5.040 - EEO Complaints and Investigations

Effective Date: 06/01/2017


An EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) complaint is an accusation of misconduct based on race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, political ideology, parental status, religion, ancestry, or mental, physical or sensory handicap.  Such conduct is prohibited by law and policy under the following circumstances:

- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of 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 unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature under the above circumstances.

For further guidance, see http://www.eeoc.gov/.

1. The Human Resources Director Shall Monitor all Department Procedures Regarding Fair Employment and Labor Practices

2. The Human Resources Director Shall Oversee the Investigation of Complaints of Discriminatory Misconduct by Department Employees

3. The EEO Investigator Will Investigate Complaints

The EEO Investigator will investigate all complaints emanating from Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related legislation.  All other complaints will be referred through appropriate channels.

- The EEO Investigator shall notify the chains of command of both the complainant and the named employee.

4. Supervisors and Managers Shall Immediately Take Action When There is an Indication That Harassment May be Occurring

See 5.040-PRO-1 EEO Investigations.

5. The Chain of Command of the Accused Employee Will Cooperate With the EEO Investigator

6. Employees May, at any Time, Seek Redress from an Enforcement Agency or a Court of Law

Administrative agencies (Washington State Human Rights Commission, Seattle Human Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) have established a time limit of 180 days from the date of the last harassment incident for filing complaints.

- This time limit may be extended for 300 days for an alleged violation of a state or local anti-discrimination law.

7. Supervisors and Managers Shall Maintain Confidentiality of EEO Complaints and Investigations

8. The EEO Investigator Shall Complete the Investigation No Later Than 90 Days From the Receipt of the Complaint or From the Time That a Supervisor Became Aware of the Situation

The time limit for completing an investigation may be extended if it is determined by the Human Resources Director that additional time is necessary for a full and complete investigation.  The named employee will be immediately notified in writing of any extension, with a courtesy copy sent to the complainant.

9. All Misconduct Records and Complaints and Their Resolutions Will be Maintained by the EEO Investigator and Human Resources

When a complaint is determined to be unfounded, exonerated or not sustained, the record of the complaint shall be expunged three years after the end of the year of the complaint.

When a complaint results in a sustained finding, the record shall be expunged six years after the end of the year of the complaint.

- A file may be maintained for a longer retention period if there is a hold requested by the Department legal adviser.  The legal adviser shall be responsible for releasing the hold.

5.040-PRO-1 EEO Investigations


1. Notifies a supervisor or management representative of an EEO complaint

- Alternatively, the employee may contact the supervisor’s supervisor, the EEO Investigator, OPA-IS Captain, or another management employee.

Supervisor or Manager

2. Takes immediate action by doing one of the following:

a. Mitigates the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant and then documents this effort in a memo

- The supervisor or manager will share the memo with the complainant and the named employee, and also submit it to the EEO Investigator via the chain of command.

b. Refers the incident to the EEO Investigator for further action

EEO Investigator

3. Initiates an investigation

4. Assesses the need to recommend removal of the parties from the same work environment

5. Notifies the named employee in writing that an EEO complaint has been filed and will be investigated

6. Complies with any right to union representation of individuals, including the named employee, who may be disciplined based on their statements

7. Advises all parties to the investigation that all forms of retaliation against the complainant violate city ordinance, as well as state and federal law

8. Forwards the case to the Assistant Chief of the named employee

Assistant Chief, Section Captain of the Named Employee, and Human Resources Director

9. Meet with EEO investigator to review case and recommended findings of the investigation (whether there was a policy violation)

10. Deliberate and determine what EEO policy findings, personnel actions, and organizational follow-up to recommend to the Chief of Police

11. Submit their recommendations to the Chief of Police

Human Resources Director and Chief of Police

12. Verify that the named employee has been given the opportunity to review the results of the investigation, has been told of the evidence obtained, and has had an opportunity to provide a response to the allegations

13. Consider the response given by the named employee

14. Make a final decision regarding disciplinary action

15. The Human Resources Director then notifies the EEO Investigator of the finding

EEO Investigator

16. Provides a written summary of the allegations and findings of the investigation to the complainant and the named employee within 30 days of the finding