Complaint of Discrimination
For allegations of discrimination, the College will follow the Procedure for Resolution of Discrimination Complaints (“Procedure”). The Procedure provides a written notification of the right to file a complaint and instructions on how to do so. As indicated in the Procedure, a Discrimination Complaint Form must be completed in order to initiate a formal investigation.
Individuals with disabilities will be furnished appropriate auxiliary aids or services necessary to ensure that communications are effective. Persons not familiar with English shall be provided with a written or oral translation into the language understood by them. Persons may request additional assistance and shall be advised of each right to the satisfaction of that person’s understanding.
Inquiries about the complaint procedure may be directed to Equity Coordinator.
All employees have the responsibility to report any allegations of discrimination to Human Resource Services and/or to the Title IX Coordinator(s).
Procedure for Resolution of Discrimination Complaints
I. Applicability of the Complaint Procedure ¹
A. Types of Complaints
These procedures specify the requirements for resolving any complaint by a student, prospective student, employee, applicant for employment, or any other interested person alleging that an employment or academic decision was based on factors other than relevant employment and academic criteria at Hawkeye Community College (the “College”). Specifically, any person who believes that he or she or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex; race; age; color; creed; national origin; religion; disability; sexual orientation; gender identity; genetic information; political affiliation or actual or potential parental, family, or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices shall have the right to file a formal complaint. Veteran status is also included to the extent covered by law.
These procedures apply to the administration of the College’s employment practices, educational programs, and activities, including recruitment, admission, counseling and guidance, program selection and placement, and employment promotion/retention. This administration may be carried out by College employees, or on occasion by students conducting College business ².
If conducting business or participating in training at other educational organizations or training sites, a complainant may choose to first utilize and exhaust the complaint/grievance procedure of the educational organization or training site before filing a complaint under Section IV with the College. Employees or students may elect to file their complaints initially, or if resolved unsatisfactorily, in accordance with section IV.
The identity of any person who has furnished information relating to, or assisted in, an investigation of a complaint shall be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with due process and a fair determination of the issues.
No individual will be discharged or discriminated against in any manner because the individual filed a complaint or has testified in any proceeding or investigation relating to the College.
A. Informal Complaint
Complainants should contact Human Resource Services to lodge an informal complaint. A staff person will be assigned to hear the complaint and assist in the resolution of the concern. Lodging an informal complaint is voluntary on the part of the complainant and does not replace or eliminate the right to file a formal complaint.
B. Informal Complaint / Formal Complaint
1. Written Complaint
If a complainant is dissatisfied with the resolution of an informal complaint or wishes to proceed to filing a formal written complaint, the complainant may complete a Discrimination Complaint Form [pdf]. Printed forms are available in the Human Resource Services Office or Dean of Student’s Office. A Discrimination Complaint Form must be completed in order to initiate a formal investigation. The completed Discrimination Complaint Form should be submitted to the Equity Coordinator or Title IX Coordinator(s).
Upon receipt of a complaint alleging discrimination, a notice of the complaint will be prepared and sent to the person(s) named in the complaint and to the President of the College containing:
- The identity of the complainant (unless a request to remain confidential is being honored):
- The dates of the alleged offenses;
- A copy of the Discrimination Complaint Form or relevant summary of the allegations.
Situations involving safety concerns will be reported to Campus Security.
The Equity Coordinator or applicable Title IX Coordinator will assign an investigator/complaint officer to investigate the complaint. During the investigation:
- The Investigator will interview the complainant and any named person(s). In so doing, each person will be permitted to present their version of events, provide any supporting evidence, and identify witnesses to the investigator.
- During interviews, a person may be accompanied by a silent representative/support person/steward. The silent representative or support person will be not be allowed to provide information to the investigator or ask questions of the party during the interview process.
- The Investigator will interview all identified witnesses, absent a compelling reason why such an interview cannot take place. The Investigator will, based on the information gathered in the investigation, determine based on a preponderance of the evidence whether the alleged discrimination occurred in violation of College policy.
The Investigator will provide a Resolution Decision to the complainant and any named person(s) which states the Investigator’s finding of whether the alleged discrimination occurred, any individual remedies to the complainant, and a description of the appeal process. If the Investigator determines a named person(s) should receive additional sanctions, that person will receive notice of the sanctions.
Resolution Decisions should be provided to the parties within thirty (30) days** of the filing of the complaint, but may be longer for good cause. In no event shall the Resolution Decision be delivered later than ninety (90) days** of the date the complaint was filed.
C. Appeal to President
If the complainant, or a person complained against, is not satisfied with the resolution, an appeal may be made to the President. To file an appeal, a written request must be submitted to the President within ten (10) days** of receipt of the Resolution Decision. The President or President’s designee will review the case and the Investigator’s file, and render an Appeal Resolution Notice.
Appeal Resolution Notices should be provided to the parties within thirty (30) days** of the filing of the appeal, but may be longer for good cause. In no event shall the Appeal Resolution Notice be delivered later than ninety (90) days of the date the Appeal was filed.
Resolutions of discrimination complaints may include a broad range of remedies to eliminate and/or remediate instances of discrimination, and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Remedies could include reversal of academic or employment decisions, or providing accommodations to the complainant such as counseling, alternative living, working, and transportation arrangements and academic accommodations. Remedies may also include sanctions against individuals who engaged in discrimination, ranging from warnings to expulsion/termination of employment.
Individuals with disabilities will be furnished appropriate auxiliary aids or services necessary to ensure that communications are effective through this procedure. Persons not familiar with English shall be provided with a written or oral translation into the language understood by them. Persons may request additional assistance and shall be advised of each right to the satisfaction of the person’s understanding.
Inquiries about the complaint procedure may be directed to the Equity Coordinator, Hawkeye Community College, 1501 East Orange Road, P.O. Box 8015, Waterloo, Iowa 50704-8015; telephone 319-296-4405; email equity-titleIX@hawkeyecollege.edu.
** Weekdays that the College is in operation.
¹ If a complainant believes he or she has been the subject of sexual harassment and/or any other form of sexual misconduct as defined in the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking), the complainant should report or make a complaint under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, available on the College’s website. Inquiries regarding reports or complaints of sexual misconduct can be directed to the Title IX Coordinator for employees at (319) -296-4405 or the Title IX Coordinator for students at (319) -296-4448.
² Discrimination by College employees is prohibited. Some discriminatory actions taken by College employees may not be considered in the scope of employment with the College. In addition, complaints of discrimination/harassment against individual students or student organizations may be referred to the Dean of Students.
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