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The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
A. To hold meetings at intervals of not less than once per month at a time and place to be determined by the commission.
B. To prescribe the duties of a director and such investigators and other employees and agents as the commission shall deem necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.
C. To receive, investigate and finally determine the merits of complaints alleging unfair or discriminatory practices.
D. To investigate and study the existence, character, causes and extent of discrimination in public accommodations, employment, apprenticeship programs, on the job training programs, vocational schools, extension of credit, real estate, financial transactions and housing in this city and to attempt the elimination of such discrimination by education and conciliation. (Ord. 4064, 1-3-1995)
E. To subpoena books, papers, records and any other real evidence necessary to the investigation of any complaint filed pursuant to this chapter. As further set forth below, the commission may also subpoena persons for testimony after notice of hearing has been issued.
1. The executive director, or designee, shall issue subpoenas.
2. Before a subpoena is sought to determine whether the agency should institute a contested case proceeding, the commission staff shall make a request in written form to the person having possession of the requested material or real evidence. The written request shall be hand delivered by a member of the commission staff or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Where a person fails to provide requested information a subpoena for the information may be issued.
A subpoena may be issued not less than seven (7) days after the written request has been delivered to the person having possession of the requested materials. Subpoenas may be issued without prior oral or written requests where notice of a pending public hearing has been issued.
3. Every subpoena shall state the name of the commission, the purpose for which the subpoena is issued and the name and address of the party on whose behalf it was issued.
4. The subpoena shall be directed to a specific person, or their attorney, or an officer, partner or managing agent of any person who is not a natural person. The subpoena shall command that person to produce designated books, papers or other real evidence under his or her control at a specified time and place. Where a public hearing has been scheduled, the subpoena may command the person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony concerning such records and evidence either before or at the hearing.
5. The subpoena shall be served either by personal service or by an official authorized by law to serve subpoenas or by any member of the commission staff by delivery of a copy thereof to the person named therein.
6. Where service is accomplished by personal service, proof of service will be acknowledgment of receipt by the person served or by the affidavit of the person serving the subpoena.
7. Upon prompt petition by the person to whom the subpoena is addressed, the executive director or designee may quash or modify a subpoena where it is demonstrated by the petitioner that reasonable cause exists to quash said subpoena.
8. Where a party fails to respond to a subpoena, the executive director or designee may authorize the filing of a petition for enforcement with the district court.
9. Subsequent to notification to a respondent of the approval of a hearing upon the merits of complaint, legal counsel, staff and respondent may employ prehearing discovery measures set forth in the Iowa administrative procedure act, in addition to oral interviews and informal requests for documents and other materials and information, and subpoenas may issue for testimony of witnesses in furtherance of discovery and investigative purposes. The subpoena may require the person to attend to give testimony either before or at the hearing. (Ord. 5076, 9-19-2011)
F. To hold hearings upon any complaint made against a person, an employer, an employment agency, or a labor organization, or the employees or members thereof, to subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance at such hearings, to administer oaths and take the testimony of any person under oath, and to compel such persons, employer, employment agency or labor organization, or employees or members thereof, to produce for examination any books and papers relating to any matter involved in such complaint. The commission shall issue subpoenas for witnesses in the same manner and for the same purposes on behalf of the respondent upon his request. Such hearings may be held by the commission or by any hearing officer appointed by the commission.
G. To take the necessary remedial action, as to the judgment of the commission, to carry out the purposes of this chapter. For purposes of this subsection and pursuant to the provisions of this chapter "remedial action" includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Hiring, reinstatement or upgrading.
2. Admission or restoration of individuals to programs, and admission to a public accommodation or an educational institution.
3. Sale, exchange, lease, rental, assignment or sublease of real property to an individual.
4. Payment to the complainant of damages for an injury caused by the discriminatory or unfair practice which damages shall include, but are not limited to, actual damages, court cost and reasonable attorney fees, and the issuance of an order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from said practice.
5. Reporting as to the manner of compliance.
6. Posting notices in conspicuous places in the respondent's place of business in form prescribed by the commission and inclusion of notice in advertising material.
7. In addition to the remedies provided in the preceding provisions of this subsection, the commission may issue an order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from the discriminatory or unfair practice and to take such affirmative action as in the judgment of the commission will carry out the purposes of this section as follows:
a. In the case of a respondent operating by virtue of a license issued by the state or a political subdivision or agency, if the commission, upon notice to the respondent with an opportunity to be heard, determines that the respondent has engaged in a discriminatory or unfair practice and that the practice was authorized, requested, commanded, performed or knowingly or recklessly tolerated by the board of directors of the respondent or by an officer or executive agent acting within the scope of his employment, the commission shall so certify to the licensing agency. Where the licensing agency derives all or part of its authority from this city, it shall be bound by the commission finding, unless it is reversed in the course of judicial review. In the case of such a municipal licensing agency, where such a certification has been made, the licensing agency may initiate licensee disciplinary procedures.
b. In the case of a respondent who is found by the commission to have engaged in a discriminatory or unfair practice in the course of performing under a contract or subcontract with the state or political subdivision or agency, if the practice was authorized, requested, commanded, performed or knowingly or recklessly tolerated by the board of directors of the respondent or by an officer or executive agent acting within the scope of his employment, the commission shall so certify to the contracting agency. The finding of discrimination is binding on that contracting authority, unless the commission's finding of a discriminatory or unfair practice is reversed in the course of judicial review.
c. Upon receiving a certification made under this chapter, a contracting authority may take appropriate action to terminate a contract or portion thereof previously entered into with the respondent, either absolutely or on condition that the respondent carry out a program of compliance with provisions of this chapter; and assist the state and all political subdivisions and agencies thereof to refrain from entering into further contracts.
8. The election of an affirmative order under subsection G7 of this section shall not bar the election of affirmative remedies provided in subsections G1 through G6 of this section. The terms of a conciliation agreement reached with the respondent may require him to refrain in the future from committing discriminatory or unfair practices of the type stated in the agreement, to take remedial action as in the judgment of the commission will carry out the purposes of this chapter and to consent to the entry in an appropriate district court of a consent decree embodying the terms of the conciliation agreement. Violation of such a consent decree may be punished as contempt by the court upon a showing by the commission of the violation at any time within six (6) months of its occurrence. In all cases where a conciliation agreement is entered into, the commission shall issue an order stating its terms and furnish a copy of the order to such persons as the commission deems proper. At any time in its discretion, the commission may investigate whether the terms of the agreement are being complied with by the respondent.
H. To seek a temporary injunction against a respondent when it appears that a complainant may suffer irreparable injury as a result of an alleged violation of this chapter. In the event said respondent is the recipient of, or engaged in any program or activity through grants, loans, contracts or insurance from any federal or state agency, the commission shall seek to enjoin said federal or state agency, on a temporary basis, from further engagement with said respondent.
A temporary injunction may only be sought ex parte, if the complaint filed with the commission alleges discrimination in housing. In all other cases a temporary injunction may be issued only after the respondent has been notified and afforded the opportunity to be heard. (Ord. 4064, 1-3-1995)
I. To issue such publications and reports of investigations and research as in the judgment of the commission shall tend to promote goodwill among the various racial, religious, ethnic and other groups within the city and which shall tend to minimize or eliminate discrimination in public accommodations, employment, apprenticeship and on the job training programs, vocational schools, housing or credit because of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability or age. (Ord. 4891, 11-13-2007)
J. To prepare and transmit to the mayor and to the city council from time to time, but not less often than once each year, reports describing its proceedings, investigations, hearings conducted and the outcome thereof, decisions rendered and the other work performed by the commission.
K. To make recommendations to the mayor and city council for such further legislation as may be necessary and desirable, and to adopt, publish, amend and rescind regulations consistent with and necessary for the enforcement of this chapter. (Ord. 4064, 1-3-1995)
L. To cooperate, within the limits of any appropriations made for its operation, with other agencies or organizations, both public and private, whose purposes are consistent with those of this chapter and in the planning and conducting of programs designed to eliminate discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or age. (Ord. 4891, 11-13-2007)
M. To receive, administer, dispense and account for any funds that may be voluntarily contributed to the commission and any grants that may be awarded the commission for furthering the purposes of this chapter.
N. To enter into contracts with federal and state civil rights agencies which would further the purposes of this chapter.
O. To enter into contracts with federal and state civil rights agencies which would further the purposes of this chapter and seek from the equal employment opportunity commission, housing and urban development, the U.S. and Iowa civil rights commission, the designation as a deferral agency, which shall have legal precedence in all cases in its jurisdiction, except where otherwise agreed, or where a complainant requests in written form that the deferral agency not be notified. (Ord. 4064, 1-3-1995)