Complaint Investigation Process

The Saint Paul Human Rights Investigation Division aims to provide exceptional customer service by investigating cases thoroughly.

The following information provides a brief overview of our investigation process.

Read the Guidelines for the Complainant for a more detailed explanation of the process.

Complainant Files a Charge

An individual believing that they have been discriminated against files a complaint with our office stating the protected class, the harm suffered, the area and basis of the alleged discrimination. This individual is called the Complainant or Charging Party. Under the Human Rights Ordinance, the Complainant cannot be retaliated against for filing a charge.

Respondent Submits a Position Statement and Response to the Initial Information Request

The Respondent is the party against whom a charge has been filed. In the Position Statement, the Respondent provides his or her explanation of events and reasons for why they took place. In the Response to the Initial Information Request, the Respondent provides confidential documents necessary to the investigation.


The Complainant responds to the Respondent’s position statement.

Management and Witness Interviews

The Human Rights Investigator may then choose to interview management, if applicable, and other witnesses. These interviews are confidential. Under the Human Rights Ordinance, a witness cannot be retaliated against for participating in an interview.


After evaluating all the facts in light of applicable law, the Human Rights Investigator, subject to Director approval, makes a recommendation on whether there is probable cause that discrimination took place. Probable cause means more likely than not.

Human Rights Investigators

Human Rights Investigators conduct investigations based on complaints the division receives. Upon investigation of a complaint and applicable law, Human Rights Investigators make a recommendation of Probable Cause (PC) or No Probable Cause (NPC) subject to the approval of the Director. Human Rights Investigators also facilitate Pre-Determination Settlement Agreements (PDSA) and conciliation sessions.

Last Edited: March 27, 2024