Township of Union, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Union as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-12-2013 by Ord. No. 5283]

§ 12-1 Attendance policy.

Absenteeism of more than 50% of all regularly scheduled meetings within a six-month period shall be disapproved. It shall be incumbent upon each Chairperson to advise his/her membership of this attendance policy and to advise the Township Administrator, who shall report same to the Township Committee, when an individual appointee's attendance is below 50% of all regularly scheduled meetings within said six-month period. Upon direction of the Township Committee, the Township Clerk will inform members with excessive absenteeism that their appointment is terminated, unless another procedure by law governs the appointees' removal.
[Adopted 10-27-2015 by Ord. No. 5357]

§ 12-2 Findings; Commission created; membership; term; compensation.

A. 
It is hereby found that prejudice and discrimination against any individual or group because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or nationality is inimical to democracy, the cornerstone of our American tradition, and menaces peace and public welfare. To eliminate such prejudice and discrimination in Union, a Commission should be established through which the citizens of Union may be kept informed of developments in human relations and from which the elected and appointed officials and the departments of this Township may obtain advice and assistance in adopting those measures to keep peace and good order and harmony among the citizens of Union and to promote and ensure equality of treatment and of opportunity to all, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality or sex or as otherwise identified by state law.
B. 
There is hereby created and established an advisory commission to be known as the "Human Relations Commission" (hereinafter the "Commission"), consisting of 11 members and one alternate to be appointed for a term of three years by the Township Committee, except as set forth below. One member of the Commission shall be a student from Union High School and one member shall be a student from Kean University. The two student members shall be considered nonvoting interns and shall serve for a term of one year. The Township Committee shall also appoint a Committeeman, a member of the Board of Education, and a member of the Police and Fire Department, who shall serve ex officio without vote and shall serve for a term of one year.
C. 
The Commission shall concern itself with alleged incidents of prejudice and discrimination as they occur and affect individuals in Union. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, except that the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson shall receive compensation as determined by the Township Committee. No person who is a Township employee holding a managerial or policy-making position shall serve as a voting member of the Commission. All members of the Commission shall be appointed in accordance with the Township Committee's operating practices and procedures for appointments to advisory boards and commissions, including the submission of written volunteer forms provided by the Township Clerk.

§ 12-3 Objectives; duties.

A. 
The objectives of the Commission shall be to work cooperatively with other persons to eliminate discrimination and the result of past discrimination, to recommend ways and means of initiating and improving Township government programs designed to eliminate discrimination or to remove the effects of past discrimination, to develop programs for coordination of community efforts to address problems involving tensions in the community and to make recommendations to the Township Council for the development of policies, procedures and programs that will aid in the prevention and elimination of all types of discrimination in Union.
B. 
In performing this function, the Commission shall strive to increase the effectiveness of these programs, to increase the fairness with which these programs are operated and to increase interdepartmental harmony in the operation of these programs.
C. 
To achieve these objectives, the Commission shall:
(1) 
Develop mutual understanding and respect among all racial, religious, cultural and ethnic groups in Union and work to prevent discriminatory practices against such groups.
(2) 
Aid in seeing that no person is deprived of equal services in this Township by reason of discrimination on account of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality or sex or as otherwise identified by state law.
(3) 
Encourage, receive, investigate and evaluate complaints from any person of discrimination which allegedly violates law and such other complaints as it deems fall within the scope of its services and make public procedures which a person may use to complain of discrimination.
(4) 
Receive and investigate complaints of intergroup tensions and practices of discrimination and acts of prejudice against any person or group due to consideration of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality or sex or as otherwise identified by state law.
(5) 
Confer with the Township Counsel on such complaints as appear to require legal process after initial investigation and/or failure to achieve conciliation.
(6) 
Investigate upon request or initiate investigation of alleged incidents of prejudice and discrimination and make recommendations for corrective action and coordinate community efforts toward their resolution.
(7) 
Formulate, develop and disseminate programs of community information, education materials and reports which will assist in the elimination of prejudice, intolerance, intergroup tensions and discrimination or which promote goodwill and result in better human relations.
(8) 
Assist community groups and various fraternal, service and benevolent organizations in the promotion of education campaigns devoted to the elimination of group prejudices, racial or neighborhood tensions, intolerance and discrimination.
(9) 
Cooperate with and render assistance to the Affirmative Action Officer and other branches of Township government in the area of human relations.
(10) 
Cooperate with and render assistance to county, state, federal and other governmental or private agencies in the area of human relations.
(11) 
File with the Township Committee an annual report of the Commission's activities. In addition, as it deems necessary, prepare and publish an annual report and such other factual reports and recommendations concerning problems relating to discrimination, racial tensions and other human relations concerns the Commission deems necessary. Copies of all such reports and recommendations shall be filed with the Township Council and Clerk.

§ 12-4 Annual budget; office space.

The Human Relations Commission may be granted an annual budget as is reasonable and proper to enable it to carry out its responsibilities and shall have the use of adequate space and facilities for the conduct of its business.

§ 12-5 Complaints; information to be confidential.

A. 
Any individual in Union claiming to be aggrieved by a discriminatory practice prohibited by this chapter or the State Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq., may submit to the Civil Rights Commission a complaint, written or oral, identifying himself or herself and stating his or her belief that a discriminatory practice has been committed in Union. The Commission may endeavor to eliminate the alleged discriminatory practice by conference, conciliation and persuasion. However, the Commission shall refer all Township employees to the Affirmative Action Officer to initially counsel and investigate all complaints of discrimination. The counseling and investigation process by the Township Affirmative Action Officer shall be conducted in accordance with the law.
B. 
The Commission shall not make public, without the written consent of complainant and respondent, information concerning the efforts to eliminate a discriminatory practice.

§ 12-6 Cooperation of departments.

The obtaining of factual information by the Commission in the performance of its duties under this chapter is hereby declared to be necessary to its functions. All other departments of the Township shall cooperate with the Commission, upon its request, relative to the gathering of information; provided, however, that the opinion of the Township legal counsel shall be obtained in such matters as appear to involve questions of confidentiality or liability on the part of the Township and/or the Commission.