Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

Report Employment Discrimination

Sec. 19-176. – General policy.

  1. It is the policy of the city to promote and ensure equal opportunity for all persons (without regard to protected category) employed or seeking employment, using city facilities or being serviced by the city. The policy of equality applies to every aspect of city employment practice and policy involving all activity areas.
  2. The city assures non-discrimination in recruiting, hiring, training, placement, advancement, compensation, working conditions, demotion, layoff and termination.
  3. It is, in addition, the policy of the city to assert leadership within the community and to put forth the maximum effort to achieve non-discriminatory, equal employment opportunities throughout the political jurisdiction of the city. Affirmative action will be taken to make known that equal employment opportunities are available on the basis of the merits of the individual and consistent with the city’s goals and timetables for staffing in terms of female and minority representation on the city’s work force: striving for a work force in each occupation which corresponds to the actual availability of qualified females and minorities for that job in their respective recruitment area.
  4. Department heads and supervisors are responsible for implementation of this policy and the affirmative action program within their responsibility areas. All applicants and employees shall be expected to be qualified for the position they are seeking, and to indicate through performance, capability of at least acceptably performing assigned duties. Encouragement, information and appropriate on-the-job orientation and training are to be provided to all new employees to assist them in performing their job assignments effectively.
  5. Job placements shall be made by the city manager as delegated to respective department heads. The appointing authorities (director and department heads) shall encourage, and take appropriate affirmative action from the time of job requisition to hiring decision in all job positions to achieve and maintain EEO objectives and goals as rapidly as possible.
  6. While EEO affirmative action shall be considered a top priority, neither shall it unreasonably infringe upon the goal of efficient, productive, continuing public service.
  7. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, it shall not be unlawful discrimination because of citizenship status that which is otherwise required in order to comply with law, regulation, or executive order, or required by federal, state, or local government contract, or which the United States attorney general determines to be essential for an employer to do business with an agency or department of the federal, state or local government.
  • (Code 1964, § 22.910; Ord. No. 17016, § 1, 9-17-01; Ord. No. 21206, § 1, 1-3-12; Ord. No. 23402 , § 1, 12-4-17; Ord. No. 23642 , § 1, 9-17-18)

Sec. 19-177. – Goals and timetables.

Based on statistical employee turnover rates and anticipated, projected changes in total work force allocations; and work force evaluation in terms of race, sex, job position, salary make-up, and related considerations, annual and long-range (if practicable) EEO affirmative action goals will be recommended by the director in consultation with the respective department heads, reviewed by the personnel advisory board, and adopted by the city manager as an administrative policy. Documentation concerning the success of projected goal attainment shall be completed annually by the director, citing conditions and circumstances which may have helped or hindered the program. Subsequent goals and timetables shall be established considering the practical experience and preceding goal success. Identifiable lack of good faith in attempting to achieve established goals shall be just cause of disciplinary action, and shall involve any and all employees.

(Code 1964, § 22.920)

Sec. 19-178. – Program knowledge.

The city will take the necessary steps to ensure that all department heads and other employees and all potential employees are advised of this policy of non-discrimination, and of the city’s interest in actively and affirmatively providing equal employment opportunity. These steps will include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. A brief statement of the policy in all advertisements for employment.
  2. Periodic dissemination of policy through the media, new employee orientation discussions, bulletin boards, etc.
  3. Periodically advising all persons in a position within the city government of their role and responsibility in implementation of this policy.

(Code 1964, § 22.930)

Sec. 19-179. – Recruitment.

  1. EEO affirmative action will consist of active recruitment of female, disadvantaged, underemployed, and/or minority candidates for positions within the city at all levels.
  2. Active recruitment will mean:
    1. First consideration for filling all vacancies in a department shall be given to qualified employees of lower rank within the same department or qualified employees from other departments.
    2. Identification of agencies and programs concerned with educational and employment opportunities for female and/or minority members.
    3. Every effort will be made to contact a variety of agencies and individuals to identify prospective applicants, and notification will be made to such agencies of all new positions and the requirements of each as soon as each position becomes available.
    4. All vacancies and new positions in city departments or agencies, not initially filled by a present city employee, shall be publicly advertised; and the statement “The City of Columbia is a merit, affirmative action, equal opportunity employer: Male/Female.” shall be included wherever practicable in employment advertisements.
  3. The director will place employment advertising in publications with a broad circulation so that a potentially large number of female and minority groups can be reached.
  4. Systematic contact will be kept with the local state employment security commission office and community action agencies to encourage referral of applicants for positions.
  5. Present employees are encouraged to refer female or minority applicants when positions are available.
  6. The city will aggressively seek more female and minority candidates in classifications in which females and minorities are identified as underutilized by making it known to all recruitment sources that female and minority members are being sought for consideration when positions are available.
  7. The director will continually review the employment situation to determine if:
    1. There are any job categories which, in practical effect, are closed to female and minority groups;
    2. Hiring practices indicate that all applicants are considered solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job openings for which they have applied;
    3. The initial job in which a new employee is placed is determined or materially influenced by whether or not he/she is a member of a minority group;
    4. Minimal entry qualifications are in fact necessary, valid, and justifiable in terms of acceptable and required performance levels; and if problems exist in any of these areas, the director shall take the necessary actions to correct inequities.
  8. The director will establish a system through which it is possible to verify the number of minority applicants and the number of minority workers newly employed or promoted in reference to the number of applications received, openings available, and salaries earned.
  9. All qualifications for employment shall be fully job-related. Any tests given by the city, once reliably and validly established, will be equitable and identical for all applicants for a given position. Continuous review of the tests shall be conducted by the director to ensure their validity.
  10. The qualifications of all employees, including females and/or those of minority background, will be reviewed regularly to ensure that qualified, interested individuals are considered for promotion and upgrading.
  11. As many female and minority and/or disadvantaged trainees and summer part-time employees will be used as work needs justify and expenditures allow and shall be on a representative relationship to the general community as much as possible.

(Code 1964, § 22.940)

Sec. 19-180. – Training.

Female and minority employees as well as others will be encouraged to increase their skills and job potential through participation in training and education programs, and the city will regularly review and help to assure that such programs, when established or provided, are available to employees on an equal opportunity basis. The city will seek to have female and minority employees take advantage of training opportunities in numbers that are representative when compared to the size of the work force, and when training is available generally to other employees in the same classification within the parameters of departmental operations and an individual’s capability to benefit from various types and degrees of training which may in some cases be significantly advanced and/or cumulative in nature.

(Code 1964, § 22.950)

Sec. 19-181. – General provisions.

  1. Any collective bargaining agreements which the city may enter into will be in accordance with the principles of placement, promotion and/or transfer of employees without regard to protected category; and shall be consistent with EEO goals.
  2. The director will review job categories where few female and/or minority group members are presently employed, and seek to determine the cause of such situations when shown necessary by study of the available and qualified labor market. Remedial efforts may include such actions as the following:
    1. More vigorous recruitment of qualified female and/or minority candidates.
    2. Special discussion with appropriate management, supervisory, and other personnel, regarding the city’s policy and its desire to ensure full utilization of qualified female and/or minority group personnel in all operational areas.
    3. Evaluate qualifications of the lower echelon of female and/or minority group employees to determine whether under utilized skills and capabilities would potentially be more fully employed in other capacities, or would warrant their transfer to other types of jobs more readily leading to advancement. This practice shall be applied equally to all employees.
  3. Placement, promotion, and transfer activities at all levels will be monitored to ensure that reasonable, equitable, fair consideration has been given to qualified female and/or minority group employees.
  4. Subcontractors, vendors and suppliers shall be notified of the city’s EEO affirmative action policy and requested to take appropriate EEO affirmative action within their own employment practices.
  5. The director shall compile at least quarterly statistics concerning applicants, placement, and related employment data for the purpose of gauging the effectiveness of the EEO affirmative action program.

(Code 1964, § 22.960; Ord. No. 17016, § 1, 9-17-01; Ord. No. 21206, § 1, 1-3-12; Ord. No. 23402 , § 1, 12-4-17; Ord. No. 23642 , § 1, 9-17-18)

Sec. 19-182. – Complaint procedures.

Employees or job applicants who feel that they have been discriminated against pursuant to EEO provisions of these policies, rules, regulations and procedures may contact the human resources department to resolve the issue, or may utilize available remedies under existing local, state and federal legislation.

(Code 1964, § 22.970; Ord. No. 15754, § 1, 9-21-98; Ord. No. 23324 , § 1, 9-18-17)

Sec. 19-183. – Policy regarding Columbia city employees infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

  1. Preamble. The responsibility of protecting health and privacy rights of all people is fundamental. It is known that employees who carry the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are not dangerous to others through casual contact and, therefore, should not be treated differently. Individuals having a contagious secondary infection, however, could serve as a source of that infection to others and, in those instances, a policy for specific infections should be established and followed.
  2. Policy. Each case involving HIV infection shall be evaluated separately in order to assess risks and benefits to the infected individual and to all others in the setting.
    1. These evaluations shall be made by using a team approach involving the individual’s physician, public health personnel, and the city human resources department. Other advisors may be included if considered appropriate by the city manager or his designee.
    2. Employees who are determined to be physically able to work without presenting a danger to themselves will be allowed to do so.
    3. Only those persons who have a need to know the identity of the HIV-infected individual, in order to detect potential for disease transmission, shall be advised of the individual’s identity. The city manager or his designee shall be responsible for determining those who are to be informed of the HIV-infected individual’s identity. No additional release of information shall be permitted without the written consent of the individual. The city manager or his designee is authorized to release general information, appropriate to the situation, consistent with maintaining the individual’s privacy rights.
  3. Education. An ongoing, educational program shall be conducted for all city employees.

(Ord. No. 11858, § 1, 4-18-88; Ord. No. 15754, § 1, 9-21-98)