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Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator

Job ID: 4633
Business Unit: MTA Headquarters
Location: New York, NY, United States
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Department:
Date Posted: May 10, 2024

Description

SALARY RANGE:               $100,000 - $110,000
HAY POINTS:                      551
DEPT/DIV:                            Diversity and Equal Opportunity
SUPERVISOR:                     Deputy Chief Equal Opportunity Officer
LOCATION:                         Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Various locations across MTA
HOURS OF WORK:            8:00 am - 4:30 pm (7 1/2 hours/day) can vary
DEADLINE:                         Open Until Filled (Multiple Vacancies)

SUMMARY:

Under the direction of the Senior Director and the Director of Investigations, the Senior Equal Opportunity (EO) Investigator partners with Agency management to develop, coordinate, implement, enforce and monitor policies and procedures to ensure proactive measures to prevent (or eliminate) discrimination as required by Federal, State and local statutes.  This position serves as a senior-level investigator and Equal Opportunity subject matter expert (EEO and Title VI) for the Agency’s HR, Planning, Government and Community Relations and Operations business partners, leaders and employees.  The Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator conducts highly complex, sensitive and multi-faceted investigations of allegations of discrimination made by employees, applicants, customers and community members, and counsels' employees, supervisors and managers regarding alleged acts of discrimination while managing and monitoring the activities of other MTA EO investigators.

RESPONSIBILITIES
:

Fundamental duties of the Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator include but are not limited to:
  • Receives, investigates and makes recommendations to EEO management on formal and informal complaints from applicants, employees, customers and community members and organizations pertaining to Title VI, Title VII, ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, Environmental Justice and Limited English Proficiency directives.
  • Provide oversight and guidance to complaint and conflict resolution work by EO Investigators that includes assisting with complex issues, facilitating difficult conversations, designing and implementing interventions, providing strategies for formal conflict resolution, as well as conducting formal investigations and issuing written finding and determinations.
  • Manage the record keeping function for investigations including electronic and written materials and ensure the accuracy of the data.
  • Ensures that all inquiry and investigation activities are completed in conformity with Equal Opportunity Guidance, Equal Opportunity best practices and effective investigative procedures and established MTA policies and processes.
  • Teams with supervisors, managers, executives and other groups in the resolution of complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment and related EO concerns.  Serves as the coordinator and primary contact for the Agency’s formal EO investigations and the life cycle of investigatory inquiries.
  • Manage the process for presenting investigatory results to Agency leaders on a need-to-know basis by ensuring that investigative reports are thorough, answers all investigative questions, and reaches appropriate conclusions based on the results of the investigation.
  • Other duties assigned by senior management. 
 Specific programmatic responsibilities of the Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator:
  • Primarily responsible for providing counsel, advice and assistance to employees, applicants, customers and community members/organizations concerning allegations of for discrimination, harassment and disparate impact.
  • Remain current and  knowledgeable of nondiscrimination laws, rules and regulations to maintain a comprehensive understanding of  the various type of evidence required to prove that a violation has occurred; detect discrepancies in information and/or distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information/evidence to support or discredit the allegations of discriminatory practices; make evaluative judgement based on the application of statutory or regulatory provisions and administrative  procedures when making a determination as to whether there is reasonable cause to support a finding that a violation of MTA’s policy on nondiscrimination has occurred, and make objective recommendations regarding resolutions and appropriate remedies. 
  • Document efforts and conclusion of informal resolutions.
  • Responsible for the project management of Agency complaints to ensure timely response, resolution and closure. 
  • Conduct confidential and sensitive investigations of equal opportunity complaints in a thorough and timely manner.
  • Conduct thorough analysis of evidence gathered in accordance with applicable equal opportunity laws, regulations and established internal policies and procedures.
  • Follow up on all new complaints in a timely manner.
  • Secure relevant documentation to prove or disprove allegations in complaint.
  • Maintain accuracy and thorough records and notes on the investigatory process including but not limited to maintaining case files that contain investigative summaries on procedures followed, interview reports, documentation on evidence and policies, witness list, remedial actions taken and policy changes.
  • Conduct pre-determination settlement discussions and negotiations, as necessary.
  • Coordinate with appropriate departments (i.e., Legal, HR, Labor Relations, Operations, Inspector General, etc.) as needed to complete the investigative process and assure proper follow up.
  • Review complaint data to identify issues and potential environmental toxicity.  Partner with other offices, as needed, to design and facilitate targeted educational training on broader topics of equity, inclusion and diversity identified through complaint trending data.
  • Requires current and extensive technical knowledge of EEO, Title VI, Environmental Justice and LEP laws, regulations, and guidelines; and   advanced ability to interpret, understand and advise staff and management on applicable compliance.
  • Must have an understanding of the MTA organization and an understanding of where various sources of data can be obtained to prove or disprove allegations in complaint.
  • Must possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills, to evaluate alternatives and recommend a sound solution pertaining to violations of EEO established policies and procedures.
  • Must demonstrate integrity, fair-mindedness and be persuasive to make objective recommendations regarding resolutions and appropriate remedies. 
  • Must make evaluative judgement based on the application of statutory or regulatory provisions and administrative procedures when deciding as to whether there is reasonable cause to support a finding that a violation of MTA’s policy on nondiscrimination has occurred.
  • Functioning under pressure and coping with conflicting points of view; new, unexpected information discovered during the investigation of the discrimination complaint occurs; may have uncooperative witnesses, complainants, or managerial personnel; violations of EEO policies and procedures which require immediate corrective action, etc.
  • This position's does not have authority regarding dollar expenditures, personnel decisions, changing policies or methods.
  • This position makes decisions to develop and execute investigative strategy. More complex investigations may require EEO leadership approval and coordination with appropriate parties (i.e., Legal, HR, Agency Presidents, etc.)
  • This position has the authority to resolve and mitigate risk that can potentially result in litigious risk that may jeopardize our ability to receive federal financial assistance or apply for federal grants.
  • Recommendations of corrective actions will require approval /coordination from Senior Management.
QUALIFICATIONS:
  • Strong knowledge of federal, state, city and local laws and regulations governing nondiscrimination of employees, applicants, and customers and mitigation of disproportionate impact/burden to communities.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to interpret and apply federal, state and local laws and regulations (including Title VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended in 1991, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and related non-discrimination statutes, state and local laws, Executive Orders and guidelines) pertaining to equal opportunity, access and inclusion to employment, services, benefits and activities of the MTA.
  • Strong investigative skills.
  • Ability to assess and negotiate highly complex, confidential, and sensitive matters of discrimination, harassment and disproportionate impact, while maintain objectivity and neutrality.
  • Ability to recognize patterns or practices which are inherently discriminatory or those which serve as a pretext for discrimination.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high volume and time-sensitive workload and to meet demanding deadlines.
  • Initiative, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and judgment required to collect, assemble, and develop facts and other pertinent data.
  • Ability to think logically and objectively, to analyze and evaluate facts, evidence and related information, and arrive at sound conclusions.
  • Skill in written and oral reports and presentation of investigative findings in a clear and concise manner.
  • Strong organizational, planning, and interviewing skills and ability to work independently.
  • Tact, discretion, and capacity for obtaining the cooperation and confidence of others.
  • Advanced facilitation, mediation, negotiation and interpersonal skills.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

REQUIRED:
  • BA/BS from an accredited college or university is required. An equivalent combination of education and experience from an accredited college may be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience conducting investigations pertaining to civil rights, discrimination and/or workforce harassment complaints; and comprehensive understanding of Equal Opportunity related laws, statutes, guidelines, and regulations is required. 
PREFERRED:
  •   A Juris Doctorate degree is a preferred.
OTHER INFORMATION:
Pursuant to the New York State Public Officers Law & the MTA Code of Ethics, all employees who hold a policymaking position must file an Annual Statement of Financial Disclosure (FDS) with the NYS Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (the “Commission”).
  • Work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this position, the Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator is regularly required to remain in a stationary position; operate a computer and other office machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer; communicate with individuals and exchange accurate information to respond to inquiries. The Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator is regularly required to attend meetings, trainings or other similar engagements, on-site and off-site. The Senior Equal Opportunity Investigator may be required to move about and navigate the MTA service area to accomplish tasks.

Equal Employment Opportunity
MTA and its subsidiary and affiliated agencies are Equal Opportunity Employers, including with respect to veteran status and individuals with disabilities.

The MTA encourages qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and abilities, including military service members, to apply.
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