You have selected the Office for Civil Rights' discrimination complaint form. This page provides specific and detailed information that will assist you in filing a complaint. Please read all of the information below before continuing on to the complaint form. Additional information is available at How the Office for Civil Rights Handles Complaints and Questions and Answers on OCR's Complaint Process.
OCR's authority to resolve complaints extends to allegations of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in public and private programs that receive Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education. These include most schools and colleges and some other entities such as vocational rehabilitation agencies and libraries. OCR also has authority to resolve complaints of disability discrimination by public education entities, and complaints filed under the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act. If you believe you have been discriminated against on any of these bases by a covered entity, you may file a complaint using this form.
If you choose to continue, you will be asked to provide your name, address, and email address; the name and address of the person discriminated against; and the name and address of the entity you believe discriminated.
You also will be asked which of the kinds of discrimination forms the basis for your complaint. You will need to provide a description of the conduct that you believe is discriminatory.
By law, complaints of discrimination must ordinarily be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. If your complaint involves matters that occurred longer ago than this and you are requesting a waiver, you will be asked why you did not file your complaint within the 180-day period.
You will be asked whether you have tried to resolve the matter using a grievance procedure or by filing with another agency.
In addition to the complaint, a signed Consent Form may be required. When disclosure of the identity of the complainant is necessary in order to resolve the complaint, OCR will require written consent before proceeding. The complainant will be informed that the complaint will be closed if written consent is necessary in order to resolve the complaint and is not received within 20 calendar days of the date of the acknowledgement letter or the date the Consent Form is requested from the complainant. The signed Consent Form may be submitted to OCR by mail, fax, electronic mail or in person.
When OCR has determined that consent is necessary in order to resolve the complaint and OCR has not received a signed Consent Form by the 15th calendar days of the date of the acknowledgment letter or the date the Consent Form is requested from the complainant, OCR will contact the complainant (e.g., by phone) to inform the complainant that the complaint will be closed if the signed Consent Form is not received within 5 calendar days. If OCR does not receive signed written Consent Form, the complaint will be dismissed, and the complainant informed in writing.
A complainant filing on behalf of or pertaining to another person(s) is responsible for securing any necessary written consent from that individual, including when a parent files for a student over the age of 18. Where the person is a minor (under the age of 18) or a legally incompetent adult, the Consent Form must be signed by that person’s parent or legal guardian. Parental or legal guardian consent may not be required for persons under the age of 18 if they are emancipated under state law and are therefore considered to have obtained majority. Proof of emancipation or incompetence must be provided.
Once you submit the completed electronic complaint form, it will be routed to the OCR office with authority to handle complaints in the state where the institution or entity you are complaining about is located. A staff person will contact you once your electronic complaint has been received and reviewed.
If you select the fillable PDF complaint form, the same three additional documents are included in the PDF packet. You should familiarize yourself with the important information included in them. Once you complete the PDF application form, you should print out the entire packet, sign the consent form, and mail the complaint form and consent form to the Enforcement Office with authority for the state where the institution or entity you are complaining about is located. A staff person will contact you once your PDF complaint has been received and reviewed.
You may now continue to either the electronic complaint form or the fillable PDF complaint form, or you may abandon the form and return to the OCR Complaint Process page.