|April 19, 2001||
Secretary Michael Moore began his administration on January 5, 1999. Shortly thereafter, in April 1999, he made the decision to establish an EEO Investigative Unit within the Bureau of Personnel to conduct investigations of complaints.
The EEO Investigative Unit is part of the Employee Relations Section within the Bureau of Personnel. In addition to conducting EEO investigations, this section is responsible for EEO training development, EEO compliance reporting, coordinating responses to Title VII Lawsuits, assisting management in responding to religious accommodation requests, and responding to complaints of discrimination filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Also, the employee relations section reviews issues and responds to grievances filed under the collective bargaining contract and career service grievance procedure, assists management in resolving employee performance issues, coordinates workforce reduction efforts, responds to veteran's preference complaints and responds to general inquires from the public concerning various human resource matters.
The investigative unit is comprised of five investigators, a supervisor and one support staff member. The employees began their employment in August of 1999. The individuals selected either had a background in investigations or human resources.
The investigators received approximately 32 hours of classroom training conducted by the unit supervisor and members of the department's Inspector General's Office. Among the areas covered during training were Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, Theories of Discrimination, Investigative Plan Development, Evidence Evaluation, Interviewing Techniques, Investigating Sexual Harassment Complaints and Report Writing. In addition, each investigator completed several observations with an inspector from the department's Office of the Inspector General, which provided them with a first hand opportunity to observe interviewing techniques. The investigators have attended two additional training sessions since their initial training.
Investigations are conducted for complaints that are filed through the department's internal complaint procedure and those received from the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. All complaints are initially received by the department's Employee Relations Section to determine if the employee or applicant has established a claim covered by an EEO law prior to forwarding for investigation.
The department's internal complaint process has two levels of review, the Civil Rights Review Committee (CRRC) and Secretary Moore. The Civil Rights Review Committee is comprised of the General Counsel, Director of Community Corrections and the Director of Institutions, Chief of Personnel and the supervisors of the Employee Relations Section. The Civil Rights Review Committee reviews the investigative report and submits a recommended determination to Secretary Moore. The Secretary reviews the report and renders a final determination regarding the case.
To guard against discriminatory acts within the department, management has taken the position that all allegations, regardless of their source, will be reviewed by the Employee Relations Section to determine if the alleged actions are protected under EEO laws. Those allegations that appear to be protected, including those received anonymously, are investigated. Since the inception of the investigative unit, management has initiated 12 investigations received through anonymous sources alleging discrimination.
The investigative unit has completed 91 investigations. A determination of No Cause was issued in 58 cases, Cause in five cases and Other Misconduct for five cases. Twenty-three cases are currently pending a determination either internally or by the Florida Commission on Human Relations or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Additionally, 25 cases have investigations pending completion.