Office of Human Rights

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File a Discrimination Complaint

In Arlington County, it is unlawful to:

  • Discriminate because of race, national origin, color, marital status, sex, gender identity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or familial status (being pregnant or having children under age 18)
  • Retaliate against any person who opposes discriminatory practices
  • Discriminate in the sale, rental or financing of housing or commercial real estate; the provision of public accommodations; applications for or offers of credit; enrollment in private educational institutions; and employment

Under Chapter 31 of the Arlington County Code, the Office of Human Rights receives, investigates and conciliates complaints from those who believe they have been victims of unlawful discrimination. This is a free public service. The OHR can investigate complaints of discrimination that have occurred in Arlington County within the last 180 days.  

Discrimination complaint questionnaires may be submitted to the Office of Human Rights through the online questionnaire. Alternatively, you may contact the Office of Human Rights at 703-228-3929.

File a Complaint

Learn More About the Human Rights Complaint Procedure

What to Expect When You File a Human Rights Complaint

You have the right:
  1. To be protected from any form of retaliation for either filing a complaint or raising concerns about possible discrimination and to add amendments to the original complaint for any subsequent acts of retaliation;
  2. To meet with an Intake Officer and have an opportunity to discuss and clarify the issues related to your complaint;
  3. To be accompanied, represented, or advised by a representative;
The Intake Officer will:
  • Arrange for language translation services, if necessary;
  • Establish if your complaint is within the office’s jurisdiction and can be received and investigated under Chapter 31 (Human Rights Ordinance) of the Arlington County Code;
  • Provide you with a questionnaire to assist you in describing the specific acts of discrimination; the principal people involved, and any witnesses or evidence that can be used as a part of the investigation;
  • Discuss issues related to your complaint;
  • Prepare an official complaint;
  • Explain our investigative process including the filing and service of the complaint; the request for documents served on the Respondent; the Respondent’s answer to the complaint; your right to rebuttal; the possible conciliation process; the Final Investigative Report; and your right to request an appeal to the Human Rights Commission;
  • Inform you of your responsibilities related to the investigation of your complaint including; the need for your continued cooperation with the investigation; your help in locating your witnesses; your responsibility to notify us of any change of address or any other change affecting your investigation;
  • Assign the charge to an Investigator.
  • If this office cannot assist, refer you to other agencies or organizations that can.
The Investigator Assigned To Your Complaint will:
  • Contact you to discuss your complaint and review any documents and information that will assist us in investigating your complaint;
  • Send a copy of your complaint along with a request for documents and information to the party whom you allege is responsible for the act (s) of discrimination;
  • Review the opposing party’s response to your allegation with you; discuss and incorporate your answers and rebuttal information to the opposing party’s responses in the investigation, and give you an opportunity to provide additional relevant information and witnesses;
  • Discuss the remedy that may be available in our process;
  • Explore the possibility of resolving the Complaint prior to reaching a final determination;
  • Prepare a written Final Investigative Report containing:
    • An outline of the allegation(s) of discrimination;
    • The Respondent’s position statement;
    • An analysis of the evidence obtained in the investigation, and;
    • A final determination related to your specific charges.
We Are Fair and Impartial:

The Office of Human Rights and EEO is a neutral agency, committed to resolving complaints of alleged discrimination based on evidence discovered through professional investigative standards, conciliation, and current legal standards.

Therefore OHR staff: 
  • Cannot take sides on any matter;
  • Cannot advocate for individuals, organizations, or businesses;
  • Cannot provide legal advice, legal representation, and;
  • Must base all decisions on the available evidence.

ADA Compliance

If you have a disability covered under the ADA, you may request a reasonable accommodation should you need one. You may also file an ADA Grievance if you believe you have been discriminated against in County programs or services. Learn more about ADA compliance.

Affiirmative Action and Barrier Analysis

Arlington’s Affirmative Action Plan and Barrier Analysis are designed to increase diversity in the workforce and identify and address disparities. Learn more about Arlington’s AAP and BA.

COVID-19 Information You Should Know

Misinformation about COVID-19 can create fear and hurt people. COVID-19 doesn't recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. If you experience discrimination, please contact the Arlington County Office of Human Rights. We are stronger when we stand together.


About

Arlington Human Rights in the News

In 2020, the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) gave Arlington a score of 100 (out of 100) in its evaluation of our community’s laws and policies. The Index also examines how inclusive community services are of LGBT people. Arlington maintains its All Star status with the Human Rights Campaign for another year.

Human Rights Liaison

Gurjit Chima, Assistant County Manager for Human Rights, EEO, and ADA, is the designated liaison for all minority communities, including LGBTQ, for matters of human rights. You may contact the Office of Human Rights for additional information.

gurjit chima
 

 


Departmental Information

Contact

Office of Human Rights
2100 Clarendon Boulevard Suite. 318
Arlington, VA 22201
703-228-3929
703-228-4611 (TTY)
703-228-4390 (fax)

Quick Links

File a Complaint
Arlington County Code Chp. 31 Human Rights
James B. Hunter Award

Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission handles complaints of discrimination in Arlington County. The Commission can take complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit and commercial real estate.
Learn More