The State of Ohio is an equal opportunity employer committed to compliance with federal, state, laws and Gubernatorial Executive Orders prohibiting discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation. Where discrimination is suspected, employees are encouraged to use the State of Ohio's discrimination complaint process. Employment decisions in state government will be made on the basis of merit, fitness and equality of opportunity and without unlawful discrimination on the basis of:
-- National origin/Ancestry
-- Sexual harassment
-- Sexual orientation
-- Veteran or military status
-- Genetic information
In addition to providing protections on the basis of the above categories, some federal, state and local laws protect persons who are discriminated against because they are perceived to be in a protected class.
Please see below for complete complaint process information:
- WHERE TO FILE AN INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL COMPLAINT OR SEEK ASSISTANCE WITH AN EEO MATTER
You may file a internal complaint of discrimination/discriminatory harassment or retaliation with your respective agency EEO officer within 30 days for the date of the alleged discrimination.
Or you may file a complaint of discrimination/discriminatory harassment of retaliation with the Ohio Department of Administrative Service' Equal Opportunity Division's (DAS/EOD) AA/EEO Unit, Attention: Felicia Godbolt, EEO Program Manager; the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Anti-discrimination protections apply to all of the terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to:
-- Training opportunities
-- Work assignments
-- Salary and benefits
-- Performance evaluations
-- Working conditions
- MEETING WITH THE EEO PROFESSIONAL
Any person who wishes to talk about a question or problem related to the agency's equal employment opportunity policy, or to file a complaint of discrimination, may contact their respective agency EEO officer or with the DAS/EOD AA/EEO unit.
A state of Ohio employee or applicant is not restricted to consulting only the EEO officer within their agency. They may also contact the DAS/EOD AA/EEO unit.
A state of Ohio employee or applicant has a right to meet privately with the EEO Officer during office hours, however, the employee should obtain supervisory approval for leaving his/her work assignment. An employee need not disclose the details of the purpose for meeting with an EEO professional to a supervisor. Reasonable leave requests to meet with an EEO professional during work hours cannot be denied by supervisors. Managers and supervisors shall allow employees to meet with EEO professionals at the earliest practicable time consistent with the operational needs of their units.
The EEO professional can arrange to meet with an employee during office hours or during the employee's lunch period. An employee or applicant may bring a representative of his or her choice to the meeting, provided advance notice is given to the EEO officer.
In addition, a person needing a sign language interpreter for a meeting concerning an EEO matter may request that the EEO officer provide one.
Agency EEO officers will discuss allegations and various options with the person seeking assistance which may include further actions the employee could take on his or her own behalf, i.e., referrals to other agencies which may be of assistance, or other informal assistance from the EEO officer.
- THE EEO OFFICE SERVICES
The EEO professional will interview the person seeking assistance to determine whether the person should receive assistance in the form of counseling, or the person wants to request mediation. The person may want to file an internal complaint of discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation or to file a formal complaint with an external agency.
The EEO professional also is responsible for arranging sign language interpreters and other alternate forms of effective communication with persons with disabilities to facilitate access to EEO services.
Mediation is a voluntary process and may be declined by either party involved. The person seeking assistance may file a written request for mediation. A copy of the Request for Mediation form is attached. When a request for mediation has been made, the EEO officer shall attempt to help the parties involved resolve the matter in dispute. In this process, the EEO officer shall consult with the person who filed the request, the person named in the request, and other persons as appropriate.
- INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS:
A person may file a written complaint of discrimination with the agency EEO officer at any time within 30 days of the date that the events which are the subject of the complaint occurred. In such event, or when a person who has a disability which precludes his/her completion of the complaint form seeks to file a complaint, the EEO officer shall complete a Discrimination Complaint Form. The form shall also be completed by the officer when s/he initiates an investigation on his/her own initiative. Any person who is interviewed during the course of an investigation shall have the right to be accompanied by a representative of his or her choice. The EEO officer will make a written report of the investigation to the agency head. If the EEO officer concludes on the basis of the investigation that a violation of anti-discrimination laws or the agency's EEO policy has occurred, s/he shall recommend appropriate corrective action. The agency head or designee will review the EEO officer's report and take any corrective action that she or he deems appropriate.
- APPEAL PROCESS - DAS/EOD EEO HEARING
If the complainant disagrees with the finding, he/she should request a hearing with DAS/EOD within 15 days of the receipt of the report. DAS/EOD will review the request to determine whether or not a hearing could resolve the issues brought forth in the discrimination complaint. If accepted for a hearing DAS/EOD will begin procedures to schedule a hearing.
- APPEAL PROCESS - DAS/EOD EEO FINAL ORDER
If the complainant or the respondent disagrees with the decision of the hearing officer, s/he may request a Final Order. The final order is the final step in the appeal process the decision from the state EEO Coordinator is legal and binding.
- DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT
Harassment based on a person's actual or perceived protected status is also prohibited. Unlawful harassment does not violate federal law unless it involves discriminatory treatment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age 40 years or more, veteran or military status (past, present or future), disability, sexual orientation or genetic information. Furthermore, the anti-discrimination statutes are not a general civility code. Thus federal law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents that are not extremely serious. Rather, the conduct must be so objectively offensive as to alter the conditions of the victim's employment are altered only if the harassment culminated in a tangible employment action or was sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment. Consistent with the law, reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and for religious observance.
It is unlawful to retaliate against or harass any person for filing an EEO complaint, seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability or a religious observance, or for cooperating in the investigation of an EEO complaint. The State of Ohio will not tolerate any such retaliation. Any person who believes that he or she is being retaliated against for having made a complaint, or for cooperating in an investigation, is urged to file a complaint of retaliation with the EEO Officer.
- FINAL ORDER
Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code Section 123:1-49-36, Disposition of Appeal by DAS/EOD and the authority granted to this office by Executive Order 2011-05K, EOD shall upon appeal, review the complaint file and all relevant written information made to the Division. DAS/EOD may remand a complaint to the agency for further investigation or rehearing if it considers that action is necessary. Any further investigation or rehearing resulting from a remand from DAS/EOD shall be conducted according to the same rules as applied to the original investigation and hearing. There is no right of a hearing before DAS/EOD . DAS/EOD shall issue a written decision setting forth its reasons for the decision and shall send copies thereof to the complainant, his or her designated representative, and the agency. When a corrective action is ordered, the agency shall promptly report to DAS/EOD that corrective action has been taken. The decision of DAS/EOD is final, but shall contain a notice of the right to file a charge affidavit with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in accordance with Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code, and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.