Complaint Form

Differentiating Between Lawful and Unlawful Discrimination

Not all types of discrimination are unlawful such that they allow for a discrimination-based civil rights lawsuit. The following examples differentiate between lawful and unlawful discrimination.

Example of Lawful Discrimination: James (an African-American man) applies to rent an apartment. When the landlord learns that James owns two cats, the landlord refuses to rent to James because the landlord does not want pets in the apartment complex. Here, the landlord has lawfully discriminated against James based solely on his status as a pet owner because landlords can lawfully discriminate against applicants who own pets.

Example of Unlawful Discrimination: James (an African-American man) applies to rent an apartment. When the landlord learns that James is African-American, the landlord refuses to rent to James because the landlord does not want African-American tenants in his building (the landlord prefers Caucasian tenants). Here, the landlord has unlawfully discriminated against James based solely on his race because landlords cannot lawfully discriminate against applicants based on race.

Common Types of Unlawful Discrimination

Hate crimes: Violence inflicted because of the particular victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Employment: Discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information during the process of obtaining or holding employment.

Housing: Discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status (families with children), handicap, or national origin in the selling or rental of housing accommodations.

Public Accommodations, Businesses, and Services: Discrimination or segregation on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin while seeking the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation or any person who holds a professional license.

Public Assistance / Government Benefits: Discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Public and Private School Educational Institutions that Receive Federal Funds: Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability in education.

Medical and Healthcare: Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, or disability regarding medical or healthcare services.

State and Local Governmental Conduct: Discrimination by some form of government action that deprives people of their federal rights, privileges, or immunities.

Peace Officer Misconduct or Abuse: A pattern or practice of conduct by any governmental authority, agent, or person acting on behalf of a governmental authority that deprives people of their rights, privileges, or immunities.

If you believe that you have been unlawfully discriminated against, then please mail or email a completed Cleveland Branch NAACP Complaint Form, along with any relevant supporting documents, to the Cleveland Branch NAACP. The NAACP takes all allegations of discrimination seriously and, in that regard, carefully reviews each complaint to determine whether we can be of assistance.

Cleveland Branch NAACP Complaint Form

Our mailing address is: 16400 Miles Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44128. Our email address is clevelandnaacp@yahoo.com.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles unlawful employment discrimination cases on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information. Except for cases violating only the Equal Pay Act, you MUST file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC office BEFORE filing a complaint of unlawful employment discrimination with the Cleveland Branch NAACP. The NAACP will only review your case once the EEOC has dismissed your charge or issued you a Notice of Right to Sue. The EEOC Cleveland Field Office is located in the Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building at 1240 E. 9th Street, Suite 3001, Cleveland, OH 44199. The EEOC Cleveland Field Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm; for scheduling, please call 216-522-2001.

Once the Cleveland Branch NAACP receives your Cleveland Branch NAACP Complaint Form, you will receive a confirmation letter. This confirmation letter is NOT an offer of legal assistance or a promise that the NAACP will become involved with your issue. Rather, it is simply to acknowledge that we have received your complaint form, started your file, and will attempt to address your issue expeditiously.

Before determining whether your issue is ripe for NAACP consideration, the Cleveland Branch NAACP legal team will first review your Cleveland Branch NAACP Complaint Form and relevant supporting documents to determine whether your issue rises to the level of a civil rights violation or involves an issue with which we can provide assistance. During this process, you should expect a phone call from a Cleveland Branch NAACP legal team member to further discuss your issue.

PLEASE NOTE: We receive a large number of complaints daily and try to promptly respond to them all. Please have patience with our process. If your issue gets resolved while your NAACP file is still processing, then please call the office at 216-231-6260 to close your file.

Denials: If, after carefully reviewing your Cleveland Branch NAACP Complaint Form and relevant supporting documents, we are unable to provide you with representation, then you will receive a denial letter. This denial letter is NOT to suggest that your claim does not have merit. Rather, it simply means that, given our limited resources and the nature of your complaint, we do not believe that we will be able to be of assistance at this time. Of course, you should still feel free to contact us relative to any other complaints of unlawful discrimination and we will be pleased to carefully review the complaint.

Acceptances: If, after carefully reviewing your Cleveland Branch NAACP Complaint Form and relevant supporting documents, we are able to provide you with representation, then you will receive an acceptance letter and a NAACP legal team member will contact you to schedule a face-to-face meeting. This acceptance letter is NOT a promise that your case will be resolved in your favor. Rather, it simply means that the Cleveland Branch NAACP will represent you to the best of its ability throughout your case.

  • Cleveland Division of Police
    • Immediately call 911 when someone is hurt, hurting another, or stealing, or when there is smoke or fire. Call 216-621-1234 when there is no immediate danger, but police are needed, and when inquiring about police or safety issues.
  • City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing
    • To make a complaint about a property, call 216-664-2007 or go to City Hall, Room 517.
  • Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at University of Cincinnati
    • OIP seeks to exonerate wrongfully convicted inmates. OIP’s general phone number is 513-556-0752, inmate phone number is 513-861-2946, and mailing address is P.O. Box 210040, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040.
  • Legal Aid Society (LAS) of Cleveland
    • LAS of Cleveland seeks to provide legal services for low income and vulnerable populations. LAS of Cleveland’s phone number is 216-687-1900 and its address is 1223 West Sixth Street, Cleveland, OH 44113.
  • Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center (NLURC)
    • NLURC seeks to provide legal, housing, medical, and community building resources to the low income HIV/AIDS population. NLURC’s phone number is 216-651-8236 and address is 2226 West 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44102.
  • Oriana House, Inc.
    • Oriana House, Inc. strives to help the currently or previously incarcerated overcome barriers to reentering society. Oriana House, Inc.’s phone number is 216-881-5440 and address is 1834 East 55th Street, Cleveland, OH 44103.