11.02.04.03

.03 Complaints.

A. A complaint of discrimination shall be filed with the administration's equal employment opportunity officer or the Office of Diversity and Equity in The Secretary's Office.

B. A complaint of discrimination shall be filed within 30 days from the time the complainant first knew of or reasonably should have known of the alleged discriminatory action or practice.

C. A complaint of discrimination shall allege a distinction in treatment in recruitment, interview, selection, placement, training, compensation, tuition aid, promotion, reclassification, transfer, discipline, termination, or any other of the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. These complaints of discrimination shall allege discrimination based upon any of the following factors:

(1) Age;

(2) Ancestry;

(3) Color;

(4) Creed;

(5) Gender identity and expression;

(6) Genetic information;

(7) Marital status;

(8) Mental or physical disability;

(9) National origin;

(10) Race;

(11) Religious affiliation, belief, or opinion;

(12) Sex;

(13) Sexual orientation; or

(14) Other reasons prohibited by law.

D. Discrimination Complaint. A complaint shall contain the following:

(1) The full name, address, and telephone number of the complainant;

(2) The full name and address of the administration, person, or administration and person against whom the complaint is made;

(3) A clear and concise signed and dated written statement of the facts constituting the alleged discriminatory action or practice, including when the alleged discriminatory action or practice took place and identifying the alleged violation of the discriminatory factors under §C of this regulation; and

(4) The remedy the complainant is seeking.

E. Responsibilities of the Equal Employment Officer.

(1) Upon receipt of an inquiry or a written complaint, the administration's equal employment opportunity officer shall counsel the comlainant as to the following:

(a) The right to file either a complaint or a grievance under COMAR 11.02.09;

(b) The right to file a complaint with the Maryland Human Relations Commission within 180 days after the date on which the alleged discriminatory action occurred; and

(c) The right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days from the date the alleged discriminatory action occurred.

(2) When a complaint is filed, the equal employment opportunity officer shall contact the complainant and the respondent in the administration against whom the charges have been brought.At that time, the complainant may choose to proceed with mediation or an investigation.

F. Mediation.

(1) If the complainant and the respondent agree to mediation, the equal employment opportunity officer will schedule and arrange the mediation conference.

(2) If an agreement is reached, the agreement will be reduced to writing by the parties, and reviewed by the administration’s Office of the Attorney General for legal sufficiency.Upon completion of such review, the agreement will be signed by the complainant, the respondent, the Manager of the administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office, or the Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity, and the complaint will be considered withdrawn.

(3) If no agreement is reached, the complaint will be investigated in accordance with §G of this regulation.

G. Investigation.

(1) If the complainant elects to proceed with the investigation, an equal employment opportunity officer shall investigate the complaint to ascertain all facts, including reviewing all relevant records, policies, and any other pertinent information.All information obtained as a part of the investigation shall be confidential.

(2) Within 30 days after a complaint is received, an equal employment opportunity officer shall investigate the complaint, issue a report of the investigation, and recommend a proposed decision to the Administrator of the administration where the complaint originated.The Administrator or the Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity shall issue a written decision to the complainant and may grant any appropriate relief.

(3) The equal employment officer may request that the parties waive the 30-day requirement if additional time is needed to complete the investigation and issue a report.

H. Appeals.

(1) Within 10 days after receiving the decision, a complainant may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Department of Budget and Management, Office of the Statewide EEO Coordinator.

(2) If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision, the Administrator or designee shall inform the complainant of the right to file a complaint of discrimination with the Maryland Human Relations Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.