(From release) Over the past several months, Huntsville Utilities has been working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to come to a reasonable agreement regarding concerns raised by two test phone calls HUD made to the Huntsville Utilities’ Customer Service Call Center in the fall of 2011.
After reviewing various options, it is clear that entering into HUD’s “conciliation” process makes the most sense. Huntsville Utilities does not believe any discrimination has occurred, but in order to avoid a drawn out and expensive investigation we have agreed to some expectations that make sound business sense.
Huntsville Utilities believes the issue that HUD was trying to address occurred during a period when the Alabama Immigration law was new and we were learning how to comply with it. Huntsville Utilities believes it has complied with Alabama law as well as Federal law.
Key points of the agreement include:
- Adoption of a “Limited English Proficiency Plan”;
- Placement of a non-discrimination statement on advertisements, etc.;
- Provide additional internal training for staff on The Fair Housing Act;
- Provide copies of customer service policies for HUD review.
“Huntsville Utilities is committed to non-discrimination in providing the best service to all its customers,” said William Pippin, President and CEO of Huntsville Utilities. “We fully cooperated with HUD’s investigation because we take our leadership responsibility seriously and want to serve as a positive role model in our community.”