213.075. Complaints to commission, how filed, when — filing with federal agencies, effect — duties of executive director — respondents — hearing, notice, procedure — attorney general to represent commission — appeal, discovery — effect of orders of commission. — 1. As a jurisdictional condition precedent to filing a civil action under this chapter, any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice shall make, sign and file with the commission a verified complaint in writing, within one hundred eighty days of the alleged act of discrimination, which shall state the name and address of the employer, employment agency, labor organization, or place of public accommodation alleged to have committed the unlawful discriminatory practice and which shall set forth the particulars thereof and such other information as may be required by the commission. The complainant‘s agent, attorney or the attorney general may, in like manner, make, sign and file such complaint. The failure to timely file a complaint with the commission shall deprive the commission of jurisdiction to investigate the complaint. The commission shall make a determination as to its jurisdiction with respect to all complaints. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, if a complaint is not filed with the commission within one hundred eighty days of the alleged act of discrimination, the commission shall lack jurisdiction to take any action on such a complaint other than to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The failure to timely file a complaint with the commission may be raised as a complete defense by a respondent or defendant at any time, either during the administrative proceedings before the commission, or in subsequent litigation, regardless of whether the commission has issued the person claiming to be aggrieved a letter indicating his or her right to bring a civil action and regardless of whether the employer asserted the defense before the commission.
Terms Used In Missouri Laws 213.075
- Commission: the Missouri commission on human rights. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- Complainant: a person who has filed a complaint with the commission alleging that another person has engaged in a prohibited discriminatory practice. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- Discrimination: conduct proscribed herein, taken because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, or age as it relates to employment, disability, or familial status as it relates to housing. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- Employer: a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has six or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and shall include the state, or any political or civil subdivision thereof, or any person employing six or more persons within the state but does not include corporations and associations owned or operated by religious or sectarian organizations. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- Executive director: the executive director of the Missouri commission on human rights. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- hereafter: means the time after the statute containing it takes effect. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Human rights fund: a fund established to receive civil penalties as required by federal regulations and as set forth by subdivision (2) of subsection 11 of section 213. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- person: may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, and to partnerships and other unincorporated associations. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Respondent: a person who is alleged to have engaged in a prohibited discriminatory practice in a complaint filed with the commission. See Missouri Laws 213.010
- State: when applied to any of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" includes such district and territories. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Unlawful discriminatory practice: any act that is unlawful under this chapter. See Missouri Laws 213.010
2. Any complaint which is filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other federal agencies with which the commission has a work-sharing or deferral agreement, or with a local commission which has been certified as substantially equivalent by the commission, shall be deemed filed with the commission on the date that such complaint is received by such federal agency or local commission. A copy of all complaints filed with a local commission with the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter is to be forwarded to the commission within seven days of the filing thereof with such local commission. If a local commission has jurisdiction to hear a complaint filed with the commission, such complaint shall be deemed to have been filed with the local commission on the date on which such complaint was filed with the commission. The commission shall, within seven days of the receipt of a complaint which a local commission has jurisdiction to hear, forward a copy thereof to such local commission.
3. After the filing of any complaint, the executive director shall, with the assistance of the commission’s staff, promptly investigate the complaint, and if the director determines after the investigation that probable cause exists for crediting the allegations of the complaint, the executive director shall immediately endeavor to eliminate the unlawful discriminatory practice complained of by conference, conciliation and persuasion, and shall report the results to the commission. The investigation, determination of probable cause and conciliation shall be conducted according to such rules, regulations and guidelines as the commission shall prescribe.
4. A person who is not named as a respondent in a complaint, but who is identified as a respondent in the course of investigation, may be joined as an additional or substitute respondent upon written notice, pursuant to such rules, regulations, and guidelines as the commission shall prescribe. Such notice, in addition to complying with the requirements of such rules, regulations, and guidelines, shall also state the reason why the person to whom the notice is addressed has been joined as a party.
5. In case of failure to eliminate such discriminatory practice as found in the investigation, if in the judgment of the chairperson of the commission circumstances so warrant, there shall be issued and served in the name of the commission, a written notice, together with a copy of the complaint, as it may have been amended, requiring the person named in the complaint, hereinafter referred to as “respondent”, to answer the charges of the complaint at a hearing, at a time and place to be specified in the notice, before a panel of at least three members of the commission sitting as the commission or before a hearing examiner licensed to practice law in this state who shall be appointed by the executive director and approved by the commission. The place of the hearing shall be in the office of the commission or such other place designated by it, except that if the respondent so requests, in writing, the hearing shall be held in the county of such person’s residence or business location at the time of the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice. A copy of the notice shall also be served on the complainants.
6. In all cases where a written notice of hearing has been issued and a party has not elected the option to proceed in circuit court as set forth in section 213.076, the procedures set forth for a hearing shall apply.
7. The commission shall be a party to the action and shall be represented before the panel or the hearing examiner by the office of the attorney general or, when so delegated by the attorney general, a staff attorney of the commission. Neither the hearing examiner nor any member of the panel shall have participated in the investigation of the complaint. Evidence concerning endeavors at conciliation shall be excluded.
8. The respondent may file a written verified answer to the complaint and appear at the hearing in person or otherwise with or without counsel, and submit testimony. At the discretion of the hearing examiner or the panel, the complainant may be allowed to intervene, thereby becoming a party to the action with the right to present testimony in person or by counsel, provided the complainant at all times shall be treated as a party for the purpose of discovery and the taking of depositions. The commission or complainant intervenor shall have the power to reasonably and fairly amend any complaint, and the respondent shall have like power to amend any answer. The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and be transcribed.
9. In any contested case before the commission, any party may take and use written interrogatories, requests for production of documents and other materials, and requests for admissions, and all other forms of discovery authorized by rules of civil procedure in the same manner, upon, and under the same conditions, and upon the same notice, as is or may hereafter be provided for with respect to the taking and using of written interrogatories, requests for production of documents and other materials, and requests for admissions, and all other forms of discovery authorized by rules of civil procedure in civil actions in the circuit court. The panel or hearing examiner shall have the authority to impose sanctions in the same manner as set forth in the rules of civil procedure.
10. The hearing shall be conducted in the manner provided by chapter 536.
11. When the case is heard by a panel of the commission, the chairperson of the commission shall select the hearing panel and the presiding officer. The presiding officer shall have full authority to call and examine witnesses, admit or exclude evidence and rule upon all motions and objections. The panel shall state its findings of fact and conclusions of law, and if, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the panel finds:
(1) That a respondent has engaged in an unlawful discriminatory practice as defined in this chapter, the commission shall issue and cause to be served on the respondent an order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from the unlawful discriminatory practice. The order shall require the respondent to take such affirmative action, as in the panel’s judgment will implement the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, payment of back pay; hiring; reinstatement or upgrading; restoration to membership in any respondent labor organization; the extension of full, equal and unsegregated housing; the extension of full, equal and unsegregated public accommodations; extension of a commercial real estate loan or other financial assistance; extension or restoration of membership or participation in any multiple listing service or other real estate service organization or facility; payment of actual damages; and the submission of a report of the manner of compliance;
(2) That a respondent has engaged or is about to engage in a violation of section 213.040, 213.045, 213.050, or 213.070, to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of one or more of such other sections or relates to or involves the encouraging, aiding, or abetting of a violation of such other sections, the commission may, in addition to the relief provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, assess a civil penalty against the respondent, for purposes of vindicating the public interest:
(a) In an amount not exceeding two thousand dollars if the respondent has not been adjudged to have violated one or more of the sections enumerated in subdivision (2) of this subsection within five years of the date of the filing of the complaint;
(b) In an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed one violation of the sections enumerated in subdivision (2) of this subsection within five years of the date on which the complaint is filed;
(c) In an amount not exceeding ten thousand dollars if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed two or more prior violations of the sections enumerated in subdivision (2) of this subsection within seven years of the date on which the complaint is filed.
All civil penalties set forth in this subsection shall be paid to the human rights fund.
12. If, upon all the evidence, the panel finds that a respondent has not engaged in any unlawful discriminatory practice, the panel shall state its findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant and respondent an order dismissing the complaint.
13. When the case is heard by a hearing examiner, the examiner shall have all powers described in subdivision (8) of section 213.030 and subsection 11 of this section, for the purpose of the hearing. The hearing examiner shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall recommend to the commission an order granting such relief as provided in subsection 11 of this section or dismissing the complaint as to the respondent as provided in subsection 12 of this section, in accordance with such findings.
14. A panel of at least three members of the commission, sitting as the commission, shall review the record, findings and recommended order of the hearing examiner. The panel shall thereafter accept or amend the recommended order which shall become the order of the commission. All orders shall be served on the complainant and respondent, and copies shall be delivered to the attorney general and such other public officers as the commission deems proper.
15. No order of the commission issued pursuant to this section shall affect any contract, sale, encumbrance or lease consummated before the issuance of such order and involving a bona fide purchaser without actual notice of the charge filed pursuant to this section.
16. Any person aggrieved by an order of the commission may appeal as provided in chapter 536.