Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits federal agencies and sub-recipients of federal funds from discriminating, on the basis of race, color or national origin, against participants or clients of programs that receive federal funding. Succeeding laws and Presidential Executive Orders added sex, age, income status and disability to the criteria for which discrimination is prohibited. As a sub-recipient of federal assistance, the GWRC and FAMPO has adopted a Discrimination Complaint Procedure as a part of its Nondiscrimination Plan to comply with Title VI and associated statutes.
1. Any individual, group of individuals, 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 GWRC or FAMPO. All complaints will be referred to the GWRC Title VI Coordinator for review and action. A formal complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged occurrence or when the alleged discrimination became known to the complainant. The complaint must meet the following requirements:
a. The complaint shall be in writing and signed by the complainant(s).
b. The date of the alleged act of discrimination (date when the complainant(s) became aware of the alleged discrimination; or the date in which the conduct was discontinued or the latest instance.
c. Submit a detailed description of the issues including names and job titles of the individuals perceived as parties in the incident.
d. Allegations received by fax or email will be acknowledged and processed, once the identity(ies) of the complainants(s) and the intent to proceed with the complaint have been established. In order to process the complaint, the complainant is required to mail a signed, original copy of the fax or email transmittal to the GWRC.
e. In the event that a person makes a verbal complaint (received by telephone or in person) 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.
2. In order for the complaint to be accepted, the complaint must meet the following criteria:
a. The complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged occurrence or when the alleged discrimination becomes known to the complainant.
b. The allegation(s) must involve a covered basis such as race, color, natural origin, gender, disability, or retaliation.
c. The allegation(s) must involve a program or activity of a federal-aid recipient, sub-recipient, or contractor, or, in the cases of ADA allegations, an entity open to the public.
3. Within 10 days, the GWRC Title VI Coordinator will in 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).
4. 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.
5. In the case of a complaint against the GWRC, a VDOT investigator will prepare a final investigative report and send it to the complainant, respondent (GWRC person listed), the GWRC Title VI Coordinator, and FHWA Virginia Division.
6. 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 officials(s).
c. Basis of complaint (i.e., race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, income status, limited English proficiency).
d. Date of alleged discriminatory act(s).
e. Date of complaint received by the recipient.
f. A state of the complaint.
g. Other agencies (federal, state or local) where the complaint has been filed.
h. An explanation of the actions of the recipient has taken or proposed to resolve the issue raised in the complaint.
7. Within 60 days, the GWRC 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.
8. Within 90 days of receipt of the complaint, the GWRC 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 GWRC. The GWRC’s Title VI Coordinator will also provide the VDOT Civil Rights Central Office with a copy of the determination and report findings.
9. In the case a nondiscrimination complaint that was originated at the GWRC is turned over to and investigated by VDOT, FHWA or another agency, the GWRC Title VI Coordinator will monitor the investigation and notify the complainant of updates, in accordance with applicable regulations and VDOT policies and procedures.
10. In accordance with federal law, the GWRC will require that applicants of federal assistance notify the GWRC 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.
11. The GWRC will submit Title VI accomplishment reports to the VDOT Central Office, Civil Rights Division, in compliance with VDOT’s established processes.
12. The GWRC will collect demographic data on staff, committees, and program areas in accordance with 23 CFR, 49 CFR and VDOT’s established procedures and guidelines.
13. Pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) § 42.1‐76 et seq., the GWRC will retain Discrimination Complaint Forms and a log of all complaints filed with or investigated by the GWRC.
14. Records of complaints and related data will be made available by request in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
Title VI Discrimination Complaint Form
In order to process your complaint, the form muse be completed in its entirety. Assistance is available upon request. Please complete the form, and mail or deliver to:
George Washington Regional Commission
Attn: Title VI Coordinator
406 Princess Anne St.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401