Polk County's Equal Opportunity Division investigates and resolves discrimination and sexual harassment complaints made against the county. Anyone who wishes to file a complaint should contact the division at (863) 534-5901 or AlejandroVelazquez@polk-county.net.
Title VI Discrimination
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids federal aid recipients from excluding from participation, denying the benefits of or subjecting to discrimination anyone on the basis of race, color or national origin.
It is the policy of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners to operate its projects, programs, services and activities in full compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 and related federal and state statutes and regulations.
In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the county prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs, projects, and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The county guarantees fair treatment for all people and will identify and address any disproportionately high and adverse effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations, where applicable. The county will take reasonable steps to ensure that limited English proficiency persons have meaningful access to the programs, services and information the county provides.
The equal opportunity administrator, or designated representative, shall investigate all complaints alleging discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in county programs, projects, and services, and ensure civil rights compliance and monitoring. All Title VI complaints against the county shall be submitted to the equal employment administrator, or designee, on the fourth floor of the Neil Combee Administration Building, 330 W. Church St., Bartow, FL.
Per Section 5.02 – 5.05 of the employee handbook, Polk prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation or belief, marital status or disability or any other reason prohibited by law.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Per Section 5.03, the county prohibits discrimination based on disability, in compliance with ADA. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications and governmental activities. Disability discrimination occurs when an employer, or other entity covered by the ADA or Rehabilitation Act, treats a qualified individual with a disability unfavorably because of a disability.
Disability discrimination also occurs when an employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee
less favorably because they have a history of a disability, or because they are believed to have a physical or mental impairment.
How to file a complaint
Complaints of discrimination against the county must be forwarded, in writing, to the equal opportunity administrator or designated representative within 30 calendar days following the alleged discrimination. Intake forms are located in the Equal Opportunity Division on the fourth floor of the Neil Combee Administration Building, 330 W. Church St., Drawer CA05, Bartow, FL 33830. All complaints must include the following items of information:
- Name of the charging party, work location and telephone number
- The basis for the alleged discrimination, which could include race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation or belief, physical handicap or any other reason prohibited by law
- A short statement of the actions and circumstances that caused the act or acts of discrimination to occur, including the date, time and place
- Name, title and office/division of the individual(s) responsible for the alleged act(s) of discrimination
- List any witnesses or persons having knowledge of the event(s)