Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission

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File a Complaint

Trainings Offered 

Cedar Rapids 

Civil Rights Commission
50 2nd Avenue Bridge, 7th Floor 
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Phone: 319-286-5036 
Fax: 319-343-1109

File A Complaint

File a Complaint

To file a complaint electronically, please use the links below

Housing Intake Form

Non-Housing Intake Form
(For Employment, Credit, Education, and Public Accommodation)

An Authorization for Release of Information is also required to file a complaint with our agency.
Please complete the form, linked here, and return it with your completed Intake Form. 

You may submit completed forms to our office via email at civilrights@cedar-rapids.org.

Forms in Additional Languages
Know Your Rights Videos
Our Know Your Rights videos outline the complaint process in detail. We have videos available in English, ASL, French, Kirundi, Lingala, Spanish, and Swahili. Click the link below to be taken to our YouTube channel to view the videos.

know your rights videos 

The Complaint Process

The Complaint Process refers to the progression that begins once an individual fills out an intake form in regards to an alleged discriminatory event and ends once the case is closed or a finding is made.
Complaint Process

Filing Guideline Facts:

  • There is no cost involved in filing a complaint of discrimination.
  • You do not need to have an attorney before you file.
  • The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission will not act as your lawyer, recommend an attorney, or give you legal advice.
  • Anyone may file a charge of discrimination as long as certain conditions are met.
  • Parents or guardians may file on behalf of their minor children.
  • Discrimination complaints may be filed against an employer, employment agency, labor organization, educational institution, property owner, landlord and/or any business or facility open to the general public.
  • All inquiries and complaints are confidential.
  • Discrimination complaints in the area of Education, Employment, Credit, or Public Accommodation must be filed within 300 calendar days of the last discriminatory incident.
  • Discrimination complaints in the area of Housing must be filed within one year of the last discriminatory incident.
  • The complaint must state a legal basis for the discrimination. Simply saying that someone discriminated against you or does not like you is not enough.
  • A formal Charge of Discrimination must be signed and filed by the person making the allegations. Anonymous complaints cannot be filed or investigated.
  • For the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission to have jurisdiction, the complaint must have taken place within the city limits of Cedar Rapids.

Important Notes To Remember:

  • The Complaint form is not a formal charge of discrimination.
  • It is unlawful under the laws of the State of Iowa and the laws of the United States of America to falsely claim against another person or entity.
  • During the course of an investigation the complainant or respondent may request mediation of the complaint at any time prior to a probable cause determination. Mediation is not undertaken unless both the complainant and respondent agree to participate. Mediation may be discontinued at the request of either party. If the complainant and respondent do not reach a mediation agreement the complaint process shall continue to resolution.

**Please note that the complaint must be verified by this office before it can be officially filed. You will benefit by filing your claim as close to the alleged incident of discrimination as possible, when witnesses have fresh memories and evidence is more easily accessible.  A typical case takes about two weeks to verify. However, the length of time needed can vary depending on a number of circumstances including the specific details, the complexity of the issues, and the number of other cases under investigation.  If you wait until the last minute, you may lose the ability to file your official complaint within the time constraints established by law.

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