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Nondiscrimination Policy

Discrimination means treating someone differently because of a particular characteristic such as race, color, sex, age, disability, or religion. North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) makes available all services and assistance without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, national origin, religion, political beliefs, or status with respect to marriage or public assistance. These laws must be followed by persons who contract with or receive funds to provide services for DHS, including the state’s eight regional human service centers, the State Hospital, the Developmental Center, and county social services.

The policies of DHS also require that:

In accordance with Federal law, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy, DHS is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, national origin, religion, or political beliefs.

What do I do if someone has discriminated against me?

You may file a written complaint if you believe you have been discriminated against because of race, color, sex, age, disability, national origin, religion, or status with respect to marriage or public assistance, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the North Dakota Human Rights Act, or if you believe you have been discriminated against because of your political beliefs, in violation of USDA policy.

The Program Civil Rights Officer and Program ADA/504 Coordinator work together to prevent and eliminate discrimination against individuals in the delivery of programs and services administered and supervised by DHS and to make all programs and activities accessible to people with disabilities.

Where do I file a complaint?

Persons who need accommodations or have questions related to discrimination and the delivery of human services may contact any of the following offices. Written complaints may be filed with your local county social service office or any of the following:

Program Civil Rights Officer and ADA/Section 504 Coordinator
North Dakota Department of Human Services
Legal Advisory Unit
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Department 325
Bismarck, ND 58505-0250
Phone: 701-328-2311
TTY 1-800-366-6888
FAX 701-328-2173

* U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue SW HHH Building, Room 509-F
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 202-619-0403
TTY 1-800-537-7697
FAX 202-619-3437
* U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII
999 18th Street, Suite 417
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 1-800-368-1019
TTY 1-800-537-7697
FAX 303-844-2025

*+ U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Office of Adjudication
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250
Phone: 1-866-632-9992
TTY 1-800-877-8339
FAX 202-690-7442

* State and local agencies are required to comply with the North Dakota Human Rights Laws that prohibit discrimination based on "status with respect to marriage or public assistance." However, federal agencies are not required to investigate complaints based on the North Dakota Human Rights Laws.

+ Under USDA policy, discrimination is prohibited also on the basis of religion or political beliefs.

When should I file a complaint?

The complaint must be filed within 180 days of the incident. Include in your complaint the nature of the discrimination, where and when it took place, who discriminated against you, and all other important facts. Remember to date the form and sign your name.

What happens when I file a complaint with the DHS Program Civil Rights Office?

The Program Civil Rights Office will determine if the nature of the complaint is within its jurisdiction. If it is, an investigation will be conducted and you will know the outcome of the complaint within 60 business days of when it was filed. If it is not, you will receive a letter. If you file your complaint with another agency, they will notify you according to their policies.

 

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