The Complaint Process

Important Civil Rights Division Deadlines

A complaint of discrimination must be timely filed, as required by Colorado law. Other deadlines related to the Division’s administrative investigation process are also described below.

Filing a Timely Complaint of Discrimination

There is a legal requirement that a complaint must be filed within a specific period of time (statute of limitations) from the date of the last alleged discriminatory and/or retaliatory act. After the statute of limitations has passed, the Colorado Civil Rights Division does not have jurisdiction over the allegations at issue.  The Division does not have the authority to extend these statutorily-imposed filing deadlines, even when good cause or underlying exigent circumstances are demonstrated.  The applicable filing deadlines with the Division are as follows:

 

  • Employment filing deadline: six (6) months from the act of alleged discrimination*
  • Housing filing deadline: one (1) year from the act of alleged discrimination
  • Public Accommodations filing deadline: sixty (60) days from the act of alleged discrimination

*With respect to Employment cases, please note that if more than six (6) months, but 300 or fewer days, have passed since the date of the alleged adverse action, the Colorado Civil Rights Division may be able to accept and refer your charge to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for investigation, so long as there is federal jurisdiction over the matter.

Response to Request for Information and Rebuttal

During the investigation, the Respondent submits a response to the request for information, and the Complainant may submit a rebuttal if desired. Both parties may inspect and review the information that has been submitted by the other party during the Division’s administrative investigation. Both parties may also supply the names of additional witnesses who could testify regarding this matter.


The Division has 270-days to complete its administrative process.  Each party (the Complainant and the Respondent) may exercise a 90-day extension to this overall 270-day deadline so as to ensure that there is sufficient time for the Division to complete its full administrative process.

 

Filing a Complaint

Completing the Online Intake Form

Assuming that you are within the statutory time limits required for the filing of a complaint of discrimination with the Division, the first step in the process is to complete an online intake inquiry questionnaire. CaseConnect is the Colorado Civil Rights Division’s electronic case management system which allows for online submission of intake information. When completing the initial intake inquiry form online, it is important to include as much relevant information as possible so that the Division may assess whether it has jurisdiction over the allegations at issue and, if appropriate, proceed with assisting in the drafting of a formal complaint of discrimination.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Submission of your intake information to the Division DOES NOT constitute the filing of a formal complaint of discrimination with the Division. Additional processes and steps must be taken after the filing of your intake information in order for a formal complaint of discrimination to be drafted and filed.  As such, submission of your intake information should be completed well in advance of the applicable filing deadline based on the type of complaint that you are seeking to file.  Additional information about the filing deadlines applicable to your case can be found in Important Deadlines.


If you do not have access to a computer or if you are experiencing difficulty using CaseConnect, please contact the Division at (303) 894-2997 to request a paper Intake Packet. Submission of the Intake Packet may be by mail, fax, or email at the addresses provided on the first page of the Intake Packet. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the filing process, please call 303-894-7810 or email dora_ccrd@state.co.us

Filing a Formal Complaint of Discrimination

Based on the information that you provide to the Division during the intake process, the Division will assess its jurisdiction and, if appropriate, proceed with preparing a formal complaint of discrimination on your behalf. There is no fee for filing a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. A complaint of discrimination is deemed legally filed at the time that the Division is in receipt of a jurisdictionally valid, formal, signed, and verified complaint of discrimination. To ensure that we can get in touch with you throughout the Division’s Intake process, it is important for you to provide us with your up-to-date and current contact information and timely advise of any changes thereto.


If you are an individual with a disability and require an accommodation in order to access the Division’s services, please call (303) 894-2997 (local), (800) 262-4845 (voice), 711 TTD - Relay, Hotline Español: (720) 432-4294, or send an email to DORA_CCRDIntake@state.co.us, to request a reasonable accommodation.

 

Responding to a Complaint

Filing a Response

Once the Division sends the Respondent a charge of discrimination and request for information, the Respondent has 30 days to provide a response in employment and public accommodations cases or 10 days in housing cases.  Reasonable extensions to due dates may be granted.  


The information submitted by both parties is considered in deciding the merits of the allegation(s).  Per the Commission's rules, this information in its entirety is made available to the Complainant, who then is given an opportunity to review and provide a rebuttal.


Please be advised that incomplete responses will not be accepted.  If you, or your representative, believe that a requested item is not relevant to the case, you must discuss your reasons with the investigator before omitting the information from your response.


Please note that it is important to provide CCRD with your current contact information and to update CCRD with any changes to this information.

SUBPOENA POWER NOTICE

You should be aware that the State of Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination statute grants the Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division the authority to subpoena witnesses and to compel the production of books, papers and records relevant to any unfair employment practice [C.R.S. 24-34-306(2)(a)].  Such subpoena is enforceable in the district court in which the alleged discriminatory practice occurred.  Subpoena authority is exercised only when, in the judgment of the Director, the Respondent’s failure to voluntarily cooperate makes it necessary.

 

Submitting a Rebuttal

What is a Rebuttal Statement?

The Division will send the Complainant the Respondent’s position statement and response to a request for information. The Complainant has 30 days to provide a rebuttal for employment and public accommodation cases. For housing cases, the timeline to submit a rebuttal is 10 days. Reasonable extensions to due dates may be granted.
Although not required, a written rebuttal is recommended.  A rebuttal should include arguments and reference evidence that contradicts information that has been presented by the Respondent.


In support of your claim, you may wish to submit witness statements. Please include the witness's home address and telephone number along with any statements. You may also provide a list of witnesses that you wish us to contact. The witnesses should be individuals who have personal, direct, and independent knowledge of the issues raised in your claim. Your list should include the witness' home address, telephone number, and a brief summary of the information that each witness can attest to or provide. Prior to submitting the information please contact your witnesses and verify that they are willing to participate on your behalf.


After you review the information presented by the Respondent, if you decide not to pursue this matter any further and want to withdraw your complaint or would like a right to sue in order to now go to court, please notify the Civil Rights Division of your decision before the rebuttal due date.

Post Rebuttal Steps

After the rebuttal is received, additional information may be requested from the parties and witnesses or there may be sufficient information upon which to base a report to the Director. As previously noted, when you filed the complaint, the burden of proof to establish probable cause is on you. Also, remember that both parties have the right to review the case file and information received from the opposing party.

 

Appealing the Director's Determination

Filing Requirements

The appeal process is not intended to simply review the evidence already submitted, which formed the basis of the Director’s determination.  The Commission will only consider a properly filed appeal wherein:

  • Available, substantial, and relevant evidence exists now that was previously not available, presented, and considered during the investigation; or,
  • There is clear evidence that existing evidence was misinterpreted or the determination was based on erroneous information.

In either or both situations, it is Complainant's responsibility to submit the above information along with your Notice of Appeal.

Filing Procedure

The Notice of Appeal form and relevant documentation must be received in the CCRD's office within 10 days from the date of the mailing of the Director’s Determination.


If your appeal is not received within the 10-day time limit, you will lose your right to appeal.  Filling out any other form included in this mailing does not change the 10-day deadline for appeal.  If you wish to appeal, but cannot file a written appeal within the 10-day time limit, contact the Appeal Coordinator before the 10-day period is over to request an extension of the filing deadline.  


If you are asserting that relevant evidence exists now that was previously not available, presented, and considered during the investigation, you will need to attach a copy of that evidence with your Notice of Appeal.  If you assert that there is witness testimony to support your appeal, please submit a statement from your witness(es).  It is not sufficient for you to simply provide the name of the witness(es).  The witness statement(s) should include testimony that is specifically relevant to your case and argument.  It must also include the current telephone number(s) and address(es) of the witness(es).  Witness statements need not be notarized.


If you are asserting that existing evidence was misinterpreted or the determination was based on erroneous information, you will need to identify the particular evidence and specific facts that were misinterpreted.  You must also specify how this misinterpretation affected the overall case decision.  It is not sufficient to simply state that you disagree with the Director’s decision.


Upon receipt of your Notice of Appeal, if it is determined that the appeal is either:

  1. Untimely;
  2. You have failed to provide new evidence that was previously unavailable; or,
  3. You have failed to identify specific information regarding a misinterpretation of evidence or erroneous basis for the determination;

then you will be notified in writing that your appeal has been denied.  You will also be provided with a Notice of Dismissal and, in employment cases, you will be provided with a notification regarding the allowable time frames in which you may file an action in civil court.


If you have submitted the necessary information required for consideration, your case will be reviewed on appeal by the Commission at a regularly scheduled Commission meeting.  You will be notified of the time and date of the Commission meeting for your appeal review and will be asked to be available by telephone during the meeting for possible questions by the Commission.  

Commission’s Authority

If you have been issued a Determination finding no probable cause of discrimination and dismissing your case, and you disagree with the Director’s decision, you have the right to appeal that determination to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (Commission). The Commission is a separate and distinct body from the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD).


The Commission is composed of seven members appointed by the Governor and one of its many functions is to review properly filed appeals.  The Commission has the option to either:

  1. Uphold the Director’s determination, thus dismissing your case;
  2. Remand the case to the Division for further investigation on a specific issue; or,
  3. Reverse the Director’s determination.
Other Important Information

If it is necessary for you to examine the information in your file in conjunction with preparing your appeal, please make arrangements to review your case file prior to your submission of the Notice of Appeal.  Since your Notice of Appeal must be filed within ten (10) days, it is advisable that you make this appointment as soon as possible.  Please contact the Commission Coordinator at (303) 894-2997, or 1-800-262-4845 (outside Denver area only), if you wish to review the file.


It is not necessary for you to file an appeal in order to exhaust the administrative process.  In employment cases, the enclosed Letter of Determination includes the notice of Right to Sue, which allows you to file your case in the civil court having the appropriate jurisdiction.  


If you are filing an appeal, please return the Notice of Appeal and documentation to:
Colorado Civil Rights Division
Attn:   Appeal Coordinator
1560 Broadway, Suite 1050
Denver, CO  80202-5143          
Fax: 303-894-7830
Email: dora_ccrd@state.co.us