DIA(LOCAL) - EMPLOYEE WELFARE: FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION
Note: This policy addresses discrimination, harassment, and retaliation involving District employees. For discrimination, harassment, and retaliation involving students, see FFH. For reporting requirements related to child abuse and neglect, see FFG.
Solely for purposes of this policy, the term "employee" includes former employees, applicants for employment, and unpaid interns.
Statement of Nondiscrimination
The District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against any employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of District policy.
Discrimination against an employee is defined as conduct directed at an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, that adversely affects the employee's employment.
The District has a continuing intent to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and with the provisions of its court order in the case of United States of America v. Garland Independent School District, C.A. No. 3-4100 C (N.D. Tex. Sept. 10, 1970), as Amended (July 14, 1987). Accordingly, the District will maintain aggressive efforts to recruit, employ, and promote qualified minorities for professional teaching and administrative positions. Recruitment, employment, and promotion practices, as spelled out in administrative regulations and related procedures, will be systematic, racially nondiscriminatory, and as objective as possible. The Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of regulations and procedures aimed at compliance.
In accordance with provisions of the July 14, 1987, Agreed Judgment and with assurances given to the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, the District shall employ the following strategies in its effort to recruit and employ minority teachers:
Recruit annually at no fewer than seven predominantly Black colleges, at least four of which shall be outside of Texas.
Recruit annually at no fewer than four major Texas colleges that have a significant number of Black senior students expected to graduate with teaching credentials.
Include Black professional employees in no fewer than six recruiting trips annually.
Proffer teaching contracts to Black candidates whose credentials are acceptable, whose interview results are competitive, and whose employment is approved by the building principal, the Superintendent, and the Board.
Maintain records to document the ethnicity of all applicants, the job qualifications and personal qualifications of the applicants, and the recommendation to hire or not-to-hire and reasons therefore.
Notify minority community groups of teaching vacancies and establish a referral process for these groups to recommend applicants. These minority groups will include a proportion of Black groups that is at least commensurate with the proportion of Black persons in the minority population within the District's jurisdiction. Interested community groups shall be advised annually of the District's employment procedures, including screening and interview processes, Superintendent's recommendations, and Board action. Participating minority organizations shall also receive feedback on the status of minority applicants whom they have recommended.
Advertise teaching vacancies in major metroplex newspapers at the beginning of each school semester and at other times during the year when no qualified candidate is available in the applicant pool.
Develop and print brochures that outline the District's "new employee benefits" packages.
Establish a certification "hotline" for applicants, notify minority organizations identified in item 6, above, of the existence and purpose of the hotline, and include the hotline telephone number in newspaper advertisements.
Seek input on the recruiting schedule from the Multi-Ethnic Committee.
Work with community groups to establish college scholarships for interested minority students. The District shall annually seek scholarship support from the same minority groups involved in the recruitment/referral process, as well as from other community groups who regularly sponsor scholarships for graduating seniors. The Superintendent shall apprise the federal court of the results of the scholarship solicitation as a component in the June 20 required report.
Procedures and practices for the accomplishment of items 1–11, above, shall be set forth in administrative regulations.
With a general aim to employ the most qualified person for each teaching position, and with an ancillary aim to employ an increased number of minority teachers whose credentials are equal or superior to nonminority applicants, the District shall implement procedures as follows:
Screen all applicants to ascertain that they have valid certification or a state-approved alternate in the grade levels or subject areas where vacancies exist or are anticipated.
Interview at the central office level selected candidates who meet the criterion in item 1, above. The total number of persons interviewed shall be at the discretion of the assistant superintendent for personnel.
Notwithstanding item 2, above, grant an interview at the central office level to all minority teacher applicants who have valid certification in an area of need.
Refer for interview by the building principal a minimum of three persons for the vacancy, if available, and with the proviso that all Black and other minority applicants with appropriate certification will be interviewed.
Require written documentation from the appropriate administrator any time a recommendation is made to employ a nonminority teacher whose ratings for the position in question are equal or inferior to those of the minority candidate(s) under consideration.
Exact a recommendation to hire from the principal and the assistant superintendent for personnel or designee.
Forward to the Board a formal recommendation to hire from the Superintendent.
Hiring / Promotion of Administrators
Selection of administrators in the District rests ultimately with the Superintendent, subject to approval by the Board. The Superintendent and designee(s) shall include the following as a part of the hiring/promotion process:
Post administrative vacancies (pay grades 11–16) inside the District; request posting in area metroplex districts; and advertise in professional publications or newspapers when appropriate.
Conduct initial screening at the Superintendent's level of all candidates for entry-level positions (pay grades 11–12) and other administrative positions (pay grades 13–16). Screening of minority candidates shall be based on an objective rating system that considers job requirements as posted/advertised and contained in the job description. Screening of other candidates will also include ratings based on other credentials submitted at the time of application.
Refer to screening committees or to the appropriate assistant superintendent the highest-ranking candidates for the administrative positions. If there is a sufficient number of certified minority applicants for a position, at least 25 percent of those persons interviewed by the screening committees shall be minority persons. This 25 percent of minority applicants will include at least a proportion of Black applicants commensurate with the proportion of Black applicants for the vacancy.
Conduct interviews at the screening committee level of all persons referred by the Superintendent. Interview results shall be objectively quantified and combined with reference check results before forwarding a recommended list of finalists to the Superintendent for consideration. Persons interviewed during the past year may be considered without another interview.
Waive, at the Superintendent's discretion, the screening committee process for any applicant for a position at pay grades 13–16. When the Superintendent chooses to be responsible for the interviews, at least 25 percent of those interviewed should be qualified minority candidates, when available. This 25 percent of minority applicants will include at least a proportion of Black applicants commensurate with the proportion of Black applicants for the vacancy.
Document reasons for the failure to recommend to the Board any minority applicant whose ratings are equal or superior to nonminority candidates for the same position(s).
Procedures and practices for the accomplishment of items 1–6, above, shall be set forth in administrative regulations.
The District shall maintain for three years records that document vacancy announcements, applications received, applicants interviewed, rating criteria and results, persons selected, and written qualifications therefore.
Penalty for Discrimination
The District shall not tolerate discrimination in any of the forms mentioned above practiced by any of its employees against any other employees and will take appropriate disciplinary action against any employee who so discriminates.
Prohibited harassment of an employee is defined as physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct based on an employee's race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, when the conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct:
- Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance;
- Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
- Otherwise adversely affects the employee's performance, environment, or employment opportunities.
Examples of prohibited harassment may include offensive or derogatory language directed at another person's religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, gender identity, or need for workplace accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; display of graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other stereotypes; or other types of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination defined as unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; sexually motivated physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct; or other conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an employee's employment, or when submission to or rejection of the conduct is the basis for an employment action affecting the employee; or
- The conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Examples of sexual harassment may include sexual advances; touching intimate body parts; coercing or forcing a sexual act on another; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; and other sexually motivated conduct, communication, or contact.
The District prohibits retaliation against an employee who makes a claim alleging to have experienced discrimination or harassment, or another employee who, in good faith, makes a report, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in an investigation.
Examples of retaliation may include termination, refusal to hire, demotion, and denial of promotion. Retaliation may also include threats, unjustified negative evaluations, unjustified negative references, or increased surveillance.
In this policy, the term "prohibited conduct" includes discrimination, harassment, and retaliation as defined by this policy, even if the behavior does not rise to the level of unlawful conduct.
An employee who believes that he or she has experienced prohibited conduct or believes that another employee has experienced prohibited conduct should immediately report the alleged acts. The employee may report the alleged acts to his or her supervisor or campus principal.
Alternatively, the employee may report the alleged acts to one of the District officials below.
Definition of District Officials
For the purposes of this policy, District officials are the Title IX coordinator, the ADA/Section 504 coordinator, and the Superintendent.
Title IX Coordinator
Reports of discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, may be directed to the designated Title IX coordinator. [See DIA(EXHIBIT)]
ADA / Section 504 Coordinator
Reports of discrimination based on disability may be directed to the designated ADA/Section 504 coordinator. [See DIA(EXHIBIT)]
The Superintendent shall serve as coordinator for purposes of District compliance with all other antidiscrimination laws.
Alternative Reporting Procedures
An employee shall not be required to report prohibited conduct to the person alleged to have committed it. Reports concerning prohibited conduct, including reports against the Title IX coordinator or ADA/Section 504 coordinator, may be directed to the Superintendent.
A report against the Superintendent may be made directly to the Board. If a report is made directly to the Board, the Board shall appoint an appropriate person to conduct an investigation.
Reports of prohibited conduct shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act. A failure to promptly report may impair the District's ability to investigate and address the prohibited conduct.
Notice of Report
Any District supervisor who receives a report of prohibited conduct shall immediately notify the appropriate District official listed above and take any other steps required by this policy.
Investigation of the Report
The District may request, but shall not insist upon, a written report. If a report is made orally, the District official shall reduce the report to written form.
Upon receipt or notice of a report, the District official shall determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute prohibited conduct as defined by this policy. If so, the District official shall immediately authorize or undertake an investigation, regardless of whether a criminal or regulatory investigation regarding the same or similar allegations is pending.
If appropriate, the District shall promptly take interim action calculated to prevent prohibited conduct during the course of an investigation.
The investigation may be conducted by the District official or a designee, such as the campus principal, or by a third party designated by the District, such as an attorney. When appropriate, the campus principal or supervisor shall be involved in or informed of the investigation.
The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the person making the report, the person against whom the report is filed, and others with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the allegations. The investigation may also include analysis of other information or documents related to the allegations.
Concluding the Investigation
Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten District business days from the date of the report; however, the investigator shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.
The investigator shall prepare a written report of the investigation. The report shall be filed with the District official overseeing the investigation.
If the results of an investigation indicate that prohibited conduct occurred, the District shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct.
The District may take action based on the results of an investigation, even if the conduct did not rise to the level of prohibited or unlawful conduct.
To the greatest extent possible, the District shall respect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom a report is filed, and witnesses. Limited disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation and comply with applicable law.
A complainant who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal through DGBA(LOCAL), beginning at the appropriate level.
The complainant may have a right to file a complaint with appropriate state or federal agencies.
Copies of reports alleging prohibited conduct, investigation reports, and related records shall be maintained by the District for a period of at least three years. [See CPC]
Access to Policy
This policy shall be distributed annually to District employees. Copies of the policy shall be readily available at each campus and the District administrative offices.