The Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR) enforces civil rights laws and regulations, which prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion and age in employment and the provision of government services.
Disability in the workplace
With respect to disability in the workplace, the DOCR office also has jurisdiction over some entities that do not receive Federal funds. In addition, DOCR is responsible for ensuring that DOT does not discriminate against its employees or applicants for employment, and that DOT conducts its programs and activities free of discrimination. Major statues which DOCR enforces include: Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; and, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
DOT is composed of the Office of the Secretary (OST) and several transportation components referred to as "Operating Administrations" (OAs) (for example, the Federal Highway Administration). Generally, OST is responsible for policy and oversight of DOT transportation programs, and the OAs actually administer the programs for a particular mode of transportation, or transportation program area.
Within OST the Director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR) is the designated advisor to the Secretary on matters relating to civil rights in the Department of Transportation. The DOCR director provides leadership, policy, guidance, monitoring, and technical assistance to the OAs in implementing DOT's civil rights responsibilities.
Since nondiscrimination principles apply across the spectrum of civil rights, the Department has divided its activities along two broad categories:
- Internal civil rights programs affecting DOT employees and applicants for employment.
- External civil rights programs relating to the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries of the various transportation programs receiving Federal financial assistance through DOT.
Each OA has an Office of Civil Rights, or individuals assigned these responsibilities, to ensure civil rights compliance for their respective organization and programs.