Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Title VI complaint process, and how do I determine whether my complaint has been addressed by the responsible agency?
The Title VI complaint process and the number of staff available to address incoming complaints, varies from agency to agency. The complaint process for each agency is generally described in the agency’s Title VI regulations. However, the Coordination of Enforcement of Non-discrimination in Federally Assisted Programs regulations (Coordination Regulations) 28 C.F.R. Part 42 Subpart F, require each agency to investigate complaints having apparent merit and to have good cause where an agency determines an investigation is not warranted. The Coordination Regulations also require, at a minimum, that each agency establish and publish in their agency guidelines procedures for the prompt processing and disposition of complaints, including but not limited to: 1) notification in writing to the complainant and the applicant or recipient of federal financial assistance of the disposition of the complaint; 2) statement in the notification of disposition noting good cause where the agency determines it will not investigate the complaint; 3) referral to another federal agency where the agency that received the complaint lacks jurisdiction over a complaint or notification to the complainant of the lack of jurisdiction; and 4) maintenance of a detailed log of Title VI complaints filed with the agency or its recipients. In all cases, an agency should promptly respond to a complainant following receipt of the complaint. A complainant can contact the office handling the complaint directly to learn about the status of the investigation and provide supplemental information.
Is there a central location to send Title VI complaints when it is unclear which agency has authority over an allegedly non-compliant recipient?
Generally, a complaint should be filed with the federal agency that funds the offending recipient. At times, the federal funding agency will be obvious (e.g., Department of Health and Human Services funds hospitals; Department of Justice funds police departments). Other times, it can be difficult to determine the source of federal funding, if it exists at all. To that end, the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section of the Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, helps Title VI complainants route their complaints to the appropriate funding agencies. Complaints or inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section – NWB, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530.