Chapter 17 Complaints

Discrimination in Tucson is unwelcome, illegal and will not be tolerated by the City.

NOTICE 
Every person or business subject to the Tucson City Code, Chapter 17, must post a notice of non-discrimination in English and Spanish, in a conspicuous place.

Under the City's Human Relations Ordinance Tucson Code, Chapter 17, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial status
  • Marital status

The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP) investigates complaints of discrimination within the city limits of Tucson in:

  • Employment
  • Public accommodation
  • Housing

Chapter 17 - External Discrimination Complaint

In order for the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs to have the legal jurisdiction to investigate a complaint filed under Chapter 17 of the Tucson City Code, the following guidelines must be met:

  • The issue must be one of discrimination. NOTE: A prima facie case must be established for the OEOP to begin an investigation. Prima facie is a term that means, "at first glance", and has specific criteria that must be met to determine if you can proceed with your charge of discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation;
  • It is necessary to show that persons of a different group than yours (race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status and/or marital status) have been treated in a manner different from you and that the difference in treatment has had an adverse impact to your employment, housing or in the refusal or restriction of a facility or service;
  • The business against whom the complaint is filed must be located within the City limits;
  • The complaint must be filed within 90 calendar days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act or 180 calendar days for housing or disability/accessibility complaints. There are specific organizations that cannot be investigated under authority of this code (See Tucson City Code Section 17-13, 17-51(b) and 17-53). This document is available upon request or you may contact the OEOP for additional information on exclusions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which businesses are covered?

  • Places of public accommodation, facilities, services, commodities or use offered to or enjoyed by the general public, operated within the city limits of Tucson.
  • Housing providers operating within the Tucson city limits in the sale or rental of housing, including but not limited to individual lessees, real estate agents/brokers, and lending institutions.
  • Employers having 1-100 employees. This does not apply to protected classes that do not have remedies available under Federal law or Arizona law. In other words, individuals who have complaints based on gender identity, sexual orientation, ancestry, familial status (employment) or marital status may file a complaint with the OEOP from any size business within the Tucson city limits.

Who may file a complaint? 

Any individual claiming to have been discriminated against in employment, housing or public accommodation in the city limits may file a complaint with the OEOP within 90 working days from the time of the alleged violation (180 calendar days for housing or disability/accessibility complaints).

Tucson citizens may file complaints with EEOC, Arizona Civil Rights Division or the Southwest Fair Housing Council in conjunction with the City’s jurisdiction or non-jurisdictional matters.  OEOP will make appropriate referrals.

For housing complaints, the OEOP will coordinate and refer the complaint to the Southwest Fair Housing Council (SWFHC) to assist in a resolution of unfair housing problems due to their enforcement authority. SWFHC provides free services to the public.

Where can I get a complaint form? 

Complaint forms are available from the OEOP or can be downloaded on your personal computer.  See Related Documents section below.

Can I e-mail the OEOP my complaint? 

Yes, OEOP will accept documents via email but official forms with signatures should be mailed. A complaint form may also be submitted in person.  Forms are available online below and can be emailed to oeop@tucsonaz.gov

What happens after I file my complaint? 

If the complaint meets the legal requirements, the OEOP shall investigate and render written findings as to whether there is or is not reasonable cause to substantiate the charge.  Enforcement power is limited so Tucson citizens may wish to file their complaints with external resources.

What about conciliation? 

The OEOP will make every effort to conciliate complaints.