When a complaint of harassment or discrimination against a member of the faculty, administration, or staff or a third party is received by the Director of Human Resources or one of the EEO Officers, the College will take prompt and appropriate action as it deems necessary to resolve the matter. Options for resolution include use of the College’s Informal Resolution of Conflict procedure or the appointment of a Presidential Committee. A potentially aggrieved individual may wish to use the Informal Resolution of Conflict procedure, consulting an EEO Officer to register his/her complaint. At this time, the EEO Officer will advise the aggrieved employee of his/her options, which include:
- the EEO Officer’s reviewing the facts and circumstances and conducting a mediated discussion between the aggrieved employee and the person accused of alleged discrimination/harassment; or
- after the EEO Officer has reviewed facts and circumstances, having the EEO Officer mediate on behalf of the aggrieved employee, with the EEO Officer holding discussions with the person accused of alleged discrimination/harassment, bringing the complaint to his/her attention in an effort to bring successful closure to the problem.
If the Informal Resolution of Conflict process fails or is inappropriate for the situation, the EEO Officer will notify the President of the College. The President then will decide if appropriate action can be taken based on the information already gathered, or whether a Presidential Committee is needed to further investigate the facts of the alleged discrimination or harassment. The Presidential Committee members will be chosen from any of three previously elected panels (one of staff employees, a second of administrative/professional employees, a third of faculty employees). One person will be chosen from these panels by the aggrieved individual, and one will be chosen by the accused person. The President will choose the other three persons from employees elected to these three panels, naming one of them to chair the committee.
During the investigation, involved individuals are expected to cooperate and provide truthful information. The steps taken will vary depending on the nature of the allegations. Confidentiality is expected to be maintained by all who are involved in the process consistent with the College’s need to investigate fully. During the process, an EEO Officer will accompany the aggrieved individual as a support person; the accused individual also may choose to be accompanied by another College employee serving as a support person. The process is intended to be informal, and no attorneys will be permitted to participate in the process.
When the investigation is completed, the Committee will make a recommendation to the President, who can accept, modify, or reject the recommendation and will make the final decision. Upon completion of the process, the outcome will be communicated in writing to the aggrieved person and the person about whom the allegations were made.
In the event it finds that unacceptable conduct occurred, the College will take prompt corrective action. Anyone found to have engaged in misconduct constituting discrimination/harassment will be disciplined, up to and including discharge. Discipline may include, but is not limited to, a written reprimand; referral to counseling; withholding a promotion, reassignment, or pay increase or supplement; suspension; or, discharge. This policy relates to the College’s goal of promoting an environment free of discrimination and harassment. However, it is neither designed nor intended to limit the College’s authority to take disciplinary or remedial action for conduct deemed unacceptable, regardless of whether it satisfies the legal definition of discrimination or harassment.
The College will not retaliate against anyone who makes a report in good faith under this policy, nor permit any employee to do so. The reporting and investigation of allegations of retaliation will follow the procedures detailed above. Any person found to have retaliated against an individual in violation of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action as described above.