(a) Any person who believes that he or she (or any specific class of individuals) has been, or is being, subjected to practices prohibited by this part may file (or file through an authorized representative) a written complaint alleging such discrimination. The written complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days from the date the person knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged discrimination, unless the time is extended for good cause by the ASCR or designee. Any person who complains of discrimination under this part in any fashion shall be advised of the right to file a complaint as herein provided.
(b) All complaints under this part should be filed with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, who will investigate the complaints. The ASCR will make final determinations as to the merits of complaints under this part and as to the corrective actions required to resolve program complaints. The complainant will be notified of the final determination on the complaint.
(c) Any complaint filed under this part alleging discrimination on the basis of disability will be processed under 7 CFR part 15e.
(d) For complaints OASCR deems appropriate for ADR, OASCR shall offer ADR services to complainants.
[79 FR 41411, July 16, 2014]