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.
 

6465 - COMMERCIAL ANTI-DISCRIMINATION IN BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND PRACTICES

The School Board encourages and fosters an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its business operations and practices. Inherent in this policy is the Board’s commitment to ensuring that the rich tapestry of diversity, inclusion of varying ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives, if collectively recognized, creates cultural value and endorses the Board’s obligation to eliminating perceived, artificial, or actual barriers to business engagement with the District.

The Board is committed to creating an environment in which all businesses are free to participate in business opportunities with the District and flourish without the impediments or barriers of discrimination.

Discrimination Prohibited

Contractors, business entities, District-approved vendors, and consultants that contract with the District, as well as Board employees involved in the procurement process:

 

A.

shall not discriminate against a business or individual based on sex, race, color, ethnic or national origin, religion, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, social and family background, linguistic preference, pregnancy, and any other legally prohibited basis, in connection with the award and/or performance of contracts or modification of a contract between a vendor or contractor and the Board which contract is paid for, in whole or in part, with Board appropriated funds; and

     
 

B.

shall provide a full and fair opportunity for the participation of Small/Micro (S/MBE), Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) in contracts and agreements pursuant to Board Policies 6320, Purchasing, Board Policy 6320.02, Small/Micro and Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise Programs, and Policy 6320.06, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business Operations and Practices.

Applicability

This policy is applicable to all contracts and agreements, including but not limited to, contracts or agreements for the design, development, construction, operation and maintenance of school facilities and other buildings and structures owned, leased or used by the District or its contractors, assignees, lessees and licensees; contracts or agreements for professional services and for purchase of goods, services, supplies and equipment.

Definitions

Business Entity/Contractor/District Approved Vendor: includes any person, firm, partnership, non-profit corporation, for-profit corporation, limited liability company or other legal entity that enters into a contract or agreement with the District.

Complainant: a person or business entity that makes a formal charge alleging wrongdoing.

Discrimination: the unfair or unequal treatment of an individual or group on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnic or national origin, religion, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, social and family background, linguistic preference, pregnancy, and any other legally prohibited basis, in connection with the solicitation, selection, award and/or performance of contracts or modification of a contract between a vendor or contractor and the Board which contract is paid for, in whole or in part, with Board appropriated funds.

Good Faith Belief: a comprehensive term that encompasses a sincere belief or motive without any malice or the desire to defraud others.

Probable Cause: the conclusion of a set of apparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person or business entity has committed the alleged act(s).

Respondent: a person or business entity who is called upon to issue a response to an allegation made by another; specifically refers to a proceeding commenced by an investigation.

Small/Micro, Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises: defined in Board Policy 6320.02.

Implementation

 

A.

Articulation of the Policy

     
   

The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), in conjunction with the Board Attorney’s Office, will develop language to be included in bid solicitations, requests for proposals, agreements and contracts that clearly sets forth the objectives of this policy (solicitation language). District employees shall include this required solicitation language in all bids, public solicitations, requests for proposals, contracts, agreements and all communications to business entities or District-approved vendors, including those who wish to provide professional services to the District.

     
 

B.

Certification of Compliance with the Policy

     
   

The certification of compliance requires that the business entity or its authorized representative submit its written policies and/or procedures regarding adherence to Federal, State, local laws, ordinances and Board rules, regarding non-discriminatory employment or procurement practices. The written policies and/or procedures along with the required District documentation must be submitted at the time the business entity registers to be a vendor with the District, responds to any solicitation published by the District, and/or at the time the business entity enters into any type of agreement or contract with the District.

     
 

C.

Dissemination of Policy

     
   

The policy shall be articulated to the public in general, and to each business entity, vendor, contractor, assignee, lessee or licensee doing or seeking to do business with the District.

Complaint Process

Any person, business entity or District-approved vendor, who has a good-faith belief that they have been subjected to prohibited discrimination under this policy, may seek resolution through the procedures outlined below:

 

A.

Complaints Against a District Employee(s)

     
   

An individual or business entity who has a good-faith belief that s/he/it has been the subject of discrimination by a District employee based on the protected categories listed within this policy, must submit the allegation(s) in writing to the Civil Rights Compliance Office (CRC) in accordance with the District's anti-discrimination complaint process outlined in Board Policy 1362.02, Policy 3362.02, or Policy 4362.02. No anonymous complaints shall be accepted or processed.

     
   

The CRC will thoroughly investigate the allegations and process its findings in accordance with the procedures in Policy 1362.02, Policy 3362.02, or Policy 4362.02.

     
 

B.

Complaints Against Business Entity/District-Approved Vendor

     
   

An individual or business entity that has a good-faith belief that it has been the subject of discrimination by a District-approved vendor based on the protected categories listed within this policy, must submit the allegations in writing to the Civil Rights Compliance Office (CRC).

   

No anonymous complaints shall be accepted or processed. The CRC will thoroughly investigate the allegation(s) and process its findings pursuant to the following procedures:

     
 

1.

Investigative Process

     
   

Complaints must be submitted within 180 days after the prohibited conduct occurred while the facts are still known and potential witnesses are available, and to ensure the prompt elimination of the conduct in question. Failure on the part of the person or business to initiate and/or follow-up on a complaint in a timely manner may result in the claim being considered abandoned. A business entity or District-approved vendor that fails to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation will be subject to the available sanctions applicable to this policy.

     
   

All complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available:

     
 

a.

The identity of the individual or business believed to have engaged in, or is engaging in, prohibited discrimination under this policy.

     
 

b.

A detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based upon.

     
 

c.

A list of potential witnesses.

     
 

d.

Identification of the resolution the complainant seeks.

     
   

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 initial investigatory phase to protect the complainant from further legally prohibited discrimination. In making such a determination, the Compliance Officer should consult the complainant to assess his/her agreement to any action deemed appropriate.

   

Within five (5) business days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer or designee will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the complainant has been subjected to prohibited discrimination.

     
   

Within five (5) business days of receiving the written complaint of legally prohibited discrimination, the compliance officer will inform the individual or business entity alleged to have engaged in the prohibited conduct that a complaint has been received.

     
   

The CRC 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 and signature.

     
   

If the CRC determines that the complaint alleges prohibited discrimination, an investigation will be conducted according to its procedures outlined within this policy. The compliance officer or designee will complete the investigation into the allegations(s) of discrimination within forty-five (45) business 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; and

     
 

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 with 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 is determined, the CRC will forward the completed investigative report, to the Superintendent or his/her designee, to review the findings and make a recommendation for sanctions and a final disposition of the case.

     
 

2.

Compliance/Sanctions

     
   

Substantiated violations of this policy and/or the provisions found in Policy 6320 will result in sanctions which may include suspension, vendor default, cancellation of the contract and/or debarment, pursuant to Policy 6320.04, Contractor Debarment Procedures. Non-adherence to Board Policy 6320.02 and Policy 6230.06 may also be a violation of this policy.

Confidentiality

All investigations shall remain confidential and not subject to disclosure under F.S. Chapter 119 until a final determination is made. When a final determination is made, the complaint and any records created or obtained during the investigation will be subject to disclosure as public records under F.S. Chapter 119.

Alternative Enforcement

These procedures are not intended to interfere with any person’s right to pursue a complaint of legally prohibited discrimination with any local, State, or Federal enforcement agency.

Adopted 11/19/14
Revised 9/9/15

© Miami-Dade 2015