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About OCR

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) coordinates the enforcement of equal opportunity and accessibility for Commerce employees, job applicants, and users of programs and services operated or funded by the Department.

Department Organization Order 20-10 - prescribes the functions and organization of the Office of Civil Rights.

The Office of Civil Rights also: 

  • Reviews proposed regulations, policies, and procedures to assure consistent, effective, and efficient enforcement of EEO laws, policies, and regulations. 
  • Reviews plans submitted by Bureaus describing their civil rights enforcement goals, activities, and past progress, and reviews workload and performance data on their enforcement activities.
  • Provides technical assistance and training to improve the enforcement programs of individual Bureaus; and
  • Investigates complaints for which the Department of Commerce is the designated agency for administrative enforcement and seeks to resolve claims through the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, if appropriate, in lieu of full field investigations. In other cases, formal findings of compliance or noncompliance are issued. If voluntary compliance cannot be achieved where the noncompliance is found, the Compliance Division may refer cases for litigation to the Department of Justice.

OCR does not have jurisdiction over concerns of discrimination regarding the employment of veterans.  However, the U.S. Department of Labor,  Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) violations.

To learn more regarding VETS and USERRA, please visit: