[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hamilton 12-27-1976 by Ord. No. 573-76. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any employee or applicant dissatisfaction with any request for redress from an act or failure to act on the part of management which has affected an individual personally and adversely; a charge of general discriminatory practice filed by an organization.
- Acting or failing to act or unduly delaying any action regarding any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, physical disability or membership in lawful organizations in such a way that a person is adversely affected in the area of employment with the township, except where membership in one of these classes is a bona fide obstacle to job performance.
- EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY ADVISORY COMMISSION
- A broad-based group of township employees and municipal and public representatives to advise the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Township Committee and render decisions in formal complaint cases.
- EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO) OFFICER/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICER
- The officer who is designated EEO Officer and is responsible for directing all EEO and affirmative action programs for the township. This term is used interchangeably throughout this chapter and refers to the same individual.
- ETHNIC ORIGINS
- Specifies a cultural, regional ethnic minority as defined by the Appalachian Commission.
- HEARING, FORMAL
- Any inquiry, investigation or meeting held by the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission at which compulsory adopted processes are involved and a record is prepared for the purpose of the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission's final decision.
- HEARING, INFORMAL
- Any inquiry, investigation or meeting conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, in which compulsory processes are not invoked and a record is not prepared for the purpose of providing the basis of the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer's final decision.
- Any member of an affected class by virtue of past discrimination. The term "minority" is therefore meant to include those who have been subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, physical disability or membership in lawful organizations. All persons shall be entitled to redress and relief or grievances in instances of discrimination, even if such discrimination is not specifically enumerated above.
- The provision of opportunities for upward and lateral movement to comparable or higher classifications that signifies a commitment to better utilize employee talents and to encompass such factors as status, salary and responsibility.
- PERSONAL APPEARANCE
- The outward appearance of any person, irrespective of sex, with regard to hairstyle, beards or manner of dress. It shall not relate, however, to the requirement of cleanliness, uniforms and safety consciousness.
The Township of Hamilton does hereby reaffirm its policy to assure equal opportunity in employment for all persons and to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and to promote equal employment opportunity through a policy of equal opportunity employment practices in each department of the Township of Hamilton in the recruitment, employment, advancement and treatment of employees and prospective employees of the Township of Hamilton to the maximum extent possible.
It is the commitment of the Township of Hamilton to ultimately establish and maintain an integrated and balanced work force throughout the township to effectively meet the needs of the citizens of the Township of Hamilton.
It is the commitment of the Township of Hamilton to establish responsibility for and provide guidelines for implementation and conduct of the Township of Hamilton's within affirmative action program.
It is the commitment of the Township of Hamilton to establish realistic program goals, including a career development program, and to develop and maintain a vigorous recruitment program for the affirmative action program.
It is the commitment of the Township of Hamilton to obtain statistical information from township departments to evaluate and analyze their needs.
It is the commitment of the Township of Hamilton to evaluate personnel practices and selection processes that are discriminatory or place artificial barriers to the employment of minorities and women. Evaluation of all personnel procedures will include and emphasize the critical and unique employment difficulties faced by minorities and women.
It is the commitment of the Township of Hamilton to implement and maintain an informational program for township employees and the general public on this township's affirmative action program.
It is the long-range goal of the Township of Hamilton to achieve equitable representation of minorities and women at all job levels of township employment in specific occupational areas that will be consistent with both population parity and/or available work force.
Township Clerk. The Township Clerk shall be responsible for the administration of the township's affirmative action program and shall be designated the township's Equal Employment Opportunity Officer/Affirmative Action Officer.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall assure that department heads comply with the goals and objectives of the affirmative action program.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall submit an annual report to the Township Committee on the status of the affirmative action program.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall be responsible for the implementation of the affirmative action program and shall serve as the adviser to the Township Committee in planning and carrying out the plan for the township as officially adopted by the Township Committee.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall maintain statistics on the equal employment opportunity effort of the township and establish a periodic reporting system to measure the implementation and progress of the affirmative action program.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall review and evaluate municipal direction and supervisory performance with respect to the positive application and vigorous enforcement of the policy of equal employment opportunity.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall develop and monitor the upward and lateral mobility program for township employees.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall coordinate and approve all training relative to the affirmative action program.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall serve as adviser to the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission and attend its meetings.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall establish contact with community groups, organizations and individuals who are involved in programs of equal opportunity employment.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall assist all township department heads in establishing realistic goals and guidelines essential to the attainment of the objectives of the township's affirmative action program.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall confer with department heads to determine the basis for underutilization of minorities and women and, if such exists, request and recommend corrective action.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall review recruitment selection, testing and promotional practices and identify actions needed to eliminate discrimination and artificial barriers if found to exist in said practices.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct recruitment efforts in schools, at both the academic and vocational levels.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall evaluate the effectiveness of departmental affirmative action efforts periodically and make quarterly written reports to the Township Committee.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall continuously inform all agencies that refer employment applicants to the township that the township is an equal opportunity employer and that their referrals must not demonstrate bias.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall develop a referral system whereby minority applicants unable to obtain employment within the township may be directed to other specific agencies where suitable vacancies may exist.
Under the direction of the Affirmative Action Officer and the Equal Advisory Commission, a brochure shall be prepared for external distribution which shall highlight the key features of the affirmative action program. On brochures or similar publications, when representations of employees are featured, they shall include both minority and nonminority men and women.
The Affirmative Action Officer shall monitor the progress and effectiveness of the affirmative action program using collective data to make periodic corrections of errant trends.
Township Committee. The Township Committee shall, within budgetary limitations, provide necessary administrative support to effectively carry out the affirmative action program, which support shall include assistance and recruitment programs, selection procedures, job classification and restructuring, test validations, coordinating the development of cultural awareness, training programs and the development of a reporting system to determine the results of actions on applications of minorities and women in the selection process.
Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission.
There shall be an Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission established, which shall be a broad-based group of township employees and municipal and public representatives, to serve as an advisory body to the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. Said Commission shall exercise such powers as are delegated by the Township Committee.
The Commission's objective is to facilitate equal opportunity for all employees in the township government. In actual function, the Commission shall seek to develop active steps to improve opportunities for all minority groups. To carry out the work of the Commission efficiently, the following three subcommittees shall be established. Any other such subcommittees deemed necessary shall also be established.
Membership; terms of office.
The members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission shall be appointed by the Mayor. The membership shall consist of:
The Chairman of the Atlantic County Human Relations Commission or his or her designee.
Two members representing the minority work force and two members representing the nonminority work force within the township.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
The Township Solicitor.
Two members of the minority general public.
The Chairman of the Atlantic County Human Relations Commission or his or her designee, the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and the Township Solicitor shall serve terms concurrent with their terms of office. All other individuals shall serve three-year terms, with the exception that if the members representing township employees leave their employment with the township, then their appointment to said Commission shall simultaneously expire. Whenever a vacancy occurs other than as a result of the expiration of a term of membership, an appointee shall fill the unexpired term to which he or she is appointed.
As minimum steps in the discharge of its responsibilities, the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission shall:
Ensure that the affirmative action program is distributed to all current and future township employees.
Identify and publicize opportunities for township employees to be involved in equal employment opportunity activities.
Conduct regular reviews of the affirmative action program to improve its effectiveness.
Hold open Commission meetings at least once monthly.
Recommend appropriate action to the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer to meet problems associated with supervisory and management practices found to be in need of improvement.
Participate in the evaluation of the affirmative action program and all aspects of the equal employment opportunity program.
Advise on other special equal opportunity programs.
Recommend methods by which the township could take a more specific and innovative approach in the employment, training, promotion and utilization of minorities and women.
Develop and certify all necessary procedures for conducting hearings hereunder.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission shall render an advisory opinion to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office as to the corrective action to be taken to remedy any formal complaint of alleged discrimination. This exercise of administrative prerogative shall not preclude an aggrieved party from pursuing relief with state or federal agencies or commissions, nor shall any action taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission have any binding effect upon said state or federal agencies or commissions, except to the extent that said agencies or commissions choose to adopt such action.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall determine the operating guidelines for the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission, subject to the approval of the Township Committee.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission shall collect and analyze raw statistics on the status of minority employment in township government, it being essential that this survey be taken so that an accurate, up-to-date data base is established for future evaluation purposes. Such statistical survey analysis will also highlight those agencies of government most in need of assistance in eradicating employment imbalances. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, in conjunction with the Township Solicitor, shall provide the format for making this statistical employment survey in accordance with federal and state requirements.
The purchasing agent of the township, if such an office has been established, shall assure that all contractors, subcontractors and suppliers of goods and services to the township certify that they are equal opportunity employers of minorities and women and meet all state and federal laws, regulations and guidelines. In the event that the township does not have such an officer, the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall assume said duty.
Departmental affirmative action.
Each department within the municipality will identify obstacles which have barred members of minority and women's groups from employment or advancement at the departmental level.
Each department will include both yearly and long-range goals and timetables for achieving appropriate representation of minorities and women within its department.
Each department's goals should be significant, measurable and attainable and be designated to correct identifiable deficiencies.
Each department's goals should provide for specific plan results with timetables for completion.
Each department's goals should take into consideration plans for expansion and turnover of the work force with the presumption that qualified or qualifiable minorities and women are in the area work force.
Each department's goals should reflect desired levels of achievement based upon an analysis to resolve imbalances in its work force.
Each department's goals shall be coupled with adoption of genuine and effective internal techniques and procedures to locate qualified members of minorities and women.
Departmental timetables. Department plans should be submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission within 90 days after the adoption of the Township Affirmative Action Plan.
The township's Affirmative Action Plan is predicated on a five-year goal. After determining employee turnover for the past five years, all departments shall make a projection of their anticipated hiring activity for the next five years. If a department hired 10 people in the category of craftsman since June 1, 1971, then that department shall anticipate that it will hire 10 craftsmen in the next five years. It is realized that precisely the numbers projected may not be hired; however, this kind of projection is necessary in order to determine an appropriate hiring goal for minority employment in each job category.
Once a projection of overall hiring activity has been made, each department shall then establish goals for the number of minority and women employees it intends to add to its work force in each category under its utilization. To be acceptable, goals shall be based on the number of hirees anticipated in each job category and in departments where it is found that the existing percentage of minority and women employees is below the level consistent with parity on the basis of population and/or available work force.
The municipality shall establish an aggressive recruitment program to attract minorities and women. The Affirmative Action Officer and departments shall support this effort as it relates to their individual needs.
Methods utilized in carrying out recruiting efforts shall be expanded to include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
Dissemination of notices of township job openings to minority group organizations serving the minority community.
Maintenance of a mailing list with minority organizations, women's groups, governmental agencies, educational institutions and other related agencies that direct themselves to employment of minorities and women.
Development and maintenance of a list of prominent locations in the minority community for the posting of job announcements.
Establishment of cooperative working relationships with manpower programs operating within the community.
Establishment of communication and cooperative working relationships between the Affirmative Action Officer and leaders of minorities and women's organizations in the community.
Solicitation in obtaining recruiting assistance from minority and women's organizations in the community.
Establishment and maintenance of continuing recruitment programs with high schools, colleges and vocational and technical schools that have a substantial number of minority and women students.
Utilization of radio and public service time as a form of communication in areas where there are large minority audiences.
If the municipality chooses to utilize preemployment written and performance tests, they are to be reviewed to assure that they are job related and culturally unbiased.
All hiring standards used in the selection processes, such as height, weight, education levels, previous work experience or other standards, shall be realistically related to job requirements and shall be reduced to writing.
Township employment standards shall not be higher than needed for performance of the duties and responsibilities of the job to be performed.
Consideration shall be given to the use of innovative selection procedures for such positions as require work-related special skills and ability.
Employees shall be encouraged to participate in developmental programs sponsored by the township or other governmental or community agencies to qualify for upward job mobility.
The township shall develop training programs or support career education programs which provide academic and job skills for its permanent employees. Such training shall include upward job mobility from entry level to paraprofessional positions.
Subject to budget limitations and departmental head approval, efforts shall be made to afford employees time off from work to attend related training and education classes.
The township will cooperate with agencies to develop meaningful training curriculums relevant to employment within the township.
Subject to budget limitations and department head approval and consistent with township policies, financial reimbursement, including tuition and books, shall be considered for personnel at entry level and paraprofessional positions for approved relevant programs at colleges and training institutions.
Department heads shall recommend and encourage minority and women employees to attend relative training and educational programs which shall prepare and assist them in securing job advancement.
Protection from adverse actions. Every employee shall be free from any and all restraint, interference, coercion or reprisal on the part of his associates, supervisors and department heads when making any complaint or appeal or when serving as a representative of a complaint or appearing as a witness or in seeking information. The above principles shall apply with equal force after a complaint has been adjudicated. Should these principles be violated, the facts shall be brought to the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission and/or appropriate state or federal agencies or commissions by the aggrieved party, his representatives or any person affected, so that appropriate action may be taken, up to and including dismissal of the wrongful party.
Resolution of complaints.
Complaints of a discriminatory action or practice shall be resolved through either an informal process under the guidance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer or a formal hearing conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission, or a combination of both, or by federal or state appellate processes.
Informal complaints. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer is designated to act in an effort to mediate or conciliate informal complaints. However, informal complaints should be resolved generally at the department or supervisory level.
When an informal complaint is received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, a memorandum shall be prepared advising the Township Committee of the complaint and the circumstances of such complaint.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall ensure prompt consideration of each complaint filed with his office. If after investigation of the complaint the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer concludes that the complaint is not valid or that no discriminatory act has occurred, he may dismiss the charge. Any complainant adversely affected by a dismissal of a charge shall retain all other administrative and legal remedies.
If after a consideration of the complaint the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer believes that an act of discrimination may have occurred, within 15 working days after said determination is made the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall personally attempt to conciliate the matter. If the parties to the complaint agree on a resolution by way of conciliation, the terms of such resolution shall be set forth in a written and enforceable consent agreement, which shall not constitute an admission of committing a discriminatory act. If either the respondent or the complainant fail to comply with any obligation or requirement which forms part of any such decision, said decision may be enforced by the Township Committee.
Any informal complaint not adjudicated to the satisfaction of either or both parties by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer may thereafter be handled through formal complaint procedures as well as other administrative and legal remedies.
Formal hearings may be convened in cases in which conciliation or mediation has failed or either party so requests. A formal complaint shall be submitted, in writing, shall be signed and shall state the basis for the complaint. However, a statement from the complainant describing the conduct and/or conditions complained of with greater particularity may be required by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer or the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission.
Formal hearing procedure.
Step 1. A complaint of discrimination shall initially be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall consult with the Commission members to ascertain the date, time and place for a hearing. All hearings shall be conducted in accordance with administrative hearing procedures as established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission. Written notification of the hearing shall be provided to both complainant and respondent and shall include the date, time and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be recorded and the complainant and respondent shall be permitted to have access to the record, but any transcription requested by either party shall be at said party's expense. Both parties or their representatives and members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission shall be permitted to question all witnesses and to present all relevant evidence. After hearing all of the evidence and arguments, the Commission shall have prepared a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.
Step 2. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall certify the decision of the Commission and dispose of it within 10 days by notifying the complainant and respondent, in writing, of the decision.
Step 3. Within five days of notification of the decision made by the Commission, the complainant, having determined that the decision has not rendered satisfactory judgment, shall be advised, in writing, by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer of his further rights of appeal to state and federal agencies. Transcriptions of record shall be made at the expense of the appealing party for said appeal.
A complaint may be filed by any employee or applicant related to employment in township government who believes that discrimination related to employment has been practiced against him or her, or that an employment practice in the township government has or will result in discrimination in employment against him or her. The complaint of general discriminatory employment may also be filed in behalf of an employee or applicant for employment by an organization; provided, however, that, upon request of the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, the complainant shall furnish to said Officer the names of individuals whom the complainant suspects to be adversely affected by those practices. Such names shall be held confidential by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer upon the request of such individual.
All complaints shall be submitted within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act giving rise to the complaint, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall be charged to notify the accused party of the particulars of such complaint within three working days of the time of its submission.
A complainant may request, in writing, an individual or organization to represent him in the processing of his complaint and is entitled to the advice of a representative at all stages in the proceeding. If the representative designated by the complainant is an employee of the township, such employee, as well as an employee complainant, shall have a reasonable amount of administrative leave with pay, if he or she is in pay status, for the purpose of appearing in any hearing on the complaint or conciliation effort. The rights and privileges set forth in this subsection shall also be available to any person whose alleged conduct is the cause of the complaint. Any person or organization requested to serve in any representative capacity retains the right to deny such a request.
This section shall be published and made available to all township employees.
Any person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter who has exhausted the remedies herein provided may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief, including but not limited to:
This chapter is adopted in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PL 88-54).