21.4 Complaint Resolution Process for Alleged Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation
A. Reporting Obligations
1. Supervisors and Managers
a. Supervisors and managers are responsible for taking all steps necessary for all employees to promote equal opportunity employment and prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation from occurring within the County of Marin workplace. These steps include taking immediate action to stop any equal employment violation, harassment or retaliation and taking appropriate disciplinary action after timely investigation, where appropriate.
b. If an employee communicates alleged discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, the manager, supervisor, department head or person performing supervisory duties to whom the allegation is communicated will ensure that it is reported to the Equal Employment Officer or Director of Human Resources. In the event the allegation involves the Human Resources Department, the allegation should be communicated to the County Administrator. Failure to report such an allegation may result in disciplinary action.
c. If the employee declines to complete the PMR 21 Complaint Form (hereinafter “Complaint Form”) the manager, supervisor or person performing supervisory duties will complete the Complaint Form and attempt to confirm with the complainant that the form is correct and request that the complainant sign the form. The person completing the form shall submit it to the appropriate person within fourteen (14) calendar days of being informed about the alleged violation by the employee.
2. Other Employees
All persons are strongly encouraged to report to their manager, supervisor or person performing supervisory duties, the Equal Employment Officer, Director of Human Resources, or the County Administrator any instances of an alleged violation of PMR 21 which they have directly observed, whether or not reported by the employee who is the object of the alleged conduct.
3. All Employees
a. Complaints under this policy must be filed within one hundred and fifty (150) calendar days from the date upon which the alleged violation occurred.If an employee or other complainant fails to fully complete the form, he/she will be given an opportunity to amend the complaint form within ten (10) calendar days.Forms must be amended within ten (10) calendar days in order to be processed.
b. All employees shall cooperate with any investigation of alleged violations of this policy conducted by the County, its agents, or employees.
c. Under no circumstances will an employee of the County who believes that he or she has been a victim of any violation of PMR 21 be required to first report that alleged conduct to a supervisor or other authority if that person or authority is the individual who has allegedly engaged in the conduct.
d. All persons are strongly encouraged to immediately report any suspected violation of this policy to their lead worker, supervisor, manager, department head, the Equal Employment Officer, the Director of Human Resources, or the County Administrator. The complainant will be asked to complete, sign, and submit the County’s Complaint Form. The Complaint Form is available on the MINE, from the Director of Human Resources, the Equal Employment Officer or a member of management. The Complaint Form is also provided as PMR 21-Form 1.
1. The investigation will be conducted in a way which ensures, to the extent feasible, the privacy of the parties involved. All investigations will be conducted in compliance with any applicable state and federal laws or regulations, including but not limited to the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights, where appropriate.
2. Complaints meeting the criteria for harassment, retaliation or discrimination as described in this policy will be fully and impartially investigated and/or immediate appropriate corrective action will be taken.
3. The Equal Employment Officer will notify the complainant and the subject and, as appropriate, the applicable department head(s). The subject and the complainant have the right to a representative of his or her choice during such interview and shall be notified prior to the interview.
4. Within fourteen (14) calendar days of the filing of a complaint, the Equal Employment Officer or other person assigned by the Director of Human Resources will initiate an investigation.
Within one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days of the initiation of the investigation, the person designated to investigate and/or resolve the complaint will report, in writing, the findings of fact to the Equal Employment Officer or the Director of Human Resources upon completion of the investigation. If the investigator has not completed the investigation within one hundred and eighty (180) calendar , prior to the expiration of this deadline the investigator shall inform the complainant and the subject of the investigation of the reason s/he is unable to issue a report within the required time period and shall provide an estimated time for completion, which shall not exceed an additional ninety (90) calendar days. If the investigation has not been concluded within a total of two hundred and seventy (270) calendar days from its initiation and an appeal is available under section 21.5, the complainant may file an appeal unless the parties mutually agree to an extension of these timelines.
After the Director of Human Resources receives the results of the investigation, the Director of Human Resources will determine whether the policy has been violated and will communicate this determination to the Department Head.
Upon completion of consultation with the Department Head or designee, within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the investigation findings, the findings of the investigation and whether any action will be taken, will then be communicated to the complainant and subject.
5. In the event a complaint is sustained, remedial action will be decided in accordance with County policy and based upon the advice of the Director of Human Resources. If disciplinary action is taken, it shall be done in accordance with PMR 47. Due to the confidential nature of disciplinary actions, the complainant will not be informed of the particular remedial action taken.
6. For all purposes under Section 1.4 B. Investigations, any reference to the Equal Employment Officer, Director of Human Resources or Department Head shall mean the County Administrator if the complaint is against the respective office holder. If the complaint is against the County Administrator the complaint will be referred to the President of the Board of Supervisors for action.