Complaint Policy

  1. PURPOSE

    A relationship of trust and confidence between employees of the Maine Human Rights Commission and the communities that they serve is essential to the effective operation of state government. Agency employees must be free to exercise their best judgment in the performance of their duties. Agency employees also have a special obligation to respect the rights of all persons. The Maine Human Rights Commission acknowledges its responsibility to establish a complaint system and procedures that not only will subject Maine Human Rights Commission employees to corrective action when improper conduct has occurred, but that will also protect Maine Human Rights Commission employees from unwarranted or spurious criticism when they discharge their duties properly. The purpose of these procedures is to provide prompt, just, and open disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of Maine Human Rights Commission employees. This procedure is not for complaints about the results of investigations of complaints of discrimination filed with the Commission.

    It is the policy of the Maine Human Rights Commission to encourage the public to comment when the conduct of the employee is believed to be improper. The Maine Human Rights Commission will make every effort to ensure that no adverse consequences occur to any person or witness as a result of having brought a complaint or for providing information concerning a complaint. Any Maine Human Rights Commission employee who subjects a complainant or witness to such recrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
  2. PROCEDURE
    1. The Maine Human Rights Commission encourages the public to bring forward legitimate complaints regarding misconduct by its employees. To this end, a copy of "HOW TO FILE A PERSONNEL COMPLAINT" will be posted at agency worksites and on agency websites and will be given to anyone requesting this information. A copy of this document is attached to this policy. Complaints, regardless of nature, can be lodged in person, by mail, or by telephone. Telephone contacts are welcome, but complaints must be in writing, provide contact information, and contain specific details about the complaint. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.
    2. Any employee of the Maine Human Rights Commission who receives a complaint about an agency employee shall, as soon as practicable, notify the Executive Director of the details of the complaint for evaluation and assignment.
    3. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Director shall determine whether the complaint should be investigated and by whom. Complaints of criminal conduct should be forwarded to the Bureau of Employee Relations to ensure cooperation with appropriate law enforcement authorities.
    4. Investigations of complaints shall be completed within a reasonable time.
    5. It is the responsibility of the investigator to thoroughly and confidentially investigate the matter and, when appropriate, to submit a complete and accurate investigation report. In the event a report is warranted, all relevant information obtained by the investigator shall be included.
    6. All investigations shall comply with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
  3. REPORT
    1. When applicable, the report shall include a summary of interviews with the complainant, synopsis, finding(s) of fact, chronology of the investigation, and documentation of compliance with the employee's contractual rights.
    2. Recommendations regarding the disposition of an investigation or discipline generally are not included in the investigation report. Such recommendations should only be included in consultation with the appointing authority.
  4. NOTIFICATION TO THE COMPLAINANT
    1. Upon final disposition, the complainant will be notified of the outcome of the investigation to the extent permitted by civil service and agency confidentiality laws.
  5. ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES
    1. The Commission shall ensure that:
      • All citizen complaint records and investigations remain confidential as allowed or required by statute.
      • Each complaint and corresponding investigation is documented.
      • An annual summary report is prepared for the agency head that includes statistical data that will aid in identifying the possible need for training, supervision, or other pertinent issues.

HOW TO FILE A PERSONNEL COMPLAINT

Complaints may be filed in any of the following ways:

  • By letter addressed to:
    Executive Director
    Maine Human Rights Commission
    51 State House Station
    Augusta, ME 04333-0051

  • By phone: (207) 624-6290
  • FAX: (207) 624-8729
  • TTY: Maine Relay 711
  • By e-mail: Melody.Piper@maine.gov
  • In person at the Commission's Office, 19 Union Street, Augusta.

Please provide the following information when filing:

  • Your Name
  • Your Mailing Address
  • City, State, Zip code
  • Phone # where you can be reached between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Name of MHRC employee you are complaining about
  • Date of the incident
  • Description of the complaint/incident
  • (Attach additional sheets if necessary.)
  • Name(s) and contact information of witness(es) to the incident

All complaints will be processed as defined in section B. PROCEDURE of the Maine Human Rights Commission's Complaint Policy.