This process applies to all complaints filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arising from any activity, program, or service offered by the City of Portland, whether it be produced in whole or part with a contractor.
Requirements for a Title VI complaint
- Must involve discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin;
- Must allege that the discrimination was committed by the City of Portland, a City of Portland employee or a contractor of the City of Portland; and
- Must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can make a complaint?
Any person(s) or organization(s) who believes they have been the object of unequal treatment or discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin. Complaints must be in writing and may be written in the complainant's preferred language.
If the complainant needs assistance in reducing the complaint to writing, they may request assistance from a PDX311 representative, the City of Portland's Title VI Analyst, or may have another person write and acknowledge the complaint on their behalf. A person can file a complaint on behalf of another person if they have a legal relationship that allows them to do so.
Can I file a discrimination complaint with the City and with other agencies?
Yes. The City’s process is not exclusive. A person filing a complaint with the City may also file a complaint with other state or federal agencies or the courts. Other agencies will have time limits for filing complaints. Generally, federal agencies require Title VI complaints to be filed within 180 days of the date of the discrimination. Please refer to External Resources for Filing a Title VI Complaint for more information and links to other agency's websites.
Can I use the Report Discrimination form to make a complaint based on sex, age, or other protected class?
This Title VI complaint process does not cover complaints based on protections afforded under other civil rights statutes, such as sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or source of income. If you use this form to allege such discrimination, you will be notified that it cannot be processed as a Title VI complaint. However, the City will review complaints of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or source of income to determine if they can be informally resolved.
Can I use the Report Discrimination form to file a complaint based on disability?
Yes, though complaints of discrimination based on disability will be handled under the City’s ADA Title II complaint process which is substantially similar to this Title VI complaint process and utilizes the same online webform for submission to the City of Portland.
How can I report discrimination?
By using the City of Portland's report discrimination form.
Staff are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding Federal Holidays. Se habla espanol.
Allegations received by phone or TDD will be transcribed by city staff on a complaint form and provided to complainant for confirmation or revision before processing.
By submitting a written complaint to the City, by email, mail, or fax.
In your written complaint, you must include the following required details:
- The name, address and phone number of the person who experienced the discriminatory action;
- The date of the alleged act of discrimination or the date when the complainant(s) became aware of the alleged discrimination;
- A brief but specific description of the discriminatory practice or action and any relevant facts, including as appropriate:
- City bureau, office, contractor or sub recipient involved
- What happened; who was involved; policy program or activity that was discriminatory; how you were discriminated against, treated or impacted; etc.
- The names and contact information of any witnesses, including city employees or contractors.
Submit your complaint:
1120 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Attn: Discrimination Report
Email to: email@example.com with the subject "Discrimination Report"
Fax to: 503-865-3300
What happens once a complaint is submitted?
Upon receipt of the complaint, a trained staff person will conduct an evaluation to determine:
- If the complaint is complete;
- If additional information is needed;
- If the City has jurisdiction;
- If the complaint is timely; and
- Which Bureau is responsible for resolution
An appropriate Bureau coordinator will notify the complainant in writing within 15 working days whether the complaint has been accepted or not. If the complaint is not accepted, the Bureau will state why. If the complaint is not accepted because additional information is needed, the complainant will be notified what information is needed.
If the Complaint is accepted, the City will investigate the merits of the complaint and will attempt to resolve it.
In cases where the complaint is against one of the City of Portland’s sub-recipients, the City will assume jurisdiction and will investigate the complaint.
In some instances the City will have a legal obligation to notify a state or federal agency of a Title VI complaint, and in such instances that agency may investigate the complaint.
How are Title VI complaints investigated?
In cases in which the complaint is against the City, the responsible Bureau will work with the complainant to investigate, and attempt to resolve the complaint. The option of informal mediation meetings may be used at any stage.
The responsible Bureau will complete discrimination complaint investigations within sixty (60) business days after written notice of acceptance of the complaint. If the investigation is expected to exceed 60 business days, the responsible Bureau will notify the complainant of a revised timeline and the reason for the delay.
Once the investigation is complete, the responsible Bureau must provide a written response to the complainant with the findings and actions by the responsible Bureau. The Title VI complaint process is an administrative process and does not provide for compensatory or punitive damages.
Can the City dismiss a complaint?
The City of Portland may dismiss a complaint for any of the following reasons:
- The complainant withdraws the complaint.
- The complainant fails to respond to repeated requests for additional information needed to process the complaint.
- The complaint is untimely.
- The complainant cannot be located.
- The complaint is determined to be legally insufficient.
External resources for filing a Title VI complaint
The United States Department of Justice
- Information on Filing a Complaint in writing: Filing A Complaint (justice.gov)
- Report a Civil Rights Complaint (Information and webform): Contact the Civil Rights Division | Department of Justice
The Federal Transit Administration: Office of Civil Rights
- Information, instructions and webform: How to File a Complaint - Civil Rights | Federal Highway Administration (dot.gov)
The United States Department of Health and Human Services
- Information, instructions and webform: Complaint Process | HHS.gov
State of Oregon: Bureau of Labor and Industries
- Resource guide: BOLI : Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries : State of Oregon
- Learn more about your rights, the laws, and how to file a complaint here: BOLI : Welcome Page : Civil Rights : State of Oregon
- If you have questions:
- Email: BOLI_help@boli.oregon.gov
- Call: 971-673-0761