Put the Civil RIghts Department to Work for You: File a Complaint of Discrimination

By Michael K. Browne, Assistant Director –Complaint Investigations Unit

Do you feel you have been discriminated against? Did you know that the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance (or “MCRO”) is a law designed to prevent and prohibit over 150 types of discrimination? So, if you feel you have been discriminated against, how can the MCRO work for you?

Any person who feels they have been discriminated against, within the past year, in the City of Minneapolis, can file a Civil Rights Complaint.  To file a complaint:

After we receive your information, we will set up an intake interview where our staff can gather important information from you about your discrimination complaint.  We will help you create a formal Charge of Discrimination, which will be signed by you and notarized in our office. This Charge will be mailed to the person or company you are charging (called the “Respondent”), and they will receive the opportunity to send back a Response.  Then, a copy of the Response will be mailed to you, and you will receive the opportunity to respond (called the “Rebuttal”) to the Response.

Your Charge of Discrimination may be referred to mediation. Mediation is a voluntary opportunity for you and the Respondent to receive assistance from a neutral third person (the Mediator) in discussing what happened and building an acceptable resolution to the Charge of Discrimination.

Your Charge of Discrimination may also require an Investigation and Determination. Our staff members will conduct an impartial investigation and issue a determination.  Ultimately, the Department determines whether there is Probable Cause that discrimination has occurred or whether to dismiss the Charge of Discrimination.

So, why should you file a complaint if you feel you have been discriminated against? First, it’s free. Filing a complaint is a service provided by the City of Minneapolis. Second, the Civil Rights Department is dedicated to providing a neutral investigation.  That means we fully examine both sides of the complaint and don’t favor one side over the other.

Most importantly, if you have been discriminated against, filing a complaint is a vital step in preventing future discrimination. We need your help to put the MCRO to work for everyone in Minneapolis.  With your help, we can achieve the City goal of “Many People, One Minneapolis.”

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