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    Commission on Equal Opportunites

    FAQs

     

    WHAT IS THE COMMISSION?
    The Commission is a municipal agency that enforces civil rights laws. It was created in 1964 by the Board of Aldermen following the passage of the City's Equal Opportunities Ordinance.

    WHAT ARE THE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS THE COMMISSION ENFORCES?
    The Commission enforces fair employment and fair housing practices; prohibitions regarding discrimination in the provision of credit, services to persons with AIDS, and public accommodations; and prohibitions against sexual harassment. It also enforces prohibitions against discrimination due to a person's race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, familial status, national origin, ancestry, or handicap (disability). It also enforces the City's equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and Living Wage laws and policies, and has delegated authority to do the same with regard to some corresponding federal and state laws.

    WHAT IS THE FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES ORDINANCE?
    The law makes it illegal to discriminate against an employee or potential employee because of their race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ancestral origin, disability, or age (over 40). The law covers hiring, promotion, salary, terms and conditions, termination, pregnancy and sexual harassment. Companies with four (4) or more employees are covered.

    WHAT IS THE FAIR HOUSING PRACTICE ORDINANCE?
    The law makes it illegal to discriminate against a tenant or home seeker because of their race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ancestral origin, disability, or age (over 40). The law covers such issues as denial of rental or sale, terms, and conditions of tenancy and eviction. Most landlords, property managers and real estate agents/brokers are covered.

    WHAT IS THE CREDIT LAW?
    The law makes it illegal to deny credit or set different credit terms because of a person's race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ancestral origin, disability, or age (18+), marital status, or familial status.

    WHAT IS THE AIDS SERVICE LAW?
    The law makes it illegal to deny services to persons who are either HIV positive or who have AIDS. This law covers persons, agencies, organizations or corporation bodies and make it illegal for them to discriminate in housing, employment, credit, public accommodations, or delivery for services.

    WHAT IS THE PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS LAW?
    The law makes it illegal to discriminate against a person because of their race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ancestral origin, disability, or age (over 18). The laws covers places of public accommodations such as restaurants, theaters, public transportation, hotels, stores, banks, gyms, hospitals, or any other establishment open to the public. Accommodations that are distinctly private in nature are not covered by ordinance.

    WHAT IS THE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAW?
    The law covers persons with either physical or mental disabilities. This act covers issues of employment and services. The law makes it illegal to deny a qualified disabled person the benefits of employment or the benefits of any program, activity, or services by any person for entity regulated by or receiving financial assistance from the state or federal government.

    WHAT IS THE TIME IN WHICH TO FILE A COMPLAINT?
    A person who feels they have been discriminated against has 180 days from the date of the alleged incident to file a complaint with the City (CEO) or Connecticut Commission on Human Rights (CCHRO). The time period for filing with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is 300 days.

    WILL A COMPLAINT BE FILED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
    Housing complaints will be dual filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A COMPLAINT IS FILED?
    Once a complaint is filed, an impartial investigation is commenced. The investigator gathers evidence to determine whether or not a violation of the law(s) has been committed. After the investigation is completed, the investigator makes a probable cause or no probable cause finding based on evidence presented. If there is a cause finding attempts to settle through conciliation are made. If this fails, the case will go to a public hearing. If there is a no cause finding the case is dismissed.

    WHO ARE THE COMMISSIONERS?
    The Commission has nine (9) Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor, and one (1) appointed by the Board of Aldermen. The Commissioners serve various terms of 1 year, 2 year, and 3 years terms, which are staggered.

    CAN A COMPLAINT GO TO COURT?
    A person can seek the right to sue in court.

    WHAT CAN THE COMMISSION DO IT THEY FIND DISCRIMINATION?
    The Commission has the authority to award damages to victims of discrimination. The award may vary based on each particular complaint. The Commission can award back pay or the next available job or apartment.

    DOES THE COMMISSION CHARGE FOR ITS SERVICES?
    There is no charge for service.

    HOW LONG DOES THE COMMISSION'S PROCESS TAKE?
    Complaints are investigated within one hundred (100) days of filing and final administrative disposition shall be made within one year of filing unless it is impossible to do so.

    WHAT IS CONTRACT COMPLIANCE?
    Contract Compliance laws were enacted as a means of providing equal employment opportunities for minorities and female workers and economic development and business growth opportunities for small contractors and minority and women owned businesses through the distribution of city, state, and federal contracting dollars The Commission on Equal Opportunities has the responsibility to review, monitor and enforce the equal opportunity, affirmative action and contract compliance laws and regulations of city, state and federal government as they apply to contractors and subcontractors of city-related construction and development projects.

    WHY DOES CEO CONDUCT PRE-AWARD CONFERENCES BEFORE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS BEGIN WORK?
    Pre-award conferences are held to ensure that all participants are apprised of their responsibilities and obligations regarding all applicable laws, rules, regulations and Ordinances contained in the contract documents. No project with a contract of $50,000 or more may be awarded or begin construction before a pre-award conference is held.

    WHY DOES CEO CONDUCT SITE INSPECTIONS?
    Utilization Monitors conduct regular site inspections of construction projects in the City of New Haven to verify the accuracy of a contractor's reports regarding workforce demographics and regarding the payment of prevailing wages.

    WHAT HAPPENS DURING A PAYROLL AUDIT?
    Contractors submit certified payrolls weekly and monthly to CEO. Each contractor provides payrolls for every construction site throughout the city. CEO staff member examines the payroll for compliance with all labor laws and regulations, including the payment of prevailing wages.

     

    QUESTIONS?

    Contact:

    Angel Fernandez-Chavero
    Acting Interim Executive Director
    203-946-7727 direct
    afernandezch@newhavenct.gov

     

    Commission offices are located at:

    New Haven City Hall
    165 Church St, 6th floor
    New Haven, CT 06511