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Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights

Barrie Gewanter
Executive Director

Bridget Owens
Human Rights Specialist

John H. Mulroy Civic Center,
Suite 19 - Basement Level
421 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

(315) 435-3565


Free Call from Inmates at Jail or Jamesville: (315) 435-3567 


Onondaga County’s policy (click here to access the County’s Title VI, ADA and LEP Policy) is to be fully compliant with local, state and federal civil rights laws, so that no one shall be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of County programs due to discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
Title VI/ADA/LEP Complaint Procedure
Any person who believes she or he has been discriminated against on the basis of on race, color, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability by Onondaga County (hereinafter referred to as Onondaga County) may file a civil rights complaint by completing and submitting the agency’s Civil Rights Complaint Form.
Please submit this form in person at the address below, or mail this form to:

Title VI Compliance Coordinator, Human Rights Commission
Onondaga County

Suite 19 - Basement Level

421 Montgomery Street

Syracuse, NY 13202

Onondaga County investigates complaints received no more than 60 days after the alleged incident. Onondaga County will process complaints that are complete. A copy of the complaint form is available on the Onondaga County website or by mail by calling (315) 435-3565.
Once the complaint is received, Onondaga County will review it to determine if our office has jurisdiction and if the complaint falls under the scope of Title VI, ADA or protections for people with Limited English Proficiency (“LEP”). The complainant will receive an acknowledgement letter informing her/him whether the complaint will be investigated by our office.
The County has 60 calendar days to investigate the complaint. If more information is needed to resolve the case, the County may contact the complainant. The complainant has 30 business days from the date of the letter to send requested information to the Onondaga County official investigating the complaint. If the investigator is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within 30 business days, the County can administratively close the case. A case can be administratively closed also if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.
After the investigator reviews the complaint, she/he will issue one of two letters to the complainant: a closure letter or a letter of finding (LOF). A closure letter summarizes the allegations and states that there was not a Title VI violation and that the case will be closed. An LOF summarizes the allegations and the interviews regarding the alleged incident, and explains whether any disciplinary action, additional training of the staff member, or other action will occur. If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, she/he has 30 business days after the date of the letter or the LOF to do so.
A person may also file a complaint directly with the appropriate state and federal regulatory agencies which are responsible for oversight of different programs administered by the County. You can call the Title VI/ADA/LEP Coordinator at (315) 435-3565 to obtain that contact information.
Please use the Onondaga County webpage link below to access the Civil Rights Complaint Form.
Please click here to access the Civil Rights Complaint Form.
Complaints must be signed and include contact information.
No one may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or engage in other discriminatory conduct against anyone because he or she has either filed a complaint to secure rights protected by the nondiscrimination statutes Onondaga County enforces. Any individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a complaint with Onondaga County and/or the state or federal regulatory agencies for the particular County program, and an investigation will be conducted.

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