|Investigation & Findings
Once a complaint is accepted and a response from the Respondent is provided, DCR will conduct an investigation. This process is referred to as the “investigation” phase. DCR will assign it to an investigator who may be a different investigator than the person involved during the intake phase. This investigator will typically request additional documents and information from the parties and interview witnesses and other people who may have relevant information. This investigator examines the allegations and responses in a thorough, objective, and timely manner. At the end of the investigation, the investigator reports his or her findings to the DCR Director and makes a recommendation. There are three possible outcomes of an investigation: 1) a finding of probable cause; 2) a finding of no probable cause; and 3) an agency determination:
- A “Finding of Probable Cause” is issued when an investigation reasonably concludes that probable cause exists to credit the allegations of the Verified Complaint.
- A “Finding of No Probable Cause” is issued when an investigation reasonably concludes that no probable cause exists to credit the allegations of the Verified Complaint. If a finding of no probable cause is issued, the case is closed without further proceedings by DCR. However, a finding of no probable cause is an appealable decision before the New Jersey Appellate Division.
- An “Agency Determination” is issued when an investigation reasonably concludes that probable cause exists to credit some allegations of the verified complaint but that no probable cause exists with respect to other allegations contained in the verified complaint. Agency Determinations are considered findings of probable cause with respect to the credited allegations.
Following the completion of the investigation, the Director must review the findings and recommendation to determine whether there is a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by facts and circumstances strong enough to warrant a cautious person to believe that the LAD or New Jersey Family Leave Act has been violated. If the Director has not made a probable cause determination within 180 days of the filing of the verified complaint, the complainant may request to litigate the case at the Office of Administrative Law either personally or through private counsel but not by a deputy attorney general.