EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ASSURANCE & EMPLOYEE HUMAN RIGHTS
INFORMATION FOR ALL DDS STAFF
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ASSURANCE IN EMPLOYMENT
In accordance with the State Law (Section 46a-68 of the Connecticut General Statutes), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), is required to develop and implement an Affirmative Action Plan. By definition, Affirmative Action is positive action, undertaken with conviction and effort, to overcome the present effects of past employment practices, policies and barriers to equal employment opportunity, and to achieve the full and fair participation of Women, Blacks, Hispanics and other groups that have been found to be historically under utilized in the DDS workforce or affected by employment policies or practices having adverse impact.
Affirmative Action applies to all aspects of the employment process including recruitment, applicant screening, interviewing, selection criteria, hiring decisions, promotional processes, training/career development, interaction between coworkers, benefits, compensation, disciplinary measures, layoff and termination. The implementation of the DDS Affirmative Action Plan has, as its’ primary goal, the elimination of under utilization and elimination of discrimination against protected class persons in all aspects of employment.
In keeping with the agency’s commitment to Affirmative Action, all DDS employees are entitled to work in settings that are free of unlawful discriminatory treatment including intimidation and harassment. Discriminatory treatment is prohibited, whether involving supervisors and their subordinate staff or interaction between peers. Further, the DDS acknowledges its’ responsibility, in accordance with State Law (Section 46a-71 of the Connecticut General Statutes), to affirmatively provide services and programs in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. The DDS greatly enhances its’ ability to provide fair and non-discriminatory services to the State’s diverse population when the composition of the DDS workforce is similarly diverse.
AN INVITATION TO ALL DDS STAFF
All DDS staff are invited to review and comment on the DDS Affirmative Action Plan. Questions and comments may be directed to any of the Equal Opportunity Assurance personnel listed in this notice. Employee comments are collected and included in the DDS Affirmative Action Plan that is prepared each year (submitted annually on November 30th). Each Affirmative Action Plan contains the comments submitted during the one year period from August 1st to July 31st preceding each November 30th filing date.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ASSURANCE
Equal Opportunity Assurance Division staff (as listed in this notice) is responsible for the development and coordination of Affirmative Action Plan and Programs in the three Regions (North, South, & West). Equal Opportunity Assurance Division staff is also responsible for investigating employee allegations of discriminatory treatment.
Implementation of the DDS Affirmative Action Plan is the responsibility of all DDS managers and supervisors. Commissioner O’Meara is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the Affirmative Action Plan.
The success or failure of the Plan is determined by the Connecticut Commission On Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), the agency charged with enforcement of the laws that prohibit discrimination and require implementation of Affirmative Action Programs by law. The CHRO reviews the DDS Affirmative Action Plan on an annual basis.
EMPLOYEE HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION
It is unlawful to harass or intimidate an employee or to otherwise discriminate against an employee on the basis of his or her:
» race or color
» sex (gender)
» mental retardation
» present or past history
of mental disability
» having opposed or
complained of conduct
believed to be
» national origin
» religious creed
» learning disability
» physical disability
alcoholism or substance
» marital status
» sexual orientation
» genetic information
» prior convication of a
SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROHIBITION
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination that is prohibited by Federal and State Law (Section 46a-60 of the Conn. General Statutes). Additionally, Commissioner O’Meara has issued a Policy Statement warning that sexual harassment, in the workplace, will not be tolerated.
The legal definition of sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual conduct when such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITES ACT - ADA
The Americans With Disabilities Act imposes broad, far-reaching mandates on employers and entities serving the public. Particular emphasis is placed on non-discrimination in employment and access to places of public accommodation including physical accessibility to opportunity and services.
TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION
Currently the Department contracts with Languageline Services to provide over the phone interpretation. In over-the-phone interpretation, Language Line Services' interpreters listen to limited English speaking customers, analyze the message, and accurately convey its original meaning to staff. As indicated in the DDS Manual, Language Line Services are available to case managers, support brokers, service coordinators, program supervisors, case management supervisors and all other staff responsible for ensuring communication with families and individuals served by DDS.
AN EMPLOYEE’S RIGHT TO FILE A DISCRIMINATION GRIEVANCE
Any DDS employee who feels he or she has been discriminated against, or has otherwise been deprived of his or her human rights protections (protections listed above), may file an internal grievance through the DDS’s Equal Opportunity Assurance Division listed below. Additionally, faxes may be sent to the Equal Opportunity Assurance staff @ 860-418-6004.
* DDS employees who wish to submit an internal grievance are advised, if possible, to file within 30 days of the alleged discriminatory treatment.
* All discrimination grievances are treated as “confidential”.
* No employee shall suffer retaliation for exercising his or her rights under this procedure.
* Employees may exercise their option to file a discrimination complaint with the
Commission On Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO)
Toll free 1-800 477-5737
TDD (860) 541-3459, FAX (860) 246-5068