DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE

Office of Equal Opportunity Programs

Complaint Filing Procedures

 

COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION

 

To file a discrimination complaint, complete a Discrimination Complaint Form​.  The complaint must be based on one or more of the following bases: age, ancestry, color, creed, genetic information, gender identity and expression, marital status, mental or physical disability, national origin, race, religious affiliation, belief or opinion, sex/gender (pregnancy and sexual harassment) or sexual orientation.

 

Review, sign and date the NOTICE OF YOUR RIGHT TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH AN EXTERNAL CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, attached to the Discrimination Complaint Form, which advises a Complainant of his/her right to file a complaint with an external commission, such as the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and filing deadlines.

 

Once the completed forms are received, an investigation will ensue.

 An investigation will consist of the following:

·         Review and analysis of the Complainant’s written complaint;

·         Complainant interview;

·         Respondent(s) interview;

·         Witness(es) interview;

·         Review and analysis of additional documentation;

·         Follow-up interviews , if necessary;

·         Position statement issued to the Office of the Statewide Equal Opportunity Coordinator (OSEEOC), Secretary of DHMH, appropriate Deputy Secretary, and appropriate direct, managerial staff;

·         A Notice of Determination will be sent to the Complainant and Respondent, along with an explanation of their appeal rights. 

 Complaints of discrimination can be filed directly with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) and/or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The State commission, MCCR, accepts employment discrimination complaints based on age, ancestry, color, creed, genetic information, gender identity and expression, marital status, mental or physical disability, national origin, race, religious affiliation, belief or opinion, sex/gender (pregnancy and sexual harassment) or sexual orientation.

The Federal commission, EEOC, accepts employment discrimination complaints based on race/color, age, sex (pregnancy and sexual harassment, religion, national origin, disability, equal compensation, genetic information and retaliation.

Any employee or applicant for employment, who believes that he or she has experienced discrimination, has a right to file a formal complaint with the State or Federal agencies listed below.  A person does not give up this right when he or she files a complaint with the DHMH Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.  The following State and Federal agencies enforce laws related to discrimination:

                        Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR)

                        6 St. Paul Street, 9th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Phone: 410-767-8600

 

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

10 South Howard Street, 3rd Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Phone: 410-962-3932

 

An individual may file a complaint wit the DHMH Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP), MCCR and the EEOC, simultaneously.

FILING DEADLINES FOR COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION

Statutory Time Periods for the Timely Filing of Charges of Discrimination (measure from the occurrence of the discriminatory action):

1.      State Fair Practices/EEO Offices (i.e., DHMH Office of Equal Opportunity Programs)—within 30 days after first knowledge or reasonably knowing (SPPA§5-211(b)) 

2.      Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR)—Six (6) months (State Government Article Title 20, Annotated Code of Maryland)

3.      United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—180 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place; 300 calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis.  See the EEOC’s website for age discrimination filing guidelines (search Timelines in the EEOC’s search engine).

 

STATE FAIR PRACTICES/EEO OFFICES TIMELINE

Steps in Procedures

Time Line

 

 

An applicant or employee may file a written complaint with the appropriate head of the principal unit within 30 days after the complainant knew, or reasonably should have known, of the alleged violation of the State’s Fair Employment Practices Policy (SPP 2-302)

30 Days

 

 

After receiving the complaint, the agency Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall investigate and recommend a proposed decision to the head of the principal unit.  The head of the principal unit shall issue a written decision to the complainant and may grant any appropriate relief

30 Days

 

 

The complainant may appeal, in writing, to the Department of Budget and Management, Office of the Statewide Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator, Room 607, 301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201

10 Days

 

 

After receiving the appeal, the Statewide Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator shall review the complaint and the agency decision and conduct any necessary investigation and/or mediation conference.  The Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator shall issue the final decision which may be to grant the relief requested by the complainant or dismiss the complaint.

30 Days

 

Miscellaneous Provisions:

·         Procedure covers employees and applicants for positions in the Skilled, Professional and Management Services, or comparable positions in independent personnel systems.

·         Employees in the State Personnel Management System may elect to pursue an allegation of employment discrimination under either the above complaint procedure or the grievance procedure in SPP Title 12.

·         Days refer to calendar days.

·         Failure of any agency to respond to a complaint within the established time lines is considered a denial from which an appeal may be made.

·         A complainant may be represented during the complaint process by any person the complainant chooses.

 

Source: State Personnel & Pensions Article, Title 5, Subtitle 2