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DPS Policy INFORMATION

DPS Civil Rights Compliance Information





The Maine Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the State Administering Agency (SAA) for several federal grant programs. Consequently, DPS and its recipients of federal funding must comply with Civil Rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination, either in the delivery of services or in employment. 

The information on this site is intended as a resource to the State and Federal Civil Rights laws and requirements. This site has information on policies, training materials and other references about civil rights and procedures if a complaint is received.  


Discrimination means treating someone differently because of a particular characteristic such as race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, or religion, or retaliates against any person for having engaged in protected activity.  Federal laws prohibit discrimination in programs and services, and the State of Maine has additional protections because of the Maine Human Rights Act.


The Maine Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the State Administering Agency (SAA) for several federal grant programs.  As an SAA, DPS has implemented policies for addressing discrimination complaints involving subrecipients of federal funds.


Procedures for Responding to Discrimination Complaints from Clients, Customers, Program Participants, or Consumers of the Maine Department of Public Safety and the Maine Department of Public Safety ‘s Subrecipients        


Procedures for Responding to Discrimination Complaints from Employees of Maine Department of Public Safety Subrecipients                 


Civil Rights Compliance methods of Administration                 


DPS recommends that every sub-recipient grantee agency review the Civil Rights PowerPoint training on Civil Rights Laws applicable to federal financial assistance (FFA) programs that was presented in November 2010. Presenter: Shelley Langguth, Attorney Advisor, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs.


Civil Rights Memo to Subrecipients on Dec. 7, 2011

 

Title 5, Chapter  337: MAINE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT

U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Civil Rights


The federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) website includes information that will assist grantees in complying with civil rights laws and regulations. The site includes information regarding Equal Employment Opportunity Plans, the prohibition against national origin discrimination affecting persons with limited English proficiency, and other civil rights law and regulations:


http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/offices/ocr.htm


The following laws and regulations, which may be found at
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/statutes.htm, apply to DPS grantees that receive US Department of Justice OJP funding:

  • The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex, in OJP and COPS funded programs or activities.
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in OJP and COPS funded programs or activities
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in OJP and COPS funded programs or activities.
  • Section 1407 of the Victims of Crime Act,  which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability in VOCA funded programs or activities.
  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as it relates to discrimination on the basis of disability in OJP or COPS funded programs or activities.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as it relates to discrimination on the basis of sex in OJP and COPS funded training or educational programs.
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 as it relates to services discrimination on the basis of age in OJP or COPS funded programs or activities.
  • Nondiscrimination regulations at Title 28 and Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


Equal Employment Opportunity Plans and Required Certification


Certain grantees are required to develop an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEO Plan). The EEO Plan analyzes a grantee's labor market data and employment practices to identify possible barriers to participation of women and minorities in the grantee's workforce.


The following subrecipients of DPS must complete an EEOP Plan if they meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • The recipient is a state or local government agency or a business; AND
  • The recipient has 50 or more employees; AND
  • The recipient has received a single award of $25,000 or more.

If DPS subrecipients are not required to complete an EEOP they still must complete an EEOP Short Form claiming exemption from OCR.  This form and instructions can be found at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/pdfs/cert.pdf .  The certification should be sent to the US Department of Justice as indicated on the form and a copy to DPS.


The OCR website includes information about when an EEO Plan is required and how to develop an EEO Plan: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/faq_eeop.htm#8


For grantees that are required to develop an EEO Plan, specific instructions on how to develop a plan are included in OCR's Seven-Step Guide to the Design and Development of an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan, which may be accessed at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ocr/seven.htm  The plan should be submitted to the US Department of Justice, OJP as indicated.  When an approval or denial letter is received from OJP a copy of this should be forwarded to DPS.  DPS does not need a copy of your full EEO Plan.


Limited English Proficiency (LEP)


Title VI's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin has been interpreted by courts to include discrimination on the basis of English proficiency. Under Title VI (and the Safe Streets Act), recipients are required to provide LEP individuals with meaningful access to their programs and services.  LEP guidance and requirements for subgrantees of OJP Federal funds can be found at:  http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about/ocr/lep.htm


FILING A CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT TO OCR


The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates complaints from members of the public who believe that an agency that receives funding from the Justice Department has discriminated against them, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits. 
 
More specifically, the OCR has jurisdiction to investigate agencies that receive funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), and the Office of Justice Programs and its components.   The OCR can investigate not only recipients that receive funding directly from the Justice Department, but it can also investigate agencies that receive Justice Department funding from state and local government agencies.


Federal laws prohibit recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating against individuals or groups, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability.  In addition, federal law prohibits recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating on the basis of age in the delivery of services or benefits.
To file a civil rights complaint, download and complete the Complaint Verification Form (CVF)
and the Identity Release Statement (IRS) and return both forms to the OCR at the following address:


Office for Civil Rights
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531


If you believe that you have been the target of discrimination, you should file a complaint with the OCR as soon as possible.  In most circumstances, you may have no longer than one year from the date of the discriminatory incident to file a complaint.


Your DPS program manager can assist you with initiating the process.