[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Board of McLean County 7-16-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 66, Grievances, which consisted of Art. I, Americans with Disabilities Act, adopted 7-20-1993.
The commitment of the County of McLean (County) to the most fundamental principles of freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving residents, visitors, and employees be based on merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms. This policy is designed to promote a safe and healthy community and work environment and to comply with multiple laws that prohibit discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act, the Vietnam-Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. This policy and the associated procedures are established to provide a means to address complaints of discrimination or harassment based on the protected categories described herein.
Editor's Note: See 775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.
The County Administrator is authorized and, from time to time, shall review McLean County's Nondiscrimination Policy, and amend said policy to ensure compliance with all constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements imposed by relevant state and federal authorities.
Any amendments to the Nondiscrimination Policy promulgated by the County Administrator shall not take effect until such time that the County Administrator submits written notification of the amended policy to all members of the McLean County Board.
This Nondiscrimination Policy applies to all County departments, agencies, programs, and access to County services. In furtherance of the County's commitment to the principles of equality and equal opportunity, this policy may be invoked by residents, applicants, visitors, employees, and former employees of the County of McLean.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- To be subject to different treatment based on membership in a protected classification and to thereby experience an adverse employment or academic action or to be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of a County program.
- A form of discrimination and unwelcome conduct based on an individual's status within a protected classification. The unwelcome conduct may be verbal, written, electronic or physical in nature. This policy is violated when the unwelcome conduct is based on one or more of the protected classifications (defined below), and is either:
- A. Sufficiently severe or pervasive; and objectively offensive; and unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits a person's ability to participate or benefit from County programs or employment opportunities, assessments, or status at the County; or
- B. Performed by a person having power or authority over another in which submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of opportunities, participation, assessments, or status at the County.
- PROTECTED CLASSIFICATIONS
- Race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, disability, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, genetic information, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran.
- Any action, or attempted action, directly or indirectly, against any person(s), because they have, in good faith, reported or disclosed a violation of this policy, filed a complaint of discrimination, or in any other way participated in an investigation, proceeding, complaint, or hearing under this policy. Retaliation includes but is not limited to harassment, discrimination, threats, job termination or other disciplinary action, negative job performance evaluations, and adjustment in pay or responsibilities. Actions are considered retaliation if they have a materially adverse effect on the working environment of a person or if they hinder or prevent the person from effectively carrying out their County responsibilities. Any person or group within the scope of this policy who engages in retaliation is subject to a separate complaint of retaliation under this policy.
McLean County's Nondiscrimination Policy is available on the County website at https://www.mcleancountyil.gov/1150/Equal-Opportunity-Employer and is on file in the office of the County Administrator.
In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq., McLean County will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in the County's services, programs, or activities. No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of the County. Nor shall any qualified individual with a disability be discriminated against because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The County will not ask a job applicant about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. Medical examinations or inquiries may be made, but only after a conditional offer of employment is made and only if required of all applicants for the position.
The County will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability upon request unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the County's business. To the extent its selection criteria for employment decisions have the effect of disqualifying an individual because of disability; those criteria will be job-related and consistent with business necessity. The County will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters and assistive listening devices, whenever necessary to ensure effective communication with members of the public who have hearing, sight, or speech impairments, unless to do so would result in a fundamental alteration of its programs or an undue administrative or financial burden.
A person who requires an accommodation or an auxiliary aid or service to participate in a County program, service, or activity, should contact the office of the County Administrator, at (309) 888-5110 as far in advance as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event. The County will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.
Individuals who believe that a County employee has subjected them to discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy should contact the Office of the County Administrator at email@example.com or (309) 888-5110. Individuals alleging violations of this policy should report the alleged misconduct immediately upon experiencing or learning of the alleged misconduct.
County employees to whom alleged misconduct is reported should immediately report the alleged misconduct to the appropriate County office. Supervisory employees who fail to report alleged or suspected violations of this policy to the appropriate office in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The Office of the County Administrator shall be responsible for receiving, reviewing, and processing claims of discrimination as may be filed from time to time by individuals who wish to have a particular policy or situation reviewed for compliance. Should an individual feel he or she has been discriminated against solely due to a disability or disability condition, that individual has the right to file a grievance with the County, if the County is the local entity which is accused of discriminating against said individual.
All complaints shall be made in writing, or may be recorded by someone other than the complaining individual if he or she cannot write. Such complaints shall be filed with the Office of the County Administrator.
The complaint form shall include the full name, address, and phone number of the complaining individual and briefly state the nature of the complaint or a description of the alleged violation.
The complaint must be filed within 10 business days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
The County Administrator shall be responsible for conducting or assigning the investigation into the allegation. Said investigation shall include evidence and statements from those associated with the allegation and may include other documents or evidence as provided following the filing of any complaint. Said investigation will afford all interested persons and/or their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.
A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the Office of the County Administrator and a copy forwarded to the complainant no later than 60 days after its filing.
The Office of the County Administrator shall maintain all records of complaints and resolutions filed under this article relating to all claims of discrimination with the County of McLean, if any, for five years.
The complainant may request a reconsideration of the written determination made by the Office of the County Administrator. The request for same shall be filed in writing with the Office of the County Administrator no later than 15 days after written determination has been sent to the complainant.
The right of the person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as filing of a complaint with the responsible state or federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
This policy and procedure shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that the County of McLean complies with all state and federal implementing regulations.