Civil Rights Division - Who We Are
The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) is charged with enforcing Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-402), housing (Colorado Revised Statutes §24-34-502), and public accommodations (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-602). We promote awareness of civil rights laws through training and education to groups and individuals across the state. We work in cooperation with federal and local agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (HUD/FHEO), as well as community-based organizations that promote and protect civil rights. CCRD maintains formal cooperative agreements with EEOC and HUD/FHEO to avoid duplication of efforts on those cases where joint jurisdiction (state and federal) exists.
CCRD is charged with investigating claims of illegal discrimination. Discrimination is defined as adverse treatment based on a person’s protected class. Examples of protected classes include Race, Color, Religion, National Origin/Ancestry, Sex, Pregnancy, Disability, Sexual Orientation including Transgender Status, Age, Marital Status, and Familial Status.
Our staff assists aggrieved parties who want to file a formal complaint of discrimination with CCRD by drafting their allegations into a legal charge. The charge is served on the Respondent and the investigative process is initiated. The Respondent will be asked to provide a written response to the allegations. Once the reply is received, a copy of the position statement is provided to the Charging Party, who is given an opportunity to provide a rebuttal statement.
The Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division is statutorily required to “receive, investigate, and make determinations on charges alleging unfair or discriminatory practices in violation of [CADA].” (Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-34-302 (2)). CADA is the Colorado Antidiscrimination Act. Any person who claims to have been aggrieved by a discriminatory act, as contemplated by the Colorado Antidiscrimination Act, may file a timely charge of discrimination with the CCRD. Such charge of discrimination results in the initiation of an investigation.
Should the Director, or a designee thereof, determine through that investigation that the evidence shows that probable cause exists that there has been a violation of CADA, then written notice of that determination citing specific legal authority is provided to the respective parties. The parties are then ordered to “participate in compulsory mediation” in an effort to “eliminate the discriminatory or unfair practice by conference, conciliation, and persuasion.”
If conciliation is unsuccessful, then the Director reports the same to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who then may consider setting the matter for hearing with an administrative court.
The CCRD does not have the authority to initiate claims of discrimination.
The CCRD does not have the authority to impose monetary penalties.
The CCRD does not have the authority to seize property.
The CCRD does not have the authority to bring criminal charges, jail, or imprison any individual.
Complementing our enforcement efforts are education and outreach activities designed to provide information about anti-discrimination laws to individuals, businesses, government agencies, and community groups.