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  3. Grievance Policy and Procedure in Discrimination and Harassment Claims

Grievance Policy and Procedure in Discrimination and Harassment Claims

Policy Author:
Chief Diversity Officer / Title IX Coordinator

Responsible Office – Department:
Center for Diversity & Inclusion

Effective Date of Policy:
February 16, 2021

It is the policy of Daemen College, in accordance with federal and state laws including, but not limited to, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Human Rights Law, not to discriminate against any person on the basis of membership in any protected classes under federal and/or state law with respect to employment, admission to the College, or in participation in any College program or activity. Also in accordance with these laws, it is the policy of the College to prohibit harassment of any employee or applicant on the basis of the statuses outlined above. All complaints alleging a violation of this policy will be investigated and appropriate remedies will be instituted.

Responsibility:

Every person in the College community is responsible for compliance with this policy. The Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer/Chief Diversity Officer (DS118, 716-839-8249) has been given day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy.

Grievances:

All grievances or complaints alleging a violation of the College’s nondiscrimination policy and policy prohibiting unlawful harassment should be submitted to the Chief Diversity Officer, who is the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator (DS118, 716-839-8249). Grievance forms are available in the office of the EOAA Office, but any form or format may be used provided it is identified as a grievance. A grievance should contain a statement of the facts identifying the violation and as much supporting documentation as possible. Those filing a grievance should also express their view of a possible resolution to the problem. A grievance should be filed as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination has occurred (usually within 30 days). A delay in filing a grievance may impact the ability of the College to investigate and resolve the grievance.

All persons involved, including complainant(s), respondent(s), and witness(es), will be accorded due process, as outlined below. In general, the Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will attempt to resolve the matter as simply and as quickly as possible by informally meeting with the relevant persons in an effort to reach an acceptable agreement, if possible. If the complaint involves an incident of alleged sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and/or domestic violence, the matter will immediately proceed to the process below; no informal mediation will be undertaken. While the process may vary from case to case depending on the circumstances, an investigation of a report of harassment or other violation of this policy will generally include the following steps:

  • Upon receipt of a report of harassment or other violation of this policy, Daemen College will conduct an immediate review of the allegations and take any appropriate interim action required to protect the safety and security of the campus and individuals.  An appropriately trained professional will be appointed to serve as an investigator as ordered by the Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee), which could include either of them or their designee.
  • Relevant documents and electronic communications will be collected and reviewed, which will include interviews with complainant(s), respondent(s), and witness(es), if applicable.  During the investigation, the complainant and respondent shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses.
  • Confidential written documentation of the investigation will be created which may also include recordings of interviews and direct transcripts of meetings.
  • The information collected from the investigator will be summarized into a formal report and provided to the Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee) for review.  Communication will be sent to both the complainant and respondent informing them of status of incident.
  • The Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will review the information collected and determine appropriate response in conjunction with statutes and legal counsel, if determined necessary.  If feasible and not presenting a safety risk to the campus and/or individuals, a meeting will be conducted with the respondent to discuss the matter and share sanctions, if applicable.  The complainant(s) will receive word of College response via official written communication, and an in-person meeting, if feasible.
  • All records will be kept confidential and maintained in the Office of Employee Engagement and filed for the appropriate amount of time as determined by the College’s record retention policy.

Appeal:

If after the decision is rendered, either the complainant(s) or respondent(s) are unsatisfied with the resolution, either party may appeal the matter to the Office of Employee Engagement for review.  Such requests may be made at any time, but not later than five (5) days after notification of the decision. The AVP of Employee Engagement (or designee) will chair a panel of three to include appropriate, senior-level administrators who have no direct conflict of interest to review the matter and render a final decision.  Within thirty (30) days thereafter, the committee, in conjunction with legal counsel if applicable, will complete their review of the matter, which could include additional discussions with already known or newly identified individuals with respect to the grievance. A final decision will be submitted in writing to both the complainant(s) and respondent(s).

Should the President be the accused party, all appeals will be made to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, which will review and rule upon the committee’s decision.

Updated on November 5, 2021

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