Protestors marching in the streets


The Office of Civil Rights provides a number of services. These include support on housing, employment, public accommodation for disabilities, and veteran needs. Through our services, we ensure that the rights laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Civil Rights Act are protected.

The Office of Civil Rights addresses discrimination and information through the following areas: 

  • Employment 
  • Housing 
  • Fair Chance 
  • Title VI
  • Title II 
  • Public Accommodations


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Fair Housing Act), state law (Texas Fair Housing Act), and the City of Austin prohibit discrimination against people in housing because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and/or familial status. The City of Austin includes protection from discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, and/or gender expression. 

These laws cover virtually all housing:

  • Private Homes
  • Apartment Complexes
  • Housing transactions for Selling and Buying
  • Renting
  • Mortgage loans

To report a Housing violation, please click on our Contact Us tab.


The Office of Civil Rights is responsible for addressing employment discrimination complaints under certain federal and state laws and city ordinances.

To report an Employment violation, please click on our Contact Us tab.

Public Accommodation

The Office of Civil Rights is to bring about through fair, orderly, and lawful procedures, the opportunity of each person to obtain goods and services in a public accommodation without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability.

Public accommodations are privately-owned spaces that serve and are open to the general public. They may be owned by private companies or individuals but are intended for public use.

These are examples of public accommodations:

  • Hotels, inns, motels, or other establishments for temporary guests
  • Restaurants, cafeterias, or other spaces where people can buy food to eat on site
  • Gas stations
  • Movie theaters, concert halls, sports stadiums, or other places of entertainment

To report an Public Accommodation violation, please click on our Contact Us tab.

Fair Chance Hiring

The City of Austin’s Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, which took effect April 4, 2016, aims to reduce recidivism and unemployment and increase re-integration for qualified job applicants with criminal histories. The law places restrictions on certain private employers on when they can ask about a job applicant’s criminal history and how that information can be used.

The City’s Office of Civil Rights is responsible for educating employers and residents about the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, adopting rules to implement the ordinance, and receiving and investigating complaints alleging Fair Chance Hiring violations.