Your Rights Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
"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."
(42 U.S.C. 2000d)
This information is designed to assist you to understand your rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What is Title VI?
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the Federal Law that protects individuals and groups from discrimination on the basis of their race, color, and national origin in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. However, the United States Department of Transportation's (USDOT) reference to Title VI includes other Civil Rights provisions of Federal statutes and related authorities to the extent that they prohibit discrimination in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
Title VI Policy
Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Restoration Act of 1987 and other nondiscrimination authorities, it is the policy of the Norwalk Transit District that discrimination on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or income level shall not occur in connection with programs or activities receiving financial assistance from the USDOT.
Norwalk Transit District will ensure that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or income level be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance from the USDOT.
Title VI Compliance
Title VI compliance is a situation where a recipient has effectively implemented all the Title VI requirements or can demonstrate that every good faith effort has been made toward achieving this end.
A USDOT Federal aid recipient is any State, territory, possession, political subdivision, instrumentality, public or private agency, organization, entity or individual to whom USDOT assistance is extended either directly or through another recipient.
Federally assisted programs include any USDOT Project, program or activity for the provision of services, financial aid, and other benefits. This includes education or training, work opportunities, health, welfare, rehabilitation, housing or other services, whether provided directly by the recipient or other agents, through contracts or other arrangements with the recipient.
What discrimination is prohibited by the Norwalk Transit District's Title VI Program?
Discrimination under our Title VI program is an act (action or inaction) whether intentional or unintentional, through which a person believes that he or she, individually, or as a member of any specific class of persons, has been excluded from participation in, been denied the benefits of, or been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or income level, under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from USDOT, with regard to:
- the availability and equitable distribution of transit services and benefits;
- the level and quality of transit services that are sufficient to provide equal access and mobility for all persons;
- the opportunity to participate in the transit planning and decision making processes; and,
- the right to fair decisions on the location of transit services and facilities.
Who may file a Title VI complaint?
A complaint may be filed by any individual or group that believes that they have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation based on their race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability and/or income level. The complaint may be filed by the affected party or a representative, and must be in writing.
Title VI Complaint Procedure
The complaint will be made in writing, using the complaint form, and submitted to the Norwalk Transit District Civil Rights Officer and will include all information relevant to a determination of discrimination. A complaint must be filed within six (6) months after the alleged discrimination. In cases where the complainant is unable or incapable of providing a written statement, the Civil Rights Officer will, if necessary, assist the person in converting verbal complaints to writing and will interview the complainant. The complainant or his/her representative will sign all complaints.
The complete complaint procedure/process is available upon request by calling 203-299-5160. Provision will be made for persons with limited English proficiency.
What information do I include in my complaint?
Follow the outline provided on the complaint form, including:
- Your name, address and telephone number. If you are filing on behalf of another person, include their name, address, telephone number and your relation to that person.
- The name and address of the agency, firm or department you believe discriminated against you.
- Your signature.
- A description of how, why, and when you believe you were discriminated against. Include as much background information as possible about the alleged acts.
- The names of individuals whom you allege discriminated against you if you know them.
- The names of any persons, if known, that can be contacted for additional information to support or clarify your allegations.
- Any additional information that might be helpful.
How can I file a discrimination complaint?
If you believe that a USDOT recipient has discriminated against you or others protected by Title VI, you may file a complaint. Complaints may be filed with either of the following persons:
Attn: Civil Rights Officer
Norwalk Transit District
275 Wilson Avenue
Norwalk, Connecticut 06854-4615
Telephone: 203-852-0000, ext 162
Attn: Civil Rights Officer
Federal Transit Administration
Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway, Suite 920
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142-1093
If you believe that a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recipient has retaliated against you, immediately contact the FTA to investigate your allegation. Filing a complaint does not prevent an individual or group from seeking remedy through other sources.