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Human Relations Board
Background Information | Contact Information | General Information
Meeting Schedule | File Complaint | Human Relations Board

THE COMPLAINT PROCESS

and

HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT

with the

HUMAN RELATIONS BOARD

Note:  If you have questions at any time during the process of filing a complaint, please contact the Human Relations Board, phone 951-3666  For the hearing impaired, please call the TDD number, 951-3601.


THE GOAL OF THE COMPLAINT PROCESS

The goal of the Human Relations Board is to provide early intervention into complaints of discrimination that result in resolutions mutually agreeable to the complainant (the person making the complaint) and the respondent (the person or company being complained against).

By offering a way to resolve complaints informally through conciliation, it is anticipated that most cases will not reach the formal hearing stage.

THE STEPS OF THE COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • A complaint must be filed in writing on a Human Relations Board complaint form for either employment, housing or public accommodation.  The complaint form can be completed manually, then mailed or hand-delivered to the Human Relations Board; or it can be completed and submitted online.  See the instructions that follow for how to file a complaint.
  • Upon receipt by the Human Relations Board, the complaint will be logged in and reviewed by City administration to ensure it meets the criteria of the ordinance.
  • If the complaint does not meet the criteria of the ordinance, the complainant will be notified and the case will be closed.  The complainant may be referred to another agency.  If the complaint meets the criteria of the ordinance, the complainant will be notified.  The respondent will be sent a copy of the complaint and will be asked to complete a response form.
  • The respondent files their written response to the Human Relations Board.
  • The complainant and respondent will be referred for a conciliation meeting.
  • A qualified conciliator holds an informal meeting with both parties to try to resolve the complaint.  The parties will enter into a conciliation agreement.
  • If conciliation resolves the complaint and the Human Relations Board approves the conciliation agreement, the case is closed.
  • If conciliation does not resolve the complaint, a public hearing is scheduled before the Human Relations Board.  At this point, each party has the opportunity to tell their story, witnesses may be called, etc.  After hearing the case, a majority vote of the Human Relations Board is required to determine if there is reasonable cause that an act of discrimination has occurred.
  • If no reasonable cause is found, the case is dismissed.
  • If reasonable cause is found, the complainant may request a right to sue letter from the Human Relations Board.  The complainant may proceed, at their own expense, to file a lawsuit in the Circuit Court seeking monetary damages.
  • Involvement by the Human Relations Board normally ends at the point of either the case being closed or issuing a right to sue letter.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT

IMPORTANT -- Please read the “General Information” page in this web site (see heading above).  It provides information about the classes that are protected by this ordinance.  By answering the five pre-qualifying questions, you may know in advance whether you qualify for the Human Relations Board complaint process.

Complaints filed with the Human Relations Board must be submitted on Human Relations Board forms.  There are separate forms for complaints related to employment, housing and public accommodation.  Please use the most recent version of the complaint form.  Clicking on one of the following links will take you to the most recent version of the complaint form.  It contains information specific to the type of complaint you may wish to make and provides information about where and how to submit your complaint.

EMPLOYMENT

HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION

   
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City of Sarasota address: 1565 1st Street, Sarasota, FL, 34236, www.sarsotagov.com
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