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Office of Human Rights

Victor Perez, Interim 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

This Human Rights Calendar provides religious observances for community reference and awareness (Description of Religions).

Religious Observances Calendar

Programs & Initiatives

Consumer Rights Word Cloud
Consumer Rights
The purpose of the Worcester Consumer Rights Program is to provide amicable mediation to consumers who are involved in a dispute or have a complaint against a business that is licensed to operate in Massachusetts. 
Welcome sign in different languages
Diverse Business Directory
This directory helps you discover businesses in Worcester that are owned by a broad spectrum of people, such as those with disabilities, veteran status, women, LGBTQIAs, minorities or New Americans.
Hand Holding Pen and Checking Yes Box to a Question About Housing Discrimination
Housing Discrimination
The Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws protect you if you are treated differently or unfairly based on your membership in a protected class by your landlord or condo association, and when you are seeking new housing.
Welcome sign in different languages
Language Rights
The City of Worcester provides access to programs, services and information for persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment
Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment
The Office of Human Rights and Accessibility can lend you simultaneous interpretation equipment at no cost. Please call us at 508-799-8486 or email us at humanrights@worcesterma.gov to reserve the equipment.

Have a Question?

  • You can file a complaint with the Worcester Police Department's Bureau of Professional Standards. You can also file a police misconduct complaint with the Massachusetts POST Commission at https://policecomplaints.mass.gov/complaint.

  • 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 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.

ASL VLOG - Human Rights

VLOG video presentation for ASL residents about the Office of Human Rights.

Contact Information

Office of Human Rights
City Hall Room 109
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-1030 x31136
Fax: 508-799-1040
Email Us

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

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
Contact Us
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