Who We Are and What We Do
Montgomery County's policy is to foster equal opportunity for all. The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights was established by law to help avoid and conciliate intergroup friction and to enforce human rights laws. Rights protected under the law cover employment, public accommodations, housing, and commercial real estate. The law also makes illegal discrimination that is based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, age, national origin, marital status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic status, family responsibilities, gender identity, and (in housing only) source of income and presence of children.
The Commission has 15 members. The members are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. The members are men and women who are broadly representative of the diverse population of the County. Each member serves a 3-year term. The Executive designates a member of the Commission to be chair. The Commission may elect other officers, as it deems necessary. Three members of the Commission serve on the Case Review Board which handles appeals and hearings for discrimination complaints.
The Office of Human Rights investigates incidents of hate/violence and complaints of discrimination. Victims of hate/violence crimes can seek compensation for replacement of property through the County's Partnership Fund, administered by the Office of Human Rights.
The Montgomery County Committee on Hate/Violence is a citizen's advisory group created to work with the Office of Human Rights. Its function is to help to educate the residents of Montgomery County about hate/violence, to recommend policies, programs, legislation, or other initiatives needed to decrease and eliminate hate/violence in the county, and to promote respect for social and cultural diversity
The Office of Human Rights also sponsors training to ensure fair housing opportunities and multicultural and interracial awareness. For more information, call (240) 777-8450; TDD/TTY (240) 777-8480.
Creating a Culture of Service and A Climate of Fairness and Inclusion
- Enforce Montgomery County's human rights laws in employment, public accommodation, and housing.
- Make citizens, both private and corporate, aware of their rights and obligations under the County's human rights laws.
- Provide leadership, advocacy, education, and support for fair housing practices in the County. Perform investigative testing to identify barriers to fair housing and act on findings. Mobilize effective community partnerships with residents, the real estate industry, businesses, other public agencies, and non-profit groups.
- Provide support to victims of hate/violence incidents through the Network of Neighbors and offer victim compensation through the Hate/Violence Partnership Fund.
- Promote sensitivity, support and respect for cultural diversity through such programs as Study Circles and community dialogues.
- Initiate, analyze or promote new legislation which would further the agency's mission.
- Maintain and enhance agency visibility and interaction with the community by participating in special events.
Montgomery County Office of Human Rights
21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330 · Rockville, Maryland 20850
Telephone: 240.777.8450 · Fax: 240.777.8460 · TTY: 240.777.8480