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Published on January 7, 2008

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CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLIANCE: YOUR AGENCY’S SUCCESS BEGINS WITH YOU! :  CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLIANCE: YOUR AGENCY’S SUCCESS BEGINS WITH YOU! CIVIL RIGHTS REQUIREMENTS MN FOOD SUPPORT PROGRAM Training for 2007 WHAT ARE CIVIL RIGHTS?:  WHAT ARE CIVIL RIGHTS? Civil rights are the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by acts of Congress. CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS:  CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS Title VI – Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Race, color, national origin Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 - Sex Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Disability Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990- Disability CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS:  CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS Age Discrimination Act of 1975 – Age Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 – Race, color & national origin Program statutes and regulations – race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability OTHER FEDERAL SOURCES:  OTHER FEDERAL SOURCES USDA regulations at 7 CFR 15 et seq. Equal Opportunity for Religious Organizations at 7 CFR 16 FSP regulations at 7 CFR 271-284 FNS Handbook 113-1 (11/8/2005) – Including Appendix A MN HUMAN RIGHTS ACT:  MN HUMAN RIGHTS ACT Prohibits discrimination in public service on the basis of 10 protected classes: Race Disability Color Age Creed Sex Religion National Origin Sexual Orientation Status with Regard to Public Assistance WHAT IS A PROTECTED CLASS?:  WHAT IS A PROTECTED CLASS? Any person or group of people who have characteristics for which discrimination is prohibited based on a law, regulation, or executive order. Protected classes in MnFSP are race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, religion, and political beliefs. WHAT IS FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE?:  WHAT IS FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE? Federal financial assistance is anything of value received from the Federal government. It can include cash grants and loans, commodities, training, property donations such as excess computers, permission to use Federal property, and similar items and services. WHO IS A COVERED ENTITY? :  WHO IS A COVERED ENTITY? Public and private entities receiving federal financial assistance. EXAMPLES of COVERED ENTITIES: :  EXAMPLES of COVERED ENTITIES: State, county, and local health and public assistance agencies Hospitals and nursing homes Managed health care organizations Grantee agencies Head Start programs Contractors and vendors of covered entities TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION:  TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION Disparate Treatment Disparate Impact Reprisal/Retaliation TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION:  TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION Disparate Treatment A person is discriminated against because he or she belongs to a protected class or is perceived as belonging to a protected class. This type of discrimination is intentional. People can sue an agency that engages in such discrimination. TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION:  TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION Disparate Impact Person or group experiences discrimination because a rule or policy that appears neutral on its face impacts disproportionately on members of a certain group. This type of discrimination is often unintentional. After Sandoval case, remedy is for person to pursue relief through the Federal agency that supplied financial assistance to the program or activity. TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION:  TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION Reprisal/Retaliation A person is treated badly or given a hard time because of previous civil rights or EEO activity such as filing a complaint. This can result in a finding even if the original complaint filed by the person is groundless. GOALS OF CIVIL RIGHTS:  GOALS OF CIVIL RIGHTS Equal treatment for all applicants and beneficiaries Knowledge of rights and responsibilities Elimination of illegal barriers that prevent or deter people from receiving benefits Dignity and respect for all CIVIL RIGHTS PLAN & ASSURANCE OF COMPLIANCE:  CIVIL RIGHTS PLAN & ASSURANCE OF COMPLIANCE Civil rights plans demonstrate an agency’s intent to comply Assurance of compliance is a contract by an entity promising to comply CIVIL RIGHTS PLAN & ASSURANCE OF COMPLIANCE:  CIVIL RIGHTS PLAN & ASSURANCE OF COMPLIANCE Help to clarify expectations Intended to help eliminate discrimination against applicants, participants, and beneficiaries Intended to prevent future discrimination Help address effects of past discrimination 2004 “Equal Opportunity for Religious Organizations” :  2004 “Equal Opportunity for Religious Organizations” Law Protects: Faith-Based Organizations Beneficiaries Law Protects Faith-Based Organizations :  Law Protects Faith-Based Organizations FBOs and CBOs have equal footing Prohibits discrimination against an organization on the basis of religion, religious belief or character in the distribution of funds Clarifies that FBOs can use space in their facilities without removing religious art or symbols Law Protects Beneficiaries :  Law Protects Beneficiaries No organization that receives direct assistance from the USDA can discriminate against a beneficiary or prospective beneficiary on the basis of religion or religious belief FBOs retain their independence and carry out their mission, as long as USDA funds (or activities) do not support worship, religious instruction or proselytization CIVIL RIGHTS REQUIRED TRAINING TOPICS:  CIVIL RIGHTS REQUIRED TRAINING TOPICS Collection & use of data; Effective public notification systems; Complaint procedures; Compliance review techniques; Resolution of noncompliance; Reasonable accommodation of people with disabilities; Language assistance; Conflict resolution; and Customer service. 1) COLLECTION & USE OF DATA:  1) COLLECTION & USE OF DATA People are asked to self-declare their race and ethnicity If they refuse, advise that you or someone else will code for them based on perception. RATIONALE: Discrimination is often based on perception, and others would probably have a perception similar to the person doing the coding. COLLECTION & USE OF DATA:  COLLECTION & USE OF DATA Helps determine if there are disparities between the potentially eligible population and the participating population or shows discrimination. Outreach efforts can be targeted. In general, any data collected about beneficiaries should be kept secure and confidential. 2) PUBLIC NOTIFICATION :  2) PUBLIC NOTIFICATION Prominently display the “And Justice for All” poster; Inform potentially eligible persons, applicants, participants and grassroots organizations of programs or changes in programs; Provide appropriate information in alternative formats for persons with disabilities; PUBLIC NOTIFICATION :  PUBLIC NOTIFICATION Include the required nondiscrimination statement on all appropriate FNS and agency publications, Web sites, posters and informational materials; and Convey the message of equal opportunity in all photos and other graphics that are used to provide program or program-related information. EFFECTIVE PUBLIC NOTIFICATION :  EFFECTIVE PUBLIC NOTIFICATION Outreach to unserved or underserved populations Use appropriate media – be creative Information on rights Display nondiscrimination poster Use other languages as needed & diverse graphics GIVING PUBLIC NOTICE ABOUT THE ADA:  GIVING PUBLIC NOTICE ABOUT THE ADA Designate an ADA Coordinator Give notice about the ADA’s requirements Establish and publish a grievance procedure NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT:  NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT “In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT:  NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT SHORT VERSION: “This institution is an equal opportunity provider.” May be used where the longer statement does not fit. Must be in font size no smaller than font size used in rest of publication Should not be used where information on rights is provided. NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT:  NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT WEB SITES Include the long statement or a link to it on each page that discusses FNS funded programs. Include the long or short statement on materials intended to be printed off the web site. 3) COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION:  3) COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION Be aware of the bases for which complaints may be filed: race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, political beliefs, and disability Never discourage groups or individuals from filing complaints or from voicing allegations of discrimination. Know where a complainant may file COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION:  COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION Filing options for complainants: Director, Office of Civil Rights at USDA Midwest Regional Director, Office of Civil Rights at USDA Civil Rights Coordinator, MN Department of Human Services County Human Services Agency MN Department of Human Rights COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION:  COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION Complaints are handled at the county agency level. Counties use an Agency Notification Form to inform DHS in writing of all service delivery discrimination complaints filed by applicants/clients against the county agency. Notification forms must be completed and sent to DHS Civil Rights Coordinator within 90 days of the date the complaint is filed. COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION Non-Civil Rights Complaints:  COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION Non-Civil Rights Complaints State and county agencies are also required to have a procedure for responding to and documenting non-civil rights complaints. USDA may request this information from human services agencies during ME audits, complaint investigations, or quarterly reporting. 4) COMPLIANCE REVIEWS:  4) COMPLIANCE REVIEWS Pre-award, post-award, and special Check for non-discrimination and insure civil rights requirements being followed 5) RESOLUTION OF NONCOMPLIANCE:  5) RESOLUTION OF NONCOMPLIANCE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: Cease inappropriate actions Institute appropriate procedures FAILURE/REFUSAL CAN RESULT IN LOSS OF FEDERAL ASSISTANCE! 6) REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS:  6) REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS INSURE ACCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES! Parking lot, entrances & exits, halls, elevators, rest rooms, sign language interpreters, Braille signage, service animals Alternative arrangements for service DISABILITY LAWS:  DISABILITY LAWS Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of their disability when the discrimination occurs in state/local governments services. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination based solely on their disability in federally funded services and programs. 7) LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE:  7) LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE People with limited English proficiency (LEP) need to be served in other languages Outreach in other languages is important Service must be provided – flexibility in how it is provided Check your county LEP plan, LEP contact LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE:  LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE How service is provided depends on: number & proportion of persons w/ LEP served or encountered in the eligible population; frequency of contact between people with LEP and the program; nature & importance of the program, activity, or service; and LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE:  LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE resources available and costs. SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES DOES NOT ELIMINATE REQUIREMENT!!! LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE:  LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE Children should not be used as interpreters. Volunteers may be used, including family members and friends, but make sure they understand interpreter ethics – particularly confidentiality! LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE:  LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE Schools are required to collect data on other languages in households. This is a valuable source of info for all programs! LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE:  LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE Federal: go to www.lep.gov for more information and resources State: go to www.dhs.state.mn.us for DHS translated documents and resources 8) CONFLICT RESOLUTION:  8) CONFLICT RESOLUTION Try to remain calm Try to explain situation Get help, especially if threats or if violence is possible Use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques 9) CUSTOMER SERVICE:  9) CUSTOMER SERVICE PLATINUM RULE “Treat others the way they want to be treated (or at least be aware of what that is).” SITUATIONS:  SITUATIONS Let’s examine some situations that might arise and present questions for you to consider about civil rights in practice! SITUATION:  SITUATION Where does the USDA non-discrimination statement need to be included? What are the main differences between the long and short versions and when is one preferable as opposed to the other? “This institution is an equal opportunity provider.” SITUATION:  SITUATION A complaint is received from a local office that someone who came to conduct a review was rude and disrespectful. The complaint states that the reviewer’s tone was demeaning and generally unpleasant. Are there civil rights issues here and if so, what? Does it make a difference if the provider and reviewer are different races, national origins or genders? SITUATION:  SITUATION Some people come to a human services office who do not speak English. You cannot understand them and have no idea what language they are speaking. You write a note to give to someone saying that they need to return with an interpreter. Is this proper or should something else be done? SITUATION:  SITUATION A local human services office director designates Wednesdays as “Arabic Days” so that people who have limited English proficiency and communicate in Arabic can have an interpreter. Should the director get an award for being innovative or be counseled for possible civil rights problems? SITUATION:  SITUATION What are some good ways of publicizing MN Food Support Programs to people who might be eligible but currently are not participating? SITUATION:  SITUATION A community group approaches a human services office and asks for a list of Hispanic households so it can provide holiday presents to them. What civil rights issues does this pose and how should this be handled? SITUATION:  SITUATION An office director is very angry that someone filed a frivolous discrimination complaint and took up a lot of her time and made her look bad. She tells her co-workers to watch out for this “troublemaker.” The next time the person visits, he encounters “attitude” from employees. What are the civil rights violations described here? SITUATION:  SITUATION A faith based organization wants to do Food Support outreach but requires that people attend a religious service and say a prayer before information is provided. Does this violate civil rights rules? SITUATION:  SITUATION In taking someone’s application for MN Food Support you ask for information on race and ethnicity. The person refuses to provide this information. What are you required to do? SITUATION:  SITUATION When conducting a review, you find that a human services office is not accessible to people with wheel chairs. What are some possible corrective actions? SITUATION:  SITUATION A man files a civil rights complaint saying he was denied participation in the MN Food Support program because of his sexual orientation. Is this a legitimate civil rights complaint and why or why not? SITUATION:  SITUATION A decision is made to relocate a local human services office when the lease expires. What civil rights issues might this raise, and how should these be addressed? QUESTIONS?:  QUESTIONS? DHS Contact Information:  DHS Contact Information Joann daSilva, Civil Rights Coordinator Office for Equal Opportunity MN Department of Human Services Box 64997 St. Paul, MN 55164-0997 (651) 431-3034 (voice) (651) 431-7444 (fax) E-mail: joann.dasilva@state.mn.us Web Site: www.dhs.state.mn.us Federal Contact Information:  Federal Contact Information Gilda M. Karu, Regional Director Civil Rights/EEO USDA, Food & Nutrition Service Midwest Regional Office 77 W. Jackson Blvd., FL 20 Chicago, IL 60604-3591 Phone: 312-353-3353 E-mail: gilda.karu@fns.usda.gov Web Site: www.fns.usda.gov/cr RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS::  RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS: To file a complaint, complainants may write to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or call 1-800-795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS::  RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS: In the Midwest Region they may also write to: Regional Director, Civil Rights/EEO, USDA Food & Nutrition Service, Midwest Regional Office, 77 West Jackson Blvd., FL 20, Chicago, IL 60604-3591; or call (312) 353-3353. RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS::  RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS: In Minnesota, complainants may write to: Civil Rights Coordinator, Office for Equal Opportunity, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Box 64997, St. Paul, MN 55164-0997; or call: (651) 431-3040 (voice); (651) 431-3041 (TTY/TDD); 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay Service); or 1-877-627-3848 (Speech-to-Speech Relay). RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS::  RESOURCES FOR COMPLAINANTS: Also in Minnesota, contact: The county human services agency and request the civil rights complaint procedure. Or: The Minnesota Department of Human Rights, 190 E. Fifth Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; 1-800-657-3704 (voice) or (651) 296-1293 (TTY/TDD). ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR COUNTY AGENCIES:  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR COUNTY AGENCIES Instruction for civil rights compliance and enforcement in FNS programs: www.fns.usda.gov/cr/Documents/113-1.pdf Information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act: www.ada.gov

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