The Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing
The Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing (“DHR”) performs two primary missions with regard to Virginia’s civil rights laws.
First, DHR investigates complaints alleging discrimination in employment, places of public accommodation, and educational institutions in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act or corresponding federal laws. At the conclusion of an investigation, DHR is charged with determining whether there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred. As part of its investigative process, DHR also facilitates conciliation efforts among the parties to resolve their cases either before or after an investigation. DHR participates in a work-share agreement with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate and make determinations with regard to alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other civil rights laws.
In its second function, DHR serves as counsel to the Real Estate Board and Fair Housing Board for allegations of housing discrimination filed by complainants. If an investigation of housing discrimination results in a "reasonable cause" finding and resulting "Charges of Discrimination" issued by either or both of the Boards, the Division prosecutes the alleged violations of the Virginia Fair Housing Law through civil actions filed in the appropriate local circuit court.
R. Thomas Payne, II
Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219