Title VI Complaint Process
- Statement of Policy: No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any Pierce Transit program or activity, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and as amended, and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (P.L. 100.259). Pierce Transit operates its programs without regard to race, color, or national origin.
- Notices: Notices of Title VI rights are posted on the agency’s website at: www.piercetransit.org/pierce-transit-title-vi-notice as well as in the bus schedule books (“The Bus Stops Here” or “TBSH”) and at the entrances of customer service facilities.
- How to file a Complaint: Any person or entity may make a complaint for discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, by submitting a complaint within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act as follows:
- All complaints must be in writing.
- A complaint may be made on the Agency’s Title VI Complaint Form or by email or letter with the following information:
- If submitting a complaint by letter, and not using the Agency’s form, all complaints must include:
- Name, address, and telephone number of complaining party;
- Name, address of the person, agency, institute, or office alleged to have engaged in a discriminatory act;
- A description on how, why and when the discrimination occurred, including as much background as possible about the allegations; and
- A signature by the complaining party.
- A complaint submitted by letter should be addressed as follows:
- A copy of the Agency’s Title VI Complaint Form may be obtained as follows:
- A Title VI complaint may also be filed with an external entity such as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), other federal or state agency, or a federal or state court. Information on how to file a complaint with the FTA may be found at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/12884.html Should a complaint be filed with Pierce Transit and an external entity simultaneously, the external complaint will supersede the Pierce Transit complaint and Pierce Transit’s complaint procedures will be suspended pending the external entity’s findings.
- How Pierce Transit Will Respond to Complaints:
Once a Title VI Complaint is received by Pierce Transit, the Civil Rights Officer will review the complaint and within fifteen working days, send a letter to the complainant acknowledging their complaint and either commencing an investigation or closing the matter.
Pierce Transit will investigate any written Title VI complaint filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act alleging discrimination because of race, color, or national origin. Pierce Transit will make every effort to investigate a complaint within 60 days. If a complaint is not brought within this time frame or does not allege discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, Pierce Transit will advise the complaining party that the Agency will close the complaint.
In investigating or attempting to resolve the complaint, the Civil Rights Officer may contact the complainant for a meeting, interview or additional information. Please note that a complainant’s failure to provide the requested information or participate in a meeting or interview (or failure to provide contact information) will result in the administrative closure of the complaint. The complainant has ten (10) business days from the date of any request by the Civil Rights Officer to provide the requested information or to participate in the investigation. If the requested information is not received within that time frame, the case will be closed.
After the investigation is completed, the Civil Rights Officer will issue a written report summarizing the investigation and will make findings and recommendations for corrective action, if any and as appropriate. Issuance of this report will also close the complaint and investigation.
Anyone wishing to appeal the findings, conclusions, or recommendations in the Civil Rights Officers’ report may do so by submitting a letter explaining the complainant’s position and requesting an independent review by Pierce Transit Chief Executive Officer within 15 days of receipt of the report. The Chief Executive Officer will issue a letter either confirming the Civil Rights Officer’s findings or notifying the complainant of further investigation within 30 business days of receipt of the appeal. The Chief Executive Officer’s review is final and binding.
- Complaint Records: Records of all Title VI complaints and associated investigations are retained by the agency’s Risk Management office, subject to applicable retention policies and public disclosure requirements and/or exemptions.
- Non-Retaliation: No person or entity will suffer retaliation or reprisal by Pierce Transit as a result of filing a Title VI discrimination complaint or as a result of participating in an investigation of a complaint. Any person who believes that they have suffered retaliation as a result of making a Title VI complaint or participating in any such investigation may make a complaint in accord with this process.
Attention: Civil Rights Officer
P.O. Box 99070
Lakewood, WA 98496