Title VI Protections
Title VI Complaint Procedures and Form
Any person who believes that she or he has been excluded from participation in, denied benefits or services of any program or activity administered by City of Montpelier or its sub-recipients, consultants, and contractors on the basis of race, color, national origin (including Limited English Proficiency), sex, age, or disability may bring forth a complaint of discrimination under Title VI/EJ and related statutes. The procedures for filing such a complaint are described below.
The City Manager has overall responsibility for these discrimination complaint procedures. Any City of Montpelier employees who receive a verbal or written Title VI complaint must contact the City Manager immediately. The City Manager may, at her/his discretion, assign a person within City government to investigate the complaint. The designated investigator will conduct an impartial and objective investigation, collect factual information and prepare a fact-finding report based upon the information obtained from the investigation.
Complaints must be in writing, and must be signed by the complainant and/or the complainant’s representative. In cases where the complainant is incapable of providing a written statement, the complainant will be assisted in converting the verbal complaint into a written complaint. All complaints, however, must be signed by the complainant or by the complainant’s representative.
The complaint must set forth as fully as possible the facts and circumstances surrounding the claimed discrimination. The complainant shall make him- or herself reasonably available to the designated investigator, to ensure completion of the investigation.
Complaints must be filed no later than 180 days after:
- The date of the alleged act of discrimination; or
- The date the person became aware of the alleged discrimination; or
- Where there has been a continuing course of discriminatory conduct, the date on which the conduct was discontinued.
Use of the Complaint Form is not required for the complainant. Rather, it is intended to help the complainant provide enough information to begin processing the complaint.
The complaint shall be investigated, unless:
- The complaint is withdrawn;
- The complainant fails to provide required information;
- The complaint is filed beyond the 180-day timeframe;
- The complainant is not part of a protected group; or
- The complaint is determined to be more appropriately reviewed under a jurisdiction other than City of Montpelier. If this is the case, the complainant will be directed to the appropriate agency.
Upon determination that the complaint warrants a City of Montpelier investigation, the complainant is sent a letter, acknowledging receipt of the complaint, and giving the name of the investigator.
The respondent – the person alleged to have committed the discrimination -- is notified by mail that s/he has been named in a complaint. The letter also includes the investigator’s name and informs the respondent that s/he will be contacted for an interview. The complaint will be logged in a database that allows for the tracking of complaint details and outcomes of the investigation.
The investigator shall prepare a written plan, which includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Names of the complainant(s) and respondent(s);
- Basis for the complaint;
- Issues, events or circumstances that caused the person to believe that s/he has been discriminated against;
- Information needed to address the issue;
- Criteria, sources necessary to obtain the information;
- Identification of key people;
- Estimated investigation time line;
- Remedy sought by the complainant(s).
The investigation will address only those issues relevant to the allegations in the complaint. Confidentiality will be maintained as much as possible. Interviews will be conducted to obtain facts and evidence regarding the allegations in the complaint. The investigator will ask questions to elicit information about aspects of the case. A chronological contact sheet will be maintained in the case file throughout the investigation.
Within 40 days of receiving the complaint, the investigator will prepare an investigative report and submit the report and supporting documentation to the City Manager or her/his designee, for review. The City Manager or designee will review the file and investigative report and make a final determination of “probable cause” or “no probable cause” and prepare the final decision letter. If the respondent is found to be in noncompliance with Title VI, remedial actions will be determined.
A copy of the complaint, together with a copy of the investigation report and the City Manager’s final decision letter is forwarded to the appropriate agency within 60 days of the date the complaint was received. All records and investigative working files will be maintained in a confidential area. Records will be kept for three years.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the determination and/or resolution set forth by the City, the same complaint may be submitted to VTrans for investigation. The complainant may seek further recourse from the Federal Transit Administration, if necessary.