Do I have to pay a fee?
No, our services are free. There is no fee to file a complaint.
If you have filed a complaint, you are called the Complainant. You know your complaint better than anyone else. Make us fully aware of the details.
If you have been complained about, you are called the Respondent.
Is an attorney required?
For the Complainant or aggrieved person, an attorney is optional, but not required. The fee for an attorney will be at your own expense. A Respondent who is incorporated in the State must be accompanied by an attorney in order to appear before the Commission.
How long do I have to file a complaint?
For Equal Accommodations discrimination, a complaint must be filed within ninety (90) days from the date of the alleged incident.
For Fair Housing discrimination, a complaint must be filed within one (1) year from the date of the alleged incident or one (1) year from the date of the discovery of the alleged incident.
What happens to a complaint once filed?
For both Fair Housing and Equal Accommodations, once a complaint is filed an Investigator will be assigned and will contact the Complainant and Respondent to begin an investigation. A Fact-finding Conference may be scheduled. At this meeting, which is conducted by the investigator, all parties can discuss the complaint and whether a conciliation (a no-fault agreement) is possible . If no resolution is reached at this point, the case is referred to the Commission for an administrative hearing. At the hearing, testimony is presented and evidence is heard. The Commission will render a written decision, which will be mailed to all parties.
What laws protect against discrimination?
EQUAL ACCOMMODATIONS – The law is intended to prevent, in places of equal accommodations, practices of discrimination against any person because of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, national origin, or persons with disabilities. (6 Del. C., ch. 45, Equal Accommodations).
HOUSING DISCRIMINATION is a violation of a basic right, which assures all persons, regardless of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income or disability equal opportunity and equal access to live wherever they choose, if qualified. (6 Del. C., ch. 46, Fair Housing Act)
How is a complaint investigated?
The complaint is assigned to an Investigator in the Division of Human and Civil Rights. The Investigator will work with both of the Complainant and the Respondent to find out exactly what happened. The Complainant and Respondent will be interviewed, along with others who know something about the circumstances of the complaint. You may be asked for records, accounts, documents, or other information that will help determine the facts. For Equal Accommodations Complaints – if voluntary conciliation between complainant and respondent has not been reached, a hearing will be held to review the facts.
For Fair Housing Complaints – a written report will be provided to determine whether discrimination has taken place. If there is a cause finding, conciliation will be attempted and if successful, the case will be closed with conciliation agreement. If there is a cause finding, and no conciliation agreement is reached, a charge will be issued and case would be heard by Commission or in Superior Court and a final order would be rendered. If there is a no cause finding, the case will be dismissed.
What if I disagree with the finding?
You may appeal any Commission Order, including the Dismissal Order, to Superior Court.
If you believe that you are a victim of an unlawful discriminatory practice, remember that you have a right to file a complaint. There is no fee.