Fair Housing Summit April 27, 2022 9AM-3:15PM Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
What does the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission do?
The City of Fort Wayne’s anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation and education on the basis of religion, sex, race, color, disability, national origin, ancestry, place of birth, sexual orientation, age (40+, not in housing) and familial status (only in housing). An individual who feels he or she has been illegally discriminated against in employment, housing, public accommodation or in education, can file a complaint with the Commission.
How do I file a complaint?
A complaint must be filed with the Commission either in-person or by mail. To begin the complaint process, you may contact our office by telephone, fill out an online inquiry on this webpage, or walk-in to our office. Your inquiry information will be assigned to a member of the Commission staff who will then conduct an intake interview. You cannot file a complaint over the telephone, but you may call us at any time (260 427-1146) if you want to set up an appointment to file a complaint or have questions about our process.
Is there a cost to file a complaint with the Commission?
No. There is no cost to file a complaint.
Is there a time limit to file a complaint with the Commission?
Yes. An individual has 300 calendar days from the last day alleged discrimination took place to file an employment, public accommodation or education complaint and up to one year to file a housing complaint. The Commission can only investigate employment complaints in which the alleged discrimination took place within the last 180 days. Anything that falls outside of the 180 days may be filed with our office and then transferred to our federal partner (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) for further review and investigation.
Can I file an anonymous complaint?
No. Complaints must be signed and sworn to under penalty of perjury.
Can I still file a complaint if I'm not fluent in English?
Yes. Your complaint will be translated, and interpreters will be used during the investigation. Metro provides interpreters and translators at no cost to you. Additionally, you may have someone you know (a representative) translate on your behalf.
Is this a lawsuit in court?
No. The filing of a discrimination complaint is not a lawsuit. It is an administrative process.
If I file a complaint with the Commission, can I still file in court?
If you’ve met the requirements to file in court, you may do so. Your Commission complaint will be closed once a lawsuit is filed if the allegations are the same.
Does the Commission represent me?
No. The Commission is a neutral fact-finding agency charged to investigate each complaint of discrimination to determine if a violation of the anti-discrimination laws has occurred.
Do I need an attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed to obtain one at any time.
Can you recommend an attorney?
The Commission does not recommend attorneys. You can contact your local bar associations or legal aid services for attorney referrals.
What happens after a complaint is filed?
It is assigned to an investigator and moves through our investigation process. Investigation Services
What does the Commission do when it finds probable cause?
If the Commission determines that there is probable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred the parties are notified, and attempts are made to conciliate (or settle) the complaint. If conciliation is unsuccessful, the complaint may be taken to a public hearing with a hearing officer. The Commission does not represent either party at the hearing. The Commission represents the public interest.
How can I protect myself or my witnesses from retaliation for filing a charge?
Once a complaint is made with the Commission, our laws protect you and your witnesses from retaliation. If you feel that you have been retaliated against for opposing discrimination based on a protected class, such as filing a discrimination complaint with the Commission or complaining of discrimination to your employer or housing provider, you may file a retaliation complaint.
I think I may have been discriminated against, but I'm not sure. What should I do?
You should contact the Commission, and we will determine if it’s jurisdictional for an investigation. If so, our investigation will focus on whether discrimination occurred by gathering evidence such as interviewing witnesses and reviewing documentation.