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Drafting an Administrative Complaint to Be Filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights

By Randal S. Jeffrey, Elisabeth Ryden Benjamin & Constance P. Carden

The administrative complaint process of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a nonjudicial mechanism for addressing certain types of discrimination. When filing a civil rights complaint in federal court is possible, the advocate should consider the advantages and disadvantages of filing an OCR complaint in order to decide whether to file an administrative or court complaint. If the advocate files an administrative complaint with OCR, the complaint should be factually persuasive and well supported. The advocate should contact OCR to help ensure that OCR takes action on the complaint and to make a favorable outcome more likely.

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