Frequently Asked Questions
Who may file a complaint?
Any person, including any visitor to the Municipality of Anchorage, who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination covered under the protected classes listed here, may file a charge with the Commission.
When should a complaint be filed?
A complaint should be filed with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission as soon as possible after the alleged discriminatory act occurs.
A 'formal' notarized complaint must be filed with the AERC within 180 calendar days (approximately six months) from the last day an alleged discriminatory act took place.
Why should I file my complaint with the AERC office instead of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the state agency?
The AERC has local and federal jurisdiction under the Anchorage Municipal Code, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in employment-related complaints through a work-share agreement with the EEOC. If you file your complaint with the AERC office, you can meet in person with an investigator in Anchorage rather than filing your complaint in Seattle by mail or phone. You will also have an opportunity to meet in person with the respondent in a Fact Finding Conference, where you may be able to resolve the issue(s) through a mutual settlement.
What happens after I file my complaint with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission?
When the AERC staff receives your signed complaint of discrimination, the respondent is provided with a copy, along with a Request for Essential Information. The respondent has approximately one month to respond to your allegations. Following that, an investigator will hold a Fact Finding Conference, at which both parties (complainant and respondent) are present. The Fact Finding Conference is an opportunity to discuss the facts of your case and explore the possibility of settlement. The conference is an informal hearing and is not open to the public.
May I have an attorney represent me?
Yes, either party may be represented by an attorney. If you have an attorney, he or she must notify the staff that they will be representing you. Once staff has been notified that you are represented by an attorney, all future materials involving the investigation of your case will be directed to your attorney.