Program Discrimination Complaint Filing

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question to find the answer.

Whom may I contact for further information on filing a program discrimination complaint?

How do I file a USDA program discrimination complaint?

How do I check the status of my program discrimination complaint?

How long do I have to file a USDA program discrimination complaint?

How do I request a waiver of the 180-day filing deadline?

Can I send my USDA program discrimination complaint to the Office of Adjudication by email?

If I file a lawsuit in court after having filed a discrimination complaint with the Office of Adjudication, will the court waive the time limits for filing the lawsuit?

Where do I mail my program discrimination complaint?

 

Whom may I contact for further information on filing a program discrimination complaint?

You may contact the Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, on (866) 632-9992 (toll free) or (202) 260-1026 or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

Return to Top

How do I file a USDA program discrimination complaint?

To file a program discrimination complaint, please complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form. You or your authorized representative must sign the complaint form. You are not required to use the complaint form. You may also file a program discrimination complaint by writing a letter to the Office of Adjudication. For additional information about what to include in your letter, see How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint, on our Web site. For information on the discrimination complaint process, contact the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, on (202) 260-1026 or (866) 632-9992 (toll free) or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

How do I check the status of my program discrimination complaint?

To check the status of your program discrimination complaint, contact the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, on (202) 260-1026 or (866) 632-9992 (toll free) or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

How long do I have to file a USDA program discrimination complaint?

The Office of Adjudication has authority to investigate actions that took place no more than 180 days prior to the filing of your complaint, unless a waiver of this filing deadline is granted.

Return to Top

How do I request a waiver of the 180-day filing deadline?

A waiver may be granted for the following reasons:
  • The discriminatory act could not reasonably be expected to be known within the 180-day period;
  • Illness or incapacitation;
  • The same complaint was filed with another Federal, state, or
  • local agency; or
  • Any other basis determined by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. If you wish to request a waiver, make your request in your complaint letter and be sure to explain why you did not file within the 180-day period. For more information, contact the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Information Research Service, at (202) 260-1026 or (866) 632-9992 (toll free) or send an email to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at CR-INFO@ascr.usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact us through the Federal Relay Service on (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

Can I send my USDA program discrimination complaint to the Office of Adjudication by email?

No, a USDA program discrimination complaint cannot be sent by email. The Office of Adjudication requires an original, signed document to initiate the complaint process.

Return to Top

If I file a lawsuit in court after having filed a discrimination complaint with the Office of Adjudication, will the court waive the time limits for filing the lawsuit?

Filing a discrimination complaint with the Office of Adjudication does not waive requirements for filing a lawsuit. You may wish to consult a lawyer at your earliest convenience to ensure that your rights are preserved.

Where do I mail my program discrimination complaint?

Mail your program discrimination complaint to:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Office of Adjudication
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410

Return to Top