Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is discrimination?

Discrimination is unfair treatment of an individual in a protected class or group.  The laws that prohibit discrimination are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Americans with Disabilities Act of (1990) (ADA) and Amendments Act of 2008; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1978; The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978; and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

2. Under what basis can I file a discrimination complaint?

A discrimination complaint can be filed with the Fairfax County Government Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, the Equity Programs Division (EPD) based on race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, veteran’s status, national origin, gender/sex, political and union affiliation, marital status and retaliation.

3. How do I know if I have been the victim of discrimination?

Discrimination is sometimes subtle and difficult to distinguish from other forms of conduct not covered under anti-discrimination laws.  Often times, there is no”direct evidence” of a discriminatory act.  If you think that you have been a victim of discrimination, you should contact the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs Division, Equity Programs Division at 703-324-2953 (V); 711 (TTY); 703-324-3570 (Fax) and schedule a meeting to speak with an analyst.

4. Do any of these laws protect me from retaliation?

Yes. It is illegal to retaliate (to take any adverse action) against an individual because she/he has filed a complaint, objected to discriminatory practices, or participated in a protected activity.  If you believe you have been retaliated against, you can file a complaint with the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division at 703-324-2953 (V); 711 (TTY); 703-324-3570 (Fax).

5. How do I file a discrimination complaint?

If you believe someone has discriminated against you in any of the areas protected by law and wish to file a complaint of discrimination against a Fairfax County Government agency or employee, you may contact the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division (EPD) at 703-324-2953 (V); 711 (TTY); 703-324-3570 (Fax).  If your complaint refers to employment discrimination, you may also file a complaint with the federal government, at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) directly at 1800 669-4000 (V); or 1800 669-6829 (TTY).  If your complaint refers to the accessibility of Fairfax County Government facilities, programs, or services, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (link http://www.ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm)

6. Who can file a discrimination complaint?

Any citizen can make a complaint ofdiscrimination against a Fairfax County Government agency or employee.  The citizen may contact theOffice of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division (EPD) at 703-324-2953 (V); 711 (TTY); 703-324-3570 (Fax).  An analyst will speak to you regarding your concerns and provide you with the proper advice.

A job applicant who applies for employment with Fairfax County Government and believes that he/she has been discriminated against may file a compliant of discrimination with the county or may file a charge of discrimination directly with EEOC.

7. Is there a time limit for filing a discrimination complaint under the Fairfax County Government internal complaint procedures?

Yes.  There are very strict time frames in which a charge of discrimination must be filed.  If you are a citizen or applicant, a complaint should be filed within 15 working days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays) after the complainant gained knowledge of the event giving rise to the alleged violation.

8. Where do I go if I have been sexually harassed?

If you have been sexually harassed, you may contact the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division at 703-324-2953 (V); 711 (TTY); 703-324-3570 (Fax).  Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and is illegal under federal law and Fairfax County Government policies.  If you are an employee, you may also file a complaint directly with EEOC.

9. As an employee with Fairfax County Public Schools, how may I file a discrimination complaint?

The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is not under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County Government Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division.  If you want to file a complaint of discrimination with FCPS, you many report it to your principal, program manager, or the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Equity and Compliance (OEC) at 571-423-3050 (V); 711 (TTY & TDD); 571-423-3057 (Fax) or with EEOC.

10. If I have an impairment and need assistance to attend programs, services or activities sponsored by the Fairfax County Government, what can I do?

Individuals who need an accommodation in order to participate or attend programs, activities, services offered or sponsored by the county should contact the agency in advance to request an accommodation.  For example, an accommodation may include services provided by a sign language interpreter, or printed material in an accessible format.  If you have any questions or need assistance with your request, you may contact the Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs, Equity Programs Division at 703-324-2953 (V); 711 (TTY); or 703-324-3570 (Fax).


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