AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY STATEMENT As Executive Director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, I recognize the purpose and need for Affirmative Action and I pledge my commitment to undertake positive actions to overcome the present effects of past practices or barriers to equal employment opportunity and to achieve the full and fair participation of minorities, women, people with disabilities, people who are older, and all the protected groups found to be underutilized in the Office of Protection and Advocacy’s workforce or affected by policies having an adverse impact. I further state that this Office will comply with the anti-discrimination provisions of the State and Federal laws and regulations listed at the end of this section.
I recognize the hiring difficulties experienced by minorities, people with disabilities and by many people who are older and, where appropriate, I have set program goals to overcome the present effects of past discrimination, if any, to achieve the full and fair utilization of such persons in the workforce. I further pledge that the agency will affirmatively provide services and programs in a fair and impartial manner.
Where adverse impact is identified, the agency will: (1) review it’s personnel policies and procedures to ensure that barriers, which unnecessarily exclude protected classes and practices, which have an illegal discriminatory impact, are identified and eliminated; (2) explore alternative approaches to employ minorities and members of protected classes; (3) administer all terms, conditions, privileges and benefits of the employment process in an equitable manner, and (4) establish procedures for the extra effort that may be necessary to ensure that the recruitment and hiring of protected group members reflect their availability in the job market.
The Affirmative Action Plan will not only be a means by which the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities can achieve equal employment opportunity objectives, but will also serve as a mechanism to prevent and eliminate discrimination. The Office will take additional efforts to recruit, employ, and promote members of groups, which we find should be included.
It is the policy of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities to provide equal employment opportunities without consideration of race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, genetic information, past/present history of mental disability, ancestry, mental retardation, learning or physical disabilities including but, not limited to blindness, sexual orientation, political belief or criminal record, unless the provisions of Section 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b) and 46a-81(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes are controlling or there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of the above protected groups. This policy applies to all aspects of the employer/employee relationship including, but not limited to recruitment, hiring, referrals, classifying, advertising, training, upgrading, promotion, benefits, compensation, discipline, layoff and terminations.
In order to implement affirmative action policies and to achieve equal employment opportunities for legally protected classes, staff has prepared an Affirmative Action Plan, which identifies where underutilization of legally protected classes exist. This plan includes programs, which will address over utilization and underutilization and it incorporates specific actions, goals, objectives, timetables, and a Complaint Procedure. Additionally, it will provide positive benefits to the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities by utilizing and developing the potential of all current employees. This Plan is an action-oriented document requiring aggressive action to eradicate any identified discriminatory employment practice or pattern.
As Executive Director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, I will make each person involved in the implementation of this Plan, aware of his/her responsibilities to integrate this program into the agency’s daily activities. I will hold staff accountable for their affirmative action performance.
This policy statement will be given annually to all Office employees and will also be posted throughout the agency. I also expect each supplier, union, consultant and other State agencies with which we do business to comply with all applicable State and Federal Equal Opportunity laws and regulations. The agency will not knowingly do business with any
entity debarred from participation in any federal or state program or found to be in violation of any state or federal antidiscrimination law.
I also promise to make every good-faith effort to achieve the goals within the timetables set forth in this Plan.
Effective May 21, 2010 the Office of Protection and Advocacy’s Affirmative Action Representative, Laura Guilmartin, transferred to another State Agency and was replaced by Johnette Tolliver, EEO Specialist 2, on July 20, 2010. In order to ensure that all aspects of the Affirmative Action Plan are adhered to and to carry out the responsibilities as outlined in the Affirmative Action Plan, Johnette Tolliver is the agency’s current Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist. She is located in DAS’s Small Agency Resource Team Unit, 5th Floor, East, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 and can be reached at (860) 713-5394.
Any employee wishing to review and comment on the agency’s plan should contact Johnette Tolliver at the above telephone number.