DIAB(LOCAL) - FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION: OTHER PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS

Note: This policy addresses complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, or disability targeting employees. For legally referenced material relating to this subject matter, see DAA(LEGAL). For discrimination, harassment, and retaliation of students based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, or disability, see FFDB.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

The College District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against any employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of College District policy.

Discrimination

Discrimination against an employee is defined as conduct directed at an employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, that adversely affects the employee's employment.

Harassment

Prohibited harassment of an employee is defined as physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct based on an employee's race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, when the conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance;
  2. Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects the employee's performance, environment, or employment opportunities.

Examples

Examples of prohibited harassment may include offensive or derogatory language directed at another person's religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, 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.

Retaliation

The College 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.

An employee who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a College District investigation regarding harassment or discrimination is subject to appropriate discipline.

Examples

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.

Prohibited Conduct

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.

Reporting Procedures

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 immediate supervisor.

Alternatively, the employee may report the alleged acts to one of the College District officials below.

For the purposes of this policy, College District officials are the ADA/Section 504 coordinator and the College President.

Definition of College District Officials

ADA / Section 504 Coordinator

The College District designates the following person to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, which incorporates and expands upon the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended:

Other Anti-discrimination Laws

The College President or designee shall serve as coordinator for purposes of College 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 ADA/Section 504 coordinator, may be directed to the College President or designee.

A report against the College President 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.

Timely Reporting

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 College District's ability to investigate and address the prohibited conduct.

Notice of Report

Any College District supervisor who receives a report of prohibited conduct shall immediately notify the appropriate College District official listed above and take any other steps required by this policy.

Investigation of the Report

The College District may request, but shall not insist upon, a written report. If a report is made orally, the College District official shall reduce the report to written form.

Upon receipt or notice of a report, the College District official shall determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute prohibited conduct as defined by this policy. If so, the College 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 the College District official determines that the allegations, if proven, would not constitute prohibited conduct as defined by this policy but may constitute a violation of other College District rules or regulations, the College District official shall refer the complaint for consideration under the appropriate policy.

If appropriate, the College District shall promptly take interim action calculated to prevent prohibited conduct during the course of an investigation.

The investigation may be conducted by the College District official or a designee or by a third party designated by the College District, such as an attorney. When appropriate, the 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 College 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 College District official overseeing the investigation.

College District Action

If the results of an investigation indicate that prohibited conduct occurred, the College District shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct.

The College 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.

Confidentiality

To the greatest extent possible, the College 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.

Appeal

A party who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal through the applicable grievance policy beginning at the appropriate level. [See DGBA(LOCAL) for employees, FLD(LOCAL) for students, and GB(LOCAL) for community members]

The party may have a right to file a complaint with appropriate state or federal agencies.

Records Retention

Retention of records shall be in accordance with the College District's records retention procedures. [See CIA]

Access to Policy, Procedures, and Related Materials

Information regarding this policy and any accompanying procedures, as well as relevant educational and resource materials concerning the topics discussed in this policy, shall be distributed annually to College District employees and students in compliance with law and in a manner calculated to provide easy access and wide distribution, such as through electronic distribution and inclusion in the employee and student handbooks and other major College District publications. Information regarding the policy, procedures, and related materials shall also be prominently published on the College District's website, taking into account applicable legal requirements. Copies of the policy and procedures shall be readily available at the College District's administrative offices and shall be distributed to an employee who makes a report.

Odessa College

DIAB(LOCAL)-AJC

LDU 2019.02

DATE ISSUED: 4/2/2019