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3.39 ANTI-HARASSMENT, ANTI-DISCRIMINATION GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES 

A. Purpose 

To clearly define the College’s policy regarding anti-harassment and anti-discrimination and to clearly establish procedures for reporting violations and investigating grievances of alleged discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

B. Policy 

Discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of protected status (See Anti-Discrimination Statement for a definition of “protected status”) are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.

C. Procedures

1. Scope

  1. This policy applies to reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status, other than discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of sex, which are governed exclusively by the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. (Policy 4.06)
  2. This policy governs reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in all the College’s programs and activities and applies to employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests (collectively the “College Community”). It applies to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that occurs on campus, during or at an official College program or activity (regardless of location), and to off campus conduct when the conduct could deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs and activities.
  3. This policy requires all College employees, unless designated as confidential employees because of professional confidentiality, to immediately report any complaints, reports, observations, or other information of alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, to the Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources. The duty to report extends to an employee who learns of alleged discrimination through the employee’s participation in the College’s student or employee disciplinary process. If the College uses its disciplinary procedures to investigate and resolve an alleged discrimination complaint, those disciplinary procedures will
    comply with the College’s standards for a prompt and equitable grievance procedure.
  4. This policy requires the College to provide an individual alleging misconduct under this policy with information for filing a complaint of discrimination and the contact information for the College’s designated coordinator.
  5. Preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation is the responsibility of all members of the College Community.

2. Prohibited Conduct

  1. Discrimination
    Discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on protected status. It is a violation of this policy to discriminate on the basis of a protected status in any of the College’s programs and activities. A list of protected statuses is located in the Anti-Discrimination Statement.
  2. Harassment
    Harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an employee, student, or other members of the College Community, including third-parties, because of protected status. Harassment constitutes a form of prohibited discrimination if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs and activities (“discriminatory harassment”).Examples of conduct prohibited by this policy may include, but are not limited to, inappropriate gestures, inappropriate written or electronic material, threats or intimidating or hostile conduct, physical acts of aggression, assault, or violence, criminal offenses, jokes or pranks, name-calling, offensive objects or pictures that are hostile or demeaning with regard to a person’s protected status or have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive working or academic environment.
  3. Retaliation
    The College prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting discrimination or harassment, assisting in making a report, cooperating in an investigation,
    proceeding, or hearing, or otherwise exercising his or her rights or responsibilities under this policy and applicable federal, state, and local laws. Retaliation prohibited by this policy consists of materially adverse action, such as disparaging comments, uncivil behavior, or other negative treatment of an employee, student, or other member of the College Community because a report has been made pursuant to this policy or because an individual otherwise cooperated with the College’s investigation.
  4. Sexual Misconduct
    The College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (Policy 4.06) governs the reporting, investigation, and determination of reports of sex discrimination and other forms of sexual misconduct.
    All reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence; domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking; and related retaliation will be investigated and resolved pursuant to the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (Policy 4.06)

3. Reporting Potential Violations

  1. OTC will respond to reports of perceived prohibited conduct in an adequate, reliable, impartial, thorough, and prompt manner, as set forth below. If the College determines that discrimination has occurred, appropriate corrective and remedial actions will be taken.
  2. All employees should report a potential violation of this policy as soon as possible to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources:
    Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources
    1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
    Springfield, MO 65802
    417-447-2631
    baltest@otc.edu
  3. Students, prospective students and third parties should report a potential violation of this policy as soon as possible to the Director of Equity and Compliance.
    Director of Equity and Compliance
    1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
    Springfield, MO 65802
    417-447-8188
    holmesju@otc.edu
  4. Any person can file a complaint of discrimination with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.

4. Investigation and Resolution Procedures

  1. Commencement of Investigation
    When a report of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation involving a student or third party is received, the report will be referred to the Director of Equity and Compliance for investigation and resolution.When a report of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation involving an employee is received, the report will be referred to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for investigation and resolution.When a report involving both a student and an employee is received, the report will be referred to the Director of Equity and Compliance who will consult with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources regarding the investigation and resolution.The College strives to resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation within 60 days of a report. If, based on the complexity of the complaint, time to resolution will exceed 60 days, the reasons will be communicated to the complainant and the respondent. If any person involved in investigating or resolving reports of discrimination, harassment or retaliation under this section determines that he or she cannot apply them fairly because of a conflict of interest, another individual will be designated to fulfill his or her responsibilities. The College will not delay its investigation of discrimination complaints, even if an outside entity or law enforcement agency is investigating a complaint involving the same facts and allegations, and the College will not wait for the conclusion or outcome of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin an investigation required by this grievance procedure.
  2. Content of Investigation
    Under the formal complaint procedure, the Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources will designate an investigator to investigate the complaint. During the investigation, both the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to identify witnesses and evidence. Investigations will be handled discreetly, with information shared only with those persons who need to know the information in order for there to be a full and fair investigation. The Director of Equity and Compliance or Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources will discuss the need and may impose interim measures during the pendency of the investigation to protect and separate the parties.
  3. Informal Resolution
    The complainant or respondent may request to resolve the complaint informally. If both parties voluntarily agree to attempt informal resolution, the process will be facilitated by the Director of Equity and Compliance, or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources or a designee. At any point during the informal process, either party may initiate the formal complaint procedure. An informal resolution process will not delay the College’s duty to conduct a prompt investigation of a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
  4. Resolution
    The investigator will prepare a written report summarizing the results of the investigation and deliver it to the Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources. The Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources will review the report and consult with other College administrators and officials as deemed appropriate. The Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources will issue a determination as to whether or not the complaint is substantiated based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. If the complaint is substantiated, the Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources will determine what remedial measures will be taken to address the misconduct, including discipline for the respondent or initiation of disciplinary proceedings pursuant to other College policies. Substantiated incidents of conduct prohibited by this policy can lead to discipline up to and including dismissal and termination. The Director of Equity and Compliance or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources will communicate the determination to the complainant and respondent in writing. The written investigative report will include:1) a summary of the facts,
    2) an analysis of the evidence, and
    3) findings regarding whether discrimination occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standardExamples of possible interim and other permanent measures to stop discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, to remedy such discrimination, and prevent recurrence for students may include, but are not limited to, any necessary counseling, academic support or transcript modification, schedule adjustments of academic, extracurricular, or other activities, suspension or expulsion. Any adjustments will be designed to minimize the burden on the complainant’s educational or other program.Examples of possible interim and other permanent measures to stop discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, to remedy such discrimination, and prevent recurrence for employees may include, but are not limited to, any necessary counseling, paid and unpaid suspension, reduction in work hours and termination.

5. Special Procedure Concerning Reports Against the Chancellor, a Board Member, the Director of Equity and Compliance, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources or Other Administrators Ranked Higher than the Director of Equity and Compliance
If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the College’s Chancellor, the College’s Board of Trustees will designate the investigator. Based on the information gathered during the investigation, the Board of Trustees will review the findings to determine the complaint. The determination of the Board of Trustees is final and not subject to appeal.

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of a member of the Board of Trustees, the remaining members of the Board of Trustees will designate the investigator. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the remaining members of the Board of Trustees will review the findings to determine the complaint. The determination of the remaining members of the Board of Trustees is final and not subject to appeal.

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the Director of Equity and Compliance, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources or any administrator ranked higher than the Director of Equity and Compliance, the

College’s Chancellor will designate the investigator. Based on the information gathered during the investigation, the Chancellor will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint. The determination of the Chancellor is final and not subject to appeal.

The written report in an investigation using these special procedures will include: 1) a summary of the facts, 2) an analysis of the evidence, and 3) findings regarding whether discrimination occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

6. Appeals

  1. Applicability
    This appeals section applies to all appeals of determinations of reports made under this Policy when an employee or third party is the respondent.
    All appeals of determinations where a student is a respondent will be addressed pursuant to the Student Discipline and Appeals Process (Policy 5.16).
  2. Process
    The complainant or respondent may appeal the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds: 1) there is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the investigator, would result in a different decision; 2) there was a procedural error significant enough to call the outcome into question; 3) there was a clear error in factual findings; 4) there was bias or prejudice on the part of the investigator; or 5) the punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense.
    Appeals must be filed with the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services (“Appellate Officer”) within ten (10) College business days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The appeal must be in writing and contain the following: 1) name of the complainant; 2) name of the respondent; 3) a statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action, if any; 4) a detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it; and 5) requested action, if any.
    The appellant may request a meeting with the Appellate Officer, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the Appellate Officer’s discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity.
  3. Resolution
    The Appellate Officer will resolve the appeal within ten (10) College business days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The Appellate Officer shall issue a written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources previous written determination. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant and respondent within three (3) College business days of the resolution.
    If there is a finding adverse to an employee, additional due process considerations are addressed in Policies 3.35, et. seq.

D. Responsibilities
The Director of Equity and Compliance is responsible for coordinating the College’s compliance with discrimination laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It is the responsibility of the Director of Equity and Compliance to: (1) receive complaints under this policy and grievance procedure; (2) coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs; (3) assist members of the College Community in understanding that discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are prohibited by this policy; (4) answer questions about this policy; (5) appoint investigators and ensure that they are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation under this policy; (6) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; (7) oversee the appropriate implementation of the policy; (8) document all reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under this policy and establish a protocol for recordkeeping.
E. Definitions
N/A
F. Authority
This policy is maintained under the authority of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services.
G. Related Policies
N/A
H. Implementation
1. Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 7/1/91. Revised 2/13/06. Revised 11/14/16.
Purpose, procedures, responsibilities and definitions approved and adopted by the Cabinet on 8/30/16. Set for review on x/x/xx

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