Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

DISTRICT POLICIES

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TITLE: Affirmative Action And Equal Employment Opportunities

POLICY

Equal employment opportunities exist for all employees of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

PROCEDURE

The District's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement and the Affirmative Action Plan protect and are available for use by all District staff. Staff will utilize the procedures contained in the Discrimination Complaint and Appeal Procedure, the Complaint Procedure found in the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement, and the Discrimination Grievances section contained in the Affirmative Action Plan to file a complaint or grievance involving Equal Employment Opportunity or Affirmative Action. The complaint form to be utilized in filing a complaint with the EEO/AA Officer is also attached below. The Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement, the Affirmative Action Plan, and the Discrimination Complaint Form appear in their entirety below.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY POLICY STATEMENT

The Department and its Board of Directors is strongly committed by law and policy to the principles of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.

The Department shall be vigilant in its actions to ensure that qualified and qualifiable persons are provided opportunities in its employment system; in all matters pertaining to recruitment, selection, hiring, training, education, compensations, working conditions, transfer, promotion, layoffs, discipline, demotion and termination; regardless of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, political affiliation, or disability

The Department is committed to the principals of equal opportunity and affirmative action in the provision of services. The Department shall serve the people of Iowa in the most equitable manner possible.

The Equal Employment Officer is assigned the responsibility of developing and implementing an affirmative action program for the Department with the cooperation and assistance of staff. The EEO Officer will conduct situation audits that will consist of both quantitative and qualitative assessment.

All agency employment activities shall be conducted in adherence to the EEO/AA policy and shall be free from discriminatory practices and procedures.

  1. Covered Persons:   All employees of the Department.
  2. Job Descriptions:   The EEO/AA Officer shall maintain updated job descriptions for all classifications of employment. These descriptions shall be reviewed annually to eliminate any references to race, creed, sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, disability, religion, national origin.
  3. Statistical Information:   The EEO/AA Officer shall collect, maintain and disseminate information concerning sex, age, race, disabilities in accordance with regulations of the Department of Corrections. Periodic reports will be generated for Department public information.
  4. Recruiting:   Every effort shall be made to recruit from, and advertise job openings in the minority community. Efforts shall include listing with Job Services of Iowa and other agencies specializing in recruitment of minorities, disabled, and women. The EEO/AA Officer shall ensure that applications received are of a representative number.
  5. Selection:   The selection criteria shall comply with Departmental EEO/AA standards. Every effort shall be made to standardize the selection criteria for each classification.
  6. Appointments and Promotions:   All vacancies shall be well publicized by the Department.
  7. Performance Evaluation:   All employees shall be evaluated according to the restraints of existing policies/procedures. The employee's immediate supervisor will conduct the evaluation, which will be in written form. There will be a conference between employee and supervisor that will include any and all changes in performance that are expected of the employee.
  8. Training Committee:   Aspects of training shall include: New employee EEO/AA orientation and supervisory training session(s) concerning supervisory responsibilities under EEO. Training of this nature shall include Affirmative Action concepts and cultural awareness.
  9. Probationary Period:   All employees shall serve a six-month probationary period to determine the employee's suitability to the position.
  10. Employee Discipline:   Discipline of employees within the Department shall be carried out in a non-discriminatory fashion.
  11. Data Analysis:   All EEO/AA policies and procedures of the Department shall be open to public scrutiny.

POLICY DISSEMINATION

  1. Internal
    1. The EEO policy statement is posted on the employees' bulletin boards.
    2. The EEO policy statement is distributed to Department employees and Board of Directors members.
    3. The EEO policy is included in the personnel manual.
  2. External
    1. Iowa Civil Rights Commission
      211 E. Maple
      Des Moines, Iowa 50319
    2. Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman Office
      Capitol Complex
      215 East 7th
      Des Moines, Iowa 50319
    3. Department of Human Rights
      Lucas State Office Building
      321 East 12th Street, First Floor
      Des Moines, Iowa 50319
    4. Iowa Department of Corrections
      420 Watson Powell Jr. Way
      Des Moines, Iowa 50309
    5. AFSCME
      4320 NW 2nd Avenue
      Des Moines, Iowa 50313

G O A L S

Affirmative Action is defined as actions which are designed to remedy the effects of present bias and discrimination. Generally, persons with disabilities, women, and racial/ethnic minorities are the targets of affirmative action, as authorized under federal law, state or federal statutes.

Based on the consolidated and the utilization analysis, none of the above mentioned protected classes are being underutilized by the Department. The utilization analysis is that the labor force availability for the Department is similar to that of any other employer located in this geographical area.

The Department will:

  1. See that employees are aware of the agency's liability in the event of sexual harassment. All employees are to be made aware of the law in this regards. Sexual harassment is defined as - "unwelcomed sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when;
    • submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of an individual's employment
    • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for promotional decision
    • or such conduct unreasonably interferes with work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
  2. Assure that all recruitment activities reach every possible source of job candidates.
  3. Provide management training to assure proper understanding of EEO/AA standards.
  4. EEO/AA review by AA Officer.
  5. Gather data pertaining to sex, race, and age of employees.
  6. Maintain and review disciplinary data for analysis and use in correcting program deficiencies.
  7. Review applicable sections of the manuals for compliance with EEO/AA standards.
  8. Review Department's utilization data each year.

DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AND APPEAL PROCESS

  1. DEFINITION OF DISCRIMINATION

    For the purposes of this discrimination complaint procedure, discrimination is defined as an action adversely affecting an employee or applicant and/or the terms, conditions and privileges of his or her employment, and which has as its basis the person’s race, creed, color, national origin, religion, political affiliation, sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability.

  2. FILING A DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT

    Any Department employee or applicant who feels that he/she has been discriminated against may file a complaint through the Department's discrimination complaint procedure.

    Complaints should be filed promptly. Under no circumstances will a complaint be considered after one hundred eighty (180) days after the alleged discriminatory act(s).

    The Discrimination Complaint Form will be used for filing a discrimination complaint with the Department. This form may be obtained from Ronice Payne at the Personnel Office at 604 Locust St, 280-4236.

    Complaints will be considered the first order of business by all levels of supervisory and staff personnel involved. Any employee may file a discrimination complaint without fear of jeopardizing his or her employment position, opportunities for advancement, salary increases, or performance evaluation. No employee will be coerced by his/her supervisor to not proceed with a complaint or to not appear as a witness at a hearing regarding such complaint. Any coercion or retaliation initiated against any person who has filed a complaint alleging discriminatory treatment is prohibited by law and Departmental policy.

    All discrimination complaints will be discussed on department time, but no overtime or compensatory time is allowed if proceedings extend beyond the employee's normal working hours.

  3. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

STEP 1:

The complainant (employee) submits a copy of the completed Discrimination Complaint Form to the Director and EEO Officer no later than fourteen (14) calendar days from the date he or she became aware of the cause of the alleged discriminatory act(s). If the complaint is covered by the union contract, he or she will consult with the appropriate union representatives at this time to determine if the issue(s) of the complaint must be filed under the Contract Grievance Procedure(s) OR the EEO/AA Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Under no circumstances will the EEO/AA Officer consider a complaint after one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act(s). Within seven (7) calendar days after receiving the complaint, the Director and EEO Officer will:

  1. Schedule a meeting with the complainant to hear the complaint. The complainant may request that another person attend the meeting.
  2. Submit a written response to the complainant, within fourteen (14) calendar days.

STEP 2:

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response to Step 1, the complainant has fourteen (14) calendar days after receiving the written response from Step 1 to submit the grievance to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

The complainant will attach to the complaint the response and any additional pertinent information brought forth in Step 1.

Within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving the complaint and the written response to Step 1, the Executive Committee will:

  1. Affirm, modify or deny the complaint or meet with the complainant and the Director and EEO Officer and attempt to resolve the complaint, and;
  2. Submit a written response to the complainant, and forward a copy to the Director and the EEO Officer.

STEP 3:

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision of the Iowa Merit Employment Commission, he/she may appeal through judicial review of that decision by District Court, pursuant to Chapter 17A.19 of the Code of Iowa.

Filing a complaint through the Department's discrimination complaint procedure does not preclude the complainant from also filing a complaint of discrimination with other agencies such as:

  1. The Civil Rights Commission within one hundred eighty (180) days of the incident; or
  2. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, within one hundred eighty (180) days of the incident; or
  3. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within three hundred (300) days of the incident.

The complaints may be filed with any or all of these agencies rather than using in-house complaint procedures, however, employees are encouraged to first use the in-house discrimination complaint procedure to attempt to resolve the issue(s). If a complaint is filed with one of the aforementioned agencies AND the Department's EEO Officer, the EEO Officer will cease their direct involvement with the complaint process.

THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN

DEFINITION

"What It Is"

Affirmative Action is a process that consists of specific, result-oriented procedures designed to effect change. It can precisely be defined as "sound administrative practices". The focus, however, is upon equal opportunity for classes of people who have required special legislation to ensure an equal opportunity to compete in the labor market: that is, certain racial-ethnic minority groups; women; members of certain ages; and the physically or mentally handicapped (hereinafter referred to as "protected classes"). In Iowa, these and other groups are protected by special legislation set forth in the Iowa State Civil Rights Act of 1965 (as amended).

Affirmative Action is remedial since it requires specific kinds of action to:

  1. Correct staffing patterns, which show flagrant under-utilization of the groups indicated above, since it has been found that the consequences of past discrimination are perpetuated in present employment systems, and;
  2. Prevent future employment discrimination that would tend to prolong the discriminatory patterns.

"What Is It Not"

  1. Preferential Treatment This concept endorses a principle of employing certain classes of people at the expense of another class. For example, if a hiring authority systematically hired minorities whether qualified or not, this would result in a preferential treatment of minorities.
  2. Reverse Discrimination (implies sanctions) This suggests that there has been discrimination against certain classes of people which has result in their exclusion from employment opportunities, the procedures will be reversed and the same discriminatory practices now used to hire other classes of people who were previously discriminated against.
  3. Quotas The quota system requires hiring authorities to make a determination regarding a "fixed" number of employees to be hired from a given class. Once that number is obtained, there are no further requirements. This concept is benevolent rather than remedial.

While affirmative action does not endorse any of these concepts, the belief that they are requisites of an affirmative action program is widespread. These beliefs affect the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts. *

*The above is quoted from AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

The Department will make affirmative efforts to bring protected class citizens into job openings that become available. Utilization of the procedures listed below shall be made in an effort to recruit protected class persons.

Advertising - All employment announcements or advertisements conducted by the Department for vacant positions will be solicited using the "Equal Opportunity Employer" tag line.

All vacancies advertised in primary news sources may also be advertised in sources having significant minority circulation if the primary source has limited minority circulation. Vacancies shall be advertised in publications circulated in the area where an opening occurs, unless wider circulation is required.

Referral - The Department shall encourage present employees in the area where a vacancy occurs to refer qualified protected class applicants for employment. The Department Affirmative Action Officer shall maintain contact with local and statewide organizations that may employ protected classes to apprise them of current employment opportunities and trends and to recruit qualified protected class members into the Department.

Interviewing - Departmental personnel having the responsibility and authority for selection and hiring shall be responsible for utilizing legally sound interviewing and selection criteria in interviewing all applicants.

Selection Criteria - The Department shall make a continuous effort to assure the job specifications, hiring standards and criteria reflect the minimum qualifications necessary to perform job functions required of each position. Experience and education shall be required for each position only where necessary for the performance of job duties related to the job. The most qualified applicant for each position shall be hired without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, and/or any other non-merit factors.

NOTE: Effective April 15, 1986, all of the provisions of this plan are in effect for bargaining unit employees and positions in a manner that is consistent with the current collective Bargaining Agreement.

WAGES, BENEFITS, AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Equal Wages - The Equal Pay Act requires that equal wages be paid for substantially similar work performed by men and women. Title VII requires equal pay regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation religious or political affiliation and physical or mental disability. Equal pay is required for jobs of equal skills, effort and responsibility. This means, also, the same base pay, opportunity for overtime, raises, bonuses, etc.

The Department shall assure that all jobs are open to all qualified applicants and that pay and benefits are equal for similar jobs. Where a disparate or discriminatory impact is indicated, the Director shall recommend to the Board of Directors that the salary and wage scales be revised to eliminate the discrimination. The Department shall ensure that minimum or wage premium pay for overtime (for non-exempt employees) shall be equally applicable to women as well as men.

Benefits and Conditions of Employment - The Department shall ensure that benefits and conditions of employment are equally available to all employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, creed (statement of beliefs), age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability and/or any other non-merit factors. This includes medical, accident and life insurance; retirement benefits, leave and all other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. The Department reserves the right to offer an expanded level of benefits to full-time employees from that offered to part-time employees.

Facilities - The Department shall assure that facilities such as restrooms and break rooms are open and available to all employees on an equal basis.

Fringe Benefits - Males and females are eligible for retirement and pensions on the same basis including equal retirement age and equal benefits. Benefits are not conditioned on the basis that the employee is "head of the household" or "principal wage earner". Benefits for husbands and families of female employees are the same as those available to wives and families of male employees. Benefits available to wives of male employees are available to female employees.

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave - The Department shall assure that the time when a pregnant woman should cease and/or return to work shall be determined on an individual basis, and shall depend upon the physical condition of the particular woman and the nature of her job. Pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth and recovery therefore are, for job-related purposes "temporary disabilities" under the sick leave plan available for such purposes. Although guidelines may be established for the length of maternity leave, they shall be extended with competent documentation of medical need. Requests for "maternity leave" beyond the medically certified period of "temporary disability" shall be treated in the same manner as employee requests for leaves of absence without pay.

Written policies and personnel practices on such matters as the start and duration of leave, accrual of seniority, reinstatement, payment, or extension of leave apply to pregnant employees on the same basis as to other employees unable to work.

Career Planning - All Departmental personnel having responsibility for the supervision and management of employees shall identify the training needs and growth potential of protected class employees. This shall be an ongoing process although specifically addressed in written form during the evaluation process. The Department Personnel Technician shall provide assistance to managers regarding employee needs.

DISCRIMINATION GRIEVANCES

Definition - For purposes of filing a complaint, discrimination is defined as an action or actions based on the individual’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, and/or any other non-merit factors which adversely affects the individual and/or the terms, condition, or privileges of his/her employment, possible employment, client status, or eligibility for service.

Other Agencies - If an individual wishes to file a discrimination complaint with other agencies, the following time limits apply: with the Iowa Civil Rights commission within one hundred eighty (180) days of the incident, or a complaint may be filed with the Regional Equal Employment Commission within three hundred (300) days of the incident.

Procedure for Employees - Grievances concerning discrimination against employees shall be filed and handled in the manner prescribed for all employee grievances.

Procedure for Clients - Grievances concerning discrimination against clients shall be filed and handled in the manner prescribed for all client grievances.

Procedure for Others - Grievances concerning discrimination against applicants or any other persons shall be filed with and handled by the Director.

THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICER

Designation of Affirmative Action Officer - The Department Director will designate an Affirmative Action Officer for the agency. The Affirmative Acton Officer shall be responsible for administering and monitoring the Affirmative Action Plan and Program set forth for the Department. The Affirmative Action Officer also serves as the Department's coordinator for Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Action and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. It is the responsibility of all Departmental personnel to actively support and participate in the implementation of the policy, plan and program.

Functions of the Affirmative Action Officer - The Affirmative Action Officer will perform the following functions for the Department:

  1. To provide information to employees of the Department regarding the Affirmative Action Plan and Program.
  2. To provide feedback to administrative and supervisory staff regarding Affirmative Action Program progress.
  3. To alert administrative and supervisory staff regarding specific areas of concern.
  4. To review Departmental policies which pertain to or have impact upon the Affirmative Action Program and make recommendations for change.
  5. To assist the Training Officer in assessing training needs in the areas of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, human relations, etc.
  6. To perform public relations functions in behalf of the Department by disseminating information regarding the Departmental program, maintaining contact with community organizations and resources representing protected class persons, and presenting information concerning Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and human relations.

Review of Personnel Actions - All employee hirings, promotions, transfers, disciplinary actions, layoffs and terminations shall be reviewed by the Director of the Department prior to becoming final.

Responsibilities of Other Staff - The Affirmative Action Plan shall be distributed to all supervisory and administrative staff, and they will be made aware of their responsibilities in complying with Departmental Affirmative Action Policy.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICE

Complaints should be filed promptly but no later than one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act(s).

IMPORTANT: This form is covered by the Privacy Act of 1974

Any employee, applicant of the Department who has reason to believe that he/she has been the victim of discrimination may file a complaint by submitting a Discrimination Complaint Form.

Discrimination Complaint Form
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