The Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement is a city agency devoted to upholding the federal and local civil rights laws, as well as the local minimum, living, and prevailing wage laws. The overarching mission of the Office of Civil Rights is to carry out activities to eliminate discrimination and protect individuals' civil rights. There are three commissions that are housed in the Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement: the Community Relations Commission, the Wage Commission, and the Civilian Review Board.
The Civilian Review Board is authorized to process complaints lodged by members of the public who allege abusive language, harassment, false arrest, false imprisonment or excessive force by members of various law enforcement agencies in the City of Baltimore. It is the only entity in Baltimore City authorized to investigate the police and is an independent body with its own investigators.
The Community Relations Commission is the city's official fair employment practice, human rights, and intergroup relations agency which is responsible for combating unlawful discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, education, and health and welfare services based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry sex, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and marital status. The Community Relations Commission is also charged with enforcing the city's Ban the Box law that prohibits employers from inquiring into an individual's criminal history during the application phase of the hiring process.
The Wage Commission is the city agency tasked with enforcing the local minimum, living, and prevailing wage laws. Created in YEAR, staff investigate wage complaints as well as inspect payrolls to prevent wage fraud. Each year the Commission sets the new prevailing and living wage rates for the city.