Procedure for Filing Complaints of Discrimination

Maine Department of Education Summer Food Service Program

Federal Process: USDA FNS Northeast Regional Office

Complaints based on Federal protected bases: Race, Color, National Origin, Age, Sex and Disability 

I.         RIGHT TO FILE A COMPLAINT

            Any person alleging discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability has a right to file a complaint within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory action.  The complaint shall be processed upon receipt in the manner prescribed by FNS Instructions 113-1, which can be obtained from the State Agency.

II         ACCEPTANCE

            All civil rights complaints, written or verbal, shall be accepted and forwarded to the Civil Rights Division, through the Food and Nutrition Services, Northeast Regional Office.  It is necessary that the information be sufficient to determine the identity of the agency or individual towards which the complaint is directed, and to indicate the possibility of a violation.  Anonymous complaints should be handled as any other complaints.

            If a complaint is made the following information should be gathered:

  1. Name, address and telephone number or other means of contacting complainant.
  • The specific location and name of the entity delivering the service or benefit.
  • The nature of the incident or action that led the complainant to feel discrimination was a factor, or an example of the method of administration which is having a disparate effect on the public, potential participants, or participants.
  • The basis on which the complainant feels discrimination exists (race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability).
  • The names, titles and business addresses of the persons who may have knowledge of the discriminatory action.
  • The date(s) during which the alleged discriminatory actions occurred, or if continuing, the duration of such actions.

III       VERBAL COMPLAINTS

In the event a complainant makes allegations verbally or in a telephone conversation and then refuses or is not inclined to place the allegations in writing, then a complaint and all its elements should be written by the person taking the complaint.  Every effort should be made to have the same information provided as above. 

State Process: Maine Human Rights Commission

Complaints based on Maine protected bases: Religion, Ancestry, and Sexual Orientation 

WHO MAY FILE

  • Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination covered under the Maine Human Rights Act may file a complaint with the Commission.

WHEN TO FILE

  • A complaint should be filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission as soon as possible after the act of discrimination occurs.
  • A complaint must be filed within 300 days of the date of discrimination.

HOW TO FILE

  • Complaints of discrimination may be filed in person or by mail by filling out a form provided by the Commission.
  • A complaint of discrimination must be sworn to under oath before a Notary Public or other person authorized by law to administer oaths.

WHERE TO FILE

  • Complaints of discrimination must be filed at the office of the Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051.

Federal

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency ere they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, heard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/filing-program-discrimination-complaint-usda-customer  and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

State

The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, religion, ancestry or national origin. To file a complaint of discrimination, write Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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