Colorado Civil Rights Division By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist

1. Have you or a loved one ever been treated wrongly and felt that the treatment was discriminatory?

2. But did you "let it go" because of barriers like time, money for attorney, or fear of retaliation?

3. Did you know there is a place for YOU to get an impartial investigation without an attorney, and with transparency so persons can see the documents which are uploaded.

4. The  types of settings can be interpreted broadly. It can be for private or government services. (Think hostile work environment- can include family being paid to care for loved ones, Community Centered Boards, Division of Vocational Rehab, School Districts,  , Employment discrimination, Housing discrimination, Public amenities failing to provide accommodations. Examples might include: recreation centers/ public programs /schools /libraries /museum /parks, and reasonable accommodation provisions to participate- example person/nurse attending camp as a support at a public recreation center or public facility).

5. It may covers retaliation (for engaging in a civil rights-protected activity).

6. This is a little known but effective, transparent and time-sensitive process for Coloradans who deserve equal treatment. It can be very effective. 

7. This can cover discriminatory experiences while advocating for one's services/rights, being treated in a hostile and discriminatory manner, and when seeking employment, public accommodations or housing. 

8. You can call the Division, they have Tuesday morning sessions by appointment or drop in for assistance. It is very user friendly. 303-894-2997. They are at 1560 Broadway, Suite 825
Denver, CO 80202.

9. Don't delay, fill out form or call for an appointment!

Yes, the Division does have adjudicatory power.  

• The result of the adjudication process is a legally-binding judgment; the stipulations and demands of the judgment are legally upheld by a local or federal governing body. 

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights

• This division has been in the news lately as a possible "sunset", or closure, due to their involvement in the Masterpiece Cake Case, which was appealed to the Supreme Court. Now is the time to file, and get cases in the pipeline. They are still active and accepting cases, until the legislature figures it out. There is a bill at the Capitol for continuing their funding here.  If the Division is important to you, let your Colorado State Senator and Representative know! Here is link to find their contact info here

• There is a legal requirement that a charge must be filed within a specific period of time (statute of limitations) from the date of notice of the last discriminatory act. After the statute of limitations has passed the Colorado Civil Rights Division does not have jurisdiction.

Colorado timelines

• Employment filing deadline: six (6) months

• Housing filing deadline: one (1) year

• Public Accommodations filing deadline: sixty (60) days

Federal timelines for EEOC are longer, an an option as well here.


How does it work?
(source for below is the 2015-16 CCRD annual report here

1. File complaint online, free. Call if you have questions call the Division at 303-894-2997. They have Tuesday morning walk in or by appointment support as well, call to check in advance. Colorado Civil Rights Division 1560 Broadway, Suite 825 Denver, CO 80202.

2. It is ok to not be completely sure of all details, the Division will help once it is filed. The process is transparent, all persons involved can view uploaded documents for easy response and resolution.

3. After a complaint is filed, an investigation is launched. The investigation involves the collection of documentary evidence, witness interviews, and any other evidence relevant to resolving the charge.

4. Once the investigation is completed, the Division Director issues a decision as to whether sufficient evidence exists to support the allegations of discrimination.

5. If the decision is that no discrimination occurred, a Complainant may appeal the decision to the Commission.

6.  If the Division finds that discrimination occurred, the statute requires that the Division attempt to settle the matter through a mandatory mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, the Commission determines whether to set the case for an adjudicatory administrative hearing.

7. In order to resolve matters at the earliest possible stage in a case, the Division offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation) program early in an investigation, which can identify viable options for the early constructive resolution of cases.


The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in employment, housing and places of public accommodation. (Source https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights ) 

Colorado law prohibits discrimination in the following areas based on these protected classes:

Employment

◦ Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Age, Marriage to a Co-worker, Retaliation

Housing

◦ Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Marital Status, Familial Status (families with children under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman), Retaliation

Public Accommodations

◦ Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Creed, Marital Status, Retaliation


From the State Website: The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in employment, housing and places of public accommodation.

Colorado law prohibits discrimination in the following areas based on these protected classes, complete an Intake Packet if you wish

Enforcement

The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) is charged with enforcing Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-402), housing (Colorado Revised Statutes §24-34-502), and public accommodations (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-602).  We promote awareness of civil rights laws through training and education to groups and individuals across the state.  We work in cooperation with federal and local agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (HUD/FHEO), as well as community-based organizations that promote and protect civil rights.  CCRD maintains formal cooperative agreements with EEOC and HUD/FHEO to avoid duplication of efforts on those cases where joint jurisdiction (state and federal) exits.

Our staff assists aggrieved parties who want to file a formal complaint of discrimination with CCRD by drafting their allegations into a legal charge.  The charge is served on the Respondent and the investigative process is initiated.  The Respondent will be asked to provide a written response to the allegations.  Once the reply is received, a copy of the position statement is provided to the Charging Party, who is given an opportunity to provide a rebuttal statement. 

Colorado CIvil Rights Complaint Link:
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/caseconnect-0 

Info about process in PDF:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2RqMM3zUzjtYWwyclVtTUlHbnc/view

 


The Civil Rights Division has a Commission, which holds public meetings. They do have executive session regularly, due to confidentiality, but much of the meeting is open. 

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a seven-member, bipartisan board whose mission is to:

• Conduct hearings regarding illegal discriminatory practices

• Advise the Governor and General Assembly regarding policies and legislation that address illegal discrimination

• Review appeals of cases investigated and dismissed by CCRD

• Adopt and amend rules and regulations to be followed in enforcement of Colorado's statutes prohibiting discrimination

Here is info about the Commission: 

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights/commission

• The Commission meets to develop policy and hear appeals in discrimination cases.  Unless otherwise announced, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission holds meetings on the fourth Friday of the month at 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202, beginning at 10 a.m.  

• Dates on website for 2018 meetings are March 23, April 27, May 25 and June 22.