities; 2) the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in their communities, rather than in institutions; 3) the rights of people who interact with state or local police or sheriffs' departments; and 4) the rights of youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
For more information, contact:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530
Telephone: 202-514-4609/TTY 202-514-0716
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Adjudication and Compliance handles complaints alleging discrimination in agricultural and rural programs. Some complaints that should be filed with the Department of Agriculture include discrimination in Extension Programs, the Food Stamp Program, Rural Rental Housing Programs, and in Rural Utility Programs, such as in providing telephone, electric or waste water facilities.
Housing programs are also covered by laws or regulations that prohibit discrimination based on marital/family status and religion. If you believe you have been discriminated against by one of the above programs or by any other program that receives assistance from the Department of Agriculture, contact:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of Adjudication and Compliance
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410(202) 260-1026
Telephone: (866) 632-9992/TDD 202-401-0216
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is responsible for enforcing the fair housing laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act. FHEO seeks conciliation, holds hearings, conducts studies, provides testimony for litigation, and offers public education programs and training and technical assistance. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your civil rights have been violated, contact:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
451 Seventh Street, SW, Room 5204
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: 202-708-1112/TTY 202-708-1455
CRC cannot investigate employment discrimination complaints filed against most private employers. CRC will refer these complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC is a separate Federal agency that has authority to enforce the civil rights laws covering most private employers. CRC also cannot investigate complaints filed against most federal contractors. CRC will refer these complaints to the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
For employment discrimination with employers that do not receive Federal financial assistance, the EEOC is responsible for enforcing Federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of their race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Discrimination by employers with 15 or more employees is prohibited in all aspects of the hiring and employment process including job application, hiring, firing, promoting, training, wage earning, or any other terms of employment. If you believe that you have been discriminated against by your employer, contact:
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M Street, NE
Washington, DC 20507
Telephone 1-800-669-4000/TTY 1-800-669-6820
For an overview of the federal sector EEO process (for non-DOL Federal employees), additional resources may be found at: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
For non-DOL Federal employees, for a listing of the EEO Directors at various Federal agencies or guidance in locating the correct EEO official to assist you, additional resources may be found at: Federal Agency EEO Directors
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs enforces, for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners, the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the Federal government. If you think an employer who has discriminated against you holds a contract or subcontract with a Federal agency, contact:
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
200 Constitution Ave., NW, Rm C3310
Washington, DC 20210
The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Office of Resolution Management (ORM) provides Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint processing services within the VA. ORM promotes a healthy working environment through prevention, resolution, and processing of workplace disputes, including complaints of discrimination. ORM's External Affairs Program is VA's liaison with the Department of Justice for external complaints filed against VA under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other similar statutes, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and various Presidential Executive Orders. Veterans or other individuals who believe they have suffered such discrimination in Federal programs operated and funded by the VA should contact:
U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Office of Resolution Management
810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
The U.S. Department of Interior Office of Civil Rights handles all civil rights, equal opportunity programs, and affirmative employment functions in the Department of the Interior (DOI). It develops and enforces civil rights and equal opportunity programs pursuant to existing laws, Executive Orders and regulations and to ensure equal opportunity for all Departmental employees and Federal assisted programs by the Department. No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability be subjected to unlawful discrimination under any program or activity conducted by or which receives Federal financial assistance from the Department of the Interior. Discrimination includes: denial of services, aids, or benefits; provision of different service or in a different manner; and segregation or separate treatment. In addition, sex discrimination is prohibited in Federal assisted educational programs. If you believe that any program or activity receiving Federal aid from DOI has discriminated against you because of your race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, contact:
U.S. Department of the Interior
Director, Office for Civil Rights
1849 C Street, NW, Washington DC 20240
202-208-3100/1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)
The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights (DOCR) enforces civil rights laws and regulations, which prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion and age in employment and the provision of government services. The DOCR office is responsible for ensuring that recipients of funds from the DOT conduct their Federal assisted programs and activities in a non-discriminatory manner and in accordance with United States civil rights laws and labor laws. The DOCR handles discrimination complaints filed against a DOT funding recipient, which include state departments of transportation, motor vehicle departments, and transit and airport authorities, among many others. If you have been discriminated against by any program that receives assistance from the Department of Transportation, contact:
U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Civil Rights
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity (OCREO) has the specific responsibility for managing SSA's affirmative employment program, processing and decision-making on employee discrimination complaints, providing reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, and administering various cultural diversity and minority concerns programs. If you are a member of the public who would like to file a civil rights complaint against SSA, a component of SSA and/or present or former SSA employees, and alleging discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or retaliation in any program or activity, conducted by SSA, contact:
U.S. Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries
Office of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity
1100 West High Rise
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235 1-800-772-1213 /TTY 1-800-325-0778
The CRC has authority to investigate complaints that allege discrimination experienced by anyone whom Congress intended to benefit from any programs or activities that are WIA-related, or are offered by an American Job Center partner through the American Job Center system and/or participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under WIA Title I on the basis of citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, asylee, and parolee, or other immigrant authorized to work in the United States. However, if you are concerned about unfair employment practices relating to the hiring, firing, recruitment, or unfair documentary practices of U.S. citizens and work authorized individuals, you may contact the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel.
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), in the Civil Rights Division, is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, which protect U.S. citizens and certain work authorized individuals from employment discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status. The INA also protects all work authorized individuals from national origin discrimination, unfair documentary practices relating to the employment eligibility verification process, and from retaliation.
The INA prohibits:
- Citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four or more employees. Employers may not treat individuals differently because they are, or are not, U.S. citizens or work authorized individuals. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination;
- National origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, by employers with more than three and fewer than 15 employees. Employers may not treat individuals differently because of their place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they are perceived as looking or sounding "foreign." All U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and work authorized individuals are protected from national origin discrimination;
- Unfair documentary practices related to verifying the employment eligibility of employees. Employers may not request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents, or specify certain documents over others with the purpose or intent of discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin; and
- Retaliation/Intimidation. Individuals who file charges with OSC, who cooperate with an OSC investigation, who contest action that may constitute unfair documentary practices or discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, or national origin, or who assert their rights under the INA's anti-discrimination provision are protected from intimidation, threats, coercion, and retaliation.
Individuals who believe they have suffered discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, should contact:
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
Civil Rights Division
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (NYA)
Washington, DC 20530
Direct Office Line: 202-616-5594;Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688
Teletypewriter (TTY): 202-616-5525 & 1-800-237-2515
More information can be found at: U.S. Departmnet of Justice