The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

4362.02 - ANTI-DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The individual listed below is the head of the Civil Rights Compliance (CRC) Office, ("Compliance Officer").

Civil Rights Compliance Executive Director

155 N.E. 15th Street, Suite P-104E

Miami Florida 33132

305-995-1580

The School Board has established procedures to fulfill the letter and intent of anti-discrimination laws. The Office of Civil Rights Compliance (CRC) is responsible for investigating complaints and/or charges of discrimination and illegal harassment, including sexual harassment and retaliation filed by employees, students and their parents, or applicants. The CRC office accepts complaints of prohibited discrimination/harassment directly from any member of the District community. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Compliance Officer will designate a specific individual within the CRC office to conduct an investigation.

All members of the District community must report incidents of prohibited discrimination/harassment to which they, in good faith, believe they have been subjected or which are reported to them, to the CRC office without delay.

Investigation and Complaint Procedure

Any member of the District community or third party who has a good faith belief that s/he has been subjected to prohibited discrimination/harassment may seek resolution of his/her complaint through the procedures described below.

While there is a 300 calendar day time limit for initiating a complaint of discrimination/harassment, individuals should make every effort to submit a complaint as soon as possible after the prohibited conduct occurred while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available, and to ensure the prompt elimination of the conduct in question. Failure on the part of the employee to initiate and/or follow-up on a complaint in a timely manner may result in the complaint being considered abandoned. The procedures below are established to provide a prompt and equitable process for resolving complaints of prohibited discrimination/harassment.

These procedures are not intended to interfere with the rights of a member of the District community or a third party to pursue a complaint of legally prohibited discrimination/harassment with any State or Federal enforcement agency.

The initiation of a discrimination or harassment complaint by an employee will not be used as a basis for actions that adversely affect the complainantís standing in his/her work location. Additionally, participation in or assistance in the investigation of a complaint shall not be used as the basis of any adverse employment action on an employee.

Supervising administrators throughout the District are expected to address issues and/or conflicts at the worksite. Issues should be resolved by encouraging communication with adherence to laws, rules, and guidelines. If the issues of discrimination/harassment cannot be resolved, it should be referred to the Compliance Officer without delay.

Complaint Procedure

A member of the District community or third party who believes they have been subjected to prohibited discrimination/harassment must report the conduct immediately to his/her supervisor or the CRC. If the complainant makes the report to CRC, the complainant shall present it in writing. If a complainant informs any other employee of the District, either orally or in writing, about any complaint of prohibited discrimination/harassment, that employee must immediately refer the individual or report such information to the Compliance Officer. No anonymous complaints shall be accepted or processed. The complaint must be signed attesting that it is true to the best of the complainantís knowledge.

If it is determined that the complaint alleges prohibited discrimination/harassment, the complaint will be investigated.

Throughout the course of the investigative process, the Compliance Officer should keep the complainant informed of the status of the investigation.

Complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available: the identity of the individual believed to have engaged in, or be engaging in, prohibited conduct/harassment; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; a list of potential witnesses; and, identification of the resolution which the complainant seeks.

The Compliance Officer or designee will conduct an oral interview and prepare a written summary of the oral interview which will be presented to the complainant for verification by signature.

Upon receiving a written complaint, the Compliance Officer will consider, in conjunction with the head of the division or department, whether any action should be taken in the investigatory phase to protect the complainant from further legally prohibited harassment or retaliation including but not limited to, a change of job assignment or a change of class schedule. In making such a determination, the Compliance Officers should consult the complainant to assess his/her agreement to any action deemed appropriate.

Within three (3) work days of receiving the written complaint of legally prohibited harassment, the Compliance Officer will inform the individual alleged to have engaged in the harassing conduct that a complaint has been received.

Within five (5) work days of receiving the complaint, the Compliance Officer or a designee will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the complainant has been subject to prohibited discrimination/harassment.

The Compliance Officer or designee will complete an investigation into the allegations of discrimination/harassment within thirty (30) work days of receiving the written complaint. The investigation will include:

 A.interviews with the complainant;

 B.interviews with the respondent;

 C.interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations;

 D.consideration of any documentation or other evidence presented by the complainant, respondent, or any other witness which is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the respondent and the complainant will be provided a written report of the findings summarizing the evidence gathered during the investigation and the final determination of the case. If a finding of Probable Cause occurs, CRC will forward the completed investigative report, including the determination of Probable Cause to the Office of Professional Standards for review, a recommendation for disciplinary action, and final disposition of the case. All disciplinary action will be taken according to State law and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). The Board will act upon the recommended disciplinary determination at its regular meeting.

The complainant may request review of the CRC determination by the Superintendent. The request must be submitted in writing within fifteen (15) workdays and state with particularity the reasons for the request, which may include additional witnesses, evidence or information to be sought that if obtained, would likely change the outcome of the investigation.

Confidentiality

The District will make all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the complainant and the respondent. The District will respect the privacy of the complainant (unless the complainant made the complaint with malice or with knowledge that it was false), the respondent, and all witnesses in a manner consistent with the District's legal obligations under State and Federal law. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed however. All parties proceeding through the investigation process should be advised that at the conclusion of the investigation, their identities and the investigation become subject to disclosure under F.S. 119.

During the course of the investigation, the Compliance Officer or his/her designee will instruct all members of the District community and third parties who are interviewed about the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Any individual who is interviewed as part of an investigation of prohibited discrimination/harassment is expected not to disclose any information that s/he learns or that s/he provides during the course of the investigation.

All public records created as part of an investigation of prohibited discrimination/harassment will be maintained by the Compliance Officer according to State law and the Board's records retention policy. Records of an ongoing investigation shall remain confidential and not subject to disclosure pursuant to F.S. Chapter 119 until a final determination is made on the case. Any records which are considered education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act will be maintained in a manner consistent with the provisions of Federal and State law.

Child Abuse/Sexual Misconduct

All employees aware of suspected child abuse or neglect must immediately report the abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services abuse hotline, the School Police, and the school site administrator. If, during the course of an investigation of prohibited discrimination/harassment, the Compliance Officers or designee has reason to believe or suspect that the alleged conduct indicates abuse or neglect of the complainant, a report of such knowledge must be made in accordance with State law and Policy 8462.

If the Compliance Officer or a designee has reason to believe that the complainant has been the victim of criminal conduct, such knowledge should be reported to local law enforcement.

Any reports made to the local child protection service or to local law enforcement shall not terminate the Compliance Officer's or designee's obligation and responsibility to continue to investigate a complaint of prohibited discrimination/harassment.

Mandatory Reporting of Misconduct by Certificated Employees

The Superintendent is required by State law and Policy 8141 to report alleged misconduct by certificated employees of the District that affects the health, safety, and welfare of a student.

F.S. 110.1221, 760.01, 760.10, 1000.05, 1006.07
20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.
29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.
29 U.S.C. 794
29 C.F.R. Part 1635
42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.
42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.
42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.
42 U.S.C. 1983
42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
National School Boards Association Inquiry and Analysis - May 2008

Technical Change 7/13/15
Revised 4/13/16

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