Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Title VI and Non-Discrimination

MnDOT Policy #AD009
Effective: September 22, 2021

View/print signed policy (PDF)

Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer: Commissioner
Policy Owner: Director, Office of Civil Rights
Policy Contact: Title VI Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights

Policy statement

Federal and state law prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, low-income status, creed, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and status with regard to public assistance. MnDOT is committed to ensuring that no person in the State of Minnesota is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination on the basis of these protected classes under any and all programs, services, or activities administered by the department and its subrecipients and contractors. Additionally, MnDOT is committed to ensuring that its programs incorporate access for people with limited English proficiency.

Any person who believes that they, individually, or as a member of any specific class of persons, have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, low-income status, creed, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status with regard to public assistance may file a discrimination complaint with MnDOT. All complaints received by MnDOT must be routed promptly to the Title VI Coordinator in the Office of Civil Rights.

Reason for policy

MnDOT, as a recipient of federal financial assistance, must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 49 CFR Part 21 (Department of Transportation Regulations for the Implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964); and related statutes and regulations. MnDOT must prepare an implementation plan every year for the Federal Highway Administration in accordance with 23 CFR Part 200.9(b)(11) and every three years for Federal Transit Administration in accordance with FTA Circular 4702.1B.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Nondiscrimination laws are also found in other statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on sex. Disability was added as a protected class through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Age was subsequently added in 1975 under the Age Discrimination Act. In addition, Executive Order 12898 (1994), also known as environmental justice, requires recipients of federal financial assistance to achieve environmental justice by identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations. Executive Order 13166 (2000), limited English proficiency or LEP, requires federal agencies to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to their programs and activities to LEP beneficiaries.

The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 defined “program” to make clear that discrimination is prohibited throughout an entire agency if any part of the agency receives federal financial assistance. Thus, state and local government, corporations, partnerships, and other private organizations or sole proprietorships are subject to Title VI in their entirety if such entity receives any federal financial assistance (FHWA Notice N 4720.6, September 2, 1992).

The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the provision of public services on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and status with regard to public assistance. Public services are defined to include any department or agency managed by the State of Minnesota.

Applicability

All MnDOT employees must comply with MnDOT policies.

Key stakeholders affected by this policy include:

  • Commissioner
  • Office of Civil Rights
  • Title VI Coordinator
  • Division Directors and District Engineers
  • Title VI Liaisons
  • Employees

Definitions

Title VI Liaison

An individual appointed by MnDOT's Office of Civil Rights in each district and office who is responsible for identifying Title VI issues, supplying Title VI guidance or connecting to resources that can supply guidance, and reporting on Title VI implementation in the office or district.

Subrecipient

An entity which enters into a grant agreement with MnDOT, whereby that entity agrees to carry out all or part of a federal program funded by a federal award or a combined state and federal award.

Grant Agreement

A written instrument or electronic document defining a legal relationship between a recipient and a subrecipient in which the principal purpose of the relationship is to transfer cash or something of value to the subrecipient to support a public purpose authorized by law.

Responsibilities

Commissioner

  • Review and approve this policy each year before submitting the FHWA Title VI Implementation Plan.

Office of Civil Rights

  • Manage the Title VI Program.
  • Adequately staff the Title VI program to effectively implement Title VI requirements.

Title VI Coordinator

  • Consult with the Director of the Office of Civil Rights on Title VI issues.
  • Implement the Title VI Program.
  • Develop and provide Title VI training and technical support to MnDOT staff, local governments, and other MnDOT subrecipients of federal funds.
  • Ensure training associated with the policy remains current.
  • Process Title VI complaints received by MnDOT.
  • Coordinate with Tribal Affairs for discrimination complaints relative to Tribal Nations or Tribal Members.
  • Conduct internal and external compliance reviews.
  • Report on Title VI compliance activities.
  • Prepare all required federal reports, including the FHWA Title VI Implementation Plan and the FTA Title VI Implementation Plan.
  • Maintain the list of Title VI Liaisons.

Division Directors, District Engineers, and Office Directors

  • Understand MnDOT’s Title VI program and how it applies to their programs.
  • Ensure all Title VI complaints or issues are routed to the Title VI Coordinator.
  • In consultation with the Title VI Coordinator, develop and implement procedures and guidelines to adequately monitor and administer MnDOT programs in compliance with Title VI.
  • Appoint a Title VI Liaison and inform the Title VI Coordinator of the appointment.

Title VI Liaisons

  • Act as a point of contact within their program, district, or office for the Title VI Coordinator.
  • Understand MnDOT’s Title VI program and how it applies to their program.
  • Ensure all Title VI complaints or issues are routed to the Title VI Coordinator.
  • Collaborate with the Title VI Coordinator to address identified Title VI issues.
  • Respond to requests for information from the Title VI Coordinator in a timely manner.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of procedures and guidelines to adequately monitor and administer MnDOT programs in compliance with Title VI.
  • Attend Title VI trainings as requested.

Employees

  • Understand and comply with this policy.
  • Attend Title VI trainings as requested.

Policy Owner (Director, Office of Civil Rights)

  • Review and request the Commissioner to approve the policy every year, or sooner as necessary, to ensure the policy remains up-to-date.
  • Ensure Title VI forms, procedures, and program information associated with the policy remain current.
  • Work with the Policy Coordinator to revise the policy and/or confirm its accuracy.
  • Communicate policy revisions, reviews, and retirements to stakeholders.

Resources and related information

Forms

Processes, Procedures, and Instructions

Resources

History and updates

Adopted

September 22, 2021

Policy Review

This policy's next scheduled review is due September 2022.