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Employment Discrimination Complaints must be filed within 180 days from the last alleged unlawful employment practice or the right to legal relief may be lost.
Housing Discrimination Complaints must be filed within one year from the last alleged unlawful housing practice or the right to legal relief may be lost.
Public Accommodation Discrimination Complaints must be filed within 180 days from the last alleged discriminatory act or the right to legal relief may be lost.
What Happens When OCRE Receives a Complaint?
The OCRE promptly reviews the complaint to determine if it was timely filed and if it states a legal claim that warrants investigation. If it is untimely or fails to state a valid legal claim, OCRE will issue a notice of dismissal.
If the complaint is timely and states a valid claim, the OCRE must send a copy of the complaint to the respondent, which is the party accused of wrongdoing. The OCRE will also promptly assign an investigator to investigate the complaint.
The investigator will contact the complainant as soon as possible to assist the complainant in preparing a formal “Charge of Discrimination.” A Charge of Discrimination is a legal document signed by the complainant under oath that summarizes the complainant’s factual allegations and legal claims.
The OCRE will send a copy of the Charge of Discrimination to each respondent. The OCRE will also request that the respondent submit a “statement of position” in response to the complainant’s allegations and claims, along with evidence that supports the respondent’s position.
The investigator will interview witnesses identified by the complainant and the respondent; will gather evidence from the complainant, respondent, and other relevant sources; will analyze the evidence; and will determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred.
Once the investigator has made a determination, the parties will receive notice of the determination. If the investigator finds there is not sufficient evidence to conclude there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred, then the parties will receive notice of dismissal of the complaint.
If the OCRE finds that the evidence establishes reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred, the OCRE will notify the parties of its determination. At that point, the OCRE may issue the parties notice of the complainant’s right to file suit in State court or the OCRE may elect to file its own enforcement action to obtain appropriate relief on behalf of the State of Oklahoma and the victim of discrimination.
At any time in during the investigative process, the parties may attempt to settle the complaint through free conciliation or mediation facilitated by the OCRE and the Attorney General’s Office.
By law, the OCRE must review and approve the terms and conditions of all settlement agreements entered into by the parties.