ASU Procedure for Discrimination Complaints & Grievances

A. Application

1. This procedure applies to allegations of discrimination or retaliation made by any member of the Campus Community against any other member of the Campus Community.

B. Time Limits

1. In order to fall within the jurisdiction of this policy, a Complaint or Grievance must be initiated within ten (10) calendar days of the date on which alleged discrimination or retaliation occurred.

a. The Complainant/Grievant may choose to withdraw his/her Complaint/Grievance at any point.

b. The University will investigate all credible allegations of discrimination or retaliation as appropriate to the circumstances and may take precautionary and/or disciplinary action if warranted by the available facts, even if the Complainant/Grievant declines to pursue resolution of the matter through this policy, or the Complaint/Grievance does not fall within the jurisdiction of this policy.

2. The Affirmative Action Officer may extend or shorten any time periods prescribed in this policy for good cause, including the ten (10) day time limit for filing a Grievance, but shall not permit unreasonable delay. It shall be the goal of the Affirmative Action Officer to bring most Complaints/Grievances to closure no later than thirty (30) days after the date of filing. The actual time required will depend on the complexity of each Complaint/Grievance.

C. Purposes of the Discrimination Grievance Procedure

1. To provide a mechanism for prompt and fair internal resolution of allegations of discrimination or retaliation by members of the Campus Community that is reasonably calculated to immediately end any harassment or retaliation, remedy its effects and prevent harassment from occurring again; and

2. To provide a prompt and fair procedure for administering allegations of discrimination or retaliation by Campus Community members that violate this policy.

3. For allegations between or among Classified Staff alleging discrimination or retaliation, this Discrimination Grievance Procedure shall be construed as the grievance policy adopted by the University pursuant to Personnel Board Rules 8-3B and 8-8B and shall be in lieu of the Grievance Procedures set forth in Chapter 8 of the Department of Personnel Board Rules and Director's Administrative Procedures.

D. Protection of the Parties

1. It will be the Affirmative Action Officer's responsibility to keep the President, closely informed about any and all Complaints and Grievances involving discrimination/retaliation that arise within the University. The Affirmative Action Officer will have final authority to decide all procedural matters and arrange for and coordinate all informal resolution efforts unless otherwise specified herein. These decisions are final, non-appealable and non-grievable.

a. Any reference in this policy to "The President" shall be read as "the Chair of the Board of Trustees" if the President is subject of the Complaint.

b. "Affirmative Action Officer" shall be read as "the President's designee" if the President has made such designation for investigation. The President may make such designation whenever he/she deems that the interest of the University would be best served, and shall make such designation if the Affirmative Action Officer is the subject of the Complaint/Grievance.

2. The President or supervisory personnel may take precautionary action to protect the Complainant/Grievant and to prevent contact between the Complainant/Grievant and the Respondent during the pendency of the process. Any such actions shall be in addition to any precautionary or disciplinary measure imposed by the process.

a. In accordance with the applicable procedures set forth in the Adams State University Student Handbook or any applicable provision of a Graduate Program Handbook or Catalog that provides a process for temporary or summary suspension, the Faculty Handbook, the Personnel Board Rules and Director's Administrative Procedures, the State Colleges in Colorado Handbook for Professional Personnel, and when adopted, the Adams State University Professional Personnel Handbook, the President may impose administrative leave, temporary suspension or summary suspension, as appropriate, in conjunction with this policy.

3. Complaints and Grievances will be treated with discretion to protect the privacy of those involved. Participants in the Complaint/Grievance process, including parties, witnesses, employees, agents, students, confidential advisors, mediators or facilitators will treat all information and documents as confidential and will not discuss the matter with, or provide documents to, anyone except as necessary for the investigation and any subsequent proceedings, or as authorized or required by law.

a. Failure to observe these confidentiality requirements may be cause for discipline, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the University.

4. Participants in Discrimination Grievance Procedures should not be promised confidentiality beyond that stated herein.

5. Except for the failure of a Grievant to attend an interview or discussion conducted pursuant to this policy, failure of any member of the Campus Community to cooperate with University officials in pursuing allegations of discrimination/retaliation may be cause for discipline.

6. The intimidation of, unauthorized contact with, or retaliation against any individual because of that individual's involvement in a Complaint/Grievance is a violation of University policy and may be the subject of a Complaint or Grievance under this or other University policies and may result in discipline.

7. Abuse of the Complaint/Grievance process is grounds for discipline. Abuse of this process includes fraudulent or bad faith allegations, knowingly false statements of fact or documentation, or otherwise behaving irresponsibly in connection with any part of a Complaint/Grievance.

8. A member of the Classified Staff who makes a Complaint against another member of the Classified staff may have a representative present at any stage in the Complaint/Grievance process and that representative may speak for him/her, however the Classified Staff member is expected to participate in discussions. Other members of the Campus Community may be advised by a representative at any stage of the process but must speak for themselves.

E. External Processes

1. Those who believe they are victims of discrimination or retaliation may initiate outside legal action through private sources or the appropriate State or Federal enforcement agencies.

2. If an external complaint, grievance or charge is filed with an equal opportunity enforcement agency or in State or Federal court while a Complaint/Grievance is pending within the University and the complaints arise out of the same incident(s) or make similar allegations of discrimination/retaliation the University may discontinue the internal Complaint/ Grievance process. The University may nonetheless require an investigation of all credible allegations of discrimination/retaliation and take precautionary/disciplinary action as appropriate even if the Complaint/Grievance process has been discontinued.

F. Consolidation of Grievances

1. Multiple Complaints/Grievances may be consolidated if they arise from the same or similar facts and circumstances, or allege retaliation for bringing an earlier, still-pending Complaint/Grievance.

G. Informal Resolution Efforts

1. It is the goal of the University to provide prompt resolution of any Complaints/Grievances in a manner that ends any present discrimination/retaliation, protects against future discrimination/retaliation and remedies past discrimination/retaliation. To advance this goal, the University strives to resolve perceived discrimination/retaliation at the lowest level possible. Frequently the most satisfactory process for resolving perceived discrimination/retaliation is informal discussion between the parties and appropriate administrators. Such discussions will generally precede the filing of a written Grievance as defined under this policy but may also take place after the filing of a Grievance.

2. In informal resolution, affected employees, administrators, students, and/or outside

facilitators, will reason together to identify problems, to develop understanding, to reconcile differences and, if appropriate, to redress allegations of discrimination/retaliation. Upon approval by the President and consent of the parties, the Affirmative Action Officer may refer a matter to mediation for informal resolution. Informal resolution may be by-passed or terminated if the person who perceives he or she has suffered discrimination/retaliation feels it is necessary to do so.

3. The Complainant, appropriate supervisory personnel or the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Affirmative Action Officer and if appropriate, other individuals who may facilitate communications will discuss informal resolution. The person(s) alleged to have engaged in discrimination/retaliation may be asked to join the discussion if the Affirmative Action Officer determines that it would be worthwhile and the Complainant consents.

4. Any remedy arising from informal resolution efforts will be reduced to writing within seven (7) calendar days after the conclusion of informal resolution efforts. A remedy arising from informal resolution may consist of 1) an informal remedy determination issued by the appropriate supervisory level-employee or the Vice President for Student Affairs after discussions with the Complainant and others; or 2) a written agreement between the Parties.

5. If a Complainant is dissatisfied by an informal remedy determination issued by the a appropriate supervisory personnel or the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Complainant may, within five (5) calendar days after service of the informal remedy determination, proceed with a formal Grievance.

6. An agreement for informal resolution entered into by the Parties must be approved by the President and is binding, final, unappealable and non-grievable.