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Who can file a civil rights complaint?


All persons in the United States have civil rights under the constitution and appropriate laws. HHS is charged with enforcing only a few of these civil rights laws. For example, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, and national origin. A common misperception is that this law is for the exclusive use of "minorities." This law does not exclude non-minority persons. In other words, this law provides protection to all persons living in the United States from discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. In addition, OCR enforces other civil rights laws that protect persons from discrimination on the basis of disability, sex, age, etc. A person of any race can have a disability, and sex and age are not exclusive characteristics of a minority person. As such, laws prohibiting discrimination protect ALL persons.

Last Updated: 11/4/2009