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, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation, 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.
DPS recommends that every sub-recipient grantee agency review the Office for Civil Rights — Training for Grantees. This training provides an overview of discrimination in federally assisted programs and the civil rights laws that the Office for Civil Rights enforces and specific, detailed information for grantees of the U.S. Department of Justice. Training is offered in six video segments, each of which includes a separate self-test. The Maine Department of Public Safety gratefully acknowledges the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, for allowing us to reproduce, in part or in whole, the video Office for Civil Rights — Training for Grantees. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this video are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The federal Office for Civil Rights at the Office of Justice Programs ensures that recipients of financial assistance from OJP, as well as the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office on Violence Against Women, comply with federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment and the delivery of services or benefits based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, and disability. Recipients of financial assistance from OVW are also prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Federal laws and regulations, which may be found at https://www.ojp.gov/program/civil-rights/statutes-regulations, apply to DPS grantees that receive US Department of Justice OJP funding. These laws and regulations include , but are not limited to:
- Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (Safe Streets Act) of 1968, as amended, 34 U.S.C. § 10228(c) & 10221(a), and the DOJ implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. pt. 42, subpts. D (prohibiting discrimination in programs funded under the statute, both in employment and in the delivery of services or benefits, based on race, color,national origin, sex, and religion) & E (requiring certain DOJ-funded programs subject to the administrative provisions of the statute to prepare, maintain, and submit an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEOP)).
- Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, as amended, 34 U.S.C. § 20110(e) and the regulation implementing the Victim of Crime Act Victim Assistance Program, 28 C.F.R. § 94.114 (prohibiting discrimination in programs funded under the statute, both in employment and in thedelivery of services or benefits, based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and disability).
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, as amended, 34 U.S.C. § 12291(b)(13) (prohibiting discrimination in programs either funded under the statute or administered by the Office on Violence Against Women, both in employment and in the delivery of services or benefits, based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity) (referring to the Safe Streets Act for enforcement).
- Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 2000d), 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 of 1973 (codified at 29 U.S.C. 794), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in OJP and COPS funded programs or activities.
- Section 901 of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (codified at 20 U.S.C. 1681) as it relates to discrimination on the basis of sex in OJP and COPS funded training or educational programs.
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (codified at 42 U.S.C.126), as it relates to discrimination on the basis of disability in OJP or COPS funded programs or activities.
- Section 303 of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 6102) as it relates to services discrimination on the basis of age in OJP or COPS funded programs or activities.
- DOJ Regulations on partnerships with Faith Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations. https://www.ojp.gov/program/civil-rights/partnerships-faith-based-and-other-neighborhood-organizations
- Nondiscrimination regulations at Title 28 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 is a comprehensive document that analyzes a recipient's relevant labor market data, as well as the recipient's employment practices, to identify possible barriers to the participation of women and minorities in all levels of a recipient's workforce. Its purpose is to ensure the opportunity for full and equal participation of men and women in the workplace, regardless of race, color, or national origin.
EEO Plans and Certifications are required to be submitted electronically, preferably through the EEO Reporter Tool at https://ojp.gov/about/ocr/eeop.htm
The OCR website includes information about when an EEO Plan is required and how to develop an EEO Plan: https://www.ojp.gov/program/civil-rights/equal-employment-opportunity-plans There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page that contains additional information: EEOP FAQs
The following subrecipients of DPS grants 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.
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 the letter should be forwarded to DPS. DPS does not need a copy of your full EEO Plan.
DPS Recipients are exempt from the EEOP requirement, if the recipient:
- is a nonprofit organization, a medical or educational institution or an Indian Tribe; OR
- has less than 50 employees; OR
- received a single award for less than $25,000
If DPS subrecipients are not required to complete an EEOP they still must complete an EEOP Short Form claiming exemption from OCR, done through the EEOP reporter tool. https://ojp.gov/about/ocr/eeop.htm
For Assistance Utilizing the EEO Reporting Tool
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: https://www.ojp.gov/program/civil-rights/limited-english-proficient-lep
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 only have one year from the date of the discriminatory incident to file a complaint.
Your DPS grant manager can assist you with initiating the process.