West Virginia Human Rights Commission

5 Steps to the Complaint Process

Step One

You must act quickly! A person may call, write or visit the office of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission to report an incident of discrimination. The complaint must be filed within 365 days of the date of the most recent date of discrimination.

Step Two

After all the facts have been examined, an investigator makes a recommendation as to a finding. The finding will either be that there is not enough evidence to support the allegation(s) of discrimination (no probable cause) or that there is reason to believe that discrimination did occur (probable cause).

Step Three

Following a probable cause determination, conciliation is attempted. In this stage, the Commission or the complainant may agree to a settlement with the parties against whom the complaint is filed (the respondent). If a settlement cannot be reached, a public hearing will be held.

Step Four

An Administrative law judge will conduct a public hearing, which is similar to a trial. After the judge hears all the evidence, the judge on behalf of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission issues a decision.

Step Five

The judge's decision may be appealed to the West Virginia Human Rights Commission. The nine commissioners who are appointed by the governor review the appeal. The party aggrieved by the commissioners' decision may then seek judicial review on the courts.