ADA and Civil Rights Grievance Procedure

Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any public assistance program or activity that receives funding from federal sources, specifically including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). Additionally, State law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability, age, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression), religion, and National Guard or veteran status in the provision of State services. DHHS has adopted grievance procedures to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints against the Department, or one of its Divisions, an entity that administers programs of the Departments, such as a county department of social services or LME/MCO, or a Medicaid provider. 

The ADA requires the provision of reasonable accommodations. Such accommodations may include providing individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing with auxiliary aids and services, such as sign language interpreters, to achieve effective communication.  The Department takes allegations of discrimination seriously, and accepts complaints from individuals who believe a the Department or one of its Divisions or an entity that administers programs of the Departments, or a Medicaid provider discriminated on the basis of disability, including failure to provide auxiliary aids and services to a qualified individual with a disability. 

Section 504 protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of benefits and services. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including programs and activities that are conducted by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS. 

Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance. Programs that receive Federal funds cannot distinguish among individuals on the basis of race, color or national origin, either directly or indirectly, in the types, quantity, quality or timeliness of program services, aids or benefits that they provide or the manner in which they provide them. The courts have held that Title VI prohibits recipients of Federal financial assistance from denying limited English proficient (LEP) persons access to programs, based on their national origin.

Section 1557 builds upon already existing federal laws and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, such as Medicaid providers and the state Medicaid program. In general, the requirements adopted under Section 1557 include equal treatment of men and women with respect to health coverage and prohibitions against discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.  This section also updated notice requirements to ensure access to individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). 

Please see the below DHHS Grievance Procedure relevant to federal laws such as ADA, Title VI, Section 504, and Section 1557 complaints. A link to the complaint form is appended to the end of the Grievance Procedure. For any questions, contact the Department's Interim Compliance Attorney, Julie Cronin, Office of the Secretary, 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603, telephone (919) 855-4800, email: julie.cronin@dhhs.nc.gov