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Anti-discrimination and Harassment Complaint Policy

Memorandum #357 - Anti-discrimination and Harassment Complaint Policy Section 504/Title IX

 

Date of Issue: September 10, 2014
Revised: May 23, 2017

Please Note: College Policies and Procedures (P&P) Memorandum No. 357 replaces P&P Memorandum No. 351 - Discrimination Complaint Policy and P&P Memorandum No. 352 - Discriminatory Harassment Prevention Policy.

Purpose

The purpose of the Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Policy is to create an academic and working environment free of unlawful discrimination or harassment and to identify the procedures for handling complaints of discrimination and harassment.

The Community College of Philadelphia does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Such behavior is inconsistent with the College’s commitment to excellence and to a community in which mutual respect is a core value as articulated in the College’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values Statements. The prohibition against unlawful discrimination and harassment applies to all levels and areas of College operations and programs, students, administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, vendors, and contractors.

The College is subject to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, Federal executive Order 11246, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), the Clery Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), and all other rules and regulations that are applicable. 

Accountability

Under the direction of the President, the Director, Office of Diversity and Equity shall ensure compliance with this policy. The Director, Office of Diversity and Equity, in conjunction with the College’s Vice Presidents, Deans, and all other staff in a supervisory capacity shall implement this policy. As set forth in the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking, all College employees have a duty to report claims of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator at , Room M2-3, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia PA 19130, (215) 751-8039

Prohibited Acts

Discrimination/Harassment – any conduct directed toward an individual or group based upon one or more of the following categories or traits: age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to a reasonable person that it alters an individual’s employment condition, educational environment or participation in a College activity and creates intimidating, offensive or a hostile environment for employment, education, or participation in a College activity. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, repeated remarks of a demeaning nature, implied or explicit threats, slurs, innuendoes or gestures, demeaning jokes, stories, pictures, touching or other forms of physical harassment or objects or activities directed at an individual based on any of the above categories or groups.

Note:  Although this policy prohibits sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct, including but not limited to sexual assault, such conduct is specifically governed by the College’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking, which is available on MyCCP on the College Policies and Procedures webpage (https://www.myccp.online/college-policies-and-procedures) (Policy # 358).

Retaliation – It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any party for participating in a discrimination/harassment investigation. Retaliation includes any adverse treatment that is reasonably likely to deter the complainant or others from filing a charge of discrimination/harassment or participating in a discrimination/harassment investigation. Retaliation can be verbal, written, graphic, electronic or physical.

Knowingly Filing False Complaints – Knowingly filing a false complaint of discrimination/harassment in retaliation is a violation of this policy. Such conduct may be pursued using the steps followed for a complaint of discrimination/harassment, and if found to have occurred, will result in disciplinary action that may include termination or expulsion.

Requirements

The Community College of Philadelphia is committed to creating and maintaining a working and learning environment for all faculty, staff, and students, which is free of discriminatory or harassing conduct or communication. The College will not tolerate any conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile, threatening or offensive working or learning environment.

The College views all forms of discrimination/harassment and all attempts to commit such acts as a serious offense and will impose disciplinary action up to and including expulsion, required withdrawal, suspension or termination. The College is committed to maintaining an environment free from discrimination/harassment toward visitors. Discrimination/harassment by employees, students or contractors toward visitors will not be tolerated by the College and will be addressed by this policy.

Duty to Investigate Harassment Complaints

Allegations of harassment require that the College take action to investigate and remedy the situation, if harassment has occurred. The College is legally obligated to take action to eliminate harassment that is known or should have been known to anyone in an executive, managerial or supervisory capacity. Employees in supervisory roles must report allegations of harassment to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.

Scope

These procedures apply to prohibited acts (defined above) by any employee (including student worker), applicant, volunteer, vendor, or contractor of the College.

Reporting Options

  • Any employee, faculty, or student may make a report to Simon Brown, Director for the Office of Diversity and Equity and Title IX Coordinator
  • Any faculty or staff member may also make a report to their immediate superior, who must report the allegations to the Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity
  • Students may also make a report to the Office of Academic and Student Success, the Office of the Dean of Students, or any faculty member, who must report the allegations to the Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity. 

Investigation and Resolution Procedures

Alleged Student Perpetrators

The investigation and resolution of reports of discrimination/harassment allegedly perpetrated by or between students who are not acting in the capacity of a college employee falls within the jurisdiction of the Judicial Affairs Officer.  The Judicial Affairs Officer will address the complaint in accordance with procedures described in the Student Code of Conduct located in the Student Handbook. 

Alleged Employee or Third Party Perpetrators

Discrimination/harassment allegedly perpetrated toward students or employees by a college employee or third party falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of Diversity and Equity and complaints of this nature will be addressed in accordance with the procedures listed herein.

The complaint process consists of consultations with the Office of Diversity and Equity, and an informal and/or formal investigation process for acts of discrimination/harassment as described below:

Consultations

Consultations may occur with employees or students.  Management may also consult before taking other action.

The Office of Diversity and Equity will discuss the situation with the complainant and recommend steps the person may take toward resolution of the problem and/or may refer the inquirer to other appropriate resources for assistance. Please note that in some cases, information reported to the Office of Diversity and Equity in a consultation may require the Office of Diversity and Equity to conduct an investigation in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. 

Informal Complaint Process

Informal complaints are filed verbally.  In the informal complaint process, the Office of Diversity and Equity may mediate or conduct an informal investigation at the discretion of Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.  Informal complaint resolution is not available in cases involving sexual assault or violence. 

The Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity, Simon Brown, may attempt to negotiate an informal resolution to the informal complaint of alleged discrimination/harassment.  If attempts to reach an informal resolution are unsuccessful, the Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity will submit the complaint to the formal complaint process.  All complainants have the right to end the informal process at any time and proceed to the formal process.

Formal Complaint Process

Formal complaints shall be in writing, and will be investigated even if the complaint is unsigned.

All complaints will be promptly investigated:

Complaints should be filed within 30 business days of the occurrence of the alleged objectionable behavior whenever practicable.

Internal investigations will be concluded within 60 days of submission whenever practicable, to determine if there is a basis to present witnesses and any other pertinent evidence.  The individual accused of discrimination/harassment will be advised of the allegations, the source of the complaint if known, and then given the opportunity to respond to the allegations.  If an internal investigation cannot be concluded within 60 days, the appropriate parties will be advised and a projected conclusion day will be announced. 

Should cause be found to support the allegations, Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity, will identify appropriate remedial actions which may include disciplinary action up to and including termination, and he will report those recommendations to the person responsible for the division/department in which the alleged discrimination/harassment occurred.  The appropriate vice president, dean, or department head shall implement the recommendations made by the Director, Office of Diversity and Equity to resolve the situation within two weeks of receiving the findings. 

A notice of the findings resulting from the complaint shall be distributed to all relevant parties.  The College will also take steps to prevent the reoccurrence of any discrimination/harassment and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others if appropriate. 

Appeals

Both parties may file an appeal if there is a disagreement with the results and conclusion of the complaint.  An appeal must be made in writing.  For all student complaints initiating with the Judicial Hearing Committee, the appeal process shall proceed in accordance with the College’s established judicial process as outlined in Article VI: Judicial Policies, in the Student Handbook.  All complaints handled by the Office of Diversity and Equity will be addressed in accordance with the appeals procedures listed as follows: 

All appeals must be filed with the President or his/her designee within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the investigator’s decision.  The appeal must state why the complainant believes the result and conclusion is unsatisfactory.  The President or his/her designee shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary.  Within twenty-one (21) working days of the date of the filing of the appeal, all parties will receive notice of the President’s or his/her designee’s decision in writing.  The President’s or his/her designee’s decision will be final and binding on all parties

Cooperation

Employees have an obligation to cooperate in the investigation of any such complaint.  Management at every level has an affirmative responsibility to ensure that recommendations for corrective action are promptly implemented.

Confidentiality

The confidentiality of all parties involved in a discrimination/harassment complaint shall be protected as long as it does not interfere with the College’s obligations to investigate allegations of misconduct or take corrective action.

Withdrawing Complaint

The complainant may, at any time, request to have his/her complaint withdrawn.  In the case of an informal complaint, the request can be made verbally.  Requests to withdraw formal complaints should be made in writing to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.  At its discretion the Office of Diversity and Equity may pursue the investigation and seek remedy if the issues brought forth during the investigation have an adverse impact against other employees, students, or the College.

    External Reporting

    Discrimination/harassment is prohibited by federal, state, and local law. In addition to the internal process described, individuals may pursue complaints directly with government agencies that deal with unlawful discrimination/harassment claims, e.g., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the U.S. Department of Education, Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, and the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission.