Investigating External Complaints of Discrimination
The FHWA has jurisdiction to investigate complaints of discrimination filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) and nondiscrimination statutes (i.e., the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).
The FHWA and State Transportation Agency (STA) investigators gather relevant evidence in order to make an accurate finding of compliance or non-compliance with the law. At the completion of the investigation, the investigator prepares an Investigative Report and file which includes all the relevant facts and documents obtained during the investigation. The Investigative Report also includes a finding for each issue and recommendations for corrective action, if appropriate. The investigative file is forwarded to the FHWA Headquarters Office of Civil Rights for review and issuance of a Final Agency Decision.
All Final Agency Decisions and dismissals are issued by the FHWA Headquarters Office of Civil Rights, including all ADA/Section 504 decisions that are processed by the FHWA. Decisions issued by the FHWA are final.
- Complaints filed under Title VI and nondiscrimination statues against STA are investigated by the FHWA Headquarters Office of Civil Rights.
- Complaints filed under Title VI and nondiscrimination statues against STA's sub-recipient or contractor are investigated by the STA.
- Complaints filed under the ADA/Section 504 are investigated by the FHWA Division Offices and STAs.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT OF DISCRIMINATION
Any person, or any specific class of persons, either by themselves or by a representative, that believe they have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation prohibited under the statutes within the FHWA's jurisdiction may file a complaint with the FHWA Headquarters Office of Civil Rights at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE. (HCR-40), Washington, DC 20590.
Complaints should be filed within 180-calendar days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Complaints should be in writing and provide an explanation of what happened, the complainant's contact information, basis of the complaint, identification of the respondent, sufficient information regarding the allegation(s), date(s) of the alleged act(s), and be signed by the complainant or the complainant's representative.
Persons have the option of using the FHWA's External Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF 10.3 KB) to file a complaint. In addition, persons should review, sign, and date the Complainant Consent/Release Form and Notice About Investigatory Uses of Personal Information (PDF 14.8 KB). The Complainant Consent/Release Form should be submitted with the complaint.
Complaints may be filed in person, via mail, fax, e-mail (which includes a copy of the signed/dated complaint as an attachment), or by other alternatives for any person requiring a reasonable accommodation.
Contacts/phone numbers/email addresses
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (http://www.access-board.gov/about/laws/ada.htm)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/coord/titlevistat.htm)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended https://www.civilrights.dot.gov/page/rehabilitation-act-1973
The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (http://www.dol.gov/oasam/regs/statutes/Age_act.htm)
The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1973, as amended (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/byagency/dot324.htm)
The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ejustice/facts/restoration_act.htm)
Executive Order 12250 – "Leadership and Coordination of Nondiscrimination Laws" (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/ byagency/eo12250.htm)
Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 35 – "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services" (http://www.ada.gov/reg2.html)
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21 – "Nondiscrimination in Federally-Assisted Programs of the DOT – Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964" (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_07/49cfr21_07.html)
– Refer to 49 CFR 21.11 (Conduct of investigations)
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 27 – "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance"
– Refer to 49 CFR 27.123 (Conduct of investigations)
Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200 – "Title VI Program and Related Statues – Implementation and Review Procedures" (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/23cfr200_02.html)
– Refer to 23 CFR 200.9(b)(3) (State Highway Agencies responsibilities)
DOT Order 1000.12 – "Implementation of the DOT Title VI Program"
– Provides guidance and procedural instructions for all modal administrations on processing Title VI complaints
U.S. DOJ's Title VI Legal Manual (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/Pubs/manuals/legalman.html)
U.S. DOJ's Investigation Procedures Manual for Investigation and Resolution of Complaints Alleging Violations of Title VI and Other Nondiscrimination Statutes (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/Pubs/manuals/complain.html)
ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/taman3.html)
ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG) (http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm)
U.S. Department of Justice (http://www.usdoj.gov)
U.S. Access Board (http://www.access-board.gov/)