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
- 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.
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
- 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.
- Online: You may complete the online form available on the City of Columbus website at: www.columbus.gov/neighborhoods/crc/complaint
- Mail: You may print, complete, and mail the form to:
Department of Neighborhoods – Community Relations Commission
1410 Cleveland Ave
Columbus, OH 43211
The form is available to download here.
- 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.
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
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.
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.