The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live, work, or visit in the District of Columbia. The primary function of the agency is to enforce the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act, the District of Columbia Parental Leave Act and the District of Columbia Language Access Act. In addition to those local laws, the OHR, being a Fair Employment Practice Agency and a Fair Housing Assistance Program agency, can investigate and adjudicate complaints of discrimination filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Equal Employment Opportunity Act), Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
How We Serve
- Investigate and resolve complaints of unlawful discrimination in employment (private companies and government), housing, public accommodations, and educational institutions. Places of public accommodation include restaurants, hospitals, financial institutions, and insurance companies. For a detailed list of discrimination bias, please click here.
- Protect the equal employment opportunity rights of District government employees.
- Review, approve, and monitor the affirmative action plans of all District government departments and agencies. This includes review of special departmental emphasis programs for the disabled.
- Investigate complaints and conditions causing community tension and conflict which could lead to breaches of the peace and public disorder.
- Conduct hearings on major issues affecting the protection and promotion of human rights.
- Assess local and federal laws and policies with respect to discrimination.
- Provide information on human rights laws and policies to the community at large.
- Make recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council of the District of Columbia based on reports, studies, and hearings conducted by the office.
- Conducts educational campaigns and initiatives to educate the public about civil and human rights in the District.
The Office is also the advocate for the practice of good human relations and mutual understanding among the various racial, ethnic and religious groups in the District of Columbia. Select any of the links below to learn more about OHR.