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1106 Madison Street, Suite 233Oakland, CA 94607Telephone: 510.272.3895

Diversity Programs, a part of the Office of the County Counsel

Filing a Complaint

Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation Complaint Procedure

Role and Purpose of Diversity Programs

The Diversity Programs Office may investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation filed by County employees, applicants for employment, unpaid interns or volunteers and service providers (collectively, referenced as a Complainants) pursuant to Title 3 of the Alameda County Administrative Code, as amended by State and Federal regulations. Diversity Programs is a neutral fact-finder and confidentially investigates allegations within Diversity's jurisdiction in a fair, timely and thorough manner that provides all parties appropriate due process and reaches reasonable conclusions based upon facts presented.

What Kind of Complaints Can be Filed?

Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation complaints filed with the County of Alameda must be based on one or more of the following protected categories, as may be amended by State and Federal regulations:

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Domestic Partnership
  • Family & Medical Leave Status
  • Gender
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity
  • Genetic Information
  • Marital Status
  • Medical Condition
  • Military/Veteran Status
  • National Origin
  • Political Affiliation
  • Pregnancy
    (Breast feeding , child birth and other medical conditions related to pregnancy)

Actions complained of generally require adverse employment actions which may include but are not limited to the following examples, as may be amended by State and Federal regulations:

  • Assignments
  • Demotion
  • Denial of Reasonable Accommodation
  • Denial of Training
  • Disciplinary Action
  • Disparate Impact
  • Disparate Treatment
  • Failure to Appoint
  • Failure to Promote
  • Harassment
  • Loss of Employment Benefits
  • Reduction in Force/Layoffs
  • Retaliation
  • Termination
  • Transfer
  • Other

Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation by co-workers, supervisors, managers and third-parties (e.g., vendors and customers), is prohibited.

How Does a Complainant File a Discrimination Complaint?

Internal: Using County Process

Complainants may file an internal complaint with respective Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator and/or Diversity Programs by completing the Alameda Complaint Form (PDF)* on-line, submitting Form by mail, telephoning or writing to:

Agency/Department Process

Contact specific Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator from attached list of
Department Diversity Coordinators. (PDF - 136kb)*

County-wide Process

Diversity Programs
1106 Madison St., Ste. 233
Oakland, CA 94612
Email
P: 510-272-3895 F: 510-208-4904
QIC: 20204

* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.

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What is the Filing Deadline?

Complaints must be filed with the County's Diversity Programs Office within 300 calendar days from the date the last alleged act of discrimination took place, or within 300 calendar days from the date the complainant should have first become aware of the alleged discriminatory action/violation.

How is the Complaint Investigated?

Within 10 working days of receipt of a complaint, Diversity Programs or Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator will send a letter to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the complaint. Complainants may contact either Diversity Programs or Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator in writing or over the phone to schedule an intake interview. The intake interview affords Diversity Programs or the Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator an opportunity to clarify the issues involved and allows the Complainant an opportunity to present the complaint in more detail.

Depending on the outcome of the initial intake interview, an investigation may include reviewing and obtaining copies of relevant documents (such as personnel files, attendance reports, and performance evaluations), interviewing witnesses (co-workers and supervisors), and any other actions considered necessary in order to obtain relevant information.

Complainants are entitled to a full, objective and prompt investigation by qualified personnel. It is important to remember that the individual who brings forth the complaint is responsible for substantiating the charges. Therefore, it is necessary to cooperate with the investigation by providing written materials, names of individuals to interview, or any other information, which would assist in the investigation. Complainant may contact Diversity Programs or Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator during the process for reasonable updates or to address any questions/concerns.

Confidentiality shall be provided throughout the investigation process to the greatest extent possible, with the understanding that information may be disclosed on a need to know basis and as otherwise permitted to assist in the resolution of your complaint. Complainants are asked to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the complaint process.

Complainant is entitled to a timely decision from the appointing power or designee after full consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. If misconduct is found, appropriate remedial measures shall be taken by appointing power or designee. Complainant will be informed of the County's decision on the complaint and closure of matters.

Who may be Named as a Respondent?

Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation by co-workers, supervisors, managers and third-parties (e.g., vendors and customers), is prohibited and such persons can be named as Respondents.

Respondents being charged with discriminatory practices will be informed of the charge and allowed to respond once an investigation is initiated. When the investigation is completed, the charged party will be informed of the results with a copy of the letter of determination. Information gathered during an investigation will be kept in confidence to the greatest extent permissible under the law.

Retaliation

Persons will not be exposed to retaliation because of lodging a complaint or participating in any workplace investigation. Federal law prohibits retaliation/reprisal against persons who have exercised their rights to inquire or complain about matters they believe may violate the law. Discrimination against persons who have cooperated in inquiries is also prohibited. These protections apply regardless of Alameda County's determination on the merits of the charge.

Anyone that believes they have been retaliated and/or discriminated based upon their participation or use of the complaint process should immediately contact Diversity Programs and/or the Agency/Department Diversity Coordinator.

External: Are there Other Agencies Where a Complaint Can be Filed?

You are entitled to file concurrent complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation with external agencies, such as the State of California, Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The filing period for DFEH is 365 days, for EEOC, 300 days, from the date the last alleged act of discrimination took place or from the date you should have first become aware of the violation, as amended.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

See http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm for more information or call 800-669-4000.

Local Office: EEOC 1301 Clay Street
Suite 1170-N
Oakland, CA 94612-5217

California, Department of Fair Employment & Housing

See www.dfeh.ca.gov for more information
or call 800-884-1684.

1330 Broadway, Suite 1326
Oakland, CA 94612

Role of Management

Supervisors should immediately report complaints or incidents of alleged misconduct to Agency Department Coordinator and/or Diversity Programs in an effort to effectively address workplace concerns, internally.

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