Title VI Civil Rights Act Complaint Process

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring which includes ensuring that City of Seattle departments, contractors and sub-recipients regardless of their tier must abide by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

Step 1: Contact Us. If you believe the City of Seattle has discriminated against you on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age in employment, public places, and contracting, you may file a complaint with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. Complaints must be received within 180 days of the alleged incident. Title VI complaints can be filed online at: www.seattle.gov/civilrights/file-complaint or by phone: (206) 684-4500 or TTY: 7-1-1.

Step 2: Let's Talk. We will schedule some time to discuss your situation to decide whether there is sufficient information for a Title VI complaint.

Step 3: Complaint. If there is sufficient information to open an investigation, SOCR will draft a complaint for you to sign. The City of Seattle department will be notified of this complaint.

Step 4: Early Resolution. You and the City of Seattle department will have an opportunity to participate in early resolution to address the complaint. Early resolution requires voluntary consent by all parties.

Step 5: Investigation. If early resolution is unsuccessful, the case will be assigned to an investigator to gather information, conduct interviews, and apply a legal analysis to the facts within 100 days from the date the complaint is filed.

Step 6: Determination.  As a neutral fact-finding agency, SOCR will decide whether there is enough evidence to support a 'reasonable cause' finding that a Title VI violation occurred.

Appeal Process. If you believe the investigation is inadequate or our 'no reasonable cause' finding is not supported by a majority of the evidence, you may submit an appeal to the Seattle Human Rights Commission within 30 days from the date of SOCR's finding.

File a Federal Complaint. You may file a Title VI complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Transportation by contacting the Department at: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration's Office of Civil Rights: Complaint Team, East Building, 5th Floor - TCR, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590 or call (888) 446-4511.

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The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) works to advance civil rights and end barriers to equity. We enforce laws against illegal discrimination in employment, housing, public places, and contracting within Seattle.