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How to File a Discrimination Complaint
>>ERIC KREKEL: The Missouri Commission on Human Rights was created to protect the rights of Missourians and prevent discriminatory behavior. Whether you are applying for a job or a home loan or buying tickets to see a movie, you should have access to the same services as everyone else. Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently because of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age or familial status. To help you better identify unlawful discrimination we have created a complaint assessment on our website. If the assessment determines MCHR has jurisdiction over your complaint, you will be instructed to complete a questionnaire. Now it's important to note that not all unfair treatment is unlawful discrimination. For instance, if your boss adds extra projects to your workload because you were late for a meeting, that's unfair, but it's not unlawful discrimination. But if your boss gives pay raises to all the males in the office but does not give raises to the females, there may be a basis for filing a discrimination complaint. Again, this tool will help you determine whether MCHR has jurisdiction to investigate your complaint.
>>NARRATOR: To get started, go to our website at labor.mo.gov. Click on the worker protection center blue shield in the middle of the page. Now click on the file a discrimination complaint bar on the bottom left. Here, you can find some information about discrimination and the process that goes into filing a complaint. After you've read this information, click on the take the complaint assessment box. Now, click on the begin assessment button to get started. Here, you must answer question 1; time limits. How many days has it been since you found out about the discriminatory decision? Select your answer, click submit. If you selected more than a 180 days, you will receive the message that informs you that MCHR lacks jurisdiction over the complaint because law says complaints must be filed within 180 days from the day the alleged discrimination took place. Question 2 asks about the area of discrimination. You can choose from employment or applying for employment, housing or rental, or a place of public accommodation. For the sake of simplicity, in this example we will select a place of public accommodations and click on submit. If your discrimination took place at a place of employment, don't worry, we'll come back to that in a moment. Places of public accommodation include but are not limited to restaurants, bars, retail stores, movie theaters, gas stations, schools, sports stadiums, hotels, state, county or city facilities. We should note at this point that MCHR only handles complaints of discrimination in housing, employment and places of public accommodations. If you believe that you are discriminated against in some other area, then MCHR cannot assist you. Question 3 is about the type of discrimination. Why do you believe that you were discriminated against? Select your answer from the available choices here and click submit. Now, back to the place of employment area. If you selected employment or applying for employment for question number 2, you will end up here to question number 4. Question 4 is about the number of employees in your organization. Choose the number of employees and click the submit button. If you chose five employees or less, you will see that MCHR only has jurisdiction over employers with six or more employees. If you chose six or more employees you will reach the page telling you that you have completed the first part of the discrimination complaint assessment. From this point you will be asked to complete the complaint intake questionnaire and return it to MCHR. Click here to open the intake questionnaire. To make things easier, you may want to save this file to your computer so you won't lose any progress on the form in the event that you lose your connection. Once you have filled this form out you can print it and mail it to MCHR, P.O. BOX 1129, Jefferson City Missouri 65102. Once your questionnaire has been received, we will be in contact with you so be sure to include your most current contact information. This completes our guide to using the online complaint assessment.
>>ERIC: I should mention that completing the complaint intake questionnaire is not the same thing as filing a formal complaint but rather starts the process to file a complaint. We hope this video has been helpful. If you have any additional questions please contact MCHR at MCHR@labor.mo.gov or call 573-751-3325 to speak with intake staff. Additional resources you can consider looking at include videos such as ADA in the workplace, serving up human rights in places of public accommodations and fair housing in the face of disaster series.