Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Does DCF have an internal discrimination complaint procedure?
Answer: Yes. (Office of Diversity and Equity Internal Complaint Procedure)
Question: Can anyone file a discrimination complaint with the Office of Diversity and Equity?
Answer: Yes. A complaint may be filed by any employee, applicant, or any individual doing business with the DCF who feels that s/he has been, or is being, discriminated against because of their race, color, religious creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, mental disability or history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, physical disability- including but not limited to blindness, pregnancy, previous opposition, previous criminal conviction, genetic information, or workplace hazards to reproductive systems unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of these protected classes. Complaints may also be filed by anyone who feels that s/he might be experiencing retaliation for previously filing a discrimination complaint.
Question: Does the Union process discrimination related complaints/issues?
Answer: Yes. However, the ODE encourages employees to utilize the internal complaint procedure to resolve discrimination related issues. The internal complaint procedure does not preclude employees from filing with any other entity including the Union. Also, most contracts state that discrimination related issues are not abatable once filed with CHRO.
Answer: Yes. Discrimination complaints can also be filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the United States Department of Labor-Wage and Hour Division(DOL-WHD), and any other federal, state or local agency that enforce laws concerning discrimination in employment.
Question: Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?
Answer: Yes. Complaints must be filed with the ODE within sixty (60) days of the alleged discriminatory act. Complaints to the CHRO must be filed within one hundred and eighty (180) days of the alleged act, and complaints to the EEOC must be filed within three hundred (300) days of the alleged act.
Question: What is the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008?
Question: Who is protected?
- Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
- Has a record or history of such an impairment; or
- Is perceived or regarded as having such an impairment.
Title II of the ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities (those who meet the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or participation in programs) from discrimination in agency services and programs.
Question: Can anyone claim to be disabled and receive protection and accommodation under ADA?
Question: Whom should I contact if I feel my accommodation is not sufficient or if I need more information regarding the ADA?
Question: Does the DCF have a Sexual Harassment Policy?
Answer: The definition of sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when:
submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment,
submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment
Repeated Behavior – more than once.
- Unwanted Behavior – when the recipient says, or otherwise makes it known the behavior is unwanted. Other ways of making it known may include: walking away, ignoring the behavior, reporting the behavior or avoiding being around certain people that exhibit such behavior.
- Verbal Remarks – sexist remarks about clothing, body, or sexual activities; things that are said; the way things are said.
- Non-Verbal Behavior - sexually explicit or suggestive pictures, ringtones, screen savers or workplace décor; whistling or staring in a sexually suggestive or offensive manner, offensive gestures or facial expressions of a sexual nature.
- Physical Contact – touching, patting, brushing, hugging, physical assaults.
- Effects the Workplace – when the aforementioned examples occur at the workplace or outside of the workplace, but makes the recipient uncomfortable at work.
Answer: If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or know someone who is, you may call the ODE at 860-550-6356 within sixty (60) days of the alleged incident or any of the entities noted on the above referenced Sexual Harassment Policy.