All employees, applicants, customers, persons receiving services from, and persons doing business with the County may participate in, enjoy the benefits of, and be free from discrimination under any program or activity it administers without regard to:
- Age (40 or older);
- Religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices);
- Denial of family and medical care leave;
- Disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS;
- Marital status;
- Medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics);
- Genetic information;
- Military and veteran status;
- National origin (including language use restrictions);
- Sex (including pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, child birth or breastfeeding);
- Gender identity and gender expression;
- Sexual orientation; or,
- Any other protected status in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (commonly referred to as “protected categories”).
Monterey County prohibits retaliation against those who report, oppose, or participate in an investigation of alleged violations of the County’s Civil Rights policies, or against those who participate in protected activity. Participating in an investigation of alleged wrongdoing in the workplace may include:
- Filing a complaint internally with the Civil Rights Office, a federal, or state enforcement or administrative agency;
- Participating in or cooperating with the County, a federal, or state enforcement agency that is conducting an investigation of the County regarding alleged unlawful activity;
- Testifying as a party, witness, or accused regarding alleged unlawful activity;
- Associating with another employee who is engaged in any of these activities; and/or,
- Providing informal notice to the County regarding alleged unlawful activity.
If an employee feels that he or she is being retaliated against, the employee shall immediately contact their supervisor, manager, Department Head, Human Resources, or the Civil Rights Office. In addition, if an employee observes retaliation by another employee, supervisor, manager, or nonemployee, he or she should immediately report the incident to the individuals identified above.
Any employee determined to be responsible for violating this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Moreover, any employee, supervisor, or manager who condones or ignores potential violations of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Yes. We will listen and we will take your concern seriously. Your case will be assigned to a qualified, unbiased investigator who may need to examine the facts and talk to witnesses. Our robust process will ensure that we thoroughly look into the matter and make a fair determination.
To the best of our ability. Keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that all complaints will remain confidential after an investigation has commenced because our records may be subject to subpoena or may be disclosed if a complaint results in litigation. We will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of complaints and related records, to the extent allowable by law.
Yes. Anonymous complaints are accepted, though keep in mind that it is challenging to conduct a thorough investigation with an anonymous complaint.
The process, depending on how you choose to proceed, can be completed quickly or last up to a few months.
Public meetings associated with the Civil Rights Office include:
-The Equal Opportunity Committee, comprised of two County Supervisors;
-The Equal Opportunity Advisory Commission, comprised of community members; and-The Commission on Disabilities.
You may call or meet with one of our team members informally. We will listen, explain our process, and offer recommendations for how you might want to move forward. From there, you can choose to:
- Work with us informally to resolve the complaint;
- File a complaint with our office that may lead to an investigation;
- Utilize the County’s Conflict Resolution program; or
Keep in mind that, on some occasions, we are required by law to move forward with a formal process, regardless of your preference. The law requires that, under certain circumstances, we have an obligation to act immediately, which may include conducting an investigation.
All County departments should have procedures in place to provide you with quality interpretation services at no cost to you. If you have a concern, you can call our office.