These procedures cover all external complaints regarding MORPC programs and activities filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or 49 CFR 21, “Nondiscrimination in the Federally-Assisted Programs of the Department of Transportation.” Title VI says that “no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
These procedures, required per 23 CFR 200.9 (b)(3), also cover external complaints regarding MORPC programs or activities filed under other related non-discrimination laws that additionally prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, sex, age or low income. This includes, but is not limited to, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 23 USC 324, 42 USC 610, and the DOT Order on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898. These procedures are for any external discrimination complaints relating to any program or activity administered by MORPC.
49 CFR 21 outlines types of prohibited discriminatory actions per that law. It follows, in part:
(1) A recipient under any program to which this part applies may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.
(i) Deny a person any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program;
(ii) Provide any service, financial aid, or other benefit to a person which is different, or is provided in a different manner, from that provided to others under the program;
(iii) Subject a person to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program;
(iv) Restrict a person in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program;
(v) Treat a person differently from others in determining whether he satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota, eligibility, membership, or other requirement or condition which persons must meet in order to be provided any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program;
(vi) Deny a person an opportunity to participate in the program through the provision of services or otherwise or afford him an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under the program; or
(vii) Deny a person the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning, advisory, or similar body which is an integral part of the program.
The law prohibits intimidation or retaliation of any kind. The procedures do not deny the right of the complainant to file formal complaints with other federal, state or local agencies, or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination. Every effort will be made to obtain early resolution of complaints at the lowest level possible.
- Any individual, group of individuals, or entity that believes they have been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI nondiscrimination provisions may file a written complaint with the MORPC Director of Human Resources. A formal complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged occurrence.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, the MORPC Director of Operations will determine its jurisdiction, acceptability, and need for additional information. MORPC also will acknowledge receipt of the complaint by notifying the complainant in writing within 10 days.
- The MORPC Director of Operations will assign or designate a staff person from whose area is affected by the complaint to investigate the merit of the complaint.
- The complaint will receive a case number and will be logged in the MORPC records identifying its basis and the race, color, national origin, and gender of the complainant. The assigned staff will start the investigation.
- Within 50 calendar days of receipt of the complaint, MORPC's investigator will prepare an investigative report for the Executive Director's review. The report shall include a narrative description of the incident, identification of persons interviewed, findings, and recommendations for disposition. MORPC also will include signed affidavits from all parties – complainant, accused, and witnesses, as applicable. Any reports or documents gathered during the investigation also will be included.
- The investigative report and its findings may be sent to MORPC's legal counsel for review. If it is, the counsel will review the report and associated documentation and will provide input within 10 calendar days.
- MORPC's investigator will review any comments or recommendations from MORPC's legal counsel. The investigator will discuss the report and recommendations with the Executive Director. The report will be modified as needed and made final for its release.
- Once MORPC's investigative report becomes final, the parties will be properly notified of the outcome and appeal rights.
- MORPC's investigative report and a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate oversight agency (for example, the Ohio Department of Transportation), if applicable, within 70 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, s/he shall be advised of their right to appeal. The first appeal is to the Discrimination Complaint Appeal Board of the MORPC Administrative Committee. The chair of the Administrative Committee, or their designee, serves as chair of the Appeal Board, along with two other Administrative Committee members selected by the chair. The Appeal Board is the final review process within MORPC. If the complainant remains unsatisfied, MORPC's determination can be appealed to federal or state entities, as applicable, or to the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ). Appeals to the MORPC Appeal Board must be filed within 30 days of notification (per step 8) of a decision on the complaint. The MORPC Appeal Board will make a decision on the complaint and notify the complainant of such within 60 days. Appeals outside MORPC must be filed within 180 days after MORPC's final resolution. Absent new facts, MORPC will not reconsider its determination.
- If it is determined, following the initial investigation or following any appeals that MORPC acted in a discriminatory manner MORPC will take whatever action is needed, per the recommendations in the investigative report, to remedy the discriminatory practice.
For more information regarding the MORPC complaint process or for filing complaints, please contact the MORPC Director of Operations, Shawn Hufstedler, at 614-233-4136.
Completed complaint forms can be mailed or faxed to:
111 Liberty Street, Suite 100
Columbus, Ohio 43215
The completed and signed form also can be scanned and emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please call 614-233-4136 following the submittal of a complaint form to make sure that the completed form has been received. Thank you.