18-5 Filing of complaint; initiation of action; notice to parties; findings; mediation or conciliation; subpoena power; conciliation agreements; jurisdiction.

A.    Filing of complaint. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged violation of this article shall file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Department within 180 days after the occurrence of the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice. A complaint is deemed filed upon receipt by the Equal Opportunity Department from or on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved or, if filed by a member of the Equal Opportunity Department, when executed by such member upon oath or affirmation. A complaint shall be filed upon oath or affirmation and shall contain such information, including the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful practice, and be in such form as the Equal Opportunity Department requires. *1

B.    Initiation of action. The Equal Opportunity Department may initiate action under this chapter when it believes a violation has occurred.

C.    Notice to parties. Whenever a complaint is filed by or on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved or by a member of the Equal Opportunity Department, referred to as the complainant, alleging that a person has engaged in a practice unlawful by this article, the Department shall serve a copy of the complaint on such person alleged to have committed the unlawful practice, referred to as the respondent, within ten days and shall make an investigation of the complaint and/or attempt resolution of the complaint through the process of persuasion, conciliation or mediation. The Equal Opportunity Department shall report the results of its investigation and its findings no later than 240 days after the complaint is filed with the Equal Opportunity Department.

D.    Findings.

1.    No cause findings. If the Equal Opportunity Department determines that reasonable cause does not exist to believe that a violation of this article has occurred, the Department shall notify the parties of its decision by a copy of the determination and shall enter an order indicating the absence of reasonable cause and dismissing the complaint. The complainant shall thereafter have the right to request that the City Attorney file a criminal complaint.

2.    Cause findings. If the Equal Opportunity Department determines that reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory practice has occurred, it shall enter an order containing its findings of fact and shall endeavor to eliminate the alleged unlawful practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion. Any party to such informal proceeding may be represented by counsel.

E.    Mediation or conciliation. At any time, during the course of the investigation, the Department may engage in efforts to resolve the charge through persuasion, mediation or conciliation in accordance with procedures to be established by the Department. If the Department determines after preliminary investigation not to proceed or if the matter is resolved by mediation or conciliation, an order will be entered dismissing the charge.

F.    Subpoena power. If a person fails to permit access to or the examination of witnesses or the access to or duplication of records or evidence relating to a violation of this chapter, the Department may issue a subpoena requiring compliance.

G.    Conciliation agreements. All conciliation agreements shall provide that the complainant waives, releases and covenants not to sue the respondent or claim against the respondent in any forum with respect to the matters which were alleged as filed with the Department, subject to performance by the respondent of the promises and representations contained in the conciliation agreement. The complainant or the respondent may prepare a conciliation agreement which the Department shall submit to the other party and which, if accepted by the other party, may be accepted by the Department.

H.    Jurisdiction. The Department shall have the authority to defer any complaint filed under this article to any enforcement body having appropriate jurisdiction.

(Ord. No. G-3557, § 1; Ord. No. G-3558, § 1; Ord. No. G-5553, § 1, adopted 10-6-2010, eff. 11-5-2010; new style in use as of 8-1-2011)

Date of Addition/Revision/Deletion - Section 18-5

*1    Revision on 2-26-2013 by Ordinance No. G-5780, eff. 3-28-2013