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Civil Rights Complaints (USDA)

Civil Rights Complaints (USDA)

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Our Civil Rights Complaint Procedure

Individuals and groups are never discouraged from submitting a complaint of discrimination. Complaints may be written or verbal. Complaints may be anonymous. The Windham Northeast Supervisory Union (WNESU) instructs program participants to send complaints of discrimination directly to the USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR). The complainant must file within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. The superintendent or appointed designee is responsible for implementing the Civil Rights Complaint Procedure. The complainant can file on their own directly with the USDA or report the complaint to the School Food Authority (SFA).

The contact information is found on the “And Justice for All” posters which are prominently displayed in all required areas.

Contact Information:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

Fax: (202) 690-7442

Email: [email protected]

Complaints should be put into writing, by the complainant, using USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), found online at:

Verbal or In-Person Complaints:

In the event that a complainant makes the allegations verbally or in person and refuses or is not inclined to place such allegations in writing, the person to whom the allegations are made must record the details of the complaint for the complainant. Every effort will be made to have the complainant provide the following information:

  • Name and contact information for the complainant.
  • The date(s) during which the alleged discriminatory actions occurred or, if continuing, the duration of such actions.
  • The specific location and name of the entity delivering the service or benefit.
  • The nature of the incident or action that led the complainant to feel that discrimination was a factor.
  • The basis on which the complainant feels discrimination exists within any of the protected classes.
  • The names, titles, and business addresses of persons who may have knowledge of the discriminatory action.

Investigation and Logging:

If the USDA determines that a civil rights complaint warrants an investigation, it will occur based on established USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) policy and procedures, and then finalized into a report. They will investigate the complaint and this is the sole responsibility of the USDA.

In addition to submitting the complaint to the USDA, the SFA will keep a Civil Rights Complaint Log on site. Maintaining confidentiality is crucial. As much information as possible will be documented, including:

  • Name and contact information of complainant
  • Description of incident including date, time, location, and persons present
  • Relevant Protected Base(s)
  • Name of organization and individuals alleged to have engaged in discrimination
  • Date of referral to USDA
  • The findings of any investigation conducted
  • Description of the final disposition of the complaint including any corrective action planned or taken

Notification to State Agency:

The SFA will also notify Child Nutrition Programs at Vermont Agency of Education of any complaints of discrimination. The State Agency maintains the information in a confidential database with limited access. Child Nutrition Programs does not investigate complaints of discrimination, but ensures complaints are received by the USDA and will cooperate in the tracking, processing, and resolving of complaints of discrimination.

Vermont Agency of Education:

The Vermont Agency of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, marital status, sex, disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities. Complaints alleging discrimination related to the Vermont Agency of Education protected bases of religion or marital/civil union status, will be sent to Emily Simmons, General Counsel, at [email protected] or (802)-828-1518.