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Office of Equity and Human Rights

Realizing Equity. Enhancing the City of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-4433

Fax: 503-823-4420

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

File a Civil Rights Title VI Complaint

Any person who believes she or he has been the object of unequal treatment or discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin may file a complaint with the City ofPortland’s Title VI Program Manager.

This process applies to all complaints filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arising from any program, service of or activity of the City of Portland or its subrecipients.

This is an administrative process that does not provide for compensatory or punitive damages.

The City’s process is not exclusive.  A person filing a complaint with the City may also file a complaint with other state or federal agencies or the courts.  Other agencies will have time limits for filing complaints.  Generally, federal agencies require Title VI complaints to be filed within 180 days of the date of the discrimination.

The Title VI complaint process does not cover complaints based on protections afforded under other civil rights statutes, such as sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or source of income.  If a complaint is filed alleging such discrimination, the complainant will be notified that it cannot be processed as a Title VI complaint.  However, the City will review complaints of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or source of income to determine if they can be informally resolved.

Complaints of discrimination based on disability will be handled under the City’s ADA Title II complaint process which is substantially similar to this Title VI complaint process.

To be accepted, a Title VI complaint must:

  • a) involve discrimination on the basis of race, color or  national origin;
  • b) allege that the discrimination was committed by the City of Portland, a City of Portland employee or a subrecipient of the City of Portland; and
  • c) be filed within 60 days of the alleged discrimination

Filing a Title VI Complaint:

Complaints should be filed with Title VI Program Manager, in the Office of Management and Finance.

Complaints must be in writing and signed by the complainant.  If the complainant needs assistance in reducing the complaint to writing or signing it, he or she may request assistance from the Title VI Program Manager or may have another person write and acknowledge the complaint on his or her behalf.

Complaints should include:

  • a) the name, address and phone number of the person who experienced the discriminatory action;
  • b) the date of the alleged act of discrimination or the date when the complainant(s) became aware of the alleged discrimination;  and
  • c) a brief but specific description of the discriminatory practice or action and any relevant facts.

The complaint should include names and contact information of any witnesses, including city employees or contractors. 

Allegations may be faxed or e-mailed and will be acknowledged and processed once the identity of the complainant and the intent to proceed with the complaint have been established.

The complaint form must be signed or acknowledged, and returned to the Program Manager for processing. 

The original copy may be sent, faxed or emailed  to:

Title VI Program Manager

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1204

Portland,Oregon97204

Fax 503-823-6924

title6complaints@portlandoregon.gov

Allegations received by telephone or TDD will be reduced to writing on a complaint form and provided to complainant for confirmation or revision before processing.

Complete a complaint form using this accessible PDF

Processing A Title VI Complaint:

Upon receipt of the complaint, the Title VI Program Manager will determine:

  • a)      If  the complaint is complete;
  • b)      If additional information is needed;
  • c)      If the City has jurisdiction; and
  • d)      If the complaint is timely.

The Program Manager will notify the complainant in writing within 5 working  days either that the complaint is accepted or the complaint is not accepted.   If the complaint is not accepted, the Program Manager will state why.  If the complaint is not accepted because additional information is needed, the complainant will be notified what information is needed.

If the Complaint is accepted, the City will investigate the merits of the complaint and will attempt to resolve it at the lowest level possible.

Complaints submitted directly to City bureaus will be forwarded to the Title VI Program Manager for intake.

In cases where the complaint is against one of the City of Portland’s subrecipients, the City will assume jurisdiction and will investigate the complaint.

In some instances the City will have a legal obligation to notify a state or federal agency of a Title VI complaint, and in such instances that agency may investigate the complaint.

Dismissal of Complaints:

The City of Portland may dismiss a complaint for any of the following reasons:

  • The complainant withdraws the complaint.
  • The complainant fails to respond to repeated requests for additional information needed to process the complaint.
  • The complaint is untimely.
  • The complainant cannot be located.
  • The complaint is determined to be legally insufficient. 

 Investigating and Tracking  Title VI Complaints:

The Program Manager will notify the complainant in writing within 5 working days of the decision to accept or reject the complaint.   Notification will include a case number.

In cases in which the complaint is against the City, the Title VI Program Manager will work with the involved Bureau and the complainant to attempt to resolve the complaint.  The option of informal mediation meetings may be used at any stage.  

If the parties are unable to resolve the complaint, the Title VI Program Manager will  investigate the complaint.  The Complainant will be provided a written decision on the complaint within 60 working days of the acceptance of the complaint for investigation. 

Appealing the Program Manager’s Written Decision:

The Title VI Program Manager will only re-consider a complaint if new facts come to light.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the written decision of the Program Manager, the complainant has 14 working days from the date of the decision to provide the Program Manager with written notice of intent to appeal. 

The appeal shall be to the Director of the involved City Bureau.

The involved Bureau Director shall issue a decision on the appeal within 30 working days of the notice of intent to appeal, which shall be the final decision of the City.

Access for persons with limited English Proficiency. 

If you need assistance in a language other than English, please contact the bureau responsible for the program you are interested in and ask for translation. ( insert link of people)  If you need further, assistance you may ask your question in your native language by sending your request to  title6complaints@portlandoregon.gov

If you would like to receive documents in another language please contact the bureau producing the information. If you need help you can make the request by email at title6complaints@portlandoregon.gov.  Please allow 5 working days to receive the translation, unless you are told that it will take longer.  Some translations will take more time due to the complexity of the material and the availability of qualified translators.