MI Dept. of Civil Rights will take discrimination complaints during federal shutdown

    The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MCDR) on Thursday put out a notice that it is still handling discrimination complaints, even as federal agencies are shut down.

    On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) held an event with people impacted by the partial government shutdown. Attorney Jack Schulz said he has a client whose discrimination claim has been delayed by government shutdowns.

    Jack Schulz | Ken Coleman

    Michigan residents who believe they have been discriminated against in housing or at work may have the option to file a complaint with the MDCR. The department partners with both the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and can take complaints related to employment and housing at any time, even during the federal shutdown.

    “Michigan residents don’t have to wait for the shutdown to end before they can begin the process of filing a complaint when facing discrimination in housing or employment,” MDCR Director Agustin Arbulu said in a release. “It is important to file your complaint in a timely way in order to protect your right to have the alleged discrimination investigated and addressed.”

    To file a complaint, call MDCR at 800-482-3604 or go to the MDCR website and click on “File a Complaint” at the top of the page. Intake staff will determine if MDCR has jurisdiction and provide next steps, the department said.

    The Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the operational arm of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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