Contact Information 1111 East Broad St.  
Suite #302 
Columbus, OH 43205 
Office : (614) 645-1993 
Fax : (614) 645-1862 
Hours:  M-F 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Discrimination Complaint Investigation


Housed in the Department of Neighborhoods, the Community Relations Commission (CRC) was created to help eliminate discrimination or remove the effects of past discrimination within the City of Columbus. One way the Commission seeks to achieve this is by investigating complaints of discrimination.

The CRC is authorized by Chapter 139 of the City Code to investigate, mediate, or refer for prosecution complaints of discrimination. If you believe you were subjected to discrimination, the CRC provides:

  • An efficient, thorough, and fair investigation
  • A voluntary option to resolve your complaint through mediation
  • Information and options to file with other governmental agencies charged with resolving discrimination complaints
  • Referrals to the City Attorney’s Office for complaints with a “Probable Cause” determination.  

Investigation Requirements

The CRC will initiate an investigation of a complaint if the alleged discriminatory action meets the following requirements:

  • Must have occurred within the geographical limits of the City of Columbus
  • Must have occurred within the past six months
  • Must have occurred because of your membership in a protected class and in the area(s) of employment, public accommodation, or housing
  • For complaints of employment discrimination, the employer must have four or more employees

How to File

If you believe you were subjected to discrimination, there are three ways to file a complaint.

  1. Online: You may complete the online form available on the City of Columbus website at: www.columbus.gov/neighborhoods/crc/complaint

  2. Mail: You may print, complete, and mail the form to: 

    Department of Neighborhoods – Community Relations Commission
    1111 E. Broad St. Suite 302
    Columbus, OH 43205

    The form is available to download here.

  3. In Person: You may also visit the Department of Neighborhoods and request a paper form to complete and submit.  The Department of Neighborhoods is located at 1111 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205. 

Investigation Procedure

1.Upon submission of your complaint, the CRC will contact you to discuss your discrimination complaint and gather more information. If your complaint does not meet the requirements listed above, a CRC staff member will provide you information and options to file with other government agencies charged with resolving discrimination complaints.

2.The CRC strives to resolve complaints through voluntary mediation. If the complaint meets the requirements listed above, the CRC will invite both parties with an offer of to resolve the issue(s) through voluntary mediation with a trained mediator. If voluntary mediation is successful, the complaint will be considered resolved and dismissed. 

3.If the complaint is not resolved through voluntary mediation, the complainant has the option to resolve the complaint with a formal investigation. The responding party to the complaint will have 14 days in which to submit a written position statement or response to complaint. The additional gathering of information occur by methods including but not limited to interviews and subpoena.

4.The CRC will commence a thorough review of the information submitted from both parties to determine whether the facts substantiate a Probable or No Probable finding that discrimination occurred. 

5.If the investigation results in a Probable Cause finding, the CRC may initiate one or more of the following actions:

     a.Referral to the City Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution
     b.Issuance of a notice of conciliation
     c.Issuance of a notice of investigative hearing
     d.Issuance of incident of record

6.If the investigation results in a No Probable Cause finding, the CRC may initiate the dismissal of the complaint. 

Relevant Terms

Complainant: The person or organization filing a charge of discrimination alleging they were subjected to discrimination as defined by Title 23, Chapter 2331 of the Columbus City Codes. 

Respondent: The person or entity alleged to have engaged or is engaging in unlawful discriminatory practices as defined in Title 23, Chapter 2331 of the Columbus City Codes.

Voluntary Mediation: A process in which an unbiased third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute. This process shall abide by nationally recognized standards as adopted by the CRC.

Conciliation: A process to be conducted at a date and time so decided by the CRC or its designee in which an unbiased third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute.

Investigative Hearing: A process to be conducted at a date and time so decided by CRC or its designee, in which an attorney representing the CRC collects information or evidence with regard to the complaint.

Finding of Incident of Record: A determination reached by the CRC that a business, individual, or entity has engaged in activity from which the community relations commission will record specific issues or facts to be referenced in the future.