It is important that all organizations, particularly those that do business with the government, get in compliance and stay in compliance with governmental regulations and policies. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is one such governmental agency with which any entity must ensure they abide the regulations and policies. For the purpose of this assurance, this article will focus on How to keep your company in compliance with the DOT. In particular, the State DOT has issued what a company needs to know to ensure DOT compliance concerning Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies lists the best practices for such organizations who will want to ensure compliance.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals and/or groups on the basis of their race, color or national origin concerning federally funded programs and activities. The Act specifically relates that no U.S. citizen (or any person under U.S. jurisdiction) on the basis of color, race or national origin be denied the benefits of, discriminated against, or excluded from the participation in programs and activities which are receiving federally funded assistance. Pertaining to transit funding, Title VI requires that the states distribute their federally funded transit services and any benefits related thereof in a manner equal for all. To ensure equity among organizations who will comply with DOT policy, Title VI requires that those who are direct recipients or sub-recipients of grants provide their services and benefits, ensuring no discrimination based on race, color or national origin. This also is true of those services provided under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs.
It was found that although some states had components of a full Title VI program, they were not completely compliant as required. In order to ensure that your organization is in compliance, listed are a few of the items that must be in place:
Certifications and Assurances must be signed as part of the respective yearly submission agreements. Signing such forms ensures that the state agencies and the sub-recipients agree to abide the requirements of Title VI.
There must be a public notification assuring the public of Title VI rights and procedures to follow if the need arises to file a complaint.
There must be a Limited English Proficiency (L.E.P.) plan which ensures in writing access to meaningful activities and programs for those who are considered (according to the federal DOT guidelines) limited in English proficiency.
These are just a few of the items necessary to ensure compliance. You, along with the help of other companies, can do your part to ensure that compliance to DOT standards remain in place. For more information on DOT compliance, visit the website, comply with DOT policy.