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Civil Rights Compliance. What Are Civil Rights?. “The nonpolitical rights of a citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13 th and 14 th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by acts of Congress.”. What is Discrimination?.

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What are civil rights
What Are Civil Rights?

“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.”

What is discrimination
What is Discrimination?

The act of distinguishing one person or group of persons from others, either intentionally, or neglect or by the effect of actions or lack of actions based on being a member of a protected class.

6 protected classes
6 Protected Classes

  • Race

  • Color

  • Sex

  • Age

  • National Origin

  • Disability

6 areas of civil rights compliance
6 Areas of Civil Rights Compliance

  • Public Notification System

  • Data Collection

  • Training

  • Compliance Reviews

  • Civil Rights Complaints

  • Assurances

Public notification system
Public Notification System

All FNS assisted programs must include a Public Notification System. The purpose of the systemis to inform applicants, participants, and potentially eligible persons of the programs availability, program rights, and responsibilities, the policy of nondiscrimination, and the procedure to file a complaint.

Public notification system1
Public Notification System

Sponsors are responsible for the public release of information about their NSLP program.

Public notification system2
Public Notification System

  • The non-discrimination statement should be included, in full, on all materials regarding the NSLP, SBP, and ASSP that are produced for public notification (i.e., news release).

  • Sponsors of child nutrition programs must convey the message of equal opportunity in all photographic and other graphics used to provide program information.

Non discrimination statement
Non-discrimination Statement

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

  • If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

  • Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

  • USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer

Public notification system3
Public Notification System

  • Must display “And Justice For All” poster in a prominent place.

  • Must by 11” x 17”

Data collection
Data Collection

  • Ethnicity and Race information is collected at enrollment through Infinite Campus.

Civil rights training
Civil Rights Training

All staff should receive training on all aspects of civil rights compliance ANNUALLY.

  • Collection and use of data

  • Effective public notification systems

  • Compliant procedures

  • Compliance review techniques

  • Resolutions of noncompliance

  • Requirements for reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities

  • Requirements for language assistance

  • Conflict resolution

  • Customer service

Training documentation
Training Documentation

  • You must document your training efforts as part of the documentation and record-keeping requirements. Documentation must include:

    • Trainer’s name

    • Training date

    • Title of training

    • Topics covered

    • Participant’s names

    • Participant’s signatures

Compliance reviews
Compliance Reviews

3 Types

  • Pre-award Compliance Reviews

  • Routine Compliance Reviews

  • Special Compliance Reviews

Pre award compliance reviews
Pre-award Compliance Reviews

  • May be on site or desk reviews.

  • Includes information provided by applicants in their official application for Program funds.

Routine post award compliance reviews
Routine (Post-award) Compliance Reviews

  • The State agency shall conduct Routine Civil Rights Compliance Reviews when they conduct program reviews.

Special compliance reviews
Special Compliance Reviews

  • A special compliance review is conducted by FNS Regional and/or Headquarters CRD when significant civil rights concerns having a direct effect on the delivery of FNS program services and/or benefits are identified. USDA OCR may conduct other special reviews.

Special compliance reviews1
Special Compliance Reviews

  • Program participation data indicates that a particular group in a specific area is not benefiting from a FNS program

  • Reports of alleged noncompliance made by the media, grassroots organizations, or advocacy groups need to be resolved

  • Reports of alleged noncompliance made by other agencies, such as KDE and DOH, need to be resolved

  • Patterns of complaints of discrimination have been documented


  • Prior to receiving Federal funding each entity must enter into a contractual agreement (i.e. Federal/State Agency Agreement or a State Agency/Local Agency Agreement) in which a State Agency, local agency, or other. The Agreement specifically provides assurance to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) that the agency legally agrees to administer FNS program services, benefits and activities in accordance with all civil rights laws, regulations, instructions, policies and guidance related to nondiscrimination in program delivery……………


  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 added disability to Title VI.

  • Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 extended the requirements to all services, programs and activities of State and local governments and prohibits discrimination based on disability…

Serving disabled clients
Serving Disabled Clients

  • A recipient shall operate each FNS assisted program or activity so that the program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, it is readily accessible to and usable by qualified disabled persons.

  • A Reasonable Accommodation must be provided to persons known to have mental or physical limitations upon request.

  • Persons should be referred to as a disabled individual or an individual with a disability.

  • A disabled person means any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity. Has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

  • A major life activity can include but not limited to; performing manual tasks, caring for ones self, walking, talking, hearing. Speaking, breathing, learning and working.

Limited english proficiency
Limited English Proficiency

  • Definition:

    • Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.

    • Recipients of Federal financial assistance have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by persons with limited English proficiency.

    • Free & Reduced Application templates in many languages are available on the USDA website

Limited english proficiency1
Limited English Proficiency

Factors to consider in addressing LEP:

  • Number or proportion of LEP persons eligible to be served or encountered by program.

  • Frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with the program.

  • Nature and importance of the program, activity, or service provided by the program to people’s lives.

  • Resources available to the recipient and costs

    For further information:

Non compliance

“Non-compliance” is…

A factual finding that any civil rights requirement, as provided by law, regulation, policy, instruction, or guidelines, is not being adhered to by a State agency, local agency, or other sub-recipient.

A finding of noncompliance may be the result of
A Finding of Noncompliance May be the Result of:

  • A Management Evaluation or a Civil Rights Compliance Review

  • A Special Compliance Review; or

  • An Investigation

Examples of non compliance
Examples of Non-Compliance

  • Selecting members for planning and advisory bodies in such a way as to exclude persons from membership on the basis of a protected class.

  • Selecting FNS program sites or facilities in a manner that denies an individual access to FNS program benefits, assistance, or services on the basis of a protected class.

Handling complaints
Handling Complaints

  • Complaints may be written or verbal.

  • Contact information of the complainant.

  • Sponsor & site information.

  • Nature of incident or action that led the complainant to feel discrimination was a factor.

What happens once noncompliance is determined
What Happens Once Noncompliance is Determined

  • A notice of the finding of noncompliance is made to the state agency, local agency or other sub-recipient.

  • Steps must be taken immediately to obtain voluntary compliance

  • If compliance is not achieved, it is elevated within FNS, and then, to USDA OCR for formal enforcement action.

If voluntary corrective action cannot be achieved within 60 days
If Voluntary Corrective Action Cannot be Achieved Within 60 Days

  • FNS-HQ must be advised and provided with pertinent documentation.

  • FNS-HQ will decide on appropriate action.

  • Once voluntary compliance efforts are exhausted, 30 day notification is provided.

  • If still unresolved, forwarded to USDA OCR for formal enforcement action.

  • As a last resort, FNS assistance is terminated or suspended.

Handling complaints1
Handling Complaints Days

  • Complaints must be forwarded to SCN within 3 days.

  • A complainant has 180 days from the time of the alleged incident to file a complaint.

Conflict resolution and customer service
Conflict DaysResolution and Customer Service

  • Bad customer service can create barriers to accessing the program. Every SFA should develop a customer service element in their every day philosophy of how the work is accomplished.

  • Good customer Service is Effectively communicating with customers, Responding to their needs, Valuing their worth, and Instilling excellence through courtesy, Confidence, and Enthusiasm.

  • Using effective conflict resolution is a fast way to resolve disputes between employee’s customers and or vendors.

  • The process should be fair, neutral, and productive.

  • Separate the people from the problem and focus on the resolution.

  • Avoid competing interest, generate a variety of solutions and always treat the customer with respect!