Discrimination and Harassment Procedures
I. Policy Statement
It is the policy of Central Piedmont Community College to establish, promote, and maintain an environment in which employees may work and students can fully reap the benefits of education, training, and support, free from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or hostility. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes to such an environment. No form of discrimination, sexual, or other harassment or hostility will be tolerated. Given the College’s zero tolerance policy, employees and students are encouraged to bring forth claims of such acts of misconduct, without fear of retaliation or retribution, in a manner consistent with reporting procedures.
A. Procedures for Reporting Discrimination or Harassment or Suspected Discrimination or Harassment
It is each employee's or student's responsibility to ensure that his or her conduct or behavior does not include or imply discrimination, harassment, or hostility in any form. If, however such action has taken place, is taking place, or is alleged to have taken place, the following will apply:
- An administrator who receives a harassment complaint or has knowledge of harassment will inform his/her immediate supervisor and the Executive Director of Institutional Equity (Executive Director). If the complaint is alleged to be sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator must also be contacted.
- A college employee or student can report an act or allegation of discrimination, harassment, or hostility to his/her immediate administrator or supervisor. If the act or allegation of discrimination or harassment involves the immediate administrator or supervisor, or if the employee or student prefers, he/she may contact the next level of management or the Executive Director.
- In the event that a discrimination or harassment complaint is made directly to the Executive Director, the Executive Director will report the complaint to the immediate administrator or supervisor of the employee against whom the complaint is filed. The Executive Director will determine if the complainant wishes to initiate a formal discrimination or harassment complaint and take appropriate action.
- Any employee in an administrative or supervisory position who fails to act promptly and in accordance with established procedures in response to a discrimination or harassment complaint is in violation of the policy and subject to disciplinary action.
B. Procedures for Investigating Discrimination or Harassment or Suspected Discrimination or Harassment
Once the Executive Director receives a referral of discrimination or harassment, a determination of whether the complainant wishes to initiate either a waiver of complaint or a formal complaint will be made.
1. Initiating a Waiver of Complaint
In the event that an employee or student elects to file a Waiver of Complaint, Form H-1 Discrimination or Harassment Waiver of Formal Complaint will be completed. A brief statement of the issues involved will be attached, and the following process shall be followed:
- The Executive Director will notify the administrator or supervisor of the employee against whom a waiver has been filed. The Executive Director will provide the administrator or supervisor with a copy of the H-1 Discrimination or Harassment Waiver of Formal Complaint and a brief statement of the issues.
- The administrator or supervisor of an employee who is charged with an allegation of discrimination or harassment is responsible for informing the employee of the allegation and with reviewing this policy with the employee. The Executive Director will assist as needed.
- The administrator or supervisor will inform the Executive Director by memo that he/she has discussed the allegations with the employee against whom the allegations were made.
- Employees and students may participate in the College's mediation program (as described in the Mediation Program Policy) in situations regarding alleged discrimination or harassment after filing a Discrimination or Harassment Waiver of Formal Complaint.
- The Executive Director will maintain Waiver of Formal Complaint forms in a confidential file. The Executive Director will purge the Waiver of Formal Complaint form file after 24 months. If, within a 24-month period, multiple Waiver of Formal Complaint forms have been filed against an individual, the Executive Director has the discretion to initiate a formal investigation, regardless of the individual waivers.
2. Initiating a Formal Complaint
In the event of a formal discrimination or harassment complaint, the following procedure will be followed:
- The administrator or supervisor receiving the discrimination or harassment complaint will direct the employee or student to the Executive Director.
- A Discrimination or Harassment Complaint Form (H2) will be completed in detail and signed by both the complainant and the Executive Director.
- Each complaint will be fully and objectively investigated by the Executive Director, who will determine the facts on a case-by-case basis. The complainant and the respondent may expect a response to a complaint within 30 working days following the filing of a formal discrimination or harassment complaint. The Director of Human Resources or designee may extend the response period if an investigation requires additional time to gather facts.
- The Executive Director will investigate the complaint by separately interviewing the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed and potential witnesses. Appropriate forms should be completed during each interview. Copies of the completed forms will be retained by the Executive Director upon completion of the investigation. While an effective investigation cannot promise complete confidentiality of information provided by a complainant and witnesses, the Executive Director will keep such information and identities confidential to the extent possible.
- Any employee involved in the investigation of a discrimination or harassment complaint must treat all information gained from the complainant(s) or witness(es) during the investigation with confidentiality and on a need-to-know basis.
- In extraordinary circumstances, the President or designee may, at any time during or after an investigation, place an employee against whom a complaint has been filed on administrative leave per Policy 1.28 Administrative Leave.
- Following the investigation of the complaint, the immediate administrator or supervisor of the accused, the unit vice president or designee, the Director of Human Resources, and the Executive Director will determine the validity of the complaint and recommend appropriate action to the President.
- No retaliatory action will be taken or tolerated against any employee or student who complains or who serves as a witness under these procedures.