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Fair Treatment Under the Law

Fair Treatment Under the Law

Several pieces of legislation have been enacted by the Federal government to prohibit discrimination. All programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance (ie. local governments) are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability.

The Adams County Office of Planning and Development and the metropolitan planning Organization, ACTPO), strive to meet these mandates and present inclusive and outreach-driven planning processes.

If you believe you have been excluded from participation in, denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any Adams County program, project, or activity of Federal Aid recipient, sub-recipient, or contractor, you may file a complaint.  This includes, but is not limited to, activities related to the following programs:

  • Adams County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO),
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG),
  • Fair Housing,
  • Any other federally-funded program administered by the County of Adams.

Office of Planning & Development

Agricultural and Natural Resources Center
670 Old Harrisburg Rd
Suite 100
Gettysburg, PA 17325
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Title VI - Transportation Projects and Programs

The County of Adams Title VI Complaint Procedures are written to specify the process employed by the County to investigate complaints, while ensuring due process for complainants and respondents.  The process does not preclude the County of Adams from attempting to informally resolve complaints.

These procedures apply to all external complaints relating to any program or activity administered by Adams County and/or its sub-recipients, consultants and contractors, filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, (including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Equal Employment Opportunity components), as well as other related laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, disability, sex, age, low income, nationality or Limited English Proficiency.  Intimidation or retaliation of any kind is prohibited by law.

Disparate treatment (also called intentional discrimination) happens under Title VI when similarly situated persons are treated differently because of their race, color, or national origin by a recipient of federal funds directly or through contractual or other arrangements. Examples of these actions include:
  • Deny an individual any service, financial aid, or other benefit
  • Provide any service, financial aid, or other benefit to a person that is different or is provided in a different manner from that provided to others under the program
  • Subject a person to segregation or separate treatment
  • Restrict a person in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program
  • Treat a person differently from others in determining whether they satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota, eligibility, membership, or other requirement or conditon which persons must meet in order to be provided any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program
  • Deny a person an opportunity to participate in the program through the provision of services or otherwise or afford them an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under the program
  • Discriminate in site or location selection of facilities

The Adams County Metropolitan Planning Organization (ACTPO) does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, or national origin in its services, programs or activities. Furthermore, ACTPO will not, directly or through contractual arrangements:
  • Engage in intentional discrimination because of race, color, or national origin;
  • Use criteria or methods of administration which have the effect of subjecting persons to discrimination because of their race, color, or national origin; or,
  • Intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual in retaliation for exercising a right or privilege.

All complaints that allege exclusion from participation in; denial of benefits or discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin shall be forwarded to the Adams County Title VI Compliance Officer for intake and disposition consistent with the ACTPO Title VI Complaint Process.

Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

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Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) is a legal requirement that federal agencies and federal grantees (such as Adams County, Gettysburg Borough, and Littlestown Borough) further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968). In addition to combating discrimination, the Fair Housing Act requires these entities to overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics, including race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.

The following actions, if based on an inclusion in one or more protected classes, are discriminatory:
  • Refusing to sell or rent to, or deal or negotiate with, any person.
  • Discriminating on terms or conditions for buying or renting housing.
  • Discriminating by advertising that housing is available only to persons of certain race,
    color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, handicap (disability), age, ancestry, or
    with no animals.
  • Denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rent when it really is available.
  • Blockbusting-for-profit, persuading owners to sell or rent housing by telling them that minority groups are moving into the neighborhood.
  • Denying or making different terms or conditions for home loans by financial institutions.
  • Denying to anyone the use or participation in any real estate services, multiple listing services, or other facilities related to the selling and renting of housing.



Agency Links

Visit the EPA's page providing information and resources on Title VI and Environmental Justice.

PA's Human Relations Commission enforces state laws that prohibit discrimination. Visit their site for Frequently Asked Questions, Information about complaints, Publications, and more. 

Laws and Statutes

Title VI prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Read the full Act here.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the United States. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance, and set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund)

View questions and answers about Section 504 from HUD.
The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 specifies that entities receiving federal funds must comply with civil rights legislation in all of their operations and not just the program or activity receiving funding.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Learn more from the ADA National Network.
It is the policy of the United States to provide, within Constitutional limtations, for fair housing throughout the United States. Read the full Act here.