Oregon-Davis School Corporation
Bylaws & Policies
 

3122 - NONDISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

The School Board does not discriminate on the basis of the Protected Classes of race, color, national origin, sex (including transgender status, sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, age, religion, military status, ancestry, or genetic information which are classes protected by Federal and/or State law (collectively, "Protected Classes") occurring in the Corporation's employment opportunities, programs, and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporation's employment opportunities, programs, and activities, affecting the Corporation environment.

The Superintendent shall appoint and publicize the name of the Compliance Officer who is/are responsible for coordinating the Corporation's efforts to comply with applicable Federal and State laws and regulations, including the Corporation's duty to address in a prompt and equitable manner any inquiries or complaints regarding discrimination or denial of equal access. The Compliance Officer also shall verify that proper notice of nondiscrimination for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended), Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is provided to staff members and the general public. Any sections of the Corporation's collectively bargained contracts dealing with hiring, promotion, and tenure should contain a statement of nondiscrimination similar to that in the Board's statement above. In addition, any gender specific terms should be eliminated from such contracts.

Compliance Officer

The following person is/are designated as the Corporationís Compliance Officer and, as such, shall handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies of the Corporation and address any complaint of discrimination:

 

Dr. Donald Harman

 
 

Superintendent

 
 

5998 North 750 East

 
 

Hamlet, IN 46532

 
 

574-867-2111

 
 

dharman@od.k12.in.us

 

Reports and Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination and Retaliation

Employees are encouraged to promptly report incidents of unlawful discrimination and/or retaliation occurring in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment to an administrator, supervisor, or other Corporation-level official so that the Board may address the conduct. Any administrator, supervisor, or other Corporation-level official who receives such a complaint shall file it with a Compliance Officer within two (2) business days.

Employees who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment are entitled to utilize the complaint process set forth below. Initiating a complaint, whether formally or informally, in the Corporation and/or a concurrent criminal complaint will not adversely affect the complaining individual's employment status or opportunity. While there are no time limits for initiating complaints under this policy, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available.

The Compliance Officer will be available during regular school/work hours to discuss concerns related to unlawful discrimination/retaliation. The Compliance Officer shall accept complaints of unlawful discrimination/retaliation directly from any member of the Corporation community or a visitor to the Corporation, and receive complaints that are initially filed with a school building administrator, supervisor or other Corporation-level official. Upon receipt of a complaint, either directly or through a school building administrator, supervisor or other Corporation-level official, a Compliance Officer will begin either an informal or formal process (depending on the request of the person alleging the discrimination/retaliation or the nature of the alleged discrimination/retaliation), or designate a specific individual to conduct such a process.

The Compliance Officer will provide a copy of this policy to any person who files a complaint. In the case of a formal complaint, the Compliance Officer will prepare recommendations for the Superintendent or oversee the preparation of such recommendations by a designee. All members of the Corporation community must report incidents of discrimination/retaliation that are reported to them to the Compliance Officer within two (2) business days of learning of the incident/conduct.

Any Corporation employee who directly observes unlawful discrimination/retaliation is obligated, in accordance with this policy, to report such observations to the Compliance Officers within two (2) business days. Additionally, any Corporation employee who observes an act of unlawful discrimination/retaliation is expected to intervene to stop the misconduct, unless circumstances make such an intervention dangerous, in which case the staff member should immediately notify other Corporation employees and/or local law enforcement officials, as necessary, to stop the misconduct. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer or designee must contact the employee within two (2) business days to advise him/her of the Corporation's intent to investigate the wrongdoing.

Complaint Procedures

Any employee who believes that s/he has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or retaliation may seek resolution of his/her complaint through the procedures described below. The formal complaint procedures involve an investigation of the individualís claims and a process for rendering a decision regarding whether the charges are substantiated at the lowest possible administrative level and in a prompt and equitable manner.

Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) calendar days after the conduct occurs. Once the formal complaint process is begun, the investigation will be completed in a timely manner (ordinarily, within fifteen (15) business days of the complaint being received).

In accordance with Federal and State law, employees will be notified of their right to file an internal complaint regarding an alleged violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of Federal and/or State law pertaining to discrimination in employment.

In addition, employees will be notified of their right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, as well as a concurrent criminal complaint with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the Corporation.

Informal Complaint Procedure

The goal of the informal complaint procedure is to stop quickly inappropriate behavior and facilitate resolution through an informal means, if possible. The informal complaint procedure is provided as a less formal option for an employee or unsuccessful applicant for employment who believes s/he has been unlawfully discriminated or retaliated against in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment. This informal procedure is not required as a precursor to the filing of a formal complaint or a concurrent criminal complaint.

The informal process is available only in those circumstances where the parties (the alleged target of the discrimination/retaliation and individual(s) alleged to have engaged in the discrimination) agree to participate in it.

Employees, or unsuccessful applicants for employment, who believe that they have been unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment may proceed immediately to the formal complaint process and individuals who seek resolution through the informal procedure may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

All complaints involving a Corporation employee or any other adult member of the Corporation community against a student will be formally investigated, and a concurrent criminal complaint shall be filed.

As an initial course of action, if an individual feels that s/he is being unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment and s/he is able and feels safe doing so, the individual should tell or otherwise inform the person who engaged in the allegedly discriminatory/retaliatory conduct that it is inappropriate and must stop. The complaining individual should address the alleged misconduct as soon after it occurs as possible. The Compliance Officer is available to support and counsel individuals when taking this initial step or to intervene on behalf of the individual if requested to do so.

An individual who is uncomfortable or unwilling to inform the person who allegedly engaged in the unlawful conduct of his/her concerns is not prohibited from otherwise filing an informal or a formal complaint and filing a concurrent criminal complaint if s/he desires to do so.

In addition, with regard to certain types of unlawful discrimination, such as sexual discrimination, the Compliance Officer may advise against the use of the informal complaint process.

An individual who believes s/he has been unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment may make an informal complaint, either orally or in writing: 1) to a building administrator; 2) directly to the Compliance Officer; and/or 3) to the Superintendent or other Corporation-level employee.

All informal complaints must be reported to the Compliance Officer who will either facilitate an informal resolution as described below or appoint another individual to facilitate an informal resolution.

The Corporationís informal complaint procedure is designed to provide employees who believe they are being unlawfully discriminated/retaliated against with a range of options aimed at bringing about a prompt resolution of their concerns. Depending upon the nature of the complaint and the wishes of the individual claiming unlawful discrimination/retaliation, informal resolution may involve, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:

 

A.

Advising the individual about how to communicate his/her concerns to the person who allegedly engaged in the discriminatory/retaliatory behavior.

   
 

B.

Distributing a copy of Policy 3122 Nondiscrimination as a reminder to the individuals in the school building or office where the individual whose behavior is being questioned works.

   
 

C.

If both parties agree, the Compliance Officer may arrange and facilitate a meeting between the individual claiming discrimination/retaliation and the individual accused of engaging in the misconduct to work out a mutual resolution.

While there are no set time limits within which an informal complaint must be resolved, the Compliance Officer or designee will exercise his/her authority to attempt to resolve all informal complaints within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the informal complaint.

Parties who are dissatisfied with the results of the informal complaint process may proceed to file a formal complaint. And, as stated above, parties may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process.

The Compliance Officer will retain all materials that are generated as part of the informal complaint process in accordance with the Boardís records retention policy. (See Policy 8310)

Formal Complaint Procedure

If a complaint is not resolved through the informal complaint process, if one of the parties requested that the informal complaint process be terminated to move to the formal complaint process, or if the individual elects to file a formal complaint initially, this formal complaint process shall be implemented.

An individual who believes that s/he has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment (hereinafter referred to as the "Complainant"), may file a formal complaint, either orally or in writing, with an administrator, the Compliance Officer, Superintendent, or other Corporation-level official, as well as file a concurrent criminal complaint with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.

Due to the sensitivity surrounding complaints of unlawful discrimination and retaliation, timelines are flexible for initiating the complaint process; however, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint within thirty (30) calendar days after the conduct occurs.

If a Complainant informs an administrator, supervisor, Superintendent, or other Corporation-level official, either orally or in writing, about any complaint of discrimination/retaliation, the employee who is informed of the complaint must report such information to the Compliance Officer within two (2) business days.

Throughout the course of the process, the Compliance Officer should keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation and the decision-making process.

All formal 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, the discriminatory/retaliatory conduct; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; a list of potential witnesses; and the resolution sought by the Complainant.

If the Complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement including the information set forth above, the Compliance Officer shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer will prepare a written summary of the oral interview, and the Complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the reported complaint by signing the document.

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the Compliance Officer will consider whether any action should be taken in the investigatory phase to protect the Complainant from further discrimination or retaliation, including, but not limited to, a change of work assignment or schedule for the Complainant and/or the person who allegedly engaged in the misconduct. In making such a determination, the Compliance Officer should consult the Complainant to assess his/her agreement to the proposed action. If the Complainant is unwilling to consent to the proposed change, the Compliance Officer may still take whatever actions s/he deems appropriate in consultation with the Superintendent.

Within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the complaint, the Compliance Officer, or a designee, will initiate a formal investigation to determine whether the Complainant has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation.

Simultaneously, the Compliance Officer, or a designee, will inform the individual alleged to have engaged in the discriminatory or retaliatory conduct (hereinafter referred to as the "Respondent"), that a complaint has been received. The Respondent will be informed about the nature of the allegations and provided with a copy of any relevant policies and/or administrative guidelines, including Policy 3122 - Nondiscrimination. The Respondent also must be informed of the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint within five (5) business days.

Although certain cases may require additional time, the Compliance Officer, or a designee, will attempt to complete an investigation into the allegations of discrimination/retaliation within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the formal complaint.

The investigation will include:

 

A.

interview(s) with the Complainant;

     
 

B.

interview(s) with the Respondent;

     
 

C.

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

     
 

D.

consideration of any documentation or other information presented by the Complainant, Respondent, or any other witness that is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Compliance Officer, or the designee, shall prepare and deliver a written report to the Superintendent that summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definition of unlawful discrimination/retaliation as provided in Board policy and State and Federal law as to whether the Complainant has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation. The recommendations must be based upon the totality of the circumstances. In determining if discrimination or retaliation occurred, a preponderance of evidence standard will be used (i.e., it is more likely than not that unlawful discrimination/retaliation occurred).

The Compliance Officer, or the designee, should consult with the Boardís legal counsel before finalizing the report to the Superintendent.

Absent extenuating circumstances, within five (5) business days of receiving the report of the Compliance Officer or the designee, the Superintendent must either issue a decision regarding whether the charges have been substantiated or request further investigation. A copy of the Superintendent's decision will be delivered to both the Complainant and the Respondent.

If the Superintendent requests additional investigation, the Superintendent must delineate the additional information that is to be gathered, and such additional investigation must be completed within five (5) business days. At the conclusion of the additional investigation, the Superintendent must issue a written decision as described above.

If the Superintendent determines the Complainant was subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation, s/he must identify what corrective action will be taken to stop, remedy, and prevent the recurrence of the discrimination/retaliation. The corrective action should be reasonable, timely, age-appropriate, effective, and tailored to the specific situation.

A Complainant or Respondent who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Superintendent may appeal through a signed written request to the Board within five (5) business days of his/her receipt of the Superintendent's decision.

If the Superintendent is the Respondent, the appeal process will skip the review by the Superintendent and move directly to the Board. In such circumstances, the Compliance Officer, or the designee, shall prepare and deliver a written report to the Board that summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definition of unlawful discrimination/retaliation as provided in Board policy and State and Federal law as to whether the Complainant has been subjected to unlawful discrimination/retaliation.

The Board shall meet with the concerned parties and their representatives within twenty (20) business days of the receipt of a written request to appeal. At this meeting, the parties have the right to present evidence, including testimony and/or exhibits, to the Board in support of their position. A copy of the Board's disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten (10) business days of this meeting. The decision of the Board will be final.

The Board reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report of unlawful discrimination/retaliation regardless of whether the employee or unsuccessful applicant for employment alleging the unlawful discrimination/retaliation pursues the complaint. The Board also reserves the right to have the formal complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board or its designee.

The Complainant and the Respondent may be represented, at his/her own cost, at any of the above-described meetings/hearings.

The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint shall not be impaired by the personís pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, or the filing of a concurrent criminal complaint. Use of the complaint procedures is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies. Furthermore, the complaint must be investigated even if a separate investigation is being conducted by another agency, including but not limited to the local police department.

Privacy/Confidentiality

The Corporation will employ all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of the Complainant, the Respondent(s), and the witnesses to the extent possible, consistent with the Corporationís legal obligations to investigate, take appropriate action, and comply with any discovery or disclosure obligations.

All records generated under the terms of this policy shall be maintained as confidential to the extent permitted by law. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed.

All Complainants proceeding through the formal investigation process will be advised that their identities may be disclosed to the Respondent(s).

Remedial Action, Sanctions and Monitoring

The Board shall vigorously enforce its prohibitions against unlawful discrimination/retaliation occurring in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment by taking appropriate action reasonably calculated to stop and prevent further misconduct.

If warranted, appropriate remedial action shall be determined and implemented on behalf of the Complainant. Such remedial action may include, but is not limited to, counseling services, reinstatement of leave taken due to the discrimination, or other appropriate action.

While observing the principles of due process, a violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including the discharge of an employee. All disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable State law and the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s), if any.

When imposing discipline, the Superintendent shall consider the totality of the circumstances involved in the matter. In those cases where unlawful discrimination/retaliation is not substantiated, the Board may consider whether the alleged conduct nevertheless warrants discipline in accordance with other Board policies, consistent with the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s), if any.

All sanctions imposed by the Board and/or Superintendent shall be reasonably calculated to end such conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effect. Prior sanctions imposed on the Respondent(s) for similar past conduct shall be considered in determining the appropriateness of the sanction(s) imposed for the present conduct.

The Board may appoint an individual, who may be an employee of the Corporation, to monitor the Respondent to ensure no further discrimination or retaliation occurs. Likewise, the Board may appoint an individual, who may be an employee of the Corporation other than the Respondent, to follow up with the Complainant to ensure that no further discrimination or retaliation has occurred and to take action to promptly address any reported occurrences.

Retaliation

Retaliation against a person who (1) makes a report or files a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination occurring in the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and/or activities, or, if initially occurring off Corporation grounds or outside the Corporationís employment opportunities, programs and activities, affecting the Corporation environment, or (2) participates as a witness in an investigation, is prohibited.

Specifically, the Board will not discriminate/retaliate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual because s/he opposed any act or practice made unlawful by Federal or State nondiscrimination laws, made a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under those laws, or exercised, enjoyed, aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by those laws.

Individuals found to have engaged in retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from school.

Training

The Compliance Officers also will oversee the training of Corporation employees so that all employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Federal and State law and are informed of the Board's policies and practices with respect to fully implementing and complying with the requirements of Federal and State law.

Notice

Notice of the Board's policy on nondiscrimination in employment practices and the identity of the Compliance Officers will be posted throughout the Corporation and published in any Corporation statement regarding the availability of employment, in any staff handbooks, and in general information publications of the Corporation as required by Federal and State law and this policy.

I.C. 20-28-10-12
I.C.20-28-10-13
I.C.20-33-1-6
20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004)
20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
29 U.S.C. 621 et seq., Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
29 U.S.C. 794, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
29 U.S.C. 6101, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975
42 U.S.C. 1983
42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended
29 C.F.R. Part 1635

Revised 9/16/13
Revised 10/10/16

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