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Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures

1.00Introduction These procedures are adopted by the President’s Cabinet of Sauk Valley College Community College as part of the College’s continuing commitment to an effective policy of non-discrimination. The college strives to maintain an atmosphere free of harassment, intimidation, and insults based on race, color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information, and/or citizenship.

1.01 These Procedures are available to all employees, applicants for employment, students, and applicants for admission to Sauk Valley Community College (collectively called “employees” and “students”). These procedures in no way prelude an employee or student from seeking relief through outside agencies (e.g., Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

1.02 An Affirmative Action grievance is a claim by an employee or student (called the “claimant”), that an action which violates college policies of non-discrimination and equal opportunity has been or is about to be taken with respect to the claimant.

1.03 These Procedures offer claimants the means of bringing their grievances to the attention of those persons who can take action to remedy any discrimination found to exist at the College. Even the formal review procedures are informal in nature – they are not intended to be court-type procedures. While employees and students are encouraged to do so, they are not required to make use of these Procedures. The right to use these Procedures is intended to supplement, not to replace, any other rights of employees and students.

1.04 No claimant’s status as an employee or student will be adversely affected in any way, because they utilize these Procedures. All employees and students are advised that any retaliation or attempt to retaliate against a claimant for the use of these Procedures or against any employee or student for participating in any manner in proceedings will constitute a violation of these Procedures and may also be a violation of law.

1.05 SVCC Affirmative Action is Board Policy 403.01 and can be accessed at https://www.svcc.edu/about/board-policy/400/403.01.html. The Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures can be accessed at on Sauk’s website at https://www.svcc.edu/about/procedures/index.html.

2.00 Informal Review of Grievances An employee or student is encouraged to “speak up” when a problem relating to discrimination arises. The flexibility of informal discussions often results in solutions to discrimination problems more easily and quickly than do formal procedures.

2.01 Employees and students are encouraged to bring any grievance to the attention of an Affirmative Action Officer (called the “AAO”); however, students can bring the grievance to the attention of the Dean of Student Services. If in doubt as to how to proceed, an employee or student should contact the AAO.

2.02 If, during the informal review procedure the AAO should determine that there is reasonable cause to believe that the complaint is true and that the complaint alleges a grievance as defined in these Procedures, the AAO shall recommend appropriate remedial action. If the person to whom such remedial action is recommended does not take such action as soon as is practical, the AAO shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the President, who may take such administrative action as deemed appropriate. If possible, the informal review should be completed in three working days.

2.03 A claimant with a grievance against the AAO should contact the President for informal review. A claimant with a grievance against the President should contact the Board of Trustees Chair for an informal review.

3.00Formal Review of Grievances A claimant whose grievance remains unresolved three working days after informal review procedures may file a charge within thirty days after the action constituting the alleged grievance occurred. Charges should be in writing and contain such information as the person receiving the charge requires, including, but not limited to: the date, place, and nature of the alleged grievance; the identity of the person or persons alleged to have committed such grievance (called the “respondent”); a concise statement of the alleged facts and circumstances upon which the grievance is based; and the identity of any witnesses or other persons known to the claimant having knowledge of the facts and circumstances. The AAO will make available an appropriate form for the filing of a charge. The charge should be accompanied by copies of any documents which the claimant believes are relevant.

3.02 If there is a reasonable explanation as to why a claimant has failed to file a charge within the required time limit, the time limit may be waived by the person with whom the charge is filed.

3.03 A claimant with a charge identifying the AAO as a respondent may file such a charge with the President. A claimant with a charge identifying the President as a respondent may file such charge with the Board of Trustees Chair. All other charges should be filled with an AAO.

3.04 Whenever a charge is filed, the person receiving the charge, or their designee, will serve a notice of the charge (including the name of the claimant, date, place and nature of the alleged grievance) on the respondent within five working days after the receipt of the charge, and will make, or cause to be made, an investigation of the charge. The respondent may, but is not required to, submit information in writing which will be made a part of the file and considered in the investigation.

3.05 If the person receiving the charge, or the Board in the case of a charge received by the Chair of the Board, should determine after the investigation and conferring with the claimant (a) that there is not reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true, (b) that the charge does not allege a grievance as defined in these Procedures, such person, or the Board shall dismiss the charge and promptly serve written notice on the claimant and the respondent of such action. The determination whether to dismiss a charge shall be made as promptly as possible and, so far as practical, not later than ten working days.

3.06 If the person receiving the charge, or the Board, should determine after investigation and conferring with the claimant and the respondent that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true and that the charge alleges a grievance as defined in these Procedures, such person or the Board, or the designate of such person or the Board, shall promptly endeavor to remedy the grievance by informal methods of conference and conciliation, and if necessary by seeking appropriate administrative or Board action, and will promptly serve written notice on the claimant and on the respondent of any such administrative or Board action. So far as practical, final disposition of all charges shall be made not later than twenty days from filing of the charge.

3.07 If the person receiving the charge determines that it is appropriate to delegate any of the responsibility to investigate the charge imposed by section 3.05 such responsibilities shall be delegated only to persons who are then members of the Affirmative Action Committee, except that if the charge identifies as a respondent the AAO, AAC, or the President, such delegation may be made to the Board of Trustees. If the charge identifies as a respondent a Trustee, such charges may be referred to an appropriate governmental agency unaffiliated with the Board.

3.08 At least five days prior to taking any of the actions contemplated by secs. 3.05 or 3.06, the person receiving the charge shall submit the charges, investigation reports and summary of tentative proposed action to the AAC for its advisory recommendations. Where practical, such person shall also meet and confer with the AAC prior to taking action. In any event, such person shall furnish a report to the AAC concerning any grievance resolved prior to action being taken, as well as a report of the any action taken.

4.00Appeal A claimant or respondent who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the formal review procedure may file an appeal within five working days after the date on which notice under sec. 3.05 or 3.06 is served. The AAO will make available an appropriate form for the filing of an appeal.

4.01 Appeals shall be in writing, shall state the grounds for the appeal, and shall be accompanied by copies of all documents which the appellant deems pertinent to the appeal. At the time of filing an appeal, the appellant shall also serve copies of the appeal and all attached documents on the person giving the notice, and on the appellee (who is the respondent in the case of an appeal by a complainant, and is the complainant in the case of an appeal by a respondent).

4.02 The appeal from a notice given by the AAO will be to the President. The appeal from a notice given by or on behalf of the Board will be referred to an appropriate governmental agency unaffiliated with the Board.

4.03 Within five working days after the date on which an appeal is filed, the person giving the notice and the appellee may file written replies to the appeal, accompanied by copies of all documents deemed pertinent to the appeal, with copies served on all other parties.

4.04 The party to whom the appeal is made shall decide the appeal on the basis of the grievance filed and the papers submitted pursuant to sec. 4.01 and 4.03. The party deciding the appeal may also attempt to resolve the appeal by informal methods. If practical, written notice of the decision on an appeal shall be served on all parties within ten working days after the date on which the appeal is filed.

5.00Affirmative Action Committee The AAC shall perform the functions described in sections 3.07 and 3.08 of these procedures.

5.01 The AAC shall consist of two representatives from each of the following groups: (1) administrative personnel, (2) faculty personnel (one teaching member, the second from Student Services), (3) non-academic personnel (one from facilities, the second from staff), and (4) the student body. AAO, the ninth member of the AAC, shall serve as chairperson. All nine members shall be approved by the President.

5.02 By accepting membership on the AAC, each member stands committed to maintain confidentiality with respect to all evidence presented during the investigation or consideration of any grievance.undefined