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RULE §2.1Informal Complaint Procedure

    (E) a statement of the current status of negotiations between the complainant and the respondent and a description of any actions the complainant has taken to resolve the dispute;

    (F) a statement of the relief sought by complainant; and

    (G) all supporting documentation, unless the complaint is made by telephone, in which case the documentation shall be supplied at a later time.

  (3) The director shall assign a complaint to a monitor who shall promptly contact the complainant to confirm receipt of the complaint and to obtain any additional relevant and supporting documentation pertaining to the complaint. The monitor shall advise the complainant of its right to have the complaint mediated by a Commission employee or by a non-Commission employee mediator. If the complainant has submitted the complaint by telephone and wishes to pursue the matter, the monitor shall direct the complainant to submit the complaint by e-mail, facsimile, or letter, along with supporting documentation.

  (4) After the monitor determines that the complainant has provided all required information, the monitor shall notify the respondent of the complaint by mailing to the respondent, via certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the complaint and all supporting documentation. This notification shall include notice to the respondent of its right to have the matter heard by a non-Commission employee mediator pursuant to the agreement of the complainant and the respondent.

  (5) The respondent shall reply in writing to both the monitor and the complainant within 14 calendar days from the date of the monitor's notification letter. The respondent's reply shall address the substance of the complaint and either propose a solution or explain why the complaint is incorrect.

  (6) The complainant and the respondent will be given 14 calendar days from the date of the respondent's reply to resolve the complaint without the participation of a mediator.

  (7) If the complainant and the respondent have not reached an agreement, the monitor shall determine within seven days after expiration of the period allowed for informal resolution in paragraph (6) of this subsection whether either the complainant or the respondent or both want the matter referred to a Commission or non-Commission mediator and shall refer the matter back to the director.

  (8) In the event the complainant and respondent agree upon a non-Commission employee mediator, then the monitor shall notify the agreed upon mediator. In the event the complainant and respondent desire to use a non-Commission employee mediator and are unable to agree upon the selection of a non-Commission employee mediator, each party shall each submit the name of its preferred mediator and the preferred mediators so designated shall choose a third mediator who will preside over the process.

  (9) In accordance with the procedure set forth in subsection (d)(4) of this section, the director shall appoint a mediator within seven days after receipt of the information in paragraph (7) of this subsection.

  (10) The mediator shall, within 14 calendar days after the appointment provided in paragraph (8) of this subsection, review all information received from the complainant and respondent. The mediator may request additional information as the mediator deems necessary. At any time during an informal complaint procedure, the mediator may request and review documents or information the mediator considers necessary in evaluating the complaint. The mediator shall furnish the complainant and respondent with a written summary of all relevant documents and information reviewed. The mediator's summary shall not disclose confidential information.

  (11) The monitor shall schedule a mediation meeting with the complainant and respondent, which the mediator shall conduct, to occur within 14 calendar days after the date of the mediator's written summary. The monitor shall promptly notify the complainant and respondent of the date, time and location of the meeting, which may be conducted at the headquarters of the Commission in Austin, Texas; in the Commission's offices in the district in which the complaint arises; or at any other location by agreement of the participants.

  (12) The complainant and respondent shall participate in the mediation meeting and undertake in good faith to settle all issues raised in the complaint. The complainant and respondent shall make available during the mediation meeting, in person, representatives who are empowered to make decisions on their behalf.

  (13) If the mediation process does not result in a settlement of all issues during the period for mediation provided, after completing the mediation, the mediator shall promptly send a confidential memorandum to the complainant, the respondent, the monitor (unless the monitor is the mediator), and the director that states one or more of the following conclusions, based on the information reviewed by the mediator. The mediator may conclude that:

    (A) there are specific actions which, if taken by either the respondent or the complainant or both, could result in resolution of the complaint;

    (B) a formal evidentiary hearing may be warranted; or

    (C) a formal evidentiary hearing may not be warranted.

(f) A formal evidentiary hearing may be:

  (1) initiated by the director as a show cause proceeding; or

  (2) requested by either the complainant or the respondent

(g) Internal report. The director shall maintain an internal report of all complaints received.

  (1) The report shall be circulated no less often than once every six months to the Commissioners, the executive director, and the general counsel.

  (2) The specific points of the participants' discussions and any negotiated resolution shall not be included in this internal report.

(h) Reimbursement. If the participants request that a mediation meeting be conducted at a location other than the headquarters of the Commission in Austin, Texas, pursuant to subsection (e)(11) of this section, the participants shall reimburse the Commission for the Commission's costs related to travel to that location.

Source Note: The provisions of this §2.1 adopted to be effective March 15, 2007, 32 TexReg 1266; amended to be effective April 28, 2008, 33 TexReg 3388; amended to be effective April 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 2165

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