The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) is a Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). CCRD is charged with enforcement of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).
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 the 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 Complainant, who is given an opportunity to provide a rebuttal statement.
Aubrey Elenis was appointed Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division in June 2016. She is a former investigator for the Colorado Civil Rights Division, a prominent Colorado attorney, an active member of the community, and a passionate defender of civil rights. While working as an associate at Gordon & Rees, LLP, Elenis counseled and defended clients against claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, harassment, breach of contract, and other labor and employment disputes. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Elenis worked at the Colorado Civil Rights Division as an Investigator, and later, as the Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution & Outreach Supervisor. During her time at the Division, she conducted numerous investigations into high-profile allegations of housing and employment discrimination, while also supervising and facilitating mediations and conciliations for the Division and providing Equal Employment training sessions throughout the State. Elenis is a graduate of the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.
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 timely 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.