Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Subsequent laws and Presidential Executive Orders added handicap, sex, age, income status and limited English proficiency to the criteria for which discrimination is prohibited, in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. As a sub-recipient of federal assistance, the CVMPO has adopted a Discrimination Complaint Procedure as part of its Title VI Plan to comply with Title VI and associated statutes.
1. Any person who believes that he or she, individually, as a member of any specific class, or in connection with any disadvantaged business enterprise, has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, or any nondiscrimination authority, may file a complaint with the CVMPO. A complaint may also be filed by a representative on behalf of such a person. All complaints will be referred to the CVMPO Title VI Coordinator for review and action.
2. In order to have the complaint considered under this procedure, the complainant must file the complaint no later than 180 days after:
a. The date of the alleged act of discrimination; or
b. Where there has been a continuing course of conduct, the date on which that conducts was discontinued.
The recipient or his/her designee may extend the time for filing or waive the time limit in the interest of justice, specifying in writing the reason for so doing.
3. Complaints shall be in writing and shall be signed by the complainant and/or the complainant’s representative. Complaints should set forth as fully as possible the facts and circumstances surrounding the claimed discrimination. In the event that a person makes a verbal complaint of discrimination to an officer or employee of the recipient, the person shall be interviewed by the Title VI Coordinator. If necessary, the Title VI Coordinator will assist the person in putting the complaint in writing and submit the written version of the complaint to the person for signature. The complaint shall then be handled in the usual manner.
4. Within 10 days, the CVMPO Title VI Coordinator will acknowledge receipt of the allegation in writing, inform the complainant of action taken or proposed action to process the allegation, advise the respondent of their rights under Title VI and related statutes, and advise the complainant of other avenues of redress available, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
5. Within 10 days, a letter will be sent to the VDOT Central Office, Civil Rights Division, and a copy to the FHWA Virginia Division Office. This letter will list the names of the parties involved, the basis of the complaint, and the assigned investigator.
6. In the case of a complaint against the CVMPO, a VDOT investigator will prepare a final investigative report and send it to the complainant, respondent (CVMPO person listed), the CVMPO Title VI Coordinator, and FHWA Virginia Division.
7. Generally, the following information will be included in every
notification to the VDOT Office of Civil Rights:
a. Name, address, and phone number of the complainant.
b. Name(s) and address(es) of alleged discriminating official(s).
c. Basis of complaint (i.e., race, color, national origin, sex, age, handicap/disability, income status, limited English proficiency).
d. Date of alleged discriminatory act(s).
e. Date of complaint received by the recipient.
f. A statement of the complaint.
g. Other agencies (state, local or federal) where the complaint has been filed.
h. An explanation of the actions the recipient has taken or proposed to resolve the issue raised in the complaint.
8. Within 60 days, the CVMPO Title VI Coordinator will conduct and complete an investigation of the allegation and based on the information obtained, will render a recommendation for action in a report of findings to the Executive Director of the recipient of federal assistance. The complaint should be resolved by informal means whenever possible. Such informal attempts and their results will be summarized in the report of findings.
9. Within 90 days of receipt of the complaint, the CVMPO Title VI Coordinator will notify the complainant in writing of the final decision reached, including the proposed disposition of the matter. The notification will advise the complainant of his/her appeal rights with the Virginia Department of Transportation or the Federal Highway Administration, if they are dissatisfied with the final decision rendered by the CVMPO. The CVMPO’s Title VI Coordinator will also provide the VDOT Civil Rights Central Office with a copy of the determination and report findings.
10. In the case a nondiscrimination complaint that was originated at the CVMPO is turned over to and investigated by VDOT, FHWA or another agency, the CVMPO Title VI Coordinator will monitor the investigation and notify the complainant of updates, in accordance with applicable regulations and VDOT policies and procedures.
11. In accordance with federal law, the CVMPO will require that applicants of federal assistance notify the CVMPO of any law suits filed against the applicant or sub-recipients of federal assistance or alleging discrimination; and a statement as to whether the applicant has been found in noncompliance with any relevant civil rights requirements.
12. The CVMPO will submit Title VI accomplishment reports to the VDOT Central Office, Civil Rights Division, in compliance with VDOT’s established processes.
13. The CVMPO will collect demographic data on staff, committees, and program areas in accordance with 23 CFR, 49 CFR and VDOT’s established procedures and guidelines.
14. Pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) § 42.1-76 et seq., the CVMPO will retain Discrimination Complaint Forms and a log of all complaints filed with
or investigated by the CVMPO.
15. Records of complaints and related data will be made available by request in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.