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Policy and Legal

The Policy and Legal Section consists of the General Counsel, Title VI Coordinator and Legislative Liaison. The General Counsel serves as in-house counsel for the department and provides legal interpretations of statutes, rules and regulations applicable to the department and its functions. The General Counsel also drafts and monitors contracts with the agency and advises and assists with Title VI compliance issues and legislative drafting and analysis.

Title VI

  • Title VI Compliance
  • TNECD’s Title VI Policy Statement
  • File a Complaint
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reads:

“No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”


Under the law, state agencies, local or municipal government entities, educational institutions, for-profit and non-profit corporations and institutions that receive federal financial assistance are subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987. The Attorney General concluded that under certain circumstances, federal authorities may refuse to grant or continue federal financial assistance for failure to comply with Title VI and its regulations.


Federal regulations promulgated by various federal agencies require each state agency which receives federal financial assistance to establish a Title VI compliance program.


In 1993, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted legislation requiring each agency of state government to prepare a plan to ensure the agency’s programs are administered in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The legislation is contained in Tennessee Code Annotated sections 4-21-901 through 4-21-905.

For more information, contact Summer Carr, TNECD's Title VI Compliance Officer at (615) 253-1944.


Helpful Links
TNECD’s Title VI Policy Statement

The Department of Economic and Community Development will comply with the Title VI Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987. The department will utilize its best efforts in maintaining compliance in all programs subject to the requirements of Title VI and all other federal regulations applicable to the administration of such programs.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will not on the basis of race, color, or national origin:

  • Deny any person service, assistance or other benefit for which the person is qualified;
  • Provide any person with a service different from that provided to others under the same program;
  • Subject any person to separate treatment in any manner related to services, aid or other benefits;
  • Limit any person in any way in the use of services, facilities, or any other advantages, privileges or benefits provided to others under any program;
  • Treat any person differently from others in deciding whether the person meets requirements to receive aid, care, service or other benefit;
  • Deny any person or offer an opportunity different from that offered others in any program or service;
  • Adopt methods that limit participation by any group of recipients or subject them to discrimination; and
  • Refer any person to agencies that do not obey civil rights law.


All agencies receiving financial assistance through the department must sign a statement of compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.





Complaints of Discrimination

A complaint alleging discrimination may be filed with the Title VI coordinator.

Download a Title VI Complaint Form

All entities receiving assistance from the department will be required to have information available for public review on the procedures for filing a complaint.

The Title VI coordinator has the responsibility for receiving, logging, acknowledging, investigating complaints and reporting the findings. The coordinator will notify the commissioner and the appropriate program director when a complaint is received.
After receiving a complaint or identifying potential discriminating activity the department will take the following steps:

  • Within 30 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the Title VI coordinator will conduct a fact finding investigation. The coordinator will meet with the complainant or the staff member who identified the alleged discriminatory activity to determine the nature of the complaint and whether Title VI requirements were violated. The coordinator will meet with the director in whose area the alleged violation occurred to ascertain the director’s perspective on the complaint. The coordinator will notify the members of the Title VI Review Committee.
  • If the coordinator determines that discrimination has not occurred, the complainant, commissioner and program director will be informed. The complainant will then have a right to appeal the decision.
  • If the investigation indicates that discrimination did in fact occur, it will be discussed with the program director. The Title VI coordinator will discuss ways in which to resolve the complaint and seek voluntary corrective action.
  • The complainant, applicant or program director may appeal any rulings made by the coordinator to the Title VI Review Committee within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the written findings. The request can include relevant documentation and sworn testimony, if any, from appealing party, together with any testimony by witnesses having first-hand knowledge of the Title VI violations. The testimony may be in the form of an affidavit and shall describe in detail the circumstances and events that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a Title VI violation has occurred. The Title VI Review Committee will have broad latitude to review an appealed case and make a finding. The committee may discuss the complaint with the complainant, the alleged offender, the Title VI coordinator or other parties to determine the facts. The committee will make a finding on the appeal within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request for appeal.
  • If the discriminatory activity cannot be resolved by the committee, a written report on the situation will be prepared and forwarded to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. If a complaint involves one of the department’s federally funded programs, the federal agency sponsoring the program will also be notified. Information will also be provided to the parties involved on the procedures for appealing to the federal level.
  • If either the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, or other federal agency determines that discrimination has in fact occurred, the offending party will be denied further services or benefits of the department’s programs until the discriminatory activities have been terminated.