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HUMAN RIGHTS SPECIALIST
30990
(Competitive)


DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for conducting investigations of Human Rights complaints and acting as a community liaison in Human Rights matters affecting residents and community groups.
Under the general supervision of the Executive Director (Human Rights Commission), an employee in this class conducts investigations of complaints of alleged discrimination in areas such as housing, employment, education, public accommodation and criminal Justice by applying prescribed investigative procedures involving telephone contacts and field work to determine probable cause and to dispose of routine cases through conciliation and mediation of parties. Work is received through interviews with complainants, telephone calls and personal visits to respondents, although more complex or sensitive cases may be assigned to more experienced employees or may require the assistance of the Executive Director.
An employee in this class is also responsible for community liaison activities to maintain relationships, to promote and explain programs and topics relating to Human Rights, to monitor various programs such as equal employment opportunity, and to gather information relevant to the goals and objectives of the Commission. An employee may be given latitude for independent judgment in initiating and implementing programs for the community with the approval of the Executive Director and is expected to bring community needs to the attention of the Commission.
Work is reviewed through informal consultation and submission of written reports to the Executive Director. An employee may be assigned to assist in the supervision of clerical staff and volunteers. Does related work as required.

TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Investigates Human Rights Complaints by:

Conducting client interviews in the reception of complaints via the telephone and in person, and recording vital facts of complainants case by completing a complaint intake form; Analyzing case information and making an initial determination as to whether there is probable cause to believe discrimination is present;
Conducting field work by interviewing respondents, witnesses and other related parties to verify the complainant and respondents story, representing and accompanying clients at fair hearings, court appearances and grievance hearings, with employees, landlords, lawyers, etc., and having the complainant complete the form for release of pertinent information if necessary;
Counseling individual clients in solving problems and making decisions involved in seeking housing, employment, legal assistance; resolving landlord/tenant, employee/supervisor conflicts and assisting groups in obtaining legitimate methods of redress;

Refers clients to other agencies for service after determining that the case can be more effectively handled by another agency; provides contact for client and follows up progress of referred case.
Performs community liaison in assisting in the implementation of social programs by speaking to community groups to provide information, bringing community needs to the attention of the Human Rights Commission, and promoting awareness among community groups of the services available in housing, criminal justice, and other areas of Human Service.
Travels to local, county and State correctional facilities to listen to complaints and provide information, assistance and contact with inmates families, attorneys, and other agencies.
Establishes and maintains liaison with public, and private agencies by maintaining informal contact through periodic visits, conducting in-service training sessions, seminars and workshops.
Monitors through document review the fair employment programs of contractors and vendors for program compliance.
Monitors affirmative action and equal employment opportunity plans and programs implemented by individual governmental agencies pursuant to local, state and/or federal legislation and regulations.
Designs, implements and maintains data gathering systems to generate research data.

Compiles research data into report form and makes recommendations as to plans or programs based upon analysis of data gathered.
Brings community needs to the attention of the Commission and Executive Director.
Establishes and maintains liaison with the minority community, business/corporate community, educational community and law enforcement agencies.
Acts as a community liaison between programs affecting minority residents and those residents.
Prepares reports and other materials on human rights issues.
Meets with political, business, civic, religious and community leaders to develop programs and techniques to eliminate discrimination.
Participates in civic, community and human relations associations to promote equal rights among all people.
Meets regularly with the Executive Director, the Chairperson, the Executive Committee and the Commissioners of the Human Rights Commission.

FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of the goals and objectives of the Human Rights Commission.
Good knowledge of current trends, problems and developments in the field of human rights and intergroup relations.
Good knowledge of investigative methods and procedures.
Good knowledge of community groups and organizations, local business and industry, and other government agencies that may be able to provide assistance to the Commission in meeting its goals and objectives, or in administering its activities and programs.
Working knowledge of research techniques used in securing, organizing and analyzing information on socioeconomic issues.
Ability to learn laws regarding housing, employment, public accommodations and public assistance and to apply the knowledge of these laws to Human Rights Law in conciliating and investigating complaints.
Ability to plan, organize and conduct investigations, including interviewing and analyzing complaint information.
Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
Ability to understand, interpret and analyze written and quantitative material.
Ability to prepare narrative and descriptive statistical reports.
Ability to establish and maintain effective professional relationships with volunteers, representatives from community groups and agencies, local businesses and industries, other government units and with Commission staff.
Ability to exercise a high degree of tact and judgment in resolving discrimination problems.
Ability to plan and organize individual workload and meet established deadlines.
Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

A) Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a baccalaureate degree; or,

B) Two (2) years of full-time professional level work experience, or its part-time equivalent, in personnel, human services or housing and community development programs in which the major job responsibilities involved personal contact for the purpose of assisting the public. (NOTE: responsibility for the custody or detention of individuals or for determining program eligibility is NOT considered qualifying experience.) or,

C) Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or technical school with an Associate's Degree and one (1) year of work experience as described above; or,

D) One (1) year of full-time professional level work experience, or its part-time equivalent, in planning or developing civil or human rights legislation.

4/83 Date of Original Composition
Review Date: