Civil Rights Guidance Information


The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Local Assistance (DLA) is responsible for funding local agency projects and programs that utilize federal funds. The DLA Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) Program compliance and oversight function resides in the Office of Guidance and Oversight (GO). Caltrans conducts program reviews of subrecipients of federal financial assistance to ensure compliance with Title VI requirements pursuant to 23 CFR 200.9(b)(7). Corrective action may be required, where applicable. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, and national origin. Specifically, 42 USC 2000d states, "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

In addition to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, other nondiscrimination statutes afford legal protection under the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Title VI Program. These statutes include the following:

Section 162(a) of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 (23 USC 324) (sex)

Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (age)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (disability)

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (disability)

Two Presidential Executive Orders place further emphasis on the Title VI protections of race and national origin and are included in the scope of the FHWA's Title VI Program: Executive Order 12898 (PDF), "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations," directs federal agencies to develop strategies to address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs on minority and low-income populations. The order is also intended to promote nondiscrimination in federal programs substantially affecting human health and the environment, and to provide minority and low-income communities' access to public information and an opportunity for public participation in matters relating to human health or the environment.

Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access To Services For Persons With Limited English Proficiency," directs federal agencies to evaluate services provided and implement a system that ensures that Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons are able to meaningfully access the services provided, consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the local agency. Additionally, each federal agency shall ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to programs, services, and information to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries free of charge.

Taken together, these requirements define an over-arching Title VI nondiscrimination program. Title VI and the additional nondiscrimination requirements are applicable to all programs and activities administered by a recipient, in addition to programs receiving federal financial assistance, due to the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987. Nondiscrimination provisions apply to all programs and activities of federal-aid recipients, sub-recipients, and contractors, regardless of tier (49 CFR 21).