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Library: Policy

340:50-1-5. Program and civil rights complaints and responsibilities

Revised 9-15-21

(a) Non-discrimination statement.  Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) processes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications, certification renewals, and mid-certification renewals in a non-discriminatory manner without regard to age, race, color, sex, disability, religious creed, political beliefs, national origin, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) per Section 272.6 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations. 

(b) Public notification.  OKDHS must have a public notification system to inform potentially eligible persons, applicants, and participants of the availability of SNAP food benefits, program rights and responsibilities, non-discrimination policy, and the procedure for filing a discrimination complaint.  This includes, but is not limited to:

(1) informing applicants and participants during an application or certification renewal interview of the right to file a civil rights complaint, how to file a complaint, and complaint procedures per (c) of this Section;

(2) displaying the USDA "And Justice for All" poster in a prominent location, such as the lobby, in all OKDHS offices;

(3) displaying the non-discrimination statement on forms and public notification materials; and

(4) informing potentially eligible persons, applicants, participants, and grassroots organizations of programs and program changes.  This includes information pertaining to eligibility, benefits, services, the location of local county offices or service delivery points, and hours of service. • 1

(c) Program complaints.  All complaints made by households or others on behalf of households about application of SNAP rules are handled by the OKDHS Legal Services Appeals Unit, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:2, Subchapter 5.  Complaints received alleging program abuse are referred to the OKDHS Office of the Inspector General, Investigations Unit using procedures, per OAC 340:2, Subchapter 7.

(d) Explanation of civil rights complaint process.  When a person makes a discrimination allegation to an OKDHS employee, the employee to whom the allegation is made is responsible for explaining the civil rights complaint process to the person.  The proper procedure includes:

(1) providing Form 14CR001E, Discrimination Complaint – Client or Vendor, to any person alleging discrimination based on a protected class. 

(A) The employee offers to help the person complete Form 14CR001E and asks if the complainant wants the employee to submit the complaint for the complainant.

(B) The complainant may choose to submit a written statement instead of using Form 14CR001E.  When this occurs, the employee informs the person what information is needed to facilitate the complaint investigation and provides the addresses for USDA and the OKDHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  • 2

(C) When a person makes a verbal discrimination allegation and is unable or unwilling to put the allegation in writing, the employee to whom the allegation is made completes Form 14CR001E based on the information provided by the complainant and asks the complainant to sign the form, when available;  • 2

(2) explaining to the complainant that he or she has the right to file the complaint with the OKDHS OCR or with the USDA Office of Civil Rights, or both;  

(3) informing the complainant:

(A) he or she has the right to file a written complaint within 180-calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action and, if accepted for investigation, the investigation is completed within 90-calendar days of receipt;

(B) the complaint is confidential and protected by the Privacy Act of 1974; • 3

(C) the complaint will not affect receipt of benefits; and

(D) OKDHS is prohibited from retaliating against the person for filing a complaint;

(4) asking the complainant if he or she would like to talk to a supervisor to try to resolve the matter. • 4

(d) Alternative means of communication.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information are advised to contact the USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 for voice and telecommunications device for the deaf or TDD.


Revised 9-15-21

1. Information pertaining to eligibility, benefits, services, the location of county offices or service delivery points, and hours of service may be communicated by methods, such as, but not limited to:

(1) the Internet;

(2) newspaper articles;

(3) radio and television announcements;

(4) letters, leaflets, brochures, and/or bulletins; and

(5) computer-based applications.        

2. (a) The employee to whom the allegation is made makes every effort to have the complainant provide:

(1) his or her name, address, phone number, or other means of contact;

(2) the name and location of the accused organization or office;

(3) the nature of the incident, action, or the aspect of program that led the complainant to feel discrimination was a factor and an example of the administration method that is having a disparate effect on the public, potential eligible persons, applicants, or participants;

(4) the basis on which the complainant believes discrimination exists;

(5) the names, titles, phone numbers, and business or personal addresses of persons who may have knowledge of the alleged discriminatory acts; and

(6) the date or dates during which the alleged discriminatory action occurred or, when continuing, the duration of such actions.

(b) Discrimination complaints received in offices are forwarded to the Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within five-calendar days of receipt or when based on age discrimination, immediately.  OKDHS OCR must send age discrimination complaints to the Food and Nutrition Services Regional Office of Civil Rights within five-calendar days of receipt for referral to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, D.C. for mediation.

3In order to maintain a high level of confidentiality and to protect against possible retaliation, no documents concerning a discrimination complaint are filed in the case record.  The worker documents the date and type of contact in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes and documents the applicant or recipient contacted staff regarding concerns, but the case note must not make reference to "Civil Rights" or "complaint."

4. (a) The employee refers the complainant to the supervisor to attempt to resolve the complaint at the lowest possible level after providing Form 14CR001E,  Discrimination Complaint – Client or Vendor and explaining the complaint process to the complainant.

(b) The supervisor documents the contact and complaint resolution using the Client Compliment-Complaint Feedback Survey.  The Client Compliment-Complaint Feedback Survey is hyperlinked under Management Tools on the main Adult and Family Services Job Functions web page.

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