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FAQ: Title VI

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

What is Title VI?

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the Federal law that protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of their race, color, or national origin in programs that receive Federal financial assistance.

What does Title VI cover?

  • All Advertisements;
  • Bid proposals, requests, and evaluations;
  • Contracts/subcontracts;
  • Title VI reports, issues, and complaint: Public meetings and internal meetings relating to Title VI will be documented and reports forwarded to the Title VI Coordinator;
  • The Title VI contract provisions and other legal documents;
  • Other office areas where discrimination may exist.

What discrimination is prohibited by Title VI?

There are many forms of illegal discrimination based on race, color, or national origin that can limit the opportunity of minorities to gain equal access to services and programs. Among other things, in operating a federally assisted program, a recipient cannot, on the basis of race, color or national origin, either directly or through contractual means:

  • Deny a program services, aids, or benefits;
  • Provide a different service, aid, or benefit, or provide them in a manner different than they are provided to others; or
  • Segregate or separately treat individuals in any matter related to the receipt of any service, aid, or benefit.

Who may file a Title VI complaint?

Complaints may be filed by any individual or group who believes:

  • That their rights, under the Title VI have been violated in a discriminatory manner.
  • That the department’s programs or activities do not comply with Federal civil rights laws.
  • That they have been treated in a disparate manner.


An act (or action) whether intentional or unintentional through which a person in the United States, solely because of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin has been otherwise subjected to unequal treatment under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, or the Federal Aviation Administration.

Disparate Treatment:

Inconsistent application of rules and policies to one group of people over another. Discrimination may result when rules and policies are applied differently to members of protected classes. Disciplining Hispanic and African-American employees for tardiness, while ignoring tardiness among other employees is an example of disparate treatment.

How can I file a discrimination complaint?

Each Federal agency that provides Federal financial assistance as well as the ODOT as a recipient of Federal financial assistance is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the use of its funds. If you believe that you or others protected by Title VI have been discriminated against, you may file a complaint with the Federal agency that provides funds for the program where you believe the discrimination is occurring or the ODOT. Complaints filed with the ODOT should be directed to: Complaints Section

What will ODOT do with my complaint?

Once a complaint is filed, it will be reviewed by the department to determine whether it has jurisdiction to investigate the issues you have raised. If it is determined that ODOT has jurisdiction to investigate the complaint, the allegations will be investigated. If violations of the Title VI are found, the department will attempt to resolve them. If the complaint is against the ODOT it will be forwarded to the Federal agency which provided funds for the program or project in question.

What if the recipient retaliated against me for asserting my rights or filing a complaint?

You should be aware that a recipient is prohibited from retaliating against you or any person because he or she opposed an unlawful policy or practice, or made charges, testified, or participated in any complaint action under the Title VI. If you believe that you have been retaliated against, you should immediately contact the ODOT.

What is a Recipient?

Any state, territory, possession, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any political subdivision, or instrumentality thereof, or any public or private agency, institution, or organization, or other entity, or any individual, in any state, territory, possession, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, to whom Federal assistance is extended, either directly or through another recipient, for any program. Recipient includes any successor, assignee, or transferee thereof. The term recipient does not include any ultimate beneficiary under any such program.

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