The N.C. Department of Transportation's Office of Civil Rights exists to promote and ensure that customers and employees have equal access and equal opportunity to participate in transportation programs without facing unlawful discrimination.
The civil rights office carries out this mission by enforcing federal and state laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in certain circumstances, genetics, sex and religion, in programs and activities that receive federal and/or state financial assistance.
The office achieves its purpose by:
- Investigating complaints filed by individuals alleging discrimination against themselves or others
- Conducting compliance reviews of covered entities that must comply with the law
- Providing training and technical assistance to covered entities to help them understand how they can voluntarily comply with the law
- Conducting statewide outreach to help individuals and covered entities understand rights and obligations under applicable laws
- Providing business and technical training to improve small businesses' efficiency and skills to increase their economic viability
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program is a legislatively mandated program run by the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure non-discrimination against disadvantaged businesses wanting to do business with state agencies that receive federal funding for transportation projects.
According to the Small Business Size Standards, disadvantaged businesses are small, have not exceeded an average of $23.98 million in gross annual receipts over three years, and are owned by women or minorities who have a personal net worth of less than $1.32 million. These disadvantaged owners must have at least 51 percent ownership and controlling interest in the company and also must meet other requirements.
Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise Program
Through the Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise Program, NCDOT ensures firms that meet eligibility requirements are afforded the maximum opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts financed with state funds.
Minority business enterprises are defined as a business that is 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a minority (black, Hispanic, Asian American or Native American). Women business enterprises are 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a women.
Small Business Enterprise Program and Small Professional Services Firm Program
The Small Business Enterprise Program was developed to provide contract opportunities by which small firms would be able to compete against others that are comparably positioned in their industries and markets. This program enables smaller businesses the opportunity to participate in department contracts.
NCDOT is committed to creating an equitable environment in which small businesses can compete fairly for contracts financed with federal and state funds under the Small Professional Services Firm Program. NCDOT takes all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure equal opportunity in administering the Small Professional Services Firm program.
Unified Certification Program
The Unified Certification Program provides "one-stop shopping" for businesses applying to be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. An applicant only has to apply once for the application to be honored by all agencies that are recipients of aviation, transit and highway projects in the state that, transit and highway projects in the state that the U.S. Department of Transportation funds.
The Certification Unit certifies eligible firms as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises as well as Minority Business Enterprise, Women Business Enterprise, Small Business Enterprise and/or Small Professional Services Firm.
Internal Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments. The Internal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action Program administers NCDOT's affirmative action/equal employment opportunity programs. These include monitoring workforce representation, investigating discrimination complaints, conducting work force analysis and identifying sources of targeted recruitment for underrepresented groups.
Business Opportunity and Workforce Development Program
NCDOT's Business Opportunity and Workforce Development Program works with businesses that have been historically underutilized, such as those owned by minorities, women and the disabled. Services include counseling, training and assistance in finding available capital.
Title VI Nondiscrimination Program
The Title VI Nondiscriminaton Program monitors compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related nondiscrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, limited English proficiency, income status, sex, age or disability in programs and activities of NCDOT and its sub-recipients and contractors.
NCDOT guarantees that, as a recipient of federal financial assistance, it will ensure nondiscrimination in all programs, activities and services, regardless of funding source.
Equal Opportunity Contractor Compliance Program
The Equal Opportunity Contractor Compliance Program monitors contractor compliance with Sections II and III of the Federal Highway Administration's "Required Contract Provisions" to ensure that contractors doing business with NCDOT do not discriminate in employment and contracting on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or sex. This applies to all contractors with contracts in excess of $10,000.
Americans With Disabilities Act Program
The Americans With Disabilities Act Program responds to requests for reasonable accommodation, identifying resources for providing communication and other accommodation in public meetings, ensuring that appropriate ADA/504 compliance reviews are completed, addressing website accessibility and managing the completion of the Americans With Disabilities Transition Plan.
On-the-Job Training Program
The On-the-Job Training Program is a civil rights program targeted toward minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals who have been historically underrepresented in highway construction-skilled crafts. The program provides in the workplace one-on-one training having to do with the skills, knowledge and competencies an employee needs for a specific job.
Education Initiatives Program
NCDOT's Education Initiatives Program works to advance a wide range of programs, activities and initiatives that focus heavily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics to develop a talented workforce to meet North Carolina’s future transportation demands.
The Office of Education Initiatives enhances education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (commonly referred to as STEM) and recruits the best talent by making programming available from rural to urban communities and encouraging broad participation in engineering fields, to include women and minorities, increasing NCDOT mentorship throughout K-12 schools and providing multi-disciplinary internship and training opportunities for college and post graduate students.