Process for Making Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaints

Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Process

Purpose

The purpose of the Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Process is to provide an informal structure for expeditious resolution of allegations of unlawful discrimination while assuring that legal options for filing complaints with enforcement agencies are not foreclosed. Employees who utilize the Discrimination Complaint Process will not be subject to retaliation.

Attachment to NVCC Grievance Procedure - Discrimination Complaint Agencies


Who may use this system

The College encourages employees to use this internal Discrimination Complaint Process when an employee believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination in violation of the College’s Affirmative Action Policy Statement. Employee concerns or complaints should be directed to the Leah Glende, Director of Diversity & Inclusion/ Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office. She may be reached at glendel@ct.edu., and her telephone number is 860-723-0727. Employee concerns or complaints may also be directed to Lisa Dresdner, the Chief Executive Officer of the College. Her office is located in Kinney Hall, Room K703B, and the telephone number is (203) 575-8044.

Student concerns or complaints should be directed to the Dean of Student Services or to such other College official as the Chief Executive Officer may have designated. The Dean of Student Services is Sarah Gager. Her office is located at Kinney Hall, Room K509A, and her telephone number is (203) 575-8086. Nothing shall prevent students from speaking to a College counselor about their concerns. However, such communication is not a substitute for filing a complaint with an appropriate College designee.

A claim that an employee of a third party contractor has engaged in discriminatory conduct on College premises or in connection with the performance of the third party contract should be reported immediately to either the Interim Dean of Administration or to the Chief Executive Officer for appropriate follow-up action. The Interim Dean of Administration is Dana Elm. Her office is located at Kinney Hall, Room K706b, and the telephone number is (203) 596-2153.

For Title IX issues (sexual harassment/violence or gender discrimination) contact Angelo Simoni, CSCU Title IX Coordinator – CSU System Office. His telephone number is 860-723-0165.


Affirmative Action Policy Statement

Equal Employment Opportunity is the employment of individuals without consideration of race, color, religious creed, age, sex (including pregnancy or sexual harassment), marital status, national origin, ancestry, intellectual disability, learning disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical disability (including blindness), criminal record, present or past history of mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, workplace hazards to reproductive systems, retaliation for previously opposed discrimination or coercion, and status in any group protected by state or local law, unless the provisions of Sections 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b) or 46a-81(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes are controlling or there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of the above protected groups. Although it is recognized that there are bona fide occupational qualifications which provide for exception from employment prohibitions, it is understood that these exceptions are to be applied pursuant to Section 46a-68-33 of the administrative regulations.


How to file an informal complaint      

A complaint must be made in writing to the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, within fifteen (15) calendar days of the alleged discrimination. Where the action complained of relates to an opportunity for appointment to a position for which a single vacancy exists, the complaint is to be filed with the Chief Executive Officer as soon as possible. A written complaint consists of a statement of the facts, which relate to the alleged discrimination, the date of the alleged discrimination, the basis of the grievant’s complaint (e.g., sex, race, disability), and the remedy requested.


Recourse to other procedures

Utilization of the Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Process does not preclude the grievant from filing complaints under applicable collective bargaining agreements and state or federal law. Employees may file formal discrimination complaints with state and/or federal agencies. Complaints may be filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division; and any other agencies, state, federal, or local, that enforce laws concerning discrimination in employment.

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities can provide assistance in filing complaints and determining the legal options, which may be available.

The statute of limitations for all harassment and discrimination claims arising under Connecticut law is 300 days effective October 1, 2019. An exception exists for complaints, which allege unlawful reliance on criminal records; Connecticut law requires that the complaint be filed within thirty (30) days.


Noncompliance with Affirmative Action Program  

If an employee believes that there has been a failure to comply with the College’s Affirmative Action Program, a written complaint may be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer. If the response of the Chief Executive Officer is unsatisfactory or if the alleged violation is attributed to the Chief Executive Officer, a written complaint may be filed with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).


Notice

The Chief Executive Officer or designee is responsible for providing a notice to all employees indicating that an Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Process is available. This notice shall provide a guarantee of no retaliation for the exercise of rights granted pursuant to the Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure and state the name and work location of the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office,  It will further provide advisement to employees of the legal options to file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division; and any other agencies, state, federal, or local that enforces laws concerning discrimination in employment. Please refer to attached document for specific contact information on Federal and State Agencies dealing with discrimination complaints.


Training

A plan for periodic training in counseling and complaint investigations has been developed and implemented at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU). Periodic training will be made available to all appropriately designated personnel responsible for discrimination complaints. Additional training on state and federal discrimination laws and complaint investigations is required by the Connecticut General Statutes.


Affirmative Action Plan reports

In accordance with Section 46a-68-89(c) of the State of Connecticut Regulations a summary of matters alleged in complaints, the results of the complaint, and the time required to process it will be provided to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Where an informal complaint results in a formal complaint with an enforcement agency, such complaint and its status shall also be reported to the Commission. All records of Complaints shall be reviewed on a regular basis by the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office to detect any patterns in the nature of the Complaints. All records relevant to employee complaints filed under this section shall be maintained by the CSCU System Office.


Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Process Steps

    1.  The grievant must file a written complaint, as provided above. Although not mandatory, grievants are encouraged to seek informal resolution of complaints filed with the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, .

    2.  Upon receipt of the complaint, the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/ Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, should meet with the grievant. The purpose of this meeting is to clarify the complaint and to elicit relevant information and documents from the grievant. 

    3.  The System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, or other designated representative of the Chief Executive Officer will investigate all complaints. Following completion of his or her investigation, the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, shall make a report to the Chief Executive Officer. The report shall summarize the claim and the factual basis asserted by the grievant, the facts which the investigation has revealed, and whether the System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, recommends (a) informal resolution or (b) further review by the Chief Executive Officer.

    The System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, is not expected to determine the merits of the complaint or to make conclusions with respect to facts in dispute. Where the conduct complained of relates to the Chief Executive Officer, a copy of the report shall be submitted to the CSCU. After consultation with the CSCU, System Office’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, CSCU System Office, may be authorized to attempt to mediate the dispute. The purpose of this mediation is to effect prompt resolution of informal complaints.

    4.  The disposition of the complaint at the college level shall be determined by the Chief Executive Officer and communicated in writing to the grievant. Steps (2) through (4) should be completed within fifteen (15) working days, except where informal resolution is implemented. In this case, the Chief Executive Officer may extend this period for up to an additional fifteen (15) working days. If the process is not completed within thirty (30) working days, the grievant may move the complaint to the level of the CSCU as provided in paragraph 5.

    5.  Within fifteen calendar days of receipt, the grievant may appeal the Chief Executive Officer's response by submitting a written statement of appeal to the CSCU.

    6.  The appeal shall be reviewed by a designee of the CSCU and two campus Equal Employment Opportunity Officers. The response by the CSCU shall be made in writing to the grievant within thirty (30) days of the date the complaint is received at his or her level or within seventy-five (75) days of the initiation of the process specified in paragraph (2), whichever is later.


Lisa Dresdner, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Naugatuck Valley Community College

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