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Investigation Process

Learn about the process once a charge is filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Once the charge of discrimination is received the case will be assigned to a Civil Rights Field Investigator.  Within two (2) weeks, the investigator sends letters and copies of the charge affidavit via U.S. Mail to the person filing the charge (Charging Party) and to the company/person (Respondent) against whom the charge was filed.   

Mediation Option

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission offers a voluntary mediation program and employs highly competent mediators in each of its regional offices. A case cannot be mediated unless both parties voluntarily agree to participate in the process. The purpose of the mediation is to resolve the issues in a manner that is satisfactory for both parties. Mediation is not the forum to decide the merits of the case. If mediation is successful, the case is closed and no further action will be taken. If mediation is not successful or if one party declines to participate, a full investigation will be conducted. (For more information about mediation, please refer to our Mediation page).

Investigative Procedure

During an investigation, the Respondent will be asked to provide a position statement addressing the allegations raised in the charge affidavit.  Once the investigator receives the Respondent’s position statement the information is reviewed.  The Charging Party will have the opportunity to respond and provide any additional information to support the allegations of discrimination including witness statements, documentation or other information/evidence. 
Throughout this process the investigator may request additional information/documentation, contact witnesses or conduct an on-site meeting at the Respondent’s place of business in order to gather factual information about the case.  Based on analyses of the information collected, the OCRC will issue a written recommendation as to whether there is a violation of Ohio’s Laws Against Discrimination.  The Ohio Civil Rights Commission has one year to complete the investigation.  If either party does not agree with the recommendation they may appeal the finding via reconsideration.  (For more information about this process, please visit the Reconsideration Process page.)  Either party can appeal the investigator's recommendation through the OCRC’s reconsideration process.