Public Civil Rights

No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age or disability be subjected to unlawful discrimination under any program or activity conducted by or which receives Federal financial assistance from the Department of the Interior. Discrimination includes: denial of services, aids, or benefits; provision of different service or in a different manner; and segregation or separate treatment. In addition, sex discrimination is prohibited in Federally assisted educational programs.

DOI Jurisdiction

Any person who believes that he/she has been discriminated on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance from this Department may file a complaint with Interior's Departmental Office of Civil Rights. Send your complaint to DOI if the event occurred in any of these areas:

  • Disability rights: All aspects of DOI operations plus any program or activity receiving federal assistance from DOI, and certain areas of State or local government not receiving Federal assistance: programs, services, and regulatory activities relating to public lands and natural resources, including (1) parks and recreation, (2) water and waste management, (3) environmental protection, (4) energy, (5) historic and cultural preservation, and (6) museums.
  • Race, color, national origin: Any program or activity receiving federal assistance from DOI.
  • National Origin: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin against persons of any religion, such as individuals who are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Buddhist, when the discrimination, for example, involves: racial, ethnic, or ancestral slurs or stereotypes; how a member of the public appears, including skin color, physical features, or style of dress that reflects both ethnic and religious traditions; and foreign accent; a foreign name, including names commonly associated with particular shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics; or speaking a foreign language.

How to File A Public Civil Rights Complaint

Within 180 days of the date of the alleged discrimination, a signed, written complaint should be filed with the Director, Office of Civil Rights, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC, 20240.

The complaint should include your name, address, zip code, and telephone number; the name and address of the alleged discriminatory official(s) and/or public entity; the nature of the complaint, the basis of the complaint (race, color, national origin including but not  limited to persons who may be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Buddhist, gender, age, sex and/or disability) and the date the alleged discrimination occurred. If the alleged discrimination occurred outside DOI jurisdiction, we will forward your complaint to State or Federal agency that has jurisdiction. You can read more about the PCR complaint process in Civil Rights Directive 2011-01 Complaint Procedures.

 Further Information

Sloan Farrell ( Division Director of the Public Civil Rights Division, can provide direct assistance and referrals.

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