Office of Human Rights

Jayna L. Turchek, Esq., Director

About Us

The Office of Human Rights serves residents and visitors who live, work, and do business in Worcester. The Office of Human Rights strives to ensure that all city residents are treated fairly and equally by working to reduce bigotry, discrimination, intolerance and prejudice. There are times when members of our community face challenges to their most basic human rights: housing, employment, and access to public services, through outreach, educational programs, events and advocacy the office promotes ways to increase respect in our community and safeguards full and equal access and opportunity for all. The office receives and investigates complaints, resolves cases through mediation and advocates in support of human rights issues in partnership with local, state and federal organizations and agencies.

Advocacy

  • Advocate for the human and civil rights of ALL residents of the City
  • Provide referrals to local, state and/or federal agencies
  • Work with municipal departments, boards and commissions, city businesses, and agencies and organizations to increase compliance with local, state and federal laws as well as to raise the level of awareness and sensitivity to human and civil rights issues

Educational Efforts

  • Provide community educational forums to raise awareness about human rights
  • Educate residents about bias and hate crimes

Complaints & Intakes

  • Respond to complaints of human rights violations
  • Conduct intakes with individuals (in-person or over the phone) who feel as though their human rights are being violated or that they are the victims of discrimination

Top Services

Human Rights Calendar

Programs & Initiatives

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Disaster Relief
Our City has united to help our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
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Language Rights
The City of Worcester provides access to programs, services and information for persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
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Office on Disabilities
The Office on Disabilities ensures that all Worcester residents and visitors with disabilities have access to city programs and services by providing information and referral, advocacy, outreach and educational programs.

Have a Question?

  • The Worcester Consumer Rights Program is located within Worcester City Hall, in Room 101. You may directly connect with the program by visiting our office with your questions or by calling us on 508-799 8486. You may also visit us on the web and access an intake/ complaint form through the following link:

    Consumer Rights

    Alternatively, you may contact the Attorney General’s Office on 617-727 8400 or access the same complaint form through their website.

    We will immediately contact you once your complaint form is received and advise you on the process and details of your specific complaint.

  • The Worcester Fair Housing Project combats housing discrimination in various ways. The first is by providing free informational workshops and trainings to the community. The second is by investigating complaints and listening to your story. The third is by giving legal advice and informing you of your housing rights. The fourth is by providing legal representation and advocacy. Give us a call!

  • There are many resources available for persons facing evictions: educational websites, funding sources, pro bono legal advice, and more! If you are facing eviction, feel free to call or visit the WFHP now at 508-799-8486 for information about those services and to discuss your eviction on an individualized basis.

  • Massachusetts civil rights laws protect individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, mortgage lending, credit and education. Each of these areas offers specific protections to particular groups. Protected groups include:

    • Disability (defined according to the Americans with Disabilities Act - physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities)
    • Race
    • Color
    • National Origin
    • Family Status
    • Source of Income (includes Section 8 and Welfare)
    • Marital Status (includes married and non-married)
    • Sex (includes sexual harassment, male and female)
    • Sexual Orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual)
    • Age
    • Religion
    • Military Status
  • Discrimination is unfair treatment because of an individual's perceived or actual membership in a particular group.

  • The WFHP readily accepts walk-ins to Room 101 of City Hall. The Housing Discrimination Intake Worker is also available by telephone at 508-799-8486, or email at humanrights@worcesterma.gov. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about housing discrimination, tenants’ rights, evictions, or anything housing related. The Intake Worker is always available to have a confidential conversation about any housing issue you may be having. 

  • The Worcester Consumer Rights Program works in cooperation with Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and it helps with various kinds of consumer complaints and grievances against any business. This is accomplished through mediation effort and outcome. The program The program engages the consumer and business in a productive dialogue and propose ideas and solutions to facilitate amicable resolution to a disagreement.

Mas Vale Prevenir Que Lamentar (Better to Prevent than Lament)

Este video es una producción de Abriendo Puertas, presentado por la Oficina de Derechos Humanos y Discapacidades

Contact Information

Office of Human Rights
City Hall Room 101
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-8486
Fax: 508-799-1208
Email Us

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Join Our Email List

City of Worcester
Customer Service Line
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
508-929-1300
Contact Us

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