Guide to Discrimination Complaints

Chandler Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ordinance

City Hall

In December 2022, the City of Chandler (the “City”) adopted the Chandler Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ordinance which provides protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. The Ordinance can be found under Chapter 63 of the Chandler City Code and specifies that discrimination is prohibited within the City based on actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, disability, marital status, and familial status. 

It applies to local employers with six or more employees; owners and renters/lessors of housing with certain limited exclusions; places of public accommodation, as defined in the ordinance; and labor organizations. It also expands coverage of current anti-discrimination policies to the City’s elected and appointed officials, employees, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and consultants when it comes to the access, provision, and treatment of city services, programs, activities, and contracting.

General Process

  • Any individual who believes they have experienced discrimination or retaliation in violation of Chapter 63 may file a complaint with the City Clerk by completing and signing the form provided by the City.  A complaint against an elected or appointed official, contractor, vendor, or consultant of the City may be filed in accordance with the complaint process set forth in Section 63-3 of the Chandler City Code.  If the complainant is a minor, the complaint form may be submitted through the minor’s parent, legal guardian, or attorney.  
  • Complaints brought under or referred to the City’s Title VI civil rights program are not subject to the criteria of Chapter 63 and will be handled separately in accordance with the City’s Title VI complaint procedures on file.  Further, the filing of a complaint for an alleged violation of Chapter 63 or a response thereto shall in no way preclude any party from seeking other relief under state or federal law.
  • Complaints that a City program, service, facility, or activity is not accessible to persons with disabilities will be directed to the City of Chandler ADA Coordinator.  For more information, consult the City’s ADA Access and Inclusion Solutions Process.
  • A Chapter 63 complaint must state the names and contact information of the complainant, the person or business alleged to have committed the unlawful discriminatory practice (the “respondent”), a description of the alleged unlawful conduct, and all other information as may be required by the City.
  • The complaint must be submitted via hand-delivery, certified mail, email, or the City’s online web portal, and will only be considered complete if all information required by the City’s form has been provided to the extent such information is reasonably available to the aggrieved individual. 

Chapter 63, Article II, Complaint Procedures

  • A complaint of a violation of Article II of Chapter 63 (e.g., alleging discrimination in employment, public accommodations, or housing) must be filed within ninety (90) calendar days from the time of the alleged discriminatory act unless the act complained of constitutes a continuing pattern or practice of discrimination, in which event it must be filed within 90 days of the last act of discrimination.
  • Within forty-five (45) days of receipt of a complete complaint, the City Manager will designate a discrimination complaint administrator to conduct an initial screening of the charge to determine whether the City has jurisdiction over the charge; whether the charge was timely filed; and whether the allegations, if true, would constitute a violation of Chapter 63.
  • The discrimination complaint administrator shall be a neutral decision-making authority, and shall not serve as either side’s lawyer or advisor.  The City Manager will designate an independent discrimination complaint administrator who is not otherwise an employee, agent, or contractor of the City and does not have an association with the complainant or the respondent.
  • The alleged discrimination must have taken place within the Chandler city limits.  The City of Chandler does not have jurisdiction relative to employment, housing, or places of public accommodation complaints outside of the city limits.
  • If the charge is within the jurisdiction of a federal or state agency, the discrimination complaint administrator will refer the complainant to the appropriate public agency.  The complainant shall be responsible for filing the charge within the time frames set out in federal or state law and the City shall take no further action regarding the charge.
  • If all the initial criteria to adjudicate the charge are met and the charge is not within the jurisdiction of a federal or state agency, the discrimination complaint administrator will furnish the respondent with a copy of the charge via certified first class or registered U.S. mail.  The discrimination complaint administrator will give the respondent twenty (20) days from receipt of the complaint to file a written answer to the complaint and to provide any documentation or evidence related to the complaint.
  • Following the conclusion of the answer period for the respondent, the discrimination complaint administrator may initiate an investigation period; requesting that the complainant and/or respondent provide additional information or documentation as needed to facilitate the investigation of the complaint.
  • The discrimination complaint administrator may offer mediation services to the complainant and respondent at any time in an attempt to resolve the matter.
  • If at any time the discrimination complaint administrator determines that the City does not have jurisdiction, the charge is untimely, or the allegations would be insufficient to show a violation, the discrimination complaint administrator must dismiss the charge as not warranting further action or investigation by the City. The decision to dismiss a charge will be final. The discrimination complaint administrator shall provide the complainant, the respondent, and the City Attorney with written findings concerning the determination to dismiss the charge.
  • If mediation is not successful in resolving the charge or if mediation does not occur, the discrimination complaint administrator shall determine whether the facts support a finding that a violation has occurred.  If the discrimination complaint administrator determines that a violation did not occur, the discrimination complaint administrator will issue a determination that the charge is unfounded, and the matter will be considered closed. If the discrimination complaint administrator determines that there is cause to believe that a violation did occur, the discrimination complaint administrator shall refer the matter to the City Attorney or the City Attorney’s designee for a determination as to whether to proceed with enforcement.
  • Enforcement against violators of Article II of Chapter 63 shall consist of education, and any business found to be in violation shall not be eligible for contracts or grants from the City.  Violations of Article I of Chapter 63 shall be addressed in accordance with Sections 63-4 and 63-5 of Chapter 63, as appropriate.
  • Places of public accommodation, facilities, establishments, accommodations, services, or commodities offered to or enjoyed by the general public and operated within the City of Chandler.
  • Employment by employers of 6 or more employees within the City of Chandler, including refusal to hire or decision to discharge from employment because of protected status, or to discriminate in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
  • The sale or rental of housing by owners or renters operating within the City of Chandler.
  • The complainant must have been subjected to unfavorable treatment by the respondent based on the complainant’s status in one or more of the following classes: 
    • Race
    • Color
    • Ethnicity
    • National Origin
    • Sex
    • Religion
    • Age
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Gender Identity
    • Veteran Status
    • Disability
    • Marital Status
    • Familial Status
  • The complainant must have been treated differently because of their protected status (e.g., not for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons).  Note, this is only a general statement of the standard for establishing discrimination.  Additional and different standards apply to complaints of sexual harassment or failure to reasonably accommodate due to a disability.  Not all unfair treatment is discrimination.  However, a complainant may have other legal remedies, which can be pursued whether or not a complaint is filed with the City of Chandler.

  • Applies to discrimination complaints against City of Chandler elected and appointed officials, employees, volunteers, contractors, and vendors in the access, provision, or treatment of city services, programs, activities, or contracting.

  • Prohibits retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in the City of Chandler’s complaint adjudication process for all covered areas except housing.
  • Small businesses of 5 or less employees;
  • Complaints against Federal, State, Tribal, or other city entities;
  • Religious corporations/organizations;
  • Private non-profit clubs when the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and services are restricted to members of such club and their guests;
  • Public accommodations that provide beneficial pricing or policies to senior citizens, veterans, students, or individuals with disabilities;
  • Housing designated for senior living or for individuals with disabilities;
  • The rental of rooms within a single residential dwelling or single residential lot (such as duplexes) if the owner or renter/lessor also resides there; and
  • Speech and expressive activities and the free exercise of religion when protected under the First Amendment

A complainant may submit a written request to withdraw a complaint at any time prior to a final decision rendered by the discrimination complaint administrator.  Any failure by the complainant to timely respond or take action as requested by the City or the discrimination complaint administrator may be considered withdrawal of the complaint.

Confidentiality and Preservation of Records

The City of Chandler is an Arizona municipality governed by the Arizona Public Records Law (A.R.S. § 39-101 et seq.).  Complaints and associated documents filed with the City are presumptively public records under the Arizona Public Records Law.  The City cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the information provided in a complaint.  In the event of a public records request, any documents deemed public records will be carefully screened prior to disclosure to determine if any information should be redacted for privacy or other legal reasons.

Records relating to the complaint, answer, investigation, enforcement, and so forth shall be retained by the City in accordance with the City’s adopted records retention schedule.


Ordinance No. 5039
Discrimination Complaint Form