Who May File a Complaint and Why

If you think you have been, are being, or are about to be treated differently from someone else in employment or public accommodations because of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age (40 – 70), ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, or a real or perceived disability ― and the incident(s) occurred inside the city limits of the City of Lawrence, Kansas ― you, your parent/other legal guardian, or an attorney at law have the right to file a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination. More information is below and you can also contact the Human Relations Division at (785) 832-3310.

There are NO FEES for filing, notarizing or processing a complaint.

When to File a Complaint

Although all complaints should be filed as soon as possible, complaints alleging unlawful discrimination in:

  • Employment or Public Accommodation – must be filed within 90 days (about 3 months) of the last incident you believe was unlawfully discriminatory.
  • Housing – must be filed within 365 Days (1 Year) of the last incident you believe was unlawfully discriminatory.

Summary of the Complaint Process

View the Complaint Processing Procedure Flowchart (PDF)

  1. Filing a Complaint (this page)
  2. The Investigation
  3. Conciliation
  4. Determination and Notification
  5. The Public Hearing

How to File a Complaint

To file a complaint, the filing process may be started by:

  • Calling the Human Relations Division at (785) 832-3310.
  • Coming in person to the Human Relations Division at the Lawrence Municipal Court offices at One Riverfront Plaza.

A member of the Human Relations Division staff will help you write a complaint based on information you provide.

Please note that the complaint must be on an official complaint form, sworn to and signed by the person filing the complaint in the presence of a notary public, who will notarize the complaint. Notary services to file a complaint are provided free of charge by HR/HRD staff members.


Notification of the complaint will be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person(s) against whom the complaint was filed within five (5) working days of the date the formal complaint was signed, notarized and received. A copy of the complaint will be included with the letter of notification.

Law Prohibits

  • Destruction of, concealment of, revisions of, additions to, or deletions from, any books, papers, records, or other materials relevant, or possibly relevant, to the complaint.
  • Retaliation against the person who filed the complaint, as well as coercion or intimidation of any person who may be involved in any manner during the investigation of the complaint.

Respondent Has the Right to File an Answer

Each person against whom a complaint was filed (respondent) may file a written verified answer to any complaint, or any amended complaint. Any written verified answer must be filed no later than ten (10) days after receipt of notice.