Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The TAPS Equal Employment Opportunity Policy is currently being revised. If you would like to offer comments on this policy, please send email to teresafoster@tapsbus.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S POLICY STATEMENT, 2

II. POLICY, 3

III. ANNUAL GOALS AND OBJECTIVES, 3

IV. DISSEMINATION OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES, 4

V. RESPONSIBILITIES, 4

A. TAPS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, 4
B. EEO OFFICER, 5
C. DEPARTMENT HEADS AND SUPERVISORS, 5

VI EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY PRACTICES, 6
A. RECRUITIMENT, 6
B. SELECTION AND HIRE, 8
C. PROMOTION, 8
D. TRAINING, 8
E. TERMINATION AND DISCHARGE, 8
F. WAGES AND SALARIES, 9
G. EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES, 9
H. SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY AND PRACTICES, 9
I. TAPS FACILITIES & BENEFITS, 10
J. DISTRIBUTION TO CONTRACTORS, 10

VII. GENERAL, 11

VIII. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE, 11

APPENDIX

A – UTILIZATION ANALYSIS – FEBRUARY 2014, 13

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY PLAN

I. Chief Executive Officer‘s Policy Statement

The Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) provides Demand Response, Commuter Shuttles, and Fixed Route Transit services for the Sherman-Denison Urbanized Area, McKinney Urbanized Area and the rural areas of Cooke, Fannin, Grayson, Collin, Wise, Clay and Montague Counties. Our Mission Statement is to provide safe, reliable, convenient and accessible transportation to the citizens and visitors of the service area. We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of the community while exceeding customer expectations in a cost-effective and responsible manner. The TAPS team is professional, knowledgeable and proud to serve our customers. In the exercise of this Mission Statement we are equally committed to Equal Employment Opportunities throughout our organization.

TAPS will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment due to race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification, bona-fide disability or any other legally-protected status. As required by law, we will make reasonable accommodations for known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee.

We will keep these tenets in mind in recruitment, selection, placement, promotion, training, compensation, and participation in social and recreation programs.

Teresa Foster, Chief Finance Officer, been appointed to serve as our EEO officer for TAPS. She will be responsible for ensuring that we comply with all EEO responsibilities

We are committed to an Affirmative Action Program including goals and timetables for good-faith efforts to achieve full utilization of minorities and women at all levels and segments of TAPS’s workforce where deficiencies may exist.

Please be reminded that all management personnel share in this responsibility and will be assigned specific tasks to assure compliance is achieved. The performance of managers and supervisors will be evaluated on their contribution to the success of the EEO program the same way as their performance on other TAPS goals is evaluated.

Employees and applicants will have the right to file complaints alleging discrimination with the appropriate official(s). All such reports will be thoroughly investigated. No adverse action or retaliation will be taken or permitted against any employee who reports issues of workplace discrimination or harassment.

SIGNED:
Brad Underwood
Chief Executive Officer

II. Policy

Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It shall provide equal employment opportunity to its employees and applicants for employment on the basis of fitness and merit without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification, or handicap. This policy shall be followed in recruiting, hiring, promotion into all position classifications, compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, returns from layoffs, demotions, termination, TAPS-sponsored training programs, educational leave, social and recreational programs, and use of TAPS facilities. Any person employed by Texoma Area Paratransit System who fails to comply with this policy is subject to disciplinary action.

Where necessary, this policy is to be extended in order that TAPS be in compliance with the following federal restraints: the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1974, the State and Local Fiscal Assistance (Revenue Sharing) Act of 1972, the Age Discrimination in the Employment Act of 1975, the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970, Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The adoption of this EEO plan by the Board of Directors is a reaffirmation of adherence to and promotion by the Board of the policy of nondiscrimination in all action affecting TAPS employees. The guidelines, and objectives contained in this plan are designed to assist TAPS and all of its employees adhering to that policy.

III. Annual Goals and Objectives

The TAPS Chief Executive Officer, with the assistance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, shall annually perform the following activities necessary to prepare and update the goals and objectives of the Affirmative Action Plan for Equal Opportunity:

A. Analyze current staff and staffing patterns to determine the racial and sex composition of TAPS employees and of the local area workforce in order to establish benchmark ratios of race and sex.

B. Based on the ratios developed under A. above, establish short range (less than 1 year) employment goals and objectives to address any areas of under-utilization of minorities or females and/or which would further equal employment opportunity for TAPS employees or the projected work force.

C. Based on the ratios developed under A. above, establish longer range (1-5 years) employment goals and objectives to address any areas of under-utilization of minorities or females and/or which would further equal employment opportunity for TAPS employees or the projected work force.

IV. Dissemination of Policies and Procedures

The TAPS Equal Employment Opportunity Program will be communicated in the following manner:

Internal

1. Copy of full EEO Plan to each department head and to each employee requesting one.

2. EEO/AA policy in employee handbooks and manuals

3. Discussion at appropriate supervisory meetings covering the subject of recruitment, employment, training, promotion and transfer employees

4. EEO/AA policy is posted on designated employee bulletin boards at TAPS.

External

1. Notification to recruitment sources and community groups.

2. Employment advertising includes EEO statement.

3. EEO/AA policy posted on website.

4 Statement included on employment application

The dissemination of TAPS’s EEO/AA policy is not limited to the above referenced items. As considered appropriate, TAPS utilizes whatever means necessary to convey the organization’s commitment to equal employment opportunity.

V. Responsibilities

A. TAPS Chief Executive Officer

Ultimate responsibility for the implementation of this policy and the TAPS’s affirmative action program rests with the TAPS Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer’s responsibilities may include:

1. Assisting in identifying problem areas and establishing agency and unit goals and objectives;

2. Being actively involved with local minority organizations, women’s and handicapped groups, community organizations and community service programs designed to promote EEO;

3. Participating actively in periodic audits of all aspects of employment in order to identify and to remove barriers obstructing the achievement of specified goals and objectives;

4. Holding regular discussions with managers, supervisors, and employees to assure the agency’s policies and procedures are being followed;

5. Reviewing the qualifications of all employees to assure that minorities, disabled persons, and women are given full opportunities for transfer, promotions, training, salary increases, and other forms of compensations;

6. Participating in the review and/or investigation of complaints alleging discrimination;

7. Conducting and supporting career counseling for all employees;

8. Participating in periodic audits to ensure that each agency unit is in compliance (e.g., EEO posters are properly displayed on all employees bulletin boards).

B. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer

The Chief Finance Officer will assume the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and perform the following duties and functions:

1. Developing and recommending an EEO policy, a written program, and internal and external communication procedures;

2. Assisting management in collecting and analyzing employment data, identifying problem areas, setting goals and timelines, and developing programs to achieve goals;

3. Designing, implementing, and monitoring internal audit and reporting systems to measure program effectiveness and to determine where

progress has been made and where further actions is needed;

4. Reporting periodically to the Chief Executive Officer on the progress of each unit in relation to the agency’s goals;

5. Serving as a liaison between the agency, Federal, State and local governments, regulatory agencies, minority, disabled and women’s organizations, and other community groups;

6. Assuring that current legal information affecting affirmative action is disseminated to responsible officials;

7. Assisting in recruiting minority, women and disabled applicants and establishing outreach sources;

8. Concurring in all hires and promotions;

9. Process employment discrimination complaints.

C. Department Heads and Supervisors

Each member of management and supervision is responsible within his/her area of responsibility for conducting activities in a manner which will ensure compliance with the policy and the Affirmative Action Programs. Furthermore, each is made to understand that his/her work performance in the area of equal employment affirmative action is being evaluated.

VI. Equal Employment Opportunity Practices

A. Recruitment

Applicants for employment are considered and placed without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, handicap, or age; the TAPS displays equal employment opportunity notices in conspicuous places available to all employees and applicants for employment. Employment application forms are in compliance with applicable federal laws. A copy of our EEO Policy may be obtained from the EEO Officer or any manager. Routinely, applications and supporting documents screened by individual managers for evaluation. Those applicants deemed most adequately suited for the position are either asked to submit additional supporting data and are further evaluated, or are asked to submit themselves for an interview. Before a formal offer is made, the EEO officer is consulted to ascertain that a good faith effort has indeed been made. This is accomplished by the EEO Officer obtaining evidence that the applicant pool from which the selection (hiring) was made had been established without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, handicap, ancestry, age or religion. If this cannot be vouched, the EEO Officer may object to the hiring. In order not to affect adversely the employment opportunities of minorities and women, managers are especially urged to follow the TAPS policy and equal employment opportunity commitment, and to develop a better understanding of the characteristics of the minority and women work force and the conditions, problems and expectations of minority groups and women.

The recruitment of persons to fill vacancies will be accomplished without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, handicap, ancestry, age or religion. TAPS will maintain contacts with various minority, feminine and handicapped groups and organizations concerning manpower resources and requirements when necessary.

1. The EEO Officer will continue to have primary responsibility for recruitment activities with direct assistance from department heads.

2. Whenever practical all job openings will be advertised in the news media. They will also be advertised in the minority news media as well as with those organizations and institutions catering predominantly to females and minorities. Where the visual media (such as posters or flyers) is used, all pictures shall include minorities and females. Advertising in the news media may not be done when more than 5 current (three months or less) applications are on file for a position that becomes vacant; also, when selections can be made from a pre-selected standing list of qualified applicants.

3. The latest job listing will be posted in such a manner that all employees and potential employees have equal access to this information.

4. Communications will be maintained with educational institutions and vocational schools for recruitment, including predominantly minority and female institutions.

5. Positions above the entry level will be advertised in-house only for one week. If qualified applicants are found from within the organization, selection will be from that group without the position being advertised in the local news media.

B. Selection

The selection of persons to fill job vacancies will be accomplished through approved procedures. Persons will be hired without regard to non-merit factors following a completely objective appraisal of each eligible individual interested in the position.

C. Promotion

Promotion will be proposed in accordance with applicable rules, on a nondiscriminatory basis. The procedure used in selecting persons for promotion will be evaluated periodically to ensure that they are realistic and relevant. Any employee who feels he or she has not been accorded fair and impartial treatment regarding employment will be offered an opportunity to discuss this problem.

1. Continued emphasis will be placed on the TAPS’s educational assistance programs.

2. Training programs shall be designed to upgrade the skills of employees so that they can improve performance in their present position.

3. On-the-job training will be designed so that employees have an opportunity to acquire skills needed to qualify for a better position with the TAPS.

4. Employees with managerial ability will be encouraged to acquire skills on- the-job or through more formalized training prior to their advancement into a management position.

D. Training

The TAPS shall provide training annually to all employees with responsibilities under this plan including the TAPS Chief Executive Officer, the EEO Officer and all Department Heads.

E. Termination and Discharge

An employee may resign by presenting a written notice of resignation to the employee’s supervisor.

An employee may be dismissed for unsatisfactory performance of duties, for disciplinary reasons, for other just causes, or for reduction in workforce. The employee may receive monies due upon dismissal.

Employees may be paid upon termination for accumulated vacation leave on a pro-rata basis. Medical and life insurance will be paid through the effective date of termination of the employee.

Termination Appeal Procedures: Any TAPS employee who feels that he or she has been wrongfully terminated has the right to appeal the employment termination decision, either verbally or in writing, to his or her immediate supervisor.

If the situation is not resolved at the immediate supervisor’s level within five (5) working days, the employee has the right to submit a written notice of appeal to the EEO Officer. The EEO Officer must respond to the employee in writing within five (5) working days.

The EEO Officer will be apprised of all verbal and written appeals.

F. Wages and Salaries

TAPS complies with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which requires all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide equal pay for men and women performing similar work.

G. Employees with Disabilities

It is the policy of TAPS not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of physical or mental disability in regard to any position for which the employee or applicant for employment is qualified. TAPS takes affirmative action to employ, advance in employment and otherwise treat qualified individuals with known disabilities without discrimination based upon their physical or mental disability in all employment practices. TAPS will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, unless such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the conduct of its business. TAPS also commits to engaging in an interactive process with the person requesting the accommodation (or their representative), as needed, to determine an appropriate accommodation.

H. Sexual Harassment Policy and Practices

TAPS will not tolerate sexual harassment of its employees by anyone supervisors, other employees or clients. Persons harassing others will be dealt with swiftly and vigorously.

Normal, courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, non-coercive interactions between employees that are acceptable to both parties are not considered to be sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is:

1. unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances;

2. requests and demands for sexual favors;

3. verbal abuse or kidding that is sexually oriented and considered unacceptable by another individual;

4. engaging in any type of sexually oriented conduct that would unreasonably interfere with another’s work performance; and

5. creating a work environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

Sexual harassment includes a wide range of behaviors, from the actual coercion of sexual relations to unwelcome offensive comments, jokes, innuendos, and other sexually-oriented statements and unwelcome emphasizing of sexual identity. It can occur between employees, and between employees and members of the public, including vendors, visitors, passengers, or others with whom employees come into contact while working for TAPS.

Harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, is illegal and prohibited. Any employee, who feels he or she is the victim of workplace harassment, or who witnesses unlawful harassment or abuse, whether from management, co-workers, or third parties, should promptly report the matter to their supervisor or manager. All such reports will be thoroughly investigated. No adverse action or retaliation will be taken or permitted against any employee who reports issues of workplace harassment.

It shall be the responsibility of the EEO Officer to advise any employee who feels she or he has been sexually harassed of the proper procedure for handling the complaint.

I. TAPS Facilities and Benefits

1. Equal opportunity shall be assured to all TAPS employees for proper use of TAPS facilities.

2. The benefits and conditions of employment as outlined in the TAPS Employee Handbook shall be monitored to assure that they continue to be equally available to all employees.

J. Distribution to Contractors

In addition to the other provisions of this plan, each subcontractor will be provided a copy of this plan and will be informed of the TAPS’s overall EEO policy.

VII. General

Race/sex records will be kept on the following:

a. applicants

b. hiring

c. terminations

d. promotions

e. transfers

f. training

g. complaints of discrimination

Records on the subjects listed above will be maintained by the EEO Officer. They will be reviewed periodically to ensure that actions taken by the organization are consistent with EEO and Affirmative Action Policy. Records of correspondence with the various recruitment contacts (minority, female, handicapped organizations) will also be maintained. A file of all job advertisements will continue to be kept by the Personnel EEO Officer. At least annually all department heads and supervisors will be provided training in EEO/Affirmative Action subjects including interviewing techniques.

All management personnel will be responsible for monitoring employee placement, assignment of duties and work sites to ensure that assignments are made on a non-discriminatory basis.

Exit interviews will be scheduled with each employee who terminates with the TAPS.

VIII. Complaints

It is TAPS’s policy to provide a pleasant working environment for all employees. The complaint procedure outlined below will address discrimination complaints regarding race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran’s status.

Utilization of this complaint procedure will not in any way jeopardize current or prospective employment status.

Complaint Procedures are as follows:

1. The EEO Officer will receive all written complaints of discrimination. These complaints may be direct from the employee or referred from a supervisor or manager who has received a complaint from an employee.

2. All discrimination complaints filed under this procedure will be accepted f or investigation up to and including 30 days after the date of the alleged discriminatory act.

3. All complaints will be properly recorded and signed by the complainant. Employees will be advised and counseled as to other avenues of redress including, but not limited to, the following:

– Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division

– U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

4. All complaints will be investigated and processed by the EEO Officer within 30 days of receipt.

5. The complainant will receive written notification regarding the results of the investigation and the final disposition of the complaint including remedial actions to be taken.

6. If the complainant disagrees with the findings and decisions of the EEO Officer, he/she will be advised and counseled as to other avenues of redress including, but not limited to, the following:

– Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division

– U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

7. The EEO Officer will take necessary steps to ensure the confidentiality of all discrimination or harassment complaint records and of any counseling done in the course of the complaint procedure.

 

APPENDIX A

TEXOMA AREA PARATRANSIT SYSTEM

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM

UTILIZATION ANALYSIS – FEB 2014

 

Equal employment opportunity assumes that the workforce of any given business concern should mirror the race and sex composition of the population. A major factor in assessing equal employment opportunity is the skill availability of the labor pool. Equal Employment Opportunity legislation (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended) and subsequent executive orders (Executive Order 11246, as amended), require that Federal contractors and subcontractors certify that they do not discriminate with respect to employment and the conditions thereof. Furthermore, business concerns contracting with the Federal government must take affirmative action to achieve and insure equal employment opportunity.

The assessment below views the total TAPS workforce, provides a job classification breakdown according to minorities and non-minority females and the availability of minorities and non-minority females in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

A. TAPS Public Transit Workforce

The TAPS workforce consists of approximately 200 employees representing three occupational groups: management, bus operators, and maintenance staff. It is the policy of TAPS to promote from within.

TAPS Public Transit

Total Workforce

Management
Supervisors

Bus Operators

Call Center

Maintenance

as of February 10, 2013

Actual

Percent

Actual

Percent

Actual

Percent

Actual

Percent

Total Workforce

181

100%

40

100%

130

100%

11

100%

Male

108

60%

22

55%

76

58%

10

91%

Female

73

40%

18

45%

54

42%

1

9%

White

136

75%

30

75%

96

74%

10

91%

African American

38

21%

4

10%

33

25%

1

9%

American Indian/Alaskan

7

4%

6

15%

1

1%

0

0%

Asian/Pacific Islander

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

Other

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

0

0%

 

B. LABOR MARKET

As can be seen in Appendix H, in 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau showed 24.5 percent of the TAPS service area population is minority and approximately 34 percent of the minority population (8.4% of the total population) identifies itself as being Asian. The next largest minority group is the African American population, comprising approximately 30 percent of the minority population (7.3% of the total population). This is following closely by group which identifies itself as “other” minority who make up approximately 21 percent of the minority population (5.2% of the total population). The minority labor force is relatively small but not insignificant, and is consistent with the norm for comparable communities. The male:female ratio of the population is approximately 50:50.

The TAPS workforce is considered small, but is experiencing rapid growth. All goals will be considered during the hiring process for all open positions, whether they be new positions or the result of job attrition among the current staff.

C. GOALS

Through the assessment of the current levels of minority and female employment within TAPS and the availability of minorities and women, as shown in the Exhibits, quantifiable patterns emerged. Due to the small numbers of individuals involved in the percentage, a variance of 1-10 is considered to be within proper utilization levels.

The Goals below are based below are based on current and past workforce and reflect the occupations represented by each.

Total Workforce

Management
Supervisors

Bus Operators

Call Center

Maintenance

Male

55%

50%

55%

90%

Female

45%

50%

45%

10%

White

75%

80%

70%

90%

Asian

10%

5%

15%

0%

Black

10%

10%

10%

10%

Other

5%

5%

5%

0%