|Section 1000: College Governance
Equal Opportunity: Culture of Respect
Administrative Regulation: AR-1100-A
|President’s Cabinet (PC) Approval: 12/5/95
The College is committed to a safe work environment for all employees including the elimination of bullying, discrimination and harassment and the provision of equal opportunity in education and employment. The College will inform individuals of their right to be free from such discriminatory behaviors, and to promote the safety of all individuals at the College and its activities. This regulation covers students, faculty, staff, administrators, visitors, vendors and contractors in accordance with College policy and local, state and federal law and statutes.
The College has specific procedures designed to maintain an atmosphere free of bullying, discrimination and harassment and one that allows for free and effective communication between individuals. Such procedures provide an avenue to resolve differences within the College. Community members, employees, students and applicants for admission or employment may have recourse to such procedures to address issues of bullying, harassment, discrimination and other concerns. Specific procedures exist to address complaints of bullying, discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment and violation of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).Members of the College community who believe they have been subjected to bullying, discrimination, discriminatory harassment or sexual harassment are urged to contact the College's Affirmative Action Officer or the appropriate administrator of the College to facilitate resolution of such complaints.
There are both informal and formal complaint procedures. The informal procedure attempts to resolve the complaint through cooperative meetings with the parties involved. Persons believing they were bullied or harassed are encouraged to speak directly to the offender, which may stop the behavior. The College's affirmative action officer or the Office of Human Resources may be contacted to provide assistance in the informal process and to advise complainants on options for filing their claims. If the informal procedure fails to resolve the issue, the complainant has the option of filing a formal complaint and / or pursuing outside assistance. It is not necessary to follow the informal procedure prior to filing a formal complaint, but the College encourages informal resolution whenever possible .Retaliation against the complainant is expressly prohibited. Sanctions will be applied to all violations of this policy.
- Definitions of Bullying, Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, and Sexual Harassment
- Bullying: Bullying is defined as repeated, unreasonable, inappropriate behavior or infliction of verbal or written abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets; verbal, written or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating or humiliating; and the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of an employee's work performance or creates a risk to health and safety of any employees, group of employees, or students. Covert bullying includes subtle intimidation that undermines, treats less favorably or disempowers others..
- Discrimination: Discrimination is defined as treating one person unfairly or differently based on a protected class.
- Discriminatory Harassment: Any conduct that has the purpose or the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance as an employee, student, College visitor or member of the College community; or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment based on, but not limited to, age, gender, race, color, religion, physical or mental disability, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, veteran’s status, familial relationship, or other status or characteristic protected by law, or association with individuals in such protected status or characteristic.
- Sexual Harassment: Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when
- Submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in a College activity; or
- Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individuals; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, education, or participation in College activities or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
- Discrimination or Harassment Based on Disability
Disability is defined under state and federal law as a physical or mental impairment that substantially affects a major life activity; a record of disability; or perceived disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability. The ADAAA protects a qualified individual with a disability from discrimination in job application procedures, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Students who have disabilities, and who meet the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in College programs and activities, cannot be denied access. With regard to colleges and college students, the ADAAA upholds and extends the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which states that no otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States will, solely by reason of disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
- Religious Non-Discrimination
Employees who are members of a religious faith may request leave to participate in religious observances in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements or handbooks.
- Consensual Sexual Relationships.
The College prohibits any consensual sexual relationships involving a faculty member and a student, or between manager and employee, where the faculty member or manager has direct authority, influence or responsibility with regard to that student or employee. Such authority, influence or responsibility includes but is not limited to the employment setting, carrying out assignments, evaluations, and promotion or disciplinary decisions. In the instructional setting, such authority includes being responsible for a student’s evaluation and grading, awarding of financial aid or employment offers. The authoritative position of one party may create an environment that diminishes the freedom of the other to alter or terminate the relationship. Third parties may also be injured by a consensual sexual relationship between two parties if they are denied privileges that accrue to those who participate in the relationship.
- Responsibilities Individuals in positions of authority such as faculty, administrators, managers and coaches are legal agents of the College. A person in a position of authority who is made aware of, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known of a violation of this regulation by a person under their authority or supervision and fails to take appropriate action is also subject to disciplinary action and may be subject to legal action.
In the case of an allegation or questions about discrimination, bullying or harassment, the following staff members are available for consultation: manager; appropriate vice president; Office of Human Resources; and the affirmative action officer. If any employee becomes aware that bullying or harassment is or may be occurring, they should contact one of the above-mentioned employees to pass on the information immediately. Employees who fail to report bullying or harassment may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
It will be the responsibility of all employees to ensure that an environment free of bullying and harassment exists throughout their areas. Administrators and managers are also expected to assist in investigating all reported incidents of bullying and harassment and to take disciplinary action as appropriate.
Administrators, managers, staff, faculty, students, visitors, vendors and contractors are expected to avoid any activities which could be construed as bullying or harassment in their working relationships with each other. The Office of Human Resources, affirmative action officer and the appropriate vice president have the responsibility to:
- Assist in addressing bullying, discrimination or harassment problems.
- Deliver bullying, discrimination and harassment training programs.
- Inform concerned students, staff, faculty, visitors and members of the College community as to how to report bullying, discrimination and harassment within the College or to federal or state agencies.
- Investigate bullying or harassment complaints promptly through the applicable complaint procedures.
- Resolution and Investigation Procedures
Anyone who believes himself / herself to be subjected to discrimination, bullying or harassment must make that complaint within one year (365 calendar days)of the disputed action .However, it is most effective if the complaint is made as close to the time of the incident as possible. The procedure outlined below is designed to provide an avenue for resolution of disagreements with College decisions or with members of the College community.
- Informal Resolution
- Individuals are not required to discuss the complaint informally with the alleged perpetrator. The concerned parties are encouraged to attempt an informal resolution on their own, but are urged to contact the appropriate dean, manager, administrator, affirmative action officer, or the Office of Human Resources for assistance. The informal process may include meeting with the concerned parties, appropriate College staff undemonstrated others involved in the alleged incident.
- If the concern is not resolved informally, the complainant will submit their complaint to the affirmative action officer or the Office of Human Resources for formal processing.
- Formal Procedure
- The affirmative action officer or the Office of Human Resources will complete an investigation within thirty (30) working days after receipt of the written statement of concern. The investigator will investigate the complaint using a variety of means including but not limited to meeting with the complainant, the alleged harasser and others involved in the disputed incident, and collect supporting documentation.
- Upon completion of the investigation, investigators prepare preliminary report including interview summaries, supporting documentation, recommended solution and / or corrective actions to be taken.
- Within fifteen (15) working days of the preliminary report, the investigator will attempt to meet with the concerned parties to resolve the issues.
- Within fifteen (15) working days after the preliminary report has been discussed with the parties, a final report will be sent to the complainant, alleged harasser, sandpaper(s), as determined by the investigator. The final report will contain a decision and an outline of actions proposed to remedy the situation.
- If the parties accept the solution and / or findings, the matter ends. If a solution is not accepted, or the findings are not satisfactory, either party may submit a rebuttal for the files
- In the event corrective action includes discipline or forms part of an employee’s evaluation, the employee will have recourse to appeal the disciplinary action through the grievance procedure. Non-represented employees will use the complaint procedures outlined in the appropriate employee handbook. Students will use the procedures in the student complaint procedures.
- An employee acting within the scope of their duties will be represented by the College's legal counsel in any legal proceeding arising out of the complaint of bullying, harassment or discrimination.
- Outside Avenues for Resolution of Bullying, Discrimination or Discriminatory Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Complaints
Members of the College community have the legal right to pursue their complaints through external channels. Students should contact the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR has a filing deadline of 180 days from the date the complainant knew of the alleged discriminatory incident.
College employees may contact either the state Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). BOLI complaints must be filed within one year of the date the employee knew of the alleged discriminatory incident. EEOC complaints must be filed within 300 days from the alleged discriminatory act. Complainants have the right to consult a private attorney at their own expense. Under Oregon law (ORS 30.275) any person intending to file a discrimination suit against the College must file a notice of intent to sue within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. In cases on discrimination, complainants have the right to appeal in writing to the commissioner of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, in accordance with OAR 581-043-0700
- Disciplinary Action
Appropriate disciplinary action may be taken up to and including termination for substantiated incidents of discrimination, bullying and harassment. Willfully false accusations of bullying, harassment or discrimination are a serious matter and anyone willfully filing a false complaint may be subject to discipline.
It is the obligation of all parties to maintain confidentiality of all information related to the complaint; protect the privacy of all parties to the greatest extent possible; and not to interfere with the College’s obligation to investigate and address the allegations of bullying and harassment. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
If an investigation is initiated as a result of a complaint, it may be necessary to reveal the complainant(s) or other case specifics to the managers and / or other involved parties when seeking information or if substantiated, when imposing discipline.
Retaliation of any kind taken against an individual as a result of filing a “good faith” complaint about possible violations of law and / or College policy, requesting information, cooperating in an investigation, or otherwise participating in these procedures is strictly prohibited. Individuals who have not filed a formal complaint but who have informally expressed concern about an alleged violation of this regulation may file a complaint about retaliation which they believe has occurred as a result of their expressed concern.
Retaliation is separate and a distinct violation under this policy and law. Any individual found to have violated this policy of non-retaliation is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.
- Treatment of Alleged Harassers Persons who are accused of bullying or harassment will be treated with courtesy and respect during the period of investigation or inquiry. Anyone accused of bullying or harassment will be considered innocent until a final determination can be made regarding the allegations.
The complaint and all investigatory documentation as well as a report of any findings and actions taken will be filed separately in the Office of Human Resources in a secured filing cabinet. Access to these records will be confined to the appropriate vice president, affirmative action officer and the Office of Human Resources. These records will not be released to anyone else except with prior notice to the affected parties of at least five (5) days unless as otherwise required by state or federal law or court order. All individuals given access to the records will be logged on the record jacket by name and date. If disciplinary action is taken for an employee, a record of which is in the personnel file, then regular rules governing access to personnel files will apply. Records will be kept in accordance with state and federal laws.
- Dissemination of Policy
- A copy of this regulation will be distributed to all employees at the time of employment.
- A statement of the right to freedom from bullying, discrimination and harassment policy will be permanently displayed in public places at MHCC education sites and included in all official College publications including the College website.
- A copy of the “Right to Freedom from Harassment and Discrimination” brochure will be annually distributed and bullying, discrimination and harassment training provided annually to all staff.
- Administrators and managers will receive training to inform them about the College policy and regulation on “Equal Opportunity,” and complaint procedures for reporting bullying, discrimination and harassment.