Dr. Gretchen Bataille, Chairperson
Evelyne Villines, Secretary
Lawson "Tait" Cummins
Rachel Evans, Vice-Chairperson
Thomas Mann, Jr.
A. Executive Director
1. Clerical Supervisor (CS III)
a. Secretary I
b. Secretary I*
c. Secretary I*
d.Clerk Typist III
e. Clerk Typist III
f. Clerk Typist III@
g. Clerk Typist III@
h. Clerk Typist III+
2. Director of Operations * (PSE II)
a. Internal Hearing Officer
b. Administrative Hearing Officer @
c. Administrative Hearing Officer @
d. Administrative Hearing Officer
e. Education Director (CRS III)
f. Affirmative Action Director (CRS III)
g. Developmental Disability Dir. (CRS II) +
1. CRS I+
3. Director of Compliance (PSE II)
a. Compliance Supervisor (CRS III)
1. CRS I
2. CRS I
3. CRS I
4. CRS I*
5. CRS I*
b. Compliance Supervisor (CRS III)*
1. CRS I
2. CRS I
3. CRS I
4. CRS I*
c. CRS II
d. CRS II
e. CRS II*
f. CRS II@
g. CRS II@
h. CRS II@
i. CRA I
j. CRA I
k. CRA I
l. CRA I@
m. CRA I@
n. CRA I@
4. Accounting Technician
PSE -Public Service Executive
CRS - Civil Rights Specialist
CRA - Civil Rights Assistant
CS - Confidential Secretary
* EEOC funding
+ HEW funding
@ One year federal contract
STRUCTURE AND AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION
The Iowa Civil Rights Commissioners and the Executive Director work very closely together. The policy-making function of the Commission and the administrative function of the Director are the two flagships that keep our fleet on course.
According to the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965, as amended, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission shall consist of 7 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. No more than 4 may belong to the same political party and the law requires that Commissioners be chosen from different geographical areas of the state as much as possible. Each Commissioner serves for a term of four years. They perform this service to the state without a regular salary per se. However, they do receive $40 per day on those days that they function in their official capacity as an Iowa Civil Rights Commissioner. In addition, the State reimburses them for any expenses they may incur as part of that official function.
In Iowa, the Governor himself appoints the Executive Director and two-thirds of the Senate must approve the appointment. This differs from some states where the Commissioners hire the Executive Director. The 7-member Commission is the policy-making spearhead of the organization. In the three-stage compliance process the Commission is most active in the final stage, public hearing. Although a Hearing Officer presides over the hearing itself, in Iowa, Commissioners are empowered to finally determine the outcome of the case. They review the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, then they render an order affirming, modifying or dismissing the findings and conclusions of the Hearings Officer.
In FY-79, the Commission rendered ten decisions. The Hearing Officers held a total of nineteen hearings during the same period. Even though nine other hearings were held, they are still in various stages of development. The Hearing Officers are in the process of writing recommendations for some, in others evidence is still being submitted and in still others, procedural motions have been raised which must be addressed before a final determination. There were actually more than nineteen hearings originally scheduled, however, several were "settled on the steps of the courthouse." In other words, the Complainant and Respondent settled voluntarily either before the Hearing actually began or before briefs were to be submitted. The Commission still considers itself a catalyst to these settlements in that the probability is good that they would not have been settled had the Commission not scheduled the case for public hearing. FY-79 is marked as a year of aggressive law enforcement by the Commission and that philosophy shows itself in the accelerated hearing schedule and activity at that stage of the process. Furthermore, this philosophy seems to have a ripple effect on settlements in the agency in general. The accelerated rate of voluntary settlements in pre-intake, rapid charge and conciliation seem to bear this out.
Naturally, in rendering a decision at public hearing, the Commission must apply the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Doing so, implies that they must interpret the law over and against a particular set of facts. The Commission likes to make public its interpretation of our law so that parties to civil rights disputes will have more predictability and better guidelines to follow. Then, hopefully some of those disputes will not escalate to a public hearing. The Commission's public interpretation of our law is known formally as our Administrative Rules. The Commission's rulemaking is another part and an important facet of their role as policy-makers.
ADMINISTRATIVE RULES ISSUED
This has been an active rulemaking year for the Commission. During FY-79, they issued rules on five different topics: education, reasonable accommodation for the disabled, public accommodations, rules of procedure and affirmative action in state agencies. Some of these additions to the rules represent whole new chapters in our Administrative Rules. The others are additions to chapters which already exist. Education and affirmative action in state agencies, for example, are whole new topics in our administrative rules. Many of the rules were precipitated by the passage of House File 2390 which was an amendment to the 1965 Iowa Civil Rights Act. Also, there are various stages of the rule making process as outlined in Chapter 17A of the Code of Iowa and Chapter 9 of our own Administrative Rules. The process allows time for review by the public and the Legislature. The above rules are in various stages of this process. When the newly proposed administrative rules have completed that process and are in final form, they will, in fact, be one type of law under our American jurisprudence system. The reader can obtain a copy of both the Iowa Civil Rights Act and our Administrative Rules simply by contacting the Commission.
DECLARATORY RULINGS ISSUED
There is yet another facet to the Commission's policymaking function. It has the ability to issue declaratory rulings. A declaratory ruling is a ruling on the part of an administrative agency which simply declares the rights of parties or expresses the opinion of the agency on a question of law, without ordering anything to be done. Another word for declaratory in this context might be explanatory. The Commission issued two such rulings in FY-79. The first was declaratory ruling #8-78-03. Therein, the Commission stated four things. First, it stated an employer may eliminate the job of an employee on maternity leave for valid business reasons not related to the employee's pregnancy, or disabilities arising therefrom, without being in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Second, an employer is not required to train an employee for new or existing positions, where such employees old job is eliminated during pregnancy leave, unless an employer regularly trains males upon their return to work from temporary disabilities. Third, an employer may not restrict the duration of a maternity leave without imposing similar restraints on other employees absent on sick leave. And fourth, an employer may deny a request for the extension of maternity leave where the denial is based on reasonable work rules designed to improve and maintain efficiency, as long as those rules apply equally to all employees.
The second declaratory ruling in FY-79 was Ruling 12-78-04. The purpose of this declaratory ruling was simply to assert that the changes brought about by the 1978 amendments to the state civil rights law are not retroactive. The amendments became effective January 1, 1979, but they do not apply to complaints on file as of that date nor to potential complaints based on alleged discriminatory acts occurring prior to January 1, 1979. Let's take the time period for filing complaints to illustrate just one example of how this ruling might be applied. A person alleging that discrimination occurred on December 31, 1978, must file that complaint within 120 days of that date. On the other hand, a person alleging that discrimination occurred on January 1, 1979 has 180 days in which to file a complaint.
Our Commissioners are a living example that in Iowa, government is the people. They are citizens of the state who have responded to a calling. They have done so by making room in their lives for the time it takes. They must prepare for meetings, travel to those meetings, read large amounts of written information in an effort to keep up with the changing law, and labor over transcripts of public hearings. They must fairly decide sometimes difficult questions which they know will directly and significantly affect lives of people, their fellow citizens. Because they are "of the people" in the truest sense, they have tried to make their department of state government accessible and responsive to people. As one example, they do not restrict themselves to meeting in Des Moines. In fact, in FY-79 the Commission held monthly meetings in Davenport, Tama, Cedar Rapids and Fort Dodge. When going out to different cities, they do not limit themselves to a business meeting. Each time they hold an open forum in the evening before the day of their Commission meeting. This provides an extra opportunity for people to voice their concerns and get information from the Commission and staff. Another example is that each Commissioner has their own calendar of speaking engagements and programs in which they participate as Iowa Civil Rights Commissioners.
SALUTE TO GRETCHEN BATAILLE
The end of this fiscal year also marks the end of Dr. Gretchen Bataille's term of service on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Her term began in 1975 and she was elected chairperson in 1977. We feel a special recognition is in order as an expression of our gratitude. Dr. Bataille is an Assistant Professor of English at Iowa State University (Ames). Much of the accomplishments of the Commission mentioned in this section of the report are indicative of the growth the agency has experienced under her leadership. Although she leads a very active professional life outside the Commission, she impressed everyone on the staff by her total involvement with the Commission. She strived to be a visible leader in an on-going way - not just when there was a crisis or controversy. She was responsive to the public regardless of the setting. No letter written to the Commissioner went unanswered. She represented the Commission's stands very well in the legislative process, especially with regard to the 1978 revisions in our law and elimination of mandatory retirement.
Although she herself is white, Dr. Bataille brought the Native American point of view into clear focus for both Commissioners and staff. Moreover, she encouraged staff outreach to all the various interest groups active in civil rights today. She exhibited this outreach herself in her support for the Iowa Civil Rights Leadership Conference in October, 1977, which was a gathering of leaders from all these groups.
Ms. Bataille is the coordinator of the Annual Symposium on the American Indian at Iowa State University. She has published a dozen articles, three books and a slide/tape presentation. Her three books (Iowa State University Press) are entitled Worlds Between Two Rivers; the Pretend Indians, Images in the Movies; and American Indian Literature, A Selected Bibliography for Iowa Schools. Her slide program is entitled "Inside the Cigar Store". For the last two years, the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare has asked her to read and evaluate grant proposals submitted from around the country under the Emergency School Aid Act. These are primarily grants to schools with large black populations. In addition, she chaired the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. All this she accomplished while she was earning her doctorate degree! We respect her capacity. These activities illustrate that her being on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission was not something she did apart from her life.
Although we will miss Gretchen, she continues her service to the people of Iowa on the Advisory Council to the Iowa Board for Public Programs in the Humanities. Congratulations on your new appointment!