By Maureen Welch, Volunteer Activist
What is the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD)?
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).
How Does a Person file a Charge of Discrimination (a compliant)?
- The Civil Rights Division investigates claims involving discrimination based on a protected class in three categories: employment, housing and places of public accommodation.
- It is a State Funded Division, and a neutral party.
- CCRD encourages use of no-cost Voluntary Mediation with their staff, for initial attempt at Dispute Resolution. This gets parties to the table within 60 days. Details at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/civil-rights/mediation
- The mediation is a free 4 hour half day session, within 60 days of the Charge filing date. This can often result in resolution, if not, after 7 days post mediation, the case moves into investigation with CCRD.
- Voluntary 4 hour initial mediation may result in a monetary or non-monetary resolution that can benefit and reduce costs for all parties.
- Online filing, no attorney needed. It is easy for lay people to access online. After filing online, an intake person calls to write up the official Charge of Discrimination. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/caseconnect-0.
- All cases are reviewed by intake staff for consideration of Charge of Discrimination.
- If you have in past sought help without success, you might be surprised at how the Division take all complaints quite seriously, efficiently with timelines.
- If you are an individual with a disability and require an accommodation in order to access CCRD's services, please call 303-894-2997 (local), 800-262-4845 (voice), 711 TTD - Relay, Hotline Español: 720-432-4294, send an email to dora_CCRD@state.co.us, or request an accommodation in person at CCRD's office.
- Filing a Charge of Discrimination in person at CCRD: When: Tuesdays (that are not State holidays), between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (no appointment necessary - first come, first served basis ). Location: Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), 1560 Broadway, Lobby Level Welcome Center, Denver, Colorado.
- If you have a disability and need an accommodation while visiting the office, please contact our office in advance so they can make appropriate arrangements for you.
- If you require the assistance of a language interpreter for a language other than Spanish, please contact the office in advance, so an appropriate arrangement can be made.
- Your may complete your Complaint Intake Packet by using CaseConnect online, prior to filing of a Charge of Discrimination in person.
- Department of Regulatory Agencies
1560 Broadway, Suite 110
Denver, CO 80202.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST
Tel: 303-894-7855 or 1-800-886-7675 - Toll Free
- There are three areas covered: Housing, Employment and Accommodations.
- The Colorado Civil Rights Division does not have jurisdiction over claims involving:
- federal employees filing against a federal employer
- police and sheriff misconduct
- judicial or court matters
- prisoners' rights
- characteristics such as personal appearance, political affiliation, lack of education and training, short-term disabilities, and personality conflicts
- labor relations issues, including wage and hour matters not based on a protected class, and workers' compensation
What do I need to file a Charge of Discrimination?
It is helpful to have
- a charge of discrimination in one of three covered areas: Employment, Housing or Public Accomodations
- a summary of the discrimination, timeline helpful.
- a list of individuals involved, full names, titles and contact information.
- the charge can be made for an Organization, Company, or related group (Board of Directors, Community Centered Board, School District, State, County or local Agencies, and almost every system). Within that charge of discrimination you can list the individuals involved. Managers are responsible for actions of their staff.
- an understanding that this process is transparent, meaning documents are all uploaded and available to complainant and respondent.
- witnesses in a charge of discrimination are also protected. If they experience discrimination as retribution for being listed, that can be used in the charge.
Intake Specialists will assist with the charge:
- The clearer your summary and timeline, the easier for the intake specialist.
- Be aware of timelines for types of charges, and remember last contact can be related to an earlier incident.
- The Division will take your case seriously and assist with understanding the process. It is very user friendly and can result in resolution quickly.
Critical Details from CCRD Website here:
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:
- Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Religion, Creed, Age, Marriage to a Co-worker, Retaliation
- Legally, a charge of discrimination in Employment must be filed within six months of an adverse action in employment discrimination claims.
- 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
- For Housing claims, there is one year timeframe to file from the last date of discriminatory harm to file a complaint with CCRD.
- Public Accommodations
- Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including Transgender Status), National Origin/ Ancestry, Creed, Marital Status, Retaliation
- Legally, a charge of discrimination must be filed within sixty days of an adverse action in public accommodations claims.
What Authority does CCRD have in Colorado Statute?
- Civil Rights Division and Commission sits at DORA- Department of Regulatory Affairs
- Statutes related to the Colorado Civil Rights Division and Commission sit in statute under Title 24, Article 34,
- Links to Colorado Statute searchable here .
- Simpliest is to just look at full Colorado Revised Statute and choose Title 24, they click on Principal departments to see Article 34.
- CRS 24-34-306 (2)(a) After the filing of a charge alleging a discriminatory or unfair practice as defined by parts 4 to 7 of this article, the director, with the assistance of the division's staff, shall make a prompt investigation of the charge. The director may subpoena witnesses and compel the testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and records if the testimony, books, papers, and records sought are limited to matters directly related to the charge. Any subpoena issued pursuant to this paragraph (a) shall be enforceable in the district court for the district in which the alleged discriminatory or unfair practice occurred and shall be issued only if the person or entity to be subpoenaed has refused or failed, after a proper request from the director, to provide voluntarily to the director the information sought by the subpoena.
- CRS 24-34-601 (2) (a) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, electronic, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.
- CRS 24-34-601 2 (b) A claim brought pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) that is based on disability is covered by the provisions of section 24-34-802.
- CRS 24-34-601 (2.5). Discrimination in places of public accommodation. It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for any person to discriminate against any individual or group because such person or group has opposed any practice made a discriminatory practice by this part 6 or because such person or group has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted pursuant to this part 6.