Human Rights Investigative Process
Upon receipt of the complaint, the Respondent has thirty calendar days, pursuant to the Human Rights Code, to respond in writing. As a neutral fact-finder, the Human Rights Investigator may interview parties and witnesses, review Respondent's position statement and supporting documentation, issue interrogatories and document requests, and conduct site visits where appropriate. In most cases the investigation will be completed within 180 days.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The office will offer to conduct mediation with the parties early in the process. If the parties agree to mediate, a trained mediator will contact the parties to schedule a mediation session. The mediator, who is a neutral third party, will facilitate a voluntary discussion between the parties of issues raised in the charge, underlying interests and concerns, and areas of agreement. If mediation is successful, the terms agreed to by the parties will be memorialized in a written agreement. Upon receiving the agreement, signed by both parties, the office will close the case.
If the parties do not agree to mediate or if mediation fails, the investigation will proceed. Information revealed in the mediation process is confidential and will not be part of the investigation.
For conflicts involving City employees, the offices of the City Attorney and Organizational Excellence also offer mediation through the City of Alexandria’s Mediation Program (CAMP). To learn more, City employees can visit the CAMP page on AlexNet.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Human Rights Investigator recommends to the Human Rights Director a determination of probable cause or no probable cause to believe unlawful discrimination has occurred. The Human Rights Director reviews the recommendation and issues a formal finding.
No Probable Cause
If a formal no probable cause finding is issued, the case will be dismissed and no further action will be taken. If the complaint was filed under federal anti-discrimination laws, the Complainant may ask the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to review the Office's finding.
If a probable cause finding is issued, the Office will begin a thirty-day mandatory conciliation process, pursuant to the Human Rights Code. If conciliation is successful, the terms of the agreement are set forth in writing and the case is closed. If conciliation is not successful, the Human Rights Director may notify the Human Rights Commission to schedule a public hearing. The parties should consult with the Investigator or with an attorney about post-administrative legal actions.
Request for a Notice of Right to Sue
At specified periods while a case is pending, a Complainant may request that the EEOC issue a "Notice of Right to Sue" in federal court. Once a Complainant makes this request, the office terminates its investigation and the case is closed. Cases with concurrent federal and Alexandria jurisdiction are deemed dual-filed with the Office and the EEOC.