Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) is committed to the people of the Greater Houston region and its employees. As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to maintain a workforce that reflects the very communities we serve. No person is unlawfully excluded from employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class.

METRO’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

All applicants and employees have the right to file complaints alleging discrimination. Retaliation against an individual who files a charge or complaint of discrimination, participates in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit), or otherwise engages in protected activity is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

METRO is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees due to disability or religion, absent undue hardship.

As METRO’s President and CEO, I, Tom Lambert, maintain overall responsibility and accountability for METRO’s compliance with its EEO Policy and Program. To ensure day-to-day compliance, including program preparation, monitoring, and complaint investigation, I have appointed Karen Kauffman as METRO’s EEO Officer. Karen Kauffman reports directly to me and acts with my authority across all levels of management, labor unions, and employees.

All METRO executives, management, and supervisory personnel share in the implementation and monitoring of METRO’s EEO Policy and Program within their respective area. Personnel will be assigned specific tasks to ensure that total compliance is achieved. METRO will evaluate all managerial and supervisory performance in the same way the Authority assesses performance regarding other agencies and their objectives.

METRO is committed to undertaking and developing a written non-discrimination program that sets forth the policies, practices and procedures, with goals and timetables, to which the agency is committed. METRO's EEO Program is available for inspection by any employee or applicant upon request.

I am personally committed to a workplace that acts upon its daily responsibility to treat all applicants and employees with dignity and respect, as well as equitably, under the guidelines of METRO’s EEO Policy and Program.

Applicants and employees may file a complaint with METRO’s EEO Department at 713-739-6932.

By providing a brief description of your complaint, a preliminary determination will be made as to which division will conduct the investigation. If your concern is of a discriminatory nature, an appointment will be scheduled with the EEO office. If a complaint contains more than one type of issue, e.g., a discrimination complaint and a non-discrimination concern, a dual investigation with Employee Relations may be necessary.

Q: What is the complaint procedure and how long does it take to complete the internal investigation process?

A: Upon receipt of your complaint, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity will conduct an investigation. A representative from the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity will meet separately with the employee who filed the complaint, and the person who is the alleged cause of the complaint, to issue a final determination and/or recommendation.

It is our policy to complete the internal investigation as soon as possible. There may be times when special circumstances lengthen the process.

Q: Who conducts the internal discrimination investigation?

A: The METRO Office of Equal Employment Opportunity conducts the internal investigation.

Q: What happens if I disagree with the outcome of the internal investigation?

A: You have the option of going to an outside agency; however, METRO is very interested in finding solutions and welcomes feedback regarding your situation.

Q: Is it necessary to file an internal complaint prior to filing with an outside agency?

A: It is not mandatory to file internally prior to filing with an external agency; however, METRO prefers to have an opportunity to resolve concerns internally.

Q: Will the investigation be kept confidential?

A: Confidentiality will be honored to the extent possible permitted by the investigation process. Please note that when a complaint is filed, both sides must be made aware of the allegations and witnesses are interviewed. During the course of the investigation, involved parties are advised of the confidential nature of the investigation and are asked to keep all discussions regarding the complaint confidential.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Kauffman, Chief Human Resources Officer

Julie Hudson, EEO / Title VI Compliance Officer