U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|IMPACTS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS RESTORATION
ACT OF 1987 ON FHWA PROGRAMS|
||September 2, 1992
- PURPOSE. To provide guidance to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
field officials, State highway agencies (SHAs), their subrecipients, and contractors
regarding the nondiscrimination requirements of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987.
- The Supreme Courts's decision in the case of Grove City College
v. Bell, 465 U.S. 555 (1984), limited the reach of Federal agency nondiscrimination
requirements to those parts of a recipient's operation which directly benefitted
from Federal assistance. The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 clarified
the intent of Congress to include all programs and activities of Federal-aid
recipients, subrecipients and contractors. This statute clarified the intent
of Congress as it relates to the scope of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 and related nondiscrimination statutes.
- Nondiscrimination programs require that Federal-aid recipients, subrecipients,
and contractors prevent discrimination and ensure nondiscrimination in all
of their programs and activities, whether those programs and activities are
federally funded or not. The factors prohibited from serving as a basis for
action or inaction which discriminates include race, color, national origin,
sex, age, and handicap/disability. The efforts to prevent discrimination must
address, but not be limited to a program's impacts, access, benefits, participation,
treatment, services, contracting opportunities, training opportunities, investigations
of complaints, allocations of funds, prioritization of projects, and the functions
of right-of-way, research, planning, and design.
- Authorities For nondiscrimination include but are notlimited to: Title
VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, heAge Discrimination Acts of 1967 and
1975, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Acts of 1973, the American withDisabilities
Act of 1990, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Title 23, United
States Code, Section 324.
- The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 amended each of the affected
statutes by adding a section defining the word "program" to make
clear that discrimination is prohibited throughout an entire agency if any
part of the agency receives Federal financial assistance.
- If a unit of a State or local government is extended Federal aid and
distributes such aid to another governmental entity, all of the operations
of the entity which distribute the funds and all of the operations of the
department or agency to which the funds are distributed are covered.
- Corporations, partnerships, or other private organizations or sole proprietorships
are covered in their entirety if such an entity receives Federal financial
assistance which is extended to it as a whole or if it is principally engaged
in certain types of activities.
- ACTION REQUIRED
- FHWA field officials:
(1) Inform the States of the existence of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987.
(2) Provided guidance and technical assistance to SHAs upon request.
(3) Inform States of the need to incorporate language in the
next scheduled update of their Nondiscrimination ("Title VI")
Plans indicating that they are aware of the scope of the nondiscrimination
provisions and that they have incorporated a process to inform persons involved
in or affected by all of their programs and activities of their rights
under Title VI and related nondiscrimination statutes.
(4) Provide and/or coordinate training addressing nondiscrimination program requirements.
(5) Provide guidance on how nondiscrimination complaints will be handled.
(6) If a complaint of discrimination is received from a person
who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination under any
program or activity of a recipient, subrecipient, or contractors whether
Federal-aid funds are involved in a particular program or activity or not,
immediately transmit the complaint to the Director, Departmental Office
of Civil Rights, and send a copy of the complaint to HCR-20.
- State transportation agencies:
(1) Incorporate appropriate language in updates of Nondiscrimination
("Title VI") Plans to ensure that persons affected by or involved
in all of a State's programs and activities are aware of their rights
to not be subjected to discrimination based on race, color, sex, national
origin, age, or handicap/disability.
(2) Ensure that persons who believe they have been subjected
to discrimination are made aware of the avenues of redress available to
them and that they are provided advice on the process.
(3) Monitor activities and investigate complaints filed against
Federal-aid subrecipients and contractors. The SHAs are also responsible
for preventing discrimination in all of their own programs and activities
and attempting to informally resolve complaints filed against them throughout
the complaint process.
(4) Where a complainant lodges a complaint against the SHA, the
FHWA will conduct or contract for the investigation or, if a class action complaint, a review.
(5) In instances where the complaint is against a contractor,
subcontractor, or subrecipient, the FHWA can defer to the appropriate SHA
to schedule and conduct an investigation, although, initially, involvement
by FHWA may be appropriate to ensure the adequacy of the investigation.
T. D. Larson
Federal Highway Administrator
Page last modified on March 4, 2015