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Civil Rights Compliance - CRC

<p>
The <strong>Office of Civil Rights Compliance</strong> (OCRC) works to ensure compliance with nondiscrimination rules and regulations by SBA recipients of general financial assistance and, with regard to individuals with disabilities, SBA programs and program offices.</p>
<h2>
Overview of the Office of Civil Rights Compliance</h2>
<p>
To achieve goals of the program as stated above, the Office of Civil Rights Compliance does the following:</p>
<ul>
<li>
<p>
Conducts compliance reviews and investigations of the delivery of programs and activities as well as the employment practices of SBA recipients of federal financial assistance to enforce non-discrimination laws and regulations;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Investigates or refers to other agencies, based on jurisdiction, complaints of discrimination filed against SBA recipients of federal financial assistance;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Investigates complaints of discrimination based on disability filed against SBA programs or program offices;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Monitors SBA recipients of federal financial assistance for compliance with civil rights regulations;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Screens companies nominated for public recognition by Headquarters and field offices for employment discrimination complaints;</p>
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<p>
Provides technical assistance in civil rights matters to SBA officials, SBA recipients of federal financial assistance and, as a public service, the small business community;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Collects data and prepares and evaluates regular and special reports on the civil rights compliance activities and policies of the SBA;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Serves as SBA&rsquo;s liaison with other federal and non-federal agencies on matters relating to the civil rights compliance program; and</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Refers to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) any non-civil rights concerns which appear to be violations of existing statute or regulation revealed during civil rights compliance reviews or investigations.</p>
</li>
</ul>
<h2>
Overview of the Post Award Recipient Review Process</h2>
<p>
The CRC will do a post award recipient review to ensure compliance with all nondiscrimination rules and regulations. They take the following steps:</p>
<ol>
<li>
<p>
Recipient is selected for review.&nbsp;</p>
</li>
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<p>
Recipient is contacted and review is scheduled.&nbsp;</p>
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<li>
<p>
Review is conducted</p>
</li>
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<p>
Review report is completed and finalized within 30 days of being conducted, if all required information is available.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Recipient is sent a letter regarding specific findings and recommendations regarding any deficiencies that were noted.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If recipient fails to respond to the initial deficiency letter or to make other attempts to resolve the deficiency within 30 days, a second letter is sent by certified mail on the 31<sup>st</sup> day giving the recipient an additional 15 days to achieve voluntary compliance. &nbsp;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If no response to the second letter is received within the allotted time period, the case is forwarded to the Director of the Office of Civil Rights Compliance, who attempts to achieve voluntary compliance.&nbsp;</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If the recipient does not comply within 60 days of the review, the OCRC Director must forward the case to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U. S. Department of Justice for investigation, litigation or other appropriate action to secure compliance.&nbsp; The OCRC Director has the option of requesting a 60-day extension from the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, if negotiation efforts are likely to lead to voluntary compliance</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If voluntary compliance efforts fail and court enforcement is determined to be ineffective, recipient is notified in writing that formal proceedings to terminate the Federal financial assistance will begin within 10 days.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) conducts a Hearing Pursuant to 13 C.F.R. Part 134</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
OHA issues a decision containing findings of fact and conclusions of relevant law, reasons for such conclusions, and any relief ordered.&nbsp; The contents of the record will constitute the exclusive basis for a decision.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Both the recipient and Agency have a right to request reconsideration of the OHA decision from the Administrator or his/her designee.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Following the final decision, OHA&nbsp; makes a written recommendation to the Administrator concerning the Federal financial assistance.&nbsp; OHA provides a copy of its decision and recommendation to the Assistant Administrator for EEO&amp;CRC.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If the Administrator decides to terminate or suspend the Federal financial assistance, the Assistant Administrator for EEO&amp;CRC&nbsp; prepares a full written report concerning the termination, including the grounds for the decision.&nbsp; The report also specifies the sanctions, if any, to be implemented following 30 calendar days.&nbsp; This report is sent&nbsp; to the Small Business Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.</p>
</li>
</ol>
<h2>
Processing Complaints Against SBA Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance</h2>
<p>
The CRC also takes care of any complaints of alleged discrimination within small businesses who are receiving federal financial assistance. The following is the process the CRC takes to handling a complaint.</p>
<ol>
<li>
<p>
Complainant files with OCRC within 180 calendar days from the date the alleged discrimination occurred.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Within 30 days, OCRC determines if it has jurisdiction.</p>
</li>
</ol>
<p>
The following can then happen:</p>
<ol start="3">
<li>
<p>
If the complaint is referred to another agency, OCRC notifies the complainant and the respondent&nbsp; of the transfer<strong>.&nbsp; </strong></p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If the complaint is not referred and OCRC has jurisdiction, OCRC conducts a preliminary inquiry to determine whether further investigation is warranted. After this there are 2 paths the complaint can take. Below explains path 1 and path 2.</p>
</li>
</ol>
<h3>
Path 1</h3>
<ul>
<li>
<p>
If the preliminary inquiry does not find probable cause to warrant further investigate, the complainant is notified of the finding and given the right to appeal the decision to the Director, OCRC, within 30 days.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If the Director affirms the finding, the complainant is notified and given the right to appeal the decision to the Assistant Administrator AA/EEO&amp;CRC, within 30 days.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If an appeal is filed, the determination of the AA/EEO&amp;CRC is the final decision of SBA.</p>
</li>
</ul>
<h3>
Path 2</h3>
<ul>
<li>
<p>
If&nbsp; OCRC decides to investigate further and discrimination is found, an effort is made to resolve the matter through negotiation<strong>.</strong></p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
If the effort is unsuccessful, the Director OCRC , notifies the complainant and recipient, in writing, of SBA&rsquo;s intention to pursue the matter formally.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Recipient has 30 days either to comply or to appeal OCRC&rsquo;s determination to the AA/EEO&amp;CRC</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>
Decision is final if no appeal is filed with the AA/EEO&amp;CRC and 30 days have passed since the recipient was advised of the initial decision.</p>
</li>
</ul>
<h2>
Legal Authorities for SBA&rsquo;s Civil Rights Compliance Program</h2>
<p>
The following is a list of legal authorities for the CRC Program:</p>
<ul>
<li>
<strong><u>Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended</u></strong></li>
</ul>
<p class="rteindent1">
No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.</p>
<p class="rteindent1">
Citation:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 42 U.S.C. &sect; 2000d <u>et</u> <u>seq</u>.</p>
<ul>
<li>
<strong><u>Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended</u></strong></li>
</ul>
<p class="rteindent1">
With some general exceptions, no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.</p>
<p class="rteindent1">
Citation:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 20 U.S.C&nbsp; &sect;1681 <u>et</u> <u>seq</u>.</p>
<ul>
<li>
<strong><u>Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended</u></strong></li>
</ul>
<p class="rteindent1">
With some general exceptions, no person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.</p>
<p class="rteindent1">
Citation:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 42 U.S.C. &sect; 6101 <u>et</u> <u>seq</u>.</p>
<ul>
<li>
<strong><u>Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended</u></strong></li>
</ul>
<p class="rteindent1">
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705(20) of Title 29, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.</p>
<p class="rteindent1">
Citation:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 29 U.S.C.&nbsp; &sect; 794 <u>et</u> <u>seq</u>.</p>
<h2>
Executive Order 13166, &ldquo;Improving Access to Service for Persons with Limited English Proficiency&rdquo;</h2>
<p>
Generally, recipients of federal financial assistance have a responsibility to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by persons with limited English proficiency (LEP), 28 C.F.R. &sect; 42.104(b) (2).&nbsp; See also Executive Order 13166, reprinted at 65 FR 50121 (August 16, 2000).</p>
<p>
For information, guidance and technical assistance on the implementation of the initiative to improve access to services for persons with limited English proficiency, please visit the <a href="http://www.lep.gov/">Limited English Proficiency</a> website.</p>
<h2>
Additional Resources for CRC</h2>
<p>
Visit the <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/cor/">Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice</a>.</p>

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