Filing a Complaint
If you believe you have been discriminated against in violation of the ordinance, you may file a complaint with the Township Manager of Cheltenham Township. The CTHRC Complaint Form can be obtained online or by visiting the Township offices located at 8230 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027. Complaints must be filed in person at the office of the Township Manager or by mail to the Township offices, to the attention of the Township Manager. If you feel you have been discriminated against, visit our FAQ page to learn more about how to file a complaint with the CTHRC.
All complaints must be received by Cheltenham Township within 180 days of the last act giving rise to the complaint. Within ten (10) days of the Township Manager’s receipt of the complaint, s/he must transmit it to the CTHRC.
Within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the complaint, the CTHRC will send a copy of the complaint to the person(s) charged with the unlawful practice along with a copy of the anti-discrimination ordinance.
Answering a Complaint
The Respondent (the person charged with the unlawful violation) shall file with the Township Manager a verified answer to the complaint within thirty (30) days of the service of the complaint. Within ten (10) days of receipt of the answer, the Township Manager must send it to the CTHRC. The CTHRC shall promptly send a copy of the answer to the Complainant (the person filing the complaint).
Option for Voluntary Mediation
After the answer is received (or if no answer is received within thirty (30) days of the service of the complaint), within fifteen (15) days the CTHRC shall invite the parties to participate voluntarily in a mediation of their dispute. The parties shall respond to the invitation to mediate within fifteen (15) days. If mediation is elected, the parties shall jointly choose a mediator and bear all costs and fees of the mediation. The parties can agree to the allocation of costs. If the parties do not jointly select a mediator or agree to the allocation of costs, the CTHRC Chairperson shall select a volunteer mediator.
The mediation proceedings shall be confidential, unless agreed otherwise by the parties. The parties shall only notify the CTHRC whether the mediation successfully resolved the complaint.
If the mediation does not successfully resolve the complaint, and if the complaint alleges a violation of the Ordinance that is also a violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the matter shall be dismissed and referred to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) for further proceedings, provided the complaint has been filed with the PHRC.
Investigation and Attempted Resolution
If the mediation is not successful or a party did not participate in the mediation, and only if the complaint alleges a violation of the Ordinance which is not otherwise a violation of the PHRC, then the CTHRC shall conduct an investigation and make a finding of probable cause or no cause. If probable cause is found, the CTHRC will attempt to engage the Respondent in discussions to end the discriminatory practice by persuasion, conference, or conciliation.
Adjudication at a Public Hearing
If the CTHRC is not successful in ending the discriminatory practice through persuasion, conference, or conciliation, the matter shall be adjudicated by the CTHRC at a public hearing. At the hearing, the parties shall be given an opportunity to appear, with or without counsel, to provide sworn testimony, and to submit evidence.
If the CTHRC makes a finding of illegal discrimination, it may order the Respondent to cease and desist from the discriminatory practice. The CTHRC has the authority to take additional action, including, but not limited to, hiring, reinstatement or upgrading of employees (with or without back pay), admission or restoration to membership in a Respondent labor organization, and/or the making of reasonable accommodations or publicly-offered commercial property upon such equal terms and conditions as was available to other persons at the time of the discriminatory practice.
Appeal to Court
The Commission’s final order may be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County within sixty (60) days of the date of issuance of the order. If the non-prevailing party does not comply with or appeal a final order within sixty (60) days of the CTHRC having heard and decided a complaint, the prevailing party may initiate enforcement of the order by filing a petition in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County.