Discrimination Grievance Procedure for Classified Personnel
This Grievance Procedure is established for the express purpose of providing a mechanism of due process for the Classified Personnel of Pittsburg State University who allege discrimination based upon their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disabilities, ancestry, veterans status, or political affiliation (except where age or sex is a bona fide occupational qualification).
A conscientious effort will be made to redress through this process and resolve difficulties at the lowest level possible. Whenever possible, however, students, employees and supervisors are encouraged to discuss freely any potential problems or misunderstandings with concerned parties as they arise in an effort to avoid the necessity of activating this Grievance Procedure.
When an employee thinks that his/her rights have been violated due to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disabilities, ancestry, veterans status, or political affiliation, he/she* should go through the following procedure:
Contact the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in order to air your grievance. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will begin to build a file on the case at the time of this discussion. This discussion should include the specific alleged act(s) of discrimination and related incidents and the names of persons involved.
If possible, the Director will then supply information concerning policies, procedures and Affirmative Action regulations which will resolve the complaint or bring about a satisfactory understanding, such that further action is not required.
If further investigation is in order, the grievant will be so informed, and the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will conduct an informal investigation, discussing the problem with the involved parties. The grievant may be called upon during this process to meet with the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the individual(s) against whom the grievance is charged. Attempts will be made at this point to satisfactorily resolve the complaint.
*Throughout this Grievance Procedure, usage of the masculine or feminine gender will be interchangeable. It is to be understood that all such references apply to members of both sexes.
Failing resolution through Steps A and B, the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action shall notify the grievant of investigation results. The grievant has the option of accepting said results or proceeding to the next step.
The grievant shall, within 10 class days, submit to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action a written Request for Hearing (using the attached form) giving full details of the alleged act(s) of discrimination. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will offer assistance if needed in preparation of the Request Form, which will be presented to the Discrimination Grievance Committee. Every effort consistent with normal operating schedules will be made to conduct a hearing at the earliest practical time, not to exceed 15 class days from the time of the request.
The grievant and the individual(s) charged with the alleged act(s) of discrimination will be notified of the time and date of said hearing and will be given ample time to prepare a presentation, if they so choose.
The grievant and/or charged party may seek advice concerning the hearing from any person such as a faculty member, parent, department chairperson, and they may also be accompanied to the hearing by an advisor of their choice. The advisor(s) may speak if so desired.
The grievant and/or charged party may request removal of any one voting member of the committee showing evidence of bias. This request shall be presented to the Chairperson in writing two days prior to the time of the hearing. The consideration of the alleged biased member will be upheld if a majority of the committee supports the claim. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will be present at all hearings, but will vote only in case of a deadlock.
The Discrimination Grievance Committee will conduct an appropriate hearing to gather additional evidence pertaining to the issue. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action shall present background information, citing investigation findings and results. No other member of the committee shall be involved in the investigation of the incident.
During the hearing, the grievant, his/her advisor, and the charged party shall have the opportunity to testify (within the established guidelines and time frames of the group). Hearings are evaluations by members of the college community and are not legal courts. Cross examination is the prerogative of the grievant, the charged party, and the committee.
The actual proceedings of the committee after these presentations, however, shall be closed and confidential. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will give recommendations for solutions and will advise the committee of applicable laws and federal regulations.
Within five (5) class days of the conclusion of the hearing, the committee will render a written decision concerning its findings, will make recommendations to the President for redress, if necessary, and will inform all involved parties of the same.
If the recommendation(s) reached is acceptable, the grievant will notify the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action of same, and the matter will be considered resolved.
The grievant has the right to appeal the recommendation(s) of the Discrimination Grievance Committee to the President. Notification of this intent should be made to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action within five (5) class days of the committee’s option. The President shall receive the appealed case and will make the final ruling on campus. This decision will be communicated to all interested parties within five (5) class days.
Provided the decision of the President is unacceptable to the grievant, he/she may appeal to the appropriate federal/state reviewing agencies and/or to the courts.
All written records and/or tapings of the case must be forwarded to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and will become a part of the Discrimination Grievance Adjustment System to assist in making future judgments.
COMPOSITION OF DISCRIMINATION GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
Composition of the Discrimination Grievance Committee is determined by the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, grievant and respondent. The committee shall have five (5) members, with the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action as an ex-officio member. The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action shall be present at all hearings and committee meetings.
The Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, Cindy Johnson, is located in 218 Russ Hall, and may be contacted at Extension 4185 or 4189.