The Office of Civil Rights, Diversity & Inclusion (OCRDI) provides a comprehensive range of products and services in the areas of Civil Rights and EEO services to HRSA’s employees, applicants for employment, and recipients of federal funding. OCRDI provides these services to ensure compliance with Federal Civil Rights Laws and Regulations and the federal directives from the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Our mission is that “Together we build a culture of fairness, diversity, and inclusion to improve health and achieve health equity.” In alignment with our mission, OCRDI also provides strategic thinking, tactical planning, organizational change, and creative problem-solving to HRSA's senior leadership to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and access and support the agency in achieving its mission.
- To develop and provide HRSA employees, applicants, and recipients of funding with services that promote Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (EDIA).
- To support HRSA employees, applicants, and recipients to be compliant with federal laws that prohibit discrimination.
- To support HRSA’s efforts to create a workplace culture that embraces equity, diversity, and inclusion among its employees.
The Organization and Services
OCRDI provides services and resources in the following key areas:
- Management and administration of HRSA’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process
- Processing reasonable accommodations
- Technical assistance regarding civil rights laws and regulations for HRSA recipients
- Developing tools and resources to increase EDIA among HRSA’s workforce
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint Process
HRSA employees, former employees, and job applicants who believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination based on race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual stereotyping, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical and mental), genetic information, and retaliation for opposing discriminatory practices or participating in the discrimination complaint process, have the right to file an EEO complaint.
The EEO Complaint Process is governed by Federal Civil Rights laws, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations (XML), EEOC Management Directive 110, and HRSA policies and procedures.
OCRDI also provides Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services. ADR is an alternative to the traditional EEO complaint process and is used to resolve disputes.
Reasonable Accommodations (RA)
HRSA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations (RA) to applicants and employees with disabilities to ensure that individuals with disabilities have full access to equal employment opportunities. The RA program at HRSA is governed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (and amendments).
Civil Rights Information for HRSA Recipients
HRSA recipients have an obligation to comply with federal civil rights laws that promote accessibility to healthcare and prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), and religion.
In order to assist HRSA recipients in meeting their civil rights obligations, HRSA offers a broad range of services including technical assistance, individual consultations, trainings, and plain language informational materials.
In particular, HRSA works with recipients to help them understand how to comply with federal civil rights laws by making their programs accessible to:
HRSA provides technical assistance on an ad-hoc basis in response to inquiries and emerging civil rights topics. If you would like to submit an inquiry, contact: HRSACivilRights@hrsa.gov.
Should you successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS.
- Recipients of FFA must ensure that their programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. For guidance on meeting your legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to your programs or activities by limited English proficient individuals. See Fact Sheet on the Revised HHS LEP Guidance and Limited English Proficiency.
- For information on your specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities, including reasonable modifications and making services accessible to them, see Discrimination on the Basis of Disability.
- HHS-funded health and education programs must be administered in an environment free of sexual harassment, see Discrimination on the Basis of Sex.
- For guidance on administering your program in compliance with applicable federal religious nondiscrimination laws and applicable federal conscience protection and associated anti-discrimination laws, see Conscience Protections for Health Care Providers and Religious Freedom.
All recipients of federal financial assistance are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by limited English proficient (LEP) persons.
Language access is achieved when LEP individuals can communicate effectively with program staff and participate in HRSA’s administered and funded programs and activities.
LEP individuals are people who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. These individuals may need language assistance services, such as oral interpretation or written translation, to meaningfully access your programs and activities.
Federal laws applicable to language access include Title VI of the Civil Rights of 1964, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, and Executive Order 13166 (PDF - 255 KB), which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
Resources & Guidance
Technical Assistance Materials
- Language Access Plan Worksheet (PDF - 154 KB)
- Written Translation of Vital Documents TA (PDF - 138 KB)
- Federal LEP Data TA (PDF - 161 KB)
Federal Guidance and Resources
Federal civil rights law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires federal financial aid recipients to ensure that their programs, activities and services are accessible to and readily usable by individuals with disabilities.
Disability access is achieved when individuals with disabilities can equally and meaningfully participate in HRSA’s administered and funded programs and activities.
Under federal law, a person with a disability is defined as a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This includes:
- People who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability, and
- People who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability.
Resources & Guidance
Technical Assistance Materials
- Disability Access Plan Worksheet (PDF - 212 KB)
- Effective Communication TA (PDF - 90 KB)
- Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) TA (PDF - 83 KB)
- Service Animals TA for Recipients (PDF - 125 KB)
- Service Animals: Know Your Rights (for Individuals) (PDF - 114 KB)
- Fundamental Alteration (PDF - 132 KB)
Federal Guidance and Resources
Discrimination on the Basis of Sex:
- HHS OCR: Sex Discrimination
- HHS OCR: Sex Discrimination —Title IX Education Amendments
- HHS OCR: Sex Discrimination — Sex Based Harassment
- Executive Order 13988 — Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
File a Civil Rights Complaint
If you believe that you have suffered unfair treatment or discrimination because of your race, color, national origin (including language access), disability, age, or religion by an HHS program, or an entity which receives financial assistance from HHS, you may file a complaint with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). For more information on the laws that OCR enforces and how to file a complaint, please go to Filing with OCR or email OCRComplaint@hhs.gov.
Civil Rights Enforcement and Discrimination Resources (PDF - 79 KB)
Health Resources and Services Administration
Office of Civil Rights, Diversity and Inclusion
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857