How can I file an ADA complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice?

If you feel that you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by either Title II or III of the ADA, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section. Title II covers state and local government entities and Title III public accommodations and commercial facilities.  Public accommodations are businesses that provide goods or services for the public. 

Complaints concerning discrimination in employment, often referred to as Title I complaints, should be addressed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the agency responsible for enforcing state laws against employment discrimination.  The EEOC process for filing a charge of employment discrimination may be found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm.

Title II and III complaints may be sent by e-mail. Since letters and packages sent to the Disability Rights Section by U.S. Mail or other delivery service are delayed for security screening, using e-mail is the quickest way of filing a complaint. E-mail complaints also receive an immediate reply confirming that they have been received. Remember that there can be no guarantee of privacy when you send an e-mail.

The most important part of filing a Title II and III complaint is ensuring that you provide the Department of Justice with the following information:

  • Your full name, address, email, the telephone numbers where we can reach you during the day and evening, and the name of the party discriminated against (if known);
  • The name and address of the business, organization, institution, or person that you believe has discriminated;
  • A brief description of the acts of discrimination, the dates they occurred, and the names of individuals involved;
  • Other information that you believe necessary to support your complaint, including copies of relevant documents (not originals); and
  • Provide the Department of Justice with the information needed to ensure that they communicate with you effectively. Please let the Department know if you need to receive written communications in a specific format, such as large print, Braille, e-mail, or audio recording, or if you need to receive oral communications by video phone or TTY.

To ensure that all necessary information is provided, you may use this ADA Title II complaint form (http://www.ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm), which can be used for any Title II or III ADA complaint.  Additional advice and instructions for filing a Title III complaint can be found at: http://www.ada.gov/t3compfm.htm.

Include all of the information listed above, either in the body of the email or in an attachment to your e-mail. Please attach any relevant documents to your e-mail.

Send your complaint to the following e-mail address: ada.complaint@usdoj.gov.

You will receive an automatic reply e-mail confirming that your complaint has been received. Please keep a copy of your complaint and the reply e-mail for your records. If you do not receive a reply email, you may have sent your complaint to the wrong e-mail address.

The Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section accepts complaints sent by regular mail but receiving the complaints may be delayed by 4 - 6 weeks because of necessary security screening precautions. To file a complaint using U.S. Postal Service or by any other parcel delivery service, send your completed complaint form (http://www.ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm) or a signed letter containing the information and documents described above to the following address:

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Keep a copy of your complaint. Send copies (not originals) of relevant documents. The security screening process can damage documents sent to the Department of Justice, so please keep original documents for your own records.

Source: Frequently Asked Questions about Filing an ADA Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice - http://www.ada.gov/fact_on_complaint.htm