§ 39.07  COMPLAINT PROCEDURE.
   (A)   Administration. The Municipal Administrator and City Council President Pro-tem and Chairperson of the City’s Human Relations Commission, or their designees, hereinafter referred to as “the panel” may conduct investigations, hearings, and conciliation, make determinations, issue orders and perform such duties as are necessary and appropriate to the administration of this chapter. The panel is authorized to establish rules and procedures for the administration of this chapter.
   (B)   Complaints.
      (1)   Preliminary investigation.  Whenever it is charged in writing by a person or aggrieved organization, hereinafter referred to as “complainant”, that any person, employer, employment agency, or labor organization, hereinafter referred to as the “respondent”, has engaged in or is engaging in any unlawful discriminatory practice as defined in this chapter, the panel may initiate a preliminary investigation.  Such charge shall be filed within six months after the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice is committed. If it is determined by the panel after such preliminary investigation that it is not likely that an unlawful discriminatory practice has been or is being engaged in, the complainant and respondent shall be notified that it has been so determined, and that no other action will be initiated under this chapter.
      (2)   Informal conciliation.  If it is determined, after such preliminary investigation, that it is likely that an unlawful discriminatory practice has been or is being engaged in, the panel may endeavor to eliminate such practice by informal methods of conciliation. If the panel is satisfied that an alleged unlawful discriminatory practice of the respondent will be or has been eliminated, he or she may treat the complaint as conciliated and notify the complainant and respondent that no other action will be initiated under this chapter. If informal methods of conciliation fail to effect the elimination of such alleged unlawful discriminatory practice and it is determined by the panel that the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice is conduct over which the state and/or federal government has exercised jurisdiction and provided a mechanism for redress to an aggrieved party, the panel shall notify the complainant and respondent that no other action will be taken pursuant to this chapter and will provide complainant with information relating to appropriate state or federal legislation and enforcement agencies which may have jurisdiction.
      (3)   Determination hearing.  If informal methods of conciliation fail to effect the elimination of such alleged unlawful discriminatory practice, and it is determined by the panel that the state or federal government has not exercised jurisdiction and provided mechanism for redress, the panel may cause to be served upon the respondent and complainant a notice of a determination hearing notifying the respondent of a hearing at a time and place therein fixed to be held not less than 14 days after the service of such notice and stating the charges specified in the original charge against the respondent. If circumstances warrant, the panel may serve such notice at any time during the complaint procedure. The respondent shall have the right to appear at such hearing in person, and the complainant shall be a party to the proceeding. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself in any determination hearing, formal or informal. In conducting any determination hearing as provided herein, the panel may request the attendance as witness of any person believed to have knowledge or facts relevant to such hearing. The panel may also request the attendance of individuals as experts or resources where deemed helpful.
      (4)   Conciliation.  If, upon all the evidence presented, the panel determines that the respondent has engaged in, or is engaging in, any unlawful discriminatory practice under this chapter, whether against the complainant or others, the panel may endeavor to eliminate such practice by way of conference and conciliation.
      (5)   Notice of violation and order to cease and desist. If conference and conciliation fails to effect the elimination of such unlawful discriminatory practice or to obtain conciliation of the matter, or if the panel determines that efforts to conciliate would be futile, the panel may issue a notice of violation and may issue an order to respondent to cease and desist the unlawful discriminatory practice. The notice of violation and order to cease and desist of the panel shall be served on the respondent and complainant, with notice that if the panel determines that after 30 calendar days following service of its order the respondent has not eliminated or corrected the unlawful discriminatory practice, the panel shall take action to refer the matter to the Municipal Administrator or the Municipal Administrator’s designee for civil or criminal enforcement.
(Ord. 7906, passed 8-17-2009; Am. Ord. 8934, passed 6-7-2021)