Civil Rights Enforcement Agencies

The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.  OCR is also responsibile for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 which prohibits disability discrimination by all public entities.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, genetic information, religion, national origin, age, or disability, as well as retaliation protections for persons complaining of discrimination or participating in the investigation of discriminatory activity.  These laws prohibit discrimination in the job application and hiring process, and in the context of terminations, promotions, trainings, wages, or any other terms, privileges or conditions of employment.

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CCHRO) enforces state laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit transactions.  The mission of the CCHRO is to eliminate discrimination through the enforcement of civil and human rights laws and to further the goals of equal opportunity and justice for all persons within the state through advocacy and education.  Connecticut law provides protections against discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, race, criminal record, genetic information, disability, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or workplace hazards to reproductive systems, as well as retaliation protections for whistleblowers and persons complaining of discrimination or participating in the investigation of discriminatory activity.

The U.S. Department of Labor administers a variety of federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions, a minimum hourly wage, and overtime pay.  The Department of Labor is also responsible for enforcing comprehensive federal labor laws in areas such as record keeping, youth and special employment, family and medical leave, migrant workers, lie detector tests, protections in certain temporary worker programs, and the prevailing wages for government service and construction contracts.  The Connecticut Department of Labor is responsible for a number of state labor programs, including unemployment insurance, wage and workplace standards, and the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act.

For more information about other entities that enforce state and federal non-discrimination laws, please go to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the U.S. Department of Justice or to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.