340:1-11-12. Complaint policy and procedures
(a) Any person or group who believes they were subjected to discrimination in an Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) program subject to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:1-11-1 may make a complaint of discrimination in person, by representation, by phone, or by written communication. • 1 The complainant has a right to file an alleged discriminatory action(s) complaint with OKDHS, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), or with the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Civil Rights (DHHS-OCR). • 2
(b) For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or service-delivery complaints, refer to OAC 340:1-11-20.
(c) Employees or applicants for employment have the right to file an alleged discriminatory action(s) complaint with any or all of the entities listed in (1) - (4) of this subsection. The complainant may file with:
(1) OKDHS within 180-calendar days. When the complaint is filed directly with OKDHS, at the State Office, a county office, or at a facility, representatives of that office or facility explain both the federal and state complaint systems and advise the complainant of his or her right to file in either, or both, systems;
(2) the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office for Civil Rights Enforcement within 180-calendar days;
(3) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300-calendar days;
(4) the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission (MPC) within 20-calendar days of the discriminatory action; or
(5) the OKDHS Employee Grievance Program within 20-calendar days of the discriminatory action.
(d) Any person who expresses an interest in filing a complaint or files a complaint is protected from retaliation.
(e) OKDHS conducts a prompt and thorough complaint investigation. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) administrator determines if discrimination occurred. When discrimination occurred, OKDHS takes all necessary action to correct the discriminatory practice(s). The complainant is timely advised of OKDHS findings regarding his or her complaint and, if appeal is available, is advised of the right to appeal to the appropriate state or federal agency if not satisfied with the OKDHS decision. Records are maintained by OCR according to the OKDHS OCR consolidated records disposition schedule that include the nature of the complaint, the investigation details, and the OKDHS actions taken.
(f) When the complaint is initially filed with DHHS-OCR, that office may investigate the complaint utilizing its own resources.
(g) The complainant's identity is kept confidential, except to the extent necessary to conduct the investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding. Violations of confidentiality are subject to corrective discipline.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:1-11-12
1. When a person makes an allegation in person or by telephone and refuses, or is not inclined to put such allegations in writing, the person who receives the allegation must put the components of the complaint in writing. Every effort is made to obtain, from the complainant:
(1) his or her name, address, and phone number or other means of contact;
(2) the specific location and name of the entity delivering the benefits;
(3) the nature of the incident(s) or action(s) that made the complainant feel discrimination was a factor;
(4) the basis on which the complainant feels he or she was discriminated against;
(5) the names, titles, business addresses, and phone numbers of persons who may have knowledge of the discriminatory action(s); and
(6) the date the alleged discriminatory action(s) occurred, or when ongoing, the duration of such action(s).
2. The use of any form to file a written complaint is not required for a client's complaint to be accepted; however, the complainant is encouraged to complete Form 14CR001E, Discrimination Complaint Form - Client or Vendor. Employees use Form 14CR019E, Discrimination Complaint Form – Employee, to file a written complaint.