DCF: Internal Complaint Procedure

Division of Diversity and Equity

Internal Complaint Procedure

The Department of Children and Families is an affirmative action/equal opportunity organization that ensures equal access to employment and services for all individuals, without regard to race, color, religious creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression, mental disability or history thereof, developmental disability, learning disability, physical disability (including blindness), pregnancy, previous opposition, domestic violence, criminal record, genetic information, or workplace hazards to reproductive systems, unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of these protected classes.  

 

Per Connecticut General Statutes the Director of Diversity and Equity or his/her designee shall be responsible for mitigating any discriminatory conduct within the agency, investigate all complaints of discrimination made against the agency, and report all findings and recommendations upon the conclusion of the investigation to the Commissioner for proper action.

The Department's complaint procedure for employees and those seeking employment or services within the agency has been written to conform to Connecticut General Statutes regarding non-discrimination, consistent with Section 46a-68 and Chapters 67 and 68.

The system will provide for the expeditious resolution of complaints to assure that legal options for filing complaints with enforcement agencies are not foreclosed. Per Section 46a-68-46, the complaint procedure will include:

  1. Periodic training in counseling and complaint investigations for agency diversity and equity staff handling complaints;
  2. Confidential counseling and informal resolution at the agency level by the Director of Diversity and Equity, or designee (when appropriate);
  3. Notice to employees that an agency complaint procedure is available;
  4. A guarantee of non-retaliation for the exercise of rights granted pursuant to this section;
  5. Advice to constituents of their legal options to file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Federal Office of Civil Rights, and any other agencies; state, federal or local, that enforce laws concerning discrimination;
  6. A notice that all employees have the right to a reasonable period of time to review and comment on the agency's affirmative action plan; and
  7. Information on time frames not exceeding ninety (90) days for the filing, processing and resolution of such matters.

All records of complaints and dispositions thereof will be maintained and reviewed on a regular basis by the Division of Diversity and Equity to detect any patterns in the nature of complaints. Records so retained will be confidential, except where disclosure is required by law.

Per Section 46a-68-46 of the Affirmative Action Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the agency's affirmative action plan will contain a summary of the matters alleged, the results thereof and the length of time required to resolve the complaint. Where informal allegations have resulted in complaints to enforcement agencies, the plan will provide information on the number of such complaints, investigating agency, whether such matters are currently pending or the outcome thereof. All records relevant to complaints filed under this section will be maintained by the agency for examination by the commission.

Who may file a complaint
Any person involved with the department as a client, provider, other party, applying for employment or currently employed by the Department of Children and Families who believes s/he has been subjected to discrimination because of
race, color, religious creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression, mental disability or history thereof, developmental disability, learning disability, physical disability (including blindness), pregnancy, previous opposition, domestic violence, criminal record, genetic information, or workplace hazards to reproductive systems has the right to file a complaint with the Division of Diversity and Equity.

Protection from adverse action
No person employed, served by or involved with the Department of Children and Families will be restrained, intimidated, threatened, coerced or discriminated against by administrative staff, supervisory staff or associates because s/he filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing. Should these principles be violated, it will immediately be brought to the attention of the Director of Diversity and Equity by the aggrieved party, his/her representative, or any affected person, for investigation and appropriate action.

Procedure
All complaints should be submitted to the Division of Diversity and Equity, in writing, within thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act. The Division of Diversity and Equity will notify the accused party of the particulars of the complaint within ten (10) working days of the time of its submission.

The agency's Internal Discrimination Complaint Intake Form can be downloaded from the agency's website, or can be obtained directly from the Division of Diversity and Equity. 

All complaints must contain a brief statement describing the alleged act of discrimination, the date or dates of the alleged violation, name, job title, address and location of both the complainant and the respondent.  Complaints may be submitted directly to the Division of Diversity and Equity in person or by mail, e-mail or fax.  

The Division of Diversity and Equity will initially attempt to resolve complaints of alleged discrimination through an informal process. The Diversity and Equity Director or his/her designee will act in an effort to mediate or conciliate complaints. 

After investigation of the complaint, if the Division of Diversity and Equity concludes that no act of discrimination occurred, the complaint will be dismissed and both the complainant and the respondent will be notified. However, if the investigation results find reason to believe that the rights of the complainant have been violated, a meeting will be held in an effort to conciliate the matter and bring about a proper remedy. Time frames will not exceed ninety (90) days for filing, processing and resolution of all alleged discrimination complaints.

All complainants are advised of legal options to file discrimination complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Office of Civil Rights and any other agencies, state, federal or local, that enforce laws concerning discrimination.





Content Last Modified on 6/27/2013 12:44:35 PM