Establishment & Function
The Human Relations Commission was established by County Ordinance in 1974, under Division 12 of the County Code, to protect the civil rights of individuals who work and live in Prince George's County, Maryland.
- The Commission is the Civil Rights agency for the County.
- The Commission, through its Executive Director and the Commission Staff, timely processes and investigates alleged acts of discrimination that arise within the County.
- The Commission hears cases in a Public Hearing forum, upon referral from the Executive Director, or on appeal from a recommendation of dismissal by the Executive Director.
The Executive Director’s staff receives and investigates complaints for the Commission, related to discrimination in Housing, Employment, Law Enforcement (all sworn officers in the County, except Prince George’s County Police Officers), Public Accommodations, Education and Real Estate Transactions and Finance.
The HRC has a work share agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC], which empowers the Commission and its Staff to investigate and enforce all federal discrimination laws related to:
The Commission has the authority to "dually file" a federally protected based complaint of unlawful discrimination arising in Prince George's County.
This dual file status eliminates the need for complainants to travel to the EEOC District Office in Baltimore, Maryland to file their complaint.
The Executive Director is also leading the process for the County to receive certification by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to affirmatively further fair housing by processing Housing Discrimination cases.
Council Bill 1-1972, established the Commission and mandated appointment of thirteen (13) Commissioners and an Executive Director to the Human Relations Commission.
The thirteen (13) Commissioners are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council for three year terms.
An Executive Director is also appointed by the County Executive to be staff to the Commissioners and to assist them by investigating and processing cases to be heard for final determination via a public hearing, where evidence is gathered by a Hearing Panel and a decision made as to whether a violation of the applicable federal or county civil rights laws has occurred. The Commission may award damages, issue subpoenas and order injunctive relief.
Commissioners and the Executive Director also make appearances throughout the County to meet with residents, municipalities, companies and community groups to promote the agency and its services.
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