It is a SEAGO policy to uphold and assure full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related acts and statutes. Title VI and related statutes prohibiting discrimination in Federally assisted programs require that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, nation origin, sex, age, or disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal assistance.
Title VI Complaint Process
Any person who believes that he or she, either individually, as a member of any specific class of persons, or in connection with any minority contractor, has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987
may file a complaint. The complaint must be (a) unequal treatment because of race, color, national origin, gender, age, Limited English Proficiency, income, and/or disability, or (b) noncompliance with Title VI rules or guidelines adopted thereunder. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Civil Rights Office (CRO) has the principal responsibility for processing, investigating, and resolving complaints arising as a result of
transportation related operations of its sub-recipients such as SEAGO. SEAGO will be responsible for processing, investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination by its member agencies. Complaints must be submitted in writing to:
John Merideth, Title VI Coordinator
SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization
1403 W. Highway 92
Bisbee, AZ 85603
Tel: 520.432.5301 x 212
A person may also file a complaint directly with the Arizona Department of Transportation Civil Rights Office at 206 South 17th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85007.
SEAGO will investigate complaints received no more than 180 days after the alleged incident. The complaint must be (a) unequal treatment because of race, color, national origin, gender, age, Limited English Proficiency, income, and/or disability, or (b) noncompliance with Title VI rules or guidelines adopted thereunder. Once the complaint is received, SEAGO will review it to determine if our office has jurisdiction. The complainant will receive an acknowledgement letter informing her/him whether the complaint will be investigated by our office.
SEAGO has 45 days to investigate the complaint. If more information is needed to resolve the case, SEAGO may contact the complainant. The complainant has 10 business days from the date of the letter to send requested information to the investigator assigned to the case. If the investigator is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within 10 business days, SEAGO can administratively close the case. A case can be administratively closed also if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.
Within 60 calendar days of the acceptance of the complaint, the investigator will issue one of two letters to the complainant: a closure letter or a letter of finding (LOF). A closure letter summarizes the allegations and states that there was not a Title VI violation and that the case will be closed. An LOF summarizes the allegations and the interviews regarding the alleged incident, and explains whether any disciplinary action, additional training of the staff member or other action will occur. If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, she/he has 15 days after the date of the letter or the LOF to do so.
SEAGO will immediately notify ADOT’s Civil Rights Office of any transit related complaints and provide a copy of the final investigation report to their Civil Rights Office. A formal complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged act of discrimination or the date when the alleged discrimination became known to the complainant(s), or where there has been a continuing course of conduct, the date on which the conduct was discontinued or the latest instance of the conduct. This timeframe is prescribed by 49CFR 21.11(b).
The complaint must meet the following requirements:
a. Complaint shall be in writing and signed by the complainant(s) and must include complainant(s) name, address, and phone number. The Title VI Coordinator or a liaison will assist the complainant with documenting the issues if necessary.
b. Present a date of the alleged act of discrimination; date when the complainant(s) became aware of the alleged discrimination; or the date on which that conduct was discontinued or the latest instance of the conduct.
c. Present a detailed description of the issues including names and job titles of those individuals perceived as parties in the complained-of-incident.
d. Allegations received by fax or e-mail will be acknowledged and processed, once the identity (is) of the complainant(s) and the intent to proceed with the complaint have been established. For this, the complainant is required to mail a signed, original copy of the fax or e-mail transmittal for SEAGO to be able to process it.
e. Allegations received by telephone will be reduced to writing and provided to the complainant for confirmation or revision before processing. A complaint form will be forwarded to the complainant for him/her to complete, sign, and return to SEAGO for processing.
f. Within 45 calendar days of the acceptance of the complaint, the SEAGO investigator will prepare a draft investigative report. The report shall include a narrative description of the incident, identification of persons interviewed, findings, and recommendations for disposition.
g. SEAGO’s final investigative report with the preliminary findings and a copy of the complaint will be forwarded by certified mail to either ADOT, FHWA (Arizona Division office Civil Rights Specialist), FTA or FAA or NHTSA, within 60 calendar days of the acceptance of the complaint, per 23 CFR 200.9(b)(3).
A complainant dissatisfied with USDOT’s final agency decision may file action with the appropriate US District Court.