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Filing Complaints of Discrimination

If you believe someone has discriminated against you in any of the areas protected by law, you or your representative may contact our nearest office for assistance. Contact may be made by telephone, in person, by US mail or by email. If you contact us by US mail or email, please include your name, address, and a telephone number where you can be reached during the day. A civil rights representative will answer your questions and advise you on filing a complaint or offer you other alternatives, as appropriate, to address your concern.

To File A Complaint

If you want to file a complaint, a civil rights representative will conduct an interview to decide whether your situation meets the jurisdictional requirements defined by law. You will be asked many questions, and your ability to provide the answers will make the process much easier. Please have the following information available:

  • Name and address of the employer, school, agency or public place or service about which you want to complain. Information about the total number of employees the employer has and the type of work done.
  • Dates of any incidents you want to include in your complaint that took places in the last 180 days.
  • Names of any persons who discriminated against you, if you know their names. Describe them if you do not know their names.
  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to incidents you want to complain about. If you do not know the names or contact information of witnesses, provide the best information you have about how to locate them. 
  • Copies of any work policies which you feel were unequally applied.
  • Copies of any memos or disciplinary actions you want to complain about.
  • Information about any other actions you have taken about the cited incidents.
  • Names of people, if you know of any, who did the same thing you did and were not treated the way you were. Be prepared to describe their circumstances including approximate dates, persons who treated these people differently from you, and names of persons who could verify the circumstances.
  • Name and contact information for your union representative, if applicable. Name and address of union local, if applicable.
  • The status of a grievance, if you have filed one.

If it is determined that your situation falls within the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the civil rights representative will, with your help, draft a complaint. You will be asked to sign the complaint, and swear or affirm before a Notary Public that the statement in the complaint is true to the best of your knowledge or belief. You will be given a copy of the complaint and a letter explaining what will happen next, and advising you of your rights under the Elliott-Larsen and/or Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act, and your responsibility to keep the Michigan Department of Civil Rights informed of your whereabouts and current on matters relating to your complaint.

A Complaint Is Not A Lawsuit

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is an administrative agency representing the interest of the state. During the investigation of a complaint, the Department represents neither the claimant nor the responding party. It represents the best interest of the people of Michigan. Therefore, neither is a complaint a lawsuit for the claimant, nor are lawyers provided during the filing or investigative process.

If You Have Questions

If you have questions about this information, contact the Service Center for clarification by telephone, fax or email:

Phone: 313-456-3700
Fax: 313-456-3701
Toll-Free: 800-482-3604
TTY: 877-878-8464
Email: MDCRServiceCenter@michigan.gov

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