Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Additional Nondiscrimination Requirements
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, and national origin. Specifically, 42 USC 2000d states that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 defined the word “program” to make clear that discrimination is prohibited throughout an entire agency if any part of the agency receives federal financial assistance, rather than just the particular programs or activities that receive the funds.
What is the Title VI Program?
The Title VI Program is the “system of requirements” developed to implement Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and civil rights related provisions of other federal statutes and authorities, including but not limited to:
- The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, which restores the original broad organizational wide intent to Title VI.
- The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act of 1970, which prohibits unfair treatment of persons displaced or whose property will be acquired as a result of a highway project.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.
- The 1973 Federal Aid Highway Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.
- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, which prohibits discrimination based on age.
What does Title VI do?
- Prohibits entities from denying a protected individual any service, financial aid or other benefit under the covered programs and activities.
- Prohibits entities from providing services or benefits to some individuals that are different from or inferior (in either quantity or quality) to those benefits provided to others.
- Prohibits segregation or separate treatment in any manner related to receiving program benefits or services.
- Prohibits entities from imposing different standards or conditions as prerequisites for serving individuals.
- Encourages the participation of minorities as members of planning or advisory bodies for programs receiving federal funds.
- Prohibits discriminatory activity in a facility built in whole or part with federal funds.
- Requires information and services to be provided in languages other than English when significant numbers of potential beneficiaries have limited English-speaking ability.
- Requires entities to notify the entire eligible population about programs.
- Prohibits locating facilities in a way that would limit or impede access to a federally funded service or benefit.
- Requires assurance of nondiscrimination in the purchasing of services.
VDOT’s Title VI Program Overview
It is the policy of the Virginia Department of Transportation to ensure, per 42 USC 200d, that no person is excluded from participation, denied benefits or is subjected to discrimination under any program or activity, on the basis of race, color, national origin and other federal nondiscrimination statutes and authorities.
VDOT, as a recipient of federal financial assistance, is committed to have a comprehensive and proactive Title VI enforcement program to prevent and eliminate discrimination in its programs, services, and activities, to include, but not limited to, access to services, social and economic impacts, planning, project development, design, right of way acquisition, and minority and low-income populations.
The primary goal of the VDOT Title VI Program is to ensure that all management, staff, sub-recipients and service beneficiaries are aware of the provisions and responsibilities of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other civil-rights related provisions.
VDOT is a direct recipient of federal financial assistance. All recipients are required to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title 23 CFR Part 200 and Title 49 CFR Part 21), as well as related statues and regulations.
External Complaints of Discrimination
Recipients shall ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in the administration of any program or activity funded, in whole or in part, with federal financial assistance.
This includes VDOT or its contractors, subcontractors, consultants and other sub-recipients. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, has the right to file a complaint of discrimination under Title VI and related statutes and authorities.
Filing a Complaint
Complaints must be filed in writing and filed no later than 180 days after the date of the alleged act of discrimination, and should include:
- The complainant‘s name, address, and telephone number
- The name and address of the individual, agency, institution, or department you believe discriminated against you
- How, why and when you believe you were discriminated against. Provide detailed information about the alleged act(s) of discrimination, and any other relevant information.
Complainants shall explain, as fully as possible, the facts and circumstances surrounding the claimed discrimination, and identify the individual(s) and/or organization(s) responsible for the alleged discrimination.
In cases where the complainant is unable or incapable of providing a written statement, the complainant will be assisted in converting a verbal complaint into a written complaint. The complainant, however, must sign the complaint.
Signed allegations of discrimination received by facsimile or email will be acknowledged and processed. Complaints received by telephone will be reduced to writing then provided to the complainant for confirmation, revision, and signature before processing.
To submit the complaint, please complete the Title VI complaint form and return to the Civil Rights Division:
Title VI Complaint Form
Sandra D. Norman
Civil Rights Division Administrator
Virginia Department of Transportation
Civil Rights Division
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Toll free: 888-508-3737
Title VI Program Specialist
Virginia Department of Transportation
Civil Rights Division
1401 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Civil Rights
400 N. 8th St., Suite 750
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Title VI Consultant and Sub-consultant Compliance
Title VI Evaluation Report
Contractors and subcontractors are obligated to comply with nondiscrimination laws and regulations. VDOT’s Civil Rights Division, with the assistance from each applicable division’s program manager, monitors an organization’s compliance with the non-discrimination provisions.
To monitor compliance with Title VI, each contractor and all sub-contractors associated with federally assisted contracts are required to submit a Title VI Evaluation Form. This requirement is applicable for all contractors.
The Title VI Evaluation Form provides documentation that a contractor has procedures in place to prevent discrimination in programs and services based on Title VI.
Consultant / Sub-consultant Contract Requirements
Federal-aid contracts normally must include provisions that require compliance with Title VI. The specific contract provision language is included in Appendixes A, B, C, D and E of the Title VI Assurances which each state has executed.
Appendices A and E - apply to all federal-aid contracts and must be included as contract provisions. Examples of such contracts are:
- Construction contracts, both prime and subcontracts, and vendor/supply agreements.
- Consultant agreements for performance of work in connection with federal-aid highway projects. Typical ones are those for design work and environmental studies.
- Research agreements with colleges, universities or other institutions.
- Fee appraiser and fee attorney contracts in connection with federally-aided right-of-way work.
- Contracts between a STA and a contractor for relocation of utilities (does not apply when the utility company itself or its contractor relocates utilities).