Return to Equal Opportunity-Policy
|Department of Health
Equal Employment Opportunity
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The department assures to each applicant or employee an equal employment
opportunity without regard to a person's age, race, color, sex, religious creed,
national origin, political opinions or affiliations, marital status or
disability except as provided by law or when such requirement constitutes a bona
fide occupational qualification necessary to perform the tasks associated with
the position. Such equal employment opportunity will be attained using both
objective and subjective merit principles and shall apply to agency practices
relating to recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion,
demotion, compensation, retention, discipline, separation, or other employment
A. 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 80, 81, 83, 84,
86 and 90, requires nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, national
origin, disability, sex, or age in federally assisted programs and activities
[Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 United States Code (U.S.C.)
2000d et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967].
B. 29 CFR, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
2000e et seq. and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibit
employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national
origin, religion, and disabilities; and establish procedures for complaints of
employment discrimination filed against recipients of federal financial
assistance. 29 CFR also establishes minimal retention schedules and records
C. 7 CFR 15, nondiscrimination on the basis of race,
color, national origin, age, sex or disability, prohibits discrimination in
programs and activities funded by U. S. Department of Agriculture.
D. Section 110.105, Florida Statutes, establishes
nondiscriminatory employment policy of the state of Florida.
E. Section 110.201(3), Florida Statutes, requires state
agencies to comply with all federal regulations necessary to receive federal
F. Chapter 112, F.S., Section 112.042 and 112.043,
prohibits discrimination in state employment on the basis of race, color, sex,
religious creed, national origin, or age.
G. The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Chapter 760, F.S.,
prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national
origin, sex, religion, age, marital status, or disability.
H. Chapter 60L, Florida Administrative Code, Rules of the
Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), provides for the processing and
settlement of discrimination complaints filed with FCHR or deferred to FCHR by
the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (USEEOC).
I. Chapter 60K, Personnel Rules, Florida Administrative
Code, sets forth the rules concerning the department's personnel practices
including compensation, hiring, promotion, demotion, classification,
retention, discipline, and leave.
J. Chapter 60L-28, Florida Administrative Code,
establishes DOH sexual harassment policy and procedures for handling
complaints and for disciplining offenders.
K. Governor's Executive Order 81-116 provides for the
implementation and enforcement of state and federal EEO laws.
L. Governor's Executive Order 81-69 prohibits sexual
harassment in state gubernatorial agencies. Chapter 60L-28, F.A.C., implements
requirements of this order and establishes DOH policy and procedures
prohibiting sexual harassment.
III. Supportive Data
A. The Department of Health’s Equal Opportunity in
Service Delivery policy, developed pursuant to 45 CFR, Part 80, and Section
110.201(3), Florida Statute, implements required compliance activities (county
specific and program specific) pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and similar federal
B. The Department of Health’s Sexual Harassment policy
provides communication of departmental procedures prohibiting sexual
harassment in accordance with Chapter 60L-28, Florida Administrative Code,
Block with Effective Date
Signature on file at the Office of Equal Opportunity and
|Robert G. Brooks,
July 1, 2000
A. Accommodation. The employer's obligation to make
reasonable changes in the work environment or reasonable modifications in work
assignments and scheduling to provide employment opportunities to qualified
persons with disabilities through appropriate assistive devices and work
modifications allowing them to satisfactorily accomplish the major duties and
B. Age Discrimination Act and Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (ADA/ADEA). The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 which prohibit unlawful age
discrimination in services and in employment by recipients of federal
C. Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of
D. Adverse Impact. Applying uniformly to all applicants
or employees certain personnel or admission policies (e.g., word-of-mouth
recruiting, diploma requirements, intelligence tests, minimum height
requirements) that have the effect of disproportionately denying benefits,
services, employment or advancement to women, blacks or other minorities.
Business necessity is the only justifiable reason for adverse impact.
E. Affidavits. A written statement used in departmental
civil rights complaint investigations. An affidavit, or affirmation, is a
declaration that the information provided is true to the best of the affiant's
knowledge and belief. Such affirmed statements may be executed during the
interview with the witness to expedite the investigation. The interviewee will
be given an opportunity to review the written statements and to make any
necessary corrections or changes, affirming the truth of the statement. If
corrections or changes are made to the statement by the interviewee, such
changes should be made in ink and initialed by the interviewee. The
interviewee should sign all copies of the statement and initial each page.
F. Allegations. The specific statements made by the
complainant in a complaint of discrimination.
G. Alleged Discriminatory Official (ADO). The supervisory
or hiring authority named in an employment discrimination complaint.
H. Auxiliary Aids and Services. Services or devices for
ensuring effective communication.
I. Basis. Cause of discrimination alleged in a
discrimination complaint based on a person's age, color, disability, marital
status, national origin, race, religion or sex, or retaliation for a person's
opposition to an act made unlawful by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or similar
civil rights laws.
J. BFOQ (Bona Fide Occupational Qualification). A job
related requirement or necessary occupational qualification that would be
discriminatory and prohibited if it could not be shown that it is essential
for the satisfactory performance of the duties and responsibilities assigned a
particular position. A defense allowed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as amended, to be used by employers with legitimate requirements for
designating positions to be filled by persons of one sex, national origin or
religion. An example is a position that is specifically designated to be
filled by females because the major duties require the incumbent to conduct
body cavity searches or observe body hygiene activities of female clients.
Race, however, can never be used as a BFOQ.
K. Complainant (Charging Party). A person filing a
complaint of discrimination alleging a violation of federal or state civil
rights (equal opportunity and nondiscrimination) laws or policies.
L. Conciliation and Settlement. The process an employer
and a complainant use to develop a mutually satisfactory written agreement to
resolve an employment discrimination complaint.
M. Current Illegal Use of Drugs. The illegal use of drugs
that occurred recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that a person's
drug use is current or that continuing use is a real and ongoing problem.
N. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The
United States agency responsible for civil rights enforcement of Title VI of
the Civil Rights Act; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title IX
Of the Education Amendments of 1972; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. DHHS is the primary
federal sponsoring agency of DOH federally funded programs and activities
(Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Service Delivery).
O. Determination. The findings or results of the
investigation relating to the merits of the complaint, e.g., "reasonable
cause" or "no reasonable cause" to believe a violation of Title
VII Of the Civil Rights Act occurred as alleged.
P. Disability. As defined at 29 CFR 1630.4, is a physical
or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life
activities of an individual; or a record of such an impairment; or regarded as
having such an impairment.
Q. Discrimination. With regard to employment practices,
the denial of equal treatment to a person in comparison with others, similarly
situated, based on that person's rights as defined under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1978; the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable laws.
R. Disparate Treatment. With regard to employment
practices, treating an individual or group differently and less favorably
because of age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national origin,
race, sex, participation in a discrimination complaint or opposition to
alleged unlawful employment practices.
S. EEO Categories. The eight job categories listed on the
State and Local Government Information Report (EE0-4 Report) are defined as
1. Officials and Administrators. Occupations where
employees set broad policies, exercise overall responsibility for execution
of these policies, direct individual departments or special phases of the
agency's operations, or provide specialized consultation on a regional,
district, or area basis.
2. Professionals. Occupations requiring specialized and
theoretical knowledge that is usually acquired through college training or
through work experience and other training providing comparable knowledge.
3. Technicians. Occupations requiring a combination of
basic scientific knowledge and manual skills that can be obtained through
specialized post-secondary school education or through equivalent on-the-job
4. Protective Service Workers. Occupations in which
workers are entrusted with public safety, security, and protection from
5. Paraprofessionals. Occupations in which workers
perform some of the duties of a professional or technician in a supportive
role, usually requiring less formal training or experience than normally
required for professional or technical status. Such positions may fall
within an identified pattern of staff development and career advancement.
6. Office and Clerical Workers. Occupations in which
workers are responsible for internal and external communications, recording
and retrieving data or information and other paperwork required within an
7. Skilled Craft. Occupations in which workers perform
jobs that require special manual skills and a thorough and comprehensive
knowledge of the processes involved, which skills
and knowledge are usually acquired through on-the-job training and
experience or through apprenticeship or other formal training programs.
8. Service/Maintenance. Occupations in which workers
perform duties that result in or contribute to the comfort, convenience,
hygiene, or safety of the general public or which contribute to the upkeep
and care of buildings, facilities, or public property.
T. Equal Employment Opportunity. The provisions of an
environment in which the rights of all persons to work and to advance on the
basis of merit, ability, and potential are manifest.
U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An
independent federal agency created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as
amended, which is responsible for enforcing Title VII of that act. The USEEOC
is also responsible for enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The USEEOC may bring suit; subpoena witnesses; issue guidelines which have the
force of law; render decisions; provide technical assistance to employers; and
provide legal assistance to complainants. The USEEOC does not conduct routine
compliance reviews, but does investigate complaints of discrimination in
employment. Upon findings of reasonable cause to believe discrimination
occurred, USEEOC attempts to effect conciliation or appropriate remedy through
various enforcement activities that may include court action.
V. Essential functions. The fundamental job duties of the
employment position the individual with a disability holds or desires.
W. External Complaints. Written complaints of
discrimination filed with federal or state agencies with enforcement authority
in the investigation, resolution or disposition of civil rights
(discrimination) complaints, e.g., USEEOC - Title VII and the Americans with
Disabilities Act - employment discrimination; DHHS (OCR) - Title VI, Section
504, Title IX, Age Discrimination Act, or Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act -
(discrimination complaints) provision of services and benefits; Florida
Commission on Human Relations, Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 and Title VII
- employment discrimination.
X. Facility. All or any portion of buildings, structures,
sites, complexes, equipment, rolling stock or other conveyances, roads, walks,
passageways, parking lots, or other real or personal property, including the
site where the building, property, structure, or equipment is located.
Y. Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). The
commission, created pursuant to Chapter 760, F.S., is the state's civil rights
enforcement agency charged with promoting and encouraging: fair treatment and
equal opportunity for all persons; mutual understanding and respect among
members of all economic, social, racial, religious, and ethnic groups; and
efforts to eliminate discrimination against, and antagonism among religious,
racial, and ethnic groups and their members. Employment discrimination
complaints, except those alleging a basis of marital status, filed with FCHR
are jointly filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity
Z. Hiring Authority. Any person who has selection
authority for a bona fide job vacancy.
AA. Internal Complaints. Written complaints of
discrimination filed with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health
in accordance with Chapter 60L-28, Florida Administrative Code (Sexual
Harassment), or with procedures established in this procedure, or in DOH
Methods of Administration, Equal Opportunity in Service Delivery. Internal
complaints are under the jurisdiction of the department and the final decision
on resolution and disposition is made by the Secretary or designee.
BB. Individual with a Disability. An individual who has a
physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major
life activity; or who has a record of such an impairment; or who is regarded
as having such an impairment.
CC. Interviewee. Any person having submitted a State of
Florida application for a bona fide job vacancy, and who has been interviewed
by the hiring authority or designee relative to the duties and
responsibilities of said position.
DD. Interviewer. Any person who is charged with the
responsibility to screen and/or select potential employees for this department
relative to the duties and responsibilities surrounding a bona fide job
EE. Issues. The violations alleged in the complaint or
the nature of the charge of discrimination; e.g., failure to hire; discharge;
failure to promote; layoff; harassment; or other terms and conditions of
FF. Office for Civil Rights. The office in the United
States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) responsible for civil
rights compliance and enforcement activities involving recipients of federal
financial assistance, such as DOH.
GG. Office of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health (HSMA).
The organizational unit which functions to provide administrative support, as
well as overall direction and coordination, for this department's civil rights
efforts, including the development and enforcement of policies, procedures and
guidelines to meet all requirements relative to equal employment opportunity.
HH. Pretext (Pretextual). A response made by an Alleged
Discriminatory Official or respondent that appears to be a pretense or excuse
to conceal the true intent which appears to be discriminatory, based on race,
II. Prima Facie Complaint. Established guidelines for a
prima facie employment discrimination complaint are found in McDonnell Douglas
v. Green, 441 US 792, 5 FEP 965 (1973). The areas of issue and basis are as
1. Complainant in a Title VII complaint action must
carry the initial burden of establishing a prima facie complaint. Four areas
of proof are:
a. Complainant belongs to a protected class.
b. Complainant applied and qualified for an
advertised job vacancy.
c. Complainant was not hired.
d. The position remained unfilled and recruitment
2. The areas of proof may vary from case to case, but
complainant must provide evidence that he/she was treated differently from
other similarly situated employees who were of a different race, sex, etc.
3. After a prima facie complaint is established,
respondent must articulate legitimate nondiscriminatory reason(s) for the
action or treatment.
4. The burden of proof is then returned to complainant
who must provide substantial proof that the reason articulated is a pretext
for discrimination based on race, sex, etc., i.e., respondent's intent was
JJ. Protected Class. A person or group of persons who,
under a specific set of relevant circumstances, qualifies for protection
against discrimination under a given civil rights statute or ordinance, such
as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Civil Rights Act
KK. Qualified Individual with a Disability. An individual
with a disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and
other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual
holds or desires, and who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform
the essential functions of the position.
LL. Qualified Applicant. Any person who submits a State
of Florida application for a bona fide job vacancy and whose knowledge,
skills and abilities (training and experience) meet the minimum requirements
established for the position. (For positions requiring examination, applicants
who possess the required minimum knowledge, skills
and abilities and attain a minimum qualifying score on the written examination
for the class.)
MM. Race and Ethnic Categories. A group of people
classified together based on physical characteristics, common history,
nationality, or geographic distribution. Includes the following:
1. Black, not of Hispanic origin.
2. White, not of Hispanic origin.
3. Hispanic, including persons of Mexican, Puerto
Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish origin or culture
regardless of race.
4. American Indian or Alaskan native.
5. Asian or Pacific Islander.
NN. Reasonable Accommodation. Modifications or
adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under
which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a
qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of
that position; or modifications or adjustments that enable an employee with a
disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed
by other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
OO. Reasonable Cause or No Reasonable Cause. The
conclusion or determination that is reached after examining all available
evidence and documentation and applying those facts to applicable principles
or standards of proof.
PP. Respondent. The subject employer, agency or entity
named in a complaint of employment discrimination.
QQ. Retaliation. Prohibited action taken against
complainants or persons assisting in a complaint of discrimination as a direct
result of their participation in the complaint or their opposition to alleged
unlawful employment practices prohibited by state and federal laws and DOH
1. It is an unlawful employment practice to retaliate
against any individual because he/she has opposed any discriminatory
practice, made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner
in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under Title VII.
2. To establish a retaliation complaint, Complainant
a. The basis, i.e., show that there was statutorily
protected participation or opposition.
b. The issue, i.e., an adverse employment activity,
such as discharge, demotion, failure to hire or other form of
c. A causal connection between the participation or
opposition (basis) and the adverse employment action (issue).
RR. Retention of Records. All personnel and applicant
records, including applications, related reference materials, interview notes
and selection modules, are required to be maintained for a minimum of two
years. Records that relate to a complaint of discrimination are to be retained
by the personnel officer or other designated official until the complaint is
either resolved or a final court decision made. The notice of a complaint
being filed is the notice to retain such personnel records relating to or
involved in the charge of discrimination. Close coordination with personnel
offices and EEO coordinators is essential throughout the complaint process to
ensure adherence to such documentation requirements.
SS. Sexual Harassment. Any form of unwelcome sexual
advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a
sexual nature when:
1. Submission to such conduct is made, either
explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment.
2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an
individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such
3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of
unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating
an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
TT. Undue Hardship. With respect to the provision of an
accommodation, significant difficulty or expense incurred considering the
nature and cost, the overall financial resources, the type of operation, and
the impact of the accommodation on the operation of the facility.
A. No person shall be retaliated against, harassed,
intimidated, threatened, coerced or discriminated against for making a charge,
testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation,
proceeding or hearing, or for opposing alleged unlawful discriminatory
practices prohibited by this policy or related state and federal laws, rules
B. Any applicant or employee who believes that he or she
has been discriminated or retaliated against may file a complaint with the
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (USEEOC), the Florida
Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) or with the Department of Health, Office
of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #A00,
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1701, within 365 days of the alleged discriminatory
action. All complaints shall be treated in accordance with the procedures set
forth by law, or by applicable rule, such as Chapters 60-5, 60Y, and 60L,
Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).
Authority for Development and Implementation of DOH Programs - It shall be
the policy of the state to provide equal employment opportunity. It is also
the purpose of these procedures to establish a system of personnel management
in accordance with Section 110.105, F. S. This system shall provide means to
recruit, select, train, develop, and maintain an effective and responsible
work force and shall include policies and procedures for employee hiring and
advancement, training and career development, position classification, salary
administration, benefits, discipline, discharge, employee performance
evaluations, and other related activities.
of Responsibilities - It is the purpose of this section to ensure timely
and appropriate implementation and communication of the department's EEO
policy by clearly identifying responsibilities and accountability. The
following responsibilities are herein delegated to designated staff:
1. Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director. The
Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director will develop policies and
procedures to implement the department's EEO program and to assure
departmental and contracted service provider compliance with applicable
civil rights laws.
2. County Health Department and CMS Directors. CHD/CMS
Directors will ensure that:
a. Personnel under their supervision are in
compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations and procedures.
b. Personnel under their supervision attend EEO
training and functions when scheduled.
3. Personnel Officers. Personnel officers and managers
at all organizational levels will:
a. Provide current and new employees with EEO
information and complaint procedures.
b. Maintain EEO records as required.
c. Coordinate EEO related reports with the EEO
4. The Civil Rights Advisory Committee (CRAC) will:
a. Review and analyze relevant civil rights laws,
regulations and directives to determine those which may affect the
b. Recommend appropriate action to the Secretary,
relative to departmental application of those laws, regulations and
5. EEO Coordinators appointed by each county health
department (CHD) or CHD consortium will be responsible for overall
coordination of EEO activities, including:
a. Monitoring EEO program functions.
b. Investigating complaints of alleged
c. Coordinating preparation of required reports,
including reports required by the Department’s Equal Employment
Opportunity and Methods of Administration policies.
d. Participating in and conducting EEO related
technical assistance activities.
e. Ensuring that the department's statement of
policy, federal EEO posters and other related materials are displayed in
appropriate areas for employees and the public in accordance with the
Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Methods of Administration
6. EEO Liaisons appointed by Division Directors or
smaller CHD’s are responsible for EEO activities within the divisions or
CHD’s which may include:
a. Attending EEO programs.
b. Collecting information for reports or complaint
c. Participating in EEO related technical assistance
d. Ensuring that the department's statement of
policy, federal EEO posters and other related materials are displayed in
appropriate areas for employees and the public in accordance with the
Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Methods of Administration
Duties can also include carrying out other EEO functions assigned by
the EEO Coordinator or the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Office.
C. Investigation of
1. Time Frame for Complaint Assignment. Within five
working days of receipt of a complaint, the Equal Opportunity and Minority
Health Director will forward the written complaint, along with a document
request, to the EEO coordinator through the appropriate Health Department
Director, CMS Director or Unit Director responsible (herein referred to as
the appropriate authority) for the investigation. The document request will
delineate each allegation and outline specific persons to be interviewed and
documents to be obtained to determine the validity of each allegation. For
the purpose of clarification, the investigator may gather other evidence in
addition to that requested in the document request.
2. Complaint Assignment. The complaint will normally be
assigned to the equal employment opportunity (EEO) Coordinator for
investigation. In case of a conflict of interest, or in cases where there is
no EEO Coordinator designated, a representative from the Office of Equal
Opportunity and Minority Health or another department representative may be
designated as the investigator at the discretion of the Equal Opportunity
and Minority Health Director in consultation with the appropriate authority.
3. Time Frame for Submission of Investigative Report.
Within 30 working days of receipt of the complaint, an investigative report
will be prepared by the designated investigator and submitted to the Equal
Opportunity and Minority Health Director after review by the appropriate
legal counsel and approval by the appropriate authority.
4. Contents of Investigative Reports. The investigative
report will include, but not be limited to, the following:
a. The complaint and any additional affidavits or
other information the complainant submits.
b. Affidavit(s) by any witness testifying on behalf
of the complainant.
c. Affidavit(s) with any supporting documentation by
the person(s) charged (ADO) with the alleged discriminatory act(s) in
response to the allegation(s).
d. Affidavit(s) with any supporting documentation by
any witness testifying on behalf of the ADO or other person(s) complained
e. Statement of position by the respondent together
with any documents in support of that position.
f. Records and documents gathered in evidence from
g. Investigator's summary and recommendation of a
finding of "reasonable cause" or "no reasonable cause"
to believe that discrimination or retaliation has occurred as alleged.
(Note: If there is a recommendation of a cause finding, the Office of
Equal Opportunity and Minority Health shall be contacted prior to the
issuance of the report).
5. Administrative Review. If the appropriate authority,
legal counsel or the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director,
determines the report to be insufficient or to require additional
information, the report will be returned for further review, investigation
or other appropriate action. Any objections and comments will be noted in
writing to indicate the specific deficiencies cited or other reasons for
6. Departmental Disposition. Upon receipt of the
investigative report, the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director
will review the report for sufficiency to determine if there is a need for
additional information or immediate corrective action. Then, the report and
any addendum required to fully address the issues in the complaint will be
developed by the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director. The Equal
Opportunity and Minority Health Director will make final disposition of the
complaint, indicating whether there is "reasonable cause" or
"no reasonable cause" to believe that discrimination or
retaliation has occurred as alleged.
7. Assigning an Investigator. Upon receipt of a
complaint by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health, it is
assigned to an investigator and given a DOH case number. The appropriate
authority and the EEO coordinator are notified and a copy of the complaint
is forwarded to the EEO Coordinator. On internally filed complaints, the
Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director also notifies the complainant
of the receipt for the complaint. (The external agency is responsible for
notifying complainant and the department of receipt of an externally filed
employment discrimination complaint.) The assigned investigator, normally
the EEO Coordinator or other official designated will either investigate the
complaint or form a committee to perform that task.
8. Authorization to Investigate.
a. The investigator(s), when other than the
designated EEO Coordinator or representative from the Office of Equal
Opportunity and Minority Health will be provided written authorization to
conduct the investigation. The authorization will be in the investigator's
possession at all times while actively investigating a complaint. (See
Appendix A for the suggested format.) Any person designated as an EEO
Coordinator will be trained in investigative techniques.
b. Once the EEO coordinator or other official has
been designated; that investigator has the authority to:
1) Investigate the specific allegations contained
in the complaint.
2) Review and obtain agency documentation relevant
to the issues in the complaint.
3) Obtain written and oral testimony and affidavits
from persons who have direct knowledge or information concerning the
reliability and validity of the complaint.
9. Restricting Use of Information.
a. Information in the investigative report is
confidential. However, once the department's position has been determined
relative to the merits of a complaint, certain materials may be obtained
as part of the discovery process when suits are filed, or may be made
available to complainants by FCHR, USEEOC, or obtained as public records
under the Sunshine Laws.
b. Any requests for review of investigative materials
or reports are to be directed to the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health
Director who is the official custodian of such records.
10. Requesting Exceptions and Extensions. Requests for
exceptions to the procedures described or extensions of the time required to
complete the investigative report may be made by the EEO Coordinator to the
Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director. Such requests will include
the reasons for the exceptions or extensions; any additional time needed;
the name, address, title and telephone number of the investigator or
recommending official; the anticipated completion date; and any recommended
alternative procedure or action. The EEO coordinator or designated
investigator will contact the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health Director
a. Requesting technical assistance.
b. Requesting an extension of the due date for the
c. Contacted by investigators outside of the agency
(EEOC or FCHR).
d. There is a union grievance pending.
e. There may be the appearance of a conflict of
interest or other need to reassign responsibility for the investigation.
f. Litigation has been initiated on behalf of
complainant relating to the complaint.
g. Requesting exceptions, waiver or deviation from
EEO procedures or reporting requirements.
11. Defining Scope of Investigation.
a. The scope of the investigation is to be determined
by the investigator taking into consideration these procedures; the
document request(s) from the Equal Opportunity and Minority Health
Director; other instructions from the Office of Equal Opportunity and
Minority Health, and peculiarities of the particular case. The
investigation will be comprehensive, addressing each issue and allegation
contained in the complaint. All allegations will be thoroughly
investigated to identify position of the respondent relative to the
validity and merit of each allegation will be clearly presented and
documented (See Appendix B for sample report).
b. Each allegation will be affirmed (supported) or
denied (rebutted) and the reasons, affidavits and supporting documentation
for each clearly presented and indexed appropriately. Minimally, each
investigative report will reflect:
1) In what manner complainant was treated, affected
2) In what manner others who were similarly
situated were treated, affected and why.
3) The ADO's reasons for the actions or treatment
and related policies and practices.
4) If the actions, treatment, policies and/or
practices were lawful and nondiscriminatory.
5) The recommended position for the department
(respondent) relative to the merits of the complaint, i.e.,
"reasonable cause" or "no reasonable cause" to
believe that an unlawful employment practice in violation of Title VII
or other applicable employment discrimination laws has occurred as
12. Analyzing Complaints.
a. The document request prepared by the Office of
Equal Opportunity and Minority Health is a guide for the investigator to
insure that relevant documents and affidavits are compiled for review.
b. Any background information received by the
investigator will be used to assist in the investigation and not to
prejudge the complaint's merits.
c. Complaints of discrimination are allegations or
statements of beliefs and feelings - not facts or established truths. The
investigator will evaluate the facts and indicate whether it appears that
the complainant was treated (or affected) differently or less favorably
than others - of a different race, sex, etc. - under similar
circumstances. In making this review, the investigator will:
1) Become familiar with the personnel rules,
regulations and procedures governing the actions taken by the ADO, if
2) Identify Department of Health regulations,
manuals, operating procedures and practices as well as office policies
that are or were in effect.
3) Coordinate review of policy and procedures as
well as of related personnel documents with the personnel office to
ensure adherence to records retention requirements and to avoid policy
and procedural misinterpretations.
4) Review and obtain copies of documents, such as
affidavits and grievances pertaining to issues in the complaint.
5) Survey the general work environment if complaint
allegations refer to specific incidents regarding the physical
13. Conducting Investigative Interviews. The primary
purpose for conducting an interview is to obtain facts and clarify the
allegations. The interview will be confined to those matters within the
scope of the official investigation.
a. Preparation and Setting.
1) The investigator will prepare for the interview
by reviewing all known facts about the complaint. Outline questions or
points to be covered during the interview, including a list of any
documents that require verification.
2) Schedule appointments with witnesses. Conduct
the interview in a neutral setting with as few distracting elements as
3) A parent or other adult will be present when
interviewing a person under the age of 18.
4) If possible, a second team member or a neutral
observer will be present if the interviewee is known to be hostile.
b. Interviewer's Tone. The interviewer's approach
should convey a sense of respect. The interviewer must control any
positive or negative personal feelings about the situation or the
statements provided. It is important to convey to the interviewee the
interviewer's neutral role, the importance of adherence to confidentiality
and the appropriate use of information obtained.
c. Interviewing Techniques.
1) Listen. Listen carefully to the witness
(interviewee). Listen for Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? Pay
particular attention to what is said. Outline what is said, indicating
what, how and by whom relevant information can be substantiated or
2) Look. Be alert to physical mannerisms and other
observable behaviors during the interview. Look behind what the person
3) Avoid interruptions and distractions. Do not
interrupt a witness who is in the middle of an appropriately related
narrative. Note any possible ambiguity or contradiction in the
testimony. At an appropriate time, ask the witness to explain or clarify
any such noted ambiguities or contradictions.
4) Avoid badgering the witness. Do not phrase
questions in a manner that assumes validity of any accusations or
5) Ask relevant questions.
6) Be precise and clarify questions.
7) Stick to the basis and issues.
8) Avoid interjecting your personal opinions.
9) Speak clearly.
10) Summarize periodically. When taking notes, read
relevant passages back to allow the interviewee to correct or clarify.
d. Interviewing Complainant, Witness and ADO.
1) In conducting an interview, maintain an
impartial, objective and factual approach. Inform each witness that it
is the intent of the department to thoroughly and objectively
investigate the complaint in an impartial and expeditious manner.
2) During the initial contact with the subjects of
the complaint, advise them of the right to be accompanied by an
individual of their choosing during the interview.
3) When a complaint has been filed with an external
agency (EEOC, FCHR) and the complainant is represented by an attorney,
no contact will be made by an investigator directly with complainant.
Requests for clarification or documentation will be addressed to
e. Evidence. Information that is substantiated by
personal observations of a witness can be used as supporting evidence in a
complaint. Documents such as personnel records, reports, rules,
regulations, manuals, policies, procedures, notarized statements and
expert witness testimony constitute acceptable evidence.
f. Interviews Where Misconduct is Alleged.
1) Any department employee covered by union
contract may request that a union or association representative or
attorney be present during any disciplinary investigation or other
investigative meeting in which the employee is being questioned relative
to alleged misconduct. If an employee requests the presence of a union
representative or attorney, all questioning should cease until suitable
arrangements are made. It should be understood that a union
representative or attorney is not a participant, but an observer.
However, the representative or attorney may provide additional pertinent
facts in the matter under investigation.
Note: An EEO interview does not take the place of an investigatory
conference or a pre-determination conference.
2) Although there is no affirmative duty to advise
the employee of the right to representation, the investigator must give
advance notice to the employee of the investigative meeting if it
involves alleged misconduct. Therefore, whenever an investigator is
planning such an interview with an employee, the appropriate personnel
office will be contacted to determine if the employee is in a bargaining
g. Interview Documentation. Interview notes may be
made during the interview to ensure accuracy, clarity and completeness.
Interview notes will be clearly marked with date, time and interviewer's
signature. The investigator will obtain copies of or review and attest to
the existence of documents supporting interview statements whenever
14. Preliminary Review Of Findings.
a. The investigator will review all issues identified
in the complaint to determine whether sufficient information has been
received to address each allegation. The information and documents
acquired during the investigation will be assessed to determine their
significance and sufficiency as evidence contributing to a departmental
finding of "no reasonable cause" or "reasonable cause"
to believe that an unlawful act of employment discrimination, as alleged,
b. The investigation must include a thorough review
of the circumstances under which the alleged discrimination occurred; the
treatment of complainant as compared with the treatment of other employees
in the organizational unit in which the alleged discrimination occurred;
and any policies and practices related to the work situation which may
constitute, or appear to constitute, discrimination as expressly cited by
complainant. The investigative report will indicate:
1) The manner in which complainant was treated.
2) The manner in which other similarly situated
employees/applicants were treated.
3) The rationale for such treatment.
4) Whether the rationale was lawful and
nondiscriminatory. (reasonable basis provided for the actions by the
c. Inconclusive, uncorroborated evidence or hearsay
testimonies are insufficient rationale for "reasonable cause"
determinations. In those situations without any substantial evidence to
prove an allegation, the findings will be "no reasonable cause".
d. Responses that cannot be substantiated by
affidavits or other documents will not be included in the report.
e. The aggrieved employee must prove the claim of
discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence.
f. Once a prima-facie discrimination complaint is
established, respondent is required to produce lawful and
nondiscriminatory reasons for its actions. It is up to complainant to
prove by a preponderance of evidence that such reasons are a pretext for
unlawful discrimination. Investigators are not advocates for complainants
or for ADO's; but are departmental representatives responsible for
obtaining facts and evidence upon which the department can through due
diligence arrive at a reasonable and prudent determination concerning the
15. Investigative Report Organization.
a. Document Request and Chronological Order. The
basic report format places all investigatory materials in chronological
order, attached to the right-hand side of the file, the first received at
the bottom and the latest one at the top. Witness questions or document
requests, the individual's reply and documents submitted in response to
such questions or document requests are kept together.
b. Maintain Integrity of Documents. Packages of
information submitted by complainant or ADO are kept together, except when
due to the many allegations involved, the information is grouped by
allegation. If the second course of action is followed, the information
within each allegation should be maintained in chronological order.
c. Tabs. Tab all information. (Facilitate review by
accurate and relevant tabbing and indexing.)
1) Evidence so closely related that it
appropriately belongs under only one letter tab will be identified by
numerical sub-classifications, such as "Tab X-5," to show each
document within that tab.
2) Tabs will be permanently affixed, clearly marked
3) Complaint Log. The Complaint Log will be affixed
to the left-hand side of the investigative file indicating persons
involved and time spent investigating the complaint.
4) Securing Report and Documents. All materials in
the file will be attached to the folder with punched holes and fasteners
to ensure that materials are bound securely. The routing sheet is the
only material to be attached (by staples only) to the outside of the
5) Reporting Telephone and Other Contacts. Contacts
made by telephone as well as other contacts of a substantive nature
otherwise undocumented will be recorded by memorandum to the file,
highlighting the salient points of the contact. This memorandum will be
placed on the right-hand side of the file with the other evidence.
6) Interview Notes. Notes made during witness
interviews will be sub-tabbed according to logical grouping of the
information, such as grouping by question and all parties' answers. Such
notes are to be signed, numbered and dated with blank spaces marked
through to authenticate such record.
16. Report Preparation and Disposition.
a. All allegations made by complainant are numbered,
addressed individually and arranged in chronological order of occurrence.
Making separate subheadings for different allegations and rephrasing the
allegations are optional if this adds clarity.
b. The investigative report (IR) will be a narrative
of what occurred so that someone who is not familiar with the case will be
able to understand it.
c. Individuals mentioned in the IR will be first
identified by complete name and job title.
d. Never raise the party's contentions to the dignity
or validity of evidence prior to analysis of the contention, including the
credibility of the witness. State: "Complainant alleges..." or
"Mr. Jones, Supervisor, contends…" Appropriate conclusions
will be made only after an examination of all the evidence presented.
e. For clarity, include an account of relevant events
occurring after the charge or complaint was filed.
f. Type reports single-spaced on letter size paper.
g. Keep disputed and undisputed facts separate.
h. Explain in detail but keep sentences short (use
more sentences). Also, keep paragraphs short.
i. If an acronym is to be used, state the initials
immediately after the name or title is mentioned for the first time.
j. Specify as many relevant dates as possible. If the
coordinator or committee member has been unable to secure dates, so state.
k. If no information has been presented in response
to a specific document request, so state and explain why (ADO, witness or
complainant refuses, not available, etc.).
l. Resolve any conflicts in the evidence.
m. Use words that convey the intended meaning.
17. Investigative Report Format. The investigative
reports are to be submitted by memorandum to the Equal Opportunity and
Minority Health Director from the EEO Coordinator or other assigned
investigator in the following format (see Appendix B):
a. Date. Indicate the date the report is completed.
b. To. Direct the report to the Equal Opportunity and
Minority Health Director, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #A00, Tallahassee, FL
c. Regarding. Indicate the name of complainant versus
the name of respondent and the complaint number. Example: RE: Jane Smith
vs. Houston County Health Department DOH #99999.
1) Basis. Indicate, as shown in the complaint, the
basis of the complaint, e.g., age, color, disability, marital status,
national origin, race, religion, sex or retaliation.
2) Issue. Indicate, as shown in the complaint, the
issue of the complaint, e.g., failure to hire; failure to promote;
harassment; termination; terms and conditions. Specify one of the
following if the issue regards terms and conditions: accommodation;
demotion; layoff; suspension; wages; or other specific term or condition
e. Parties to the Action. The name and address of
complainant will appear next in the report, using three lines. Following a
double space, the name and address of respondent will be typed on three
lines. Double space again and enter the name(s), title(s) and address(es)
of the ADO(s). If there is more than one ADO, each will be listed on three
lines with a double space separating each address.
f. Recommended Determination. The recommended
position of the county or headquarters, based on the merits of the
complaint and on the documented evidence provided, will be stated here.
Clearly indicate either "no reasonable cause" or
g. Jurisdiction. A summary statement of the complaint
will be included to reflect complaint jurisdiction, i.e., filed externally
with EEOC pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; filed
with FCHR pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992; or filed
internally with DOH pursuant to Chapter 60L-21, F.A.C., or Chapter 60L-28,
F.A.C. Also indicate who conducted the investigation in this section,
e.g., EEO coordinator, EEO compliance committee, etc.
h. Allegation I. Provide and underline the first
allegation made by complainant in the complaint or as organized in the
document request from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health.
For example: "Complainant alleges that her supervisor, Ms. Mary
Smith, failed to counsel her and provided very little training regarding
her work performance and duties (Tab A)."
i. Finding I. Provide a complete discussion of the
facts or evidence obtained in the investigation to fully address the first
allegation. Include the rebuttal or confirmation, i.e., response of the
ADO to the specific statement or allegation by complainant. Include
information from records and statements reviewed, making reference to the
documents and statements. Avoid ambiguous and unsupported statements or
feelings. Reference each statement of material fact with the evidence
supporting such statement. For example: "Records and documents
reviewed reflect that Complainant was hired as a Switchboard Operator at
Sunland, Sundale, on June 6, 1988 (Tab D). Witness statements reflect
...(Tab B-2). The alleged discriminatory official (ADO) states that
...(Tab E). A review of the notes of counseling sessions indicates ...(Tab
F). Statements from other operators indicate that ...(Tabs B-2, B-3 and
B-4). Statements and documents reviewed also indicate ...(Tabs H, B-1,
B-2, B-3, B-4 and B-5)."
j. Allegation II. Repeat the same format as for the
first allegation. Continue this method for all subsequent allegations,
noting each one in numerical order.
k. Recommended Determination. A recommended
determination on the findings will be stated concerning the complaint. For
example: "Based on the following, the appropriate authority
recommends that there is "no reasonable cause" to believe an
unlawful employment practice has occurred as alleged:
1) Complainant failed to provide any evidence or
show comparative data that similarly situated white employees were
treated differently or more favorably.
2) Records and statements reviewed indicate that
Complainant was properly informed of a change in her work schedule.
3) Documents and statements reviewed indicate
Complainant was not discharged because of her race."
l. Recommended Corrective Action. Recommendations may
be included in the investigative report when there is a finding of
"reasonable cause". Each recommendation must be lawful and
appropriate. Such proposals for written recommendations must be approved
by the appropriate legal counsel and the Equal Opportunity and Minority
Health Director prior to inclusion in the report.
m. Index of Investigative Materials. In developing
the actual report, the investigator will first organize and assemble the
relevant materials obtained during the investigation. Each allegation,
response, document and statement cited will be clearly labeled and
identified for ready reference, e.g., Complaint of Discrimination, Tab A.
The index begins with the actual complaint, followed by notices and
relevant correspondence. Following the correspondence are the affidavits
in the order of complainant, ADO and witnesses, accompanied by relevant
documents. (Refer to Appendix C for an example index of investigatory
n. Complaint Activity Log. For each investigative
report submitted, there will be an activity log to reflect the time and
effort spent in investigating the complaint. This log will indicate all
staff time expended on the investigation, reflecting who did what, when,
and how long the activity took. (Refer to Appendix D for an example
complaint activity log.)
o. Complaint Disposition Routing Sheet. Official
sign-off, concurrence, disapproval or rejection will be indicated on the
routing sheet accompanying each investigative report. Comments or
clarification will be made as appropriate. Additional comment sheets,
signed and dated, may be attached.
p. EEO Complaint Log. The log will be
completed by the EEO Coordinator as a record of EEO activities including
formal complaints, informal complaints and pre-counseling activities. The
form will be maintained by the EEO Coordinator.
q. Criminal Activities. Any allegations or evidence
of criminal activity will be expeditiously referred to the appropriate
legal counsel. Matters contained in civil rights complaints are limited to
civil issues or alleged offenses.
D. EEO Records and
1. All qualified applicants who apply for each vacancy
announced by the department are to be submitted to the Office of Equal
Opportunity and Minority Health via the Personnel Interview and Applicant
List. The Personnel Interview and Applicant List is an electronic system
found in the Department’s Intranet site. A designee is appointed by the
CHD and CMS units to input the necessary data. Each designee must contact
the Office of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health before using the system
to obtain the appropriate access to the system.
To access the Personnel Interview and Applicant System:
a. From the Department of Health Intranet page, click
on "Online Systems".
b. Select Personnel Vacancy Interview
& Applicant List.
c. A security screen will follow for the user name
and password to be entered. A bulletin will follow. You have five seconds
to select the stay and read or the system automatically goes to the next
page. If you do not catch the screen, you may use the back button to
return. This is the only time the back button should be used while working
in this system.
d. On the next screen, click on "NEW". You
will see "PLEASE ADD NEW RECORDS BELOW".
e. Complete each section with the appropriate
1) For the supervisor and applicant name, enter
last name first.
2) For eligibility use 1 if eligibility is
determined by the personnel office or 2 if eligibility is determined by
the hiring authority.
3) For the position number use six numbers, if the
position only has five numbers use a leading zero.
4) For social security numbers you do not have to
include dashes, but for the dates dashes are required.
5) Note that some blanks have drop down boxes. In
these blanks choose the appropriate response.
6) ADD REC (Additional Recruitment Resources). If
you have used additional recruitment resources (minority newspapers,
journals, or radio and television ads), type Y in the ADD REC field.
7) EEOJ (EEO Justification). This field is
completed for each position that is pay-grade 20 and above. (For other
positions the default selection F-Not Applicable should remain.)
Applicants who submit applications late or who do not meet the minimum
qualifications are not entered into the system.
A - Recommended applicant is the candidate selected from the
B - Finalist, but not the most qualified are the candidates in the
top 3 but not selected. (Candidates ranked 2 & 3).
C - Interviewed is for all candidates who were interviewed except the
D - Eliminated is for all candidates who were eliminated from
consideration because of insufficient KSA's or those who had a negative
E - Other is for candidates who were eliminated from consideration
for a reason not mentioned above (i.e. applicant withdrew, not able to
meet salary requirements, etc.)
F - Not applicable is for positions less than pay-grade 20.
8) At this time please check all information. Once
the "Add Applicant Flow" button is clicked you will not be
able to edit the information. Make any necessary corrections.
9) Click "Add Applicant Flow Button".
10) Repeat steps 5 through 7 until all applicants
have been added.
11) To begin a new form and submit the form you
have just completed, click on "New EEO".
12) If you have additional forms to complete,
repeat steps 5 through 9 until all forms have been added. After entering
all forms close window.
13) To print the forms from this Welcome screen,
enter the job advertisement date and the position number; then click on
14) Please check the information to be sure it is
correct. At this point if the information is not correct, you will have
to contact the managers of the system (The Office of Equal Opportunity
and Minority Health at 245-4002 or suncom 205-4002) so that they can
make the appropriate changes.
15) From this inquiry mode screen, click on
"Print Format". When "EEO FORM 900 HISTORY" appears
click somewhere in the bottom section of the screen, then click print on
the Microsoft toolbar.
16) On this screen you will find an
"exit" button, where you can exit the system.
17) On the next screen there is an "Exit to
Home Page" selection that will take you back to the DOH homepage.
18) Now return the printed form to the hiring
authority to sign and date the bottom of the first page and initial the
bottom of any extra pages.
19) This form is to be maintained in the
application selection package. A copy of this form or the Personnel
Interview and Vacancy Applicant List Completion Verification Form
should be submitted to personnel with the hiring packet of the selected
applicant (Follow your local personnel office procedure).
20) If you have any questions or need assistance,
contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Minority Health at 245-4002.
2. The Disciplinary Action Report for all disciplinary
actions imposed on employees within each county and institution will be
compiled monthly and submitted to the Office of Equal Opportunity and
Minority Health by the tenth day of the following month.
3. Retention Periods.
a. Records that relate to a complaint of
discrimination are to be retained by the personnel officer or other
designated official until the complaint is either resolved or a final
court decision made. The notice of a complaint being filed is the notice
to retain such personnel records relating to or involved in the charge of
discrimination. Close coordination with personnel offices and EEO
coordinators is essential throughout the complaint process to ensure
adherence to such documentation requirements.
b. Disposal of records will be in accordance with DOH
Records Management; but all EEO records and reports are to be kept
for a minimum of three calendar years.
4. Ordering Forms. Forms prescribed by this chapter
will be available on the DOH Intranet.
VIII. Distribution List
Executive Office Directors
County Health Department Directors/Administrators
Children’s Medical Service’s Nursing Directors/Medical Directors
Human Resource Liaisons
Policy and Procedures Library, hard copy
Web Manager, electronic copy
IX. History Notes
of Investigative Materials
Rights Complaint Log