Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures; Superseded by EM 12-043

Executive Memorandum 95-022

October 27, 1995

From: Manuel A. Esteban, President

Subject: Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures; Superseded by EM 12-043

The attached Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures is approved for immediate implementation. This policy has been reviewed by the Office of Civil Rights and the CSU Office of General Counsel and is legally sound and in compliance with the consent decree previously issued by OCR.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY AND PROCEDURES

California State University, Chico is committed to maintaining an environment free from unlawful discrimination , including discriminatory harassment. To fulfill this commitment, the University will work to prevent discrimination from occurring and will ensure that federal laws, state laws, campus policies, and Trustees' policies prohibiting discrimination are fully enforced.

Statement of Policy

CSU, Chico affirms and protects the rights and opportunities of all persons to a working environment for employees and an environment for students and the public which enables persons to seek and obtain the services of the University without discrimination. No person shall, on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, under any program of the University. Faculty, staff, and students who cause these rights to be violated may be subject to discipline as outlined below. (Complete information about making a complaint of sexual harassment will be found in Executive Memorandum 94-041, Policy on Sexual Harassment.)

This policy should not be interpreted as superseding or interfering with collective bargaining agreements currently in effect. If discipline of an employee is sought as a remedy under this policy, the procedural rights under the applicable collective bargaining agreement will continue to apply. However, those rights may not supersede or interfere with the requirements of state and federal law.

Purpose

In addition to its general duty to create and maintain an environment free of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, the University also recognizes

  • Its obligations to all individuals involved in claims of discrimination, including claims of discriminatory harassment
  • Its obligation to respect individual rights to privacy and confidentiality
  • Its obligations to provide a fair framework for encouraging the resolution of such complaints.

Discrimination occurs when a member of the university community is subjected to disparate treatment in employment or in the provision of educational benefits and services, based on a characteristic protected by state or federal law (gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status). It also occurs when a university policy or practice which is neutral on its face has an adverse impact on an individual's employment or education on the basis of such characteristic, and there is no substantial legitimate justification, or there is an alternative policy or practice available that would have a less adverse impact.

Persons who believe they are being or have been subjected to discrimination are encouraged to seek resolution as soon as possible after an incident. They should also recognize that delay in taking formal action with respect to an incident for more than 180 or, in some cases, 300 days may foreclose access to federal investigative agencies. The time limitation is one year in the case of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Filing a grievance with the University is not a prerequisite to filing a complaint with a federal or state agency. (See Attachment 1 for a list of selected government agencies.)

California State University, Chico endeavors to provide an environment conducive to growth in mind, spirit, and human sensibility. Neither this nor any other university policy is violated by actions that amount to expression protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and/or Article 1, Section 2 of the California Constitution.

Procedures

Individuals who believe they are or may have been victims of discrimination and/or discriminatory harassment may initiate either an informal inquiry, a formal inquiry, or a formal complaint. (See Attachment 2.)

Informal Inquiry

The intent of this process is to provide persons who are concerned that they might have a discrimination complaint with an opportunity to receive information and counsel about the definition of discrimination, the legitimacy of their concerns, and the informal or formal administrative mechanisms that exist for resolving complaints. It further seeks to provide the institutional space in which an informal yet fair resolution of the inquiry can take place, while guaranteeing, to the greatest degree possible, the confidentiality and privacy of the parties involved in an atmosphere of mediation and conciliation.

The University designates the Counseling Center to receive informal inquiries from students who believe they are or may have been victims of discrimination. The University designates the Director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program to receive informal inquiries from faculty and staff members who believe they are or may have been victims of discrimination. (See Attachment 2. ) The President may designate additional individuals to receive informal inquiries from students, faculty, and staff. Members of the Counseling Center hold licenses and subscribe to a code of ethics which requires observance of professional-client confidentiality. The Director of Faculty and Staff Assistance Program holds certification and subscribes to a code of ethics which requires observance of professional-client confidentiality. Other individuals who are appointed to receive informal inquiries must be protected by similar professional codes.

In addition to giving information and advice, those designated to receive informal inquiry may seek to achieve informal resolution to problems by bringing together the two parties. This attempt will likely require the agreement of the inquirer to enlarge the scope of confidentiality to include the second party.

Nothing pertaining to any inquiries made or resolution procedures followed at this level shall be incorporated into any official record (other than the confidential records maintained by the Counseling Center or the Director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program) or the files of the parties involved without the consent of all of the parties. All matters pertaining to inquiries, discussions, and informal resolutions at this level are confidential. At any time during this informal inquiry and resolution process, the person making the inquiry may initiate a formal inquiry or complaint with appropriate administrators of the University (or designee(s), see below).

The Counseling Center and the Director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (or other designees) will maintain confidential records only on the volume of informal inquiries, the nature of inquiries, and the demographic nature of those making an informal inquiry. At no time will these confidential files contain the names of individuals or any other data that would result in the identification of any involved parties. A quarterly summary report of these data will be submitted to the President or designee.

Formal Inquiry and Complaint Process

The formal inquiry and complaint process is initiated by persons who believe they are or may have been victims of discrimination, including discriminatory harassment. Formal inquiries and complaints must be directed to the appropriate administrative officers designated by the President for this purpose. (See Attachment 2. ) Formal inquiries concerning or complaints against faculty or staff must be directed to the Director of Affirmative Action (or designee(s)). Formal inquiries concerning or complaints against students must be directed to the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs. Individuals may initiate either a formal inquiry or a formal complaint at any time in the process.

The person making a formal inquiry will be informed that the University will endeavor to restrict confidentiality to the person making the inquiry and the university designee receiving it, but this restriction cannot be guaranteed. As a means of fulfilling its obligation to create and maintain an environment free from discrimination and discriminatory harassment, the University may conduct reasonable and appropriate investigations designed to assess whether a violation of this policy has occurred, and this activity may require enlarging the scope of confidentiality. Whenever possible, the university representative will seek the agreement of the person making the inquiry to expand the scope of confidentiality, but the person undertaking a formal inquiry shall be informed that the University, under the charge of protecting its members from discrimination, may have a legal duty to initiate an investigation, a resolution, or disciplinary action even if a formal complaint is not filed and independent of the intent or wishes of the person making the inquiry (see III.B.1. or III.B.2. below, as appropriate). This does not mean, however, that the University has a duty to immediately or necessarily conduct an investigation any time a formal inquiry is made; such a decision must be made by either the Director of Affirmative Action or the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs.

At any stage in the formal inquiry and complaint process, individuals initiating an inquiry or complaint have the right to be accompanied by a person of his or her choice when discussing such alleged incidents. If that person is an attorney, the University will be notified in writing of the name and address of the attorney seven working days prior to the meeting to determine if a university attorney need be present.

  • Formal inquiry
    • Students or employees who believe they are or may have been victims of discrimination involving faculty or staff may initiate a formal inquiry. The purpose of this process is fourfold:
      • To assure that these individuals understand the nature and scope of a formal process
      • To allow them to receive information on, exploration of, and counsel about the legitimacy of their concerns
      • To allow these individuals to receive a description of the formal administrative mechanisms that exist for resolving cases of discrimination
      • To provide the individuals with an opportunity, if desired, to resolve the situation short of filing a formal complaint.
    • The Director of Affirmative Action (or designee) will meet with the individual to acquire information regarding the alleged incident and to ascertain what this person desires by way of a remedy. If appropriate, the Director of Affirmative Action (or designee) will attempt to resolve the matter by means of a conference with the individual whose alleged behavior is in question. This stage of the formal inquiry process should emphasize discretion, mediation, and conciliation.
    • In the conference stage the university representative will attempt insofar as possible to restrict the scope of confidentiality to the individual making the inquiry or to that person and the person whose alleged behavior is the subject of the inquiry. The scope of confidentiality will be extended only so far as necessary for compelling cause and when no reasonable alternative exists.
    • If a formal complaint arising from the inquiry is not initiated, no record of such an inquiry shall be made part of a faculty member's personnel action file or a staff member's employment record without the consent of the parties involved. A confidential record of formal inquiries and resolution conference activities shall be maintained in the office of the Director of Affirmative Action.
    • In the event this formal inquiry leads to a resolution, both parties are precluded from subsequently filing a formal complaint unless it is demonstrated to the Director of Affirmative Action (or designee) that the terms and conditions of the resolution, if any, have been violated. Both parties are encouraged to keep the results of the resolution confidential. Upon inquiry faculty or staff will be shown any data pertaining to them that is contained within the confidential record.
    • In the event that this formal inquiry fails to lead to a resolution of the problem, the individual making the inquiry may file a formal written complaint with the Director of Affirmative Action (or designee). In situations where a formal complaint is filed, the process outlined in Sections III.B.1.b. and, when appropriate, III.B.2.b. (below) will proceed. In situations where the formal process is initiated by an inquiry but no formal written complaint is filed, the University may be required to proceed as if a formal written complaint had been filed.
  • Formal Complaints Against Faculty or Staff
    • Although the resolution of allegations of discrimination and discriminatory harassment through the inquiry and conference processes is preferred, it is the absolute right of persons who believe they are or have been subjected to discrimination to proceed directly with a formal complaint.
    • Upon receiving a formal complaint or upon determination that the University has an obligation to pursue an inquiry into possible incidents of discrimination even without a signed complaint (see III.B.1.a. above), the Director of Affirmative Action (or designee) shall promptly begin an appropriate investigation. If the Director of Affirmative Action (or designee) concludes that a resolution may be achieved by a conference with the employee whose alleged behavior is in question, especially if a conference has not been held with respect to the issue in the formal inquiry stage, such a resolution conference should be attempted. The conferees will consist of the employee, the Director of Affirmative Action, a faculty member appointed by the chair of the Academic Senate, and a faculty or staff member appointed by the President. This stage of the formal complaint process may emphasize discretion, mediation, and conciliation. The investigation and resolution will normally not exceed ninety days. The Director of Affirmative Action (or designee) may, under extraordinary circumstances, extend the time limit to insure a full investigation. During the investigation every effort will be made to restrict the scope of confidentiality as narrowly as possible, but it will be expanded as required by the demands of a thorough investigation. Every attempt shall be made to respect the privacy of both the complainant and the subject of the complaint and investigation.
    • The Director of Affirmative Action (or designee(s)) will maintain a record of the investigation and, if no voluntary resolution is reached, will prepare a report to the appropriate Vice President or designee containing the findings of the inquiry as to whether this policy has been violated and the recommended remedial action. The final decision will be made by the Vice President (or designee). If either party does not agree with the decision of the Vice President, either party can appeal the decision to the President within five working days of receiving the decision. The Director of Affirmative Action shall maintain confidential records of investigations, reports, decisions, and remedial action resulting from formal complaints. No portion of such records shall be placed in any official personnel file, except as is in compliance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement and statute.
    • The University recognizes the need to protect the rights of both the complainant and the subject of the complaint. Allegations of discrimination are serious and will be treated as such. At the same time, the making of knowingly false accusations of discrimination likewise will be treated as unprofessional or uncivil conduct, and persons bringing such accusations will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
  • Remedial Action Regarding Complaints Against Faculty and Staff
    • If findings are made that this policy has been violated, the Vice President or designee will take the necessary steps to ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken. This may include individual remedies for the victim or a range of formal or informal disciplinary measures, or other personnel actions. If it appears that formal disciplinary action under a collective bargaining agreement is required, the Director of Affirmative Action will initiate such action under applicable disciplinary procedures.
    • Whenever there is included in any employee record information concerning any disciplinary action taken by the University in connection with allegations of discrimination, the complainant shall be informed of the results of any disciplinary action on a confidential basis by the University and the results of any appeal. Failure on the part of the complainant to respect confidentiality could result in civil action initiated by the accused.
    • It is the policy of the California State University that evidence, proceedings, findings, and recommendations are confidential and shall not be made public by the institution or by any participant in the hearing, including the person charged. In the event these matters should become public, however, the institution may authorize such public statements as are appropriate and which do not violate any legal prohibitions against such statements.

Formal Inquiries Concerning or Complaints Against Students

  • Formal Inquiry
    • Students or employees who believe they are or may have been victims of discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, involving students may initiate a formal inquiry. The purpose of this process is fourfold:
      • To assure that these individuals understand the nature and scope of a formal process
      • To allow them to receive information on, exploration of, and counsel about the legitimacy of their concerns
      • To allow these individuals to receive a description of the formal administrative mechanisms that exist for resolving cases of discrimination
      • To provide the individual with an opportunity, if desired, to resolve the situation short of filing a formal complaint.
    • The Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs (or designee) will meet with the individual to acquire information regarding the alleged incident and to ascertain what this person desires by way of a remedy. If appropriate, the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs (or designee) will attempt to resolve the matter by means of a conference with the individual whose alleged behavior is in question. This stage of the formal inquiry process should emphasize discretion, mediation, and conciliation. In the conference stage the university representative will attempt insofar as possible to restrict the scope of confidentiality to the individual making the inquiry or to that person and the person whose alleged behavior is the subject of the inquiry. The scope of confidentiality will be extended only so far as necessary for compelling cause and when no reasonable alternative exists.
    • If a formal complaint arising from the inquiry is not initiated, no record of such an inquiry shall be made part of a student's official file without the consent of the parties involved. A confidential record of formal inquiries and resolution conference activities shall be maintained in the Office of the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs.
    • In the event that this formal inquiry leads to a resolution, the individual making the inquiry is precluded from subsequently filing a formal complaint unless it is demonstrated to the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs (or designee) that the terms and conditions of the resolution, if any, have been violated. This individual shall keep the results of the resolution confidential. In the event that this formal inquiry fails to lead to a resolution of the problem, the individual making the inquiry may file a formal written complaint with the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs. In situations where a formal complaint is filed, the process outlined in Sections III.B.1.b. and, when appropriate, III.B.2.b. (below) will proceed. In situations where the formal process is initiated by an inquiry but no formal written complaint is filed, the University may be required to proceed as if a formal written complaint had been filed.
  • Formal Complaints Against Students
    • Although the resolution of allegations of discrimination and discriminatory harassment through the inquiry and conference processes is preferred, it is the absolute right of persons who believe they are or have been subjected to discrimination to proceed directly with a formal complaint. Formal complaints against students must be made in writing, and they must be directed to the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs.
    • Upon receiving a formal complaint, or upon determining that the University has an obligation to pursue an inquiry into possible incidents of discrimination even without a signed complaint (see III.B.1.a. above), the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs (or designee) shall promptly begin an appropriate investigation. If the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs (or designee) concludes that a resolution may be achieved by a conference with the student whose alleged behavior is in question, especially if a conference has not been held with respect to the issue in the formal inquiry state, such a resolution conference should be attempted. If no resolution occurs at this point, and if the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs believes that disciplinary action may be required, she shall bring formal disciplinary charges under CSU EO 628 (Student Disciplinary Procedures for California State University).
    • The Office of the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs shall maintain confidential records of investigations, reports, decisions, and remedial action resulting from formal complaints. No portion of such records shall be placed in any official student file, except as in compliance with applicable statute.

Remedial Action Regarding Complaints Against Students

  • If findings are made under EO 628 that this policy has been violated, the remedial procedures in EO 628 will be implemented.
  • Whenever there is included in any student record information concerning any disciplinary action taken by the University in connection with allegations of discrimination, the complainant shall be informed if disciplinary action has been taken in accord with EO 628. Failure on the part of complainant to respect confidentiality may result in civil action initiated by the accused.
  • It is the policy of the California State University that evidence, proceedings, findings, and recommendations are confidential and shall not be made public by the institution or by any participant in a hearing, including the person charged. In the event these matters should become public, however, the institution may authorize such public statements as are appropriate and which do not violate any legal prohibitions against such statements.

Implementation

Responsibility for full implementation and enforcement of this policy lies with the President (or designee).

The President or designee will, in consultation with the Counseling Center, the Director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, the Director of Affirmative Action, and the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs, select individuals from the university administration, faculty, and staff who may also receive informal inquiries, formal inquiries, or formal complaints from students, faculty, and staff. It is important that individuals so selected be covered by a professional code which protects their ability to maintain confidentiality. These individuals will receive training in university policies and procedures pertaining to discrimination or discriminatory harassment and training in counseling techniques. In selecting these individuals, the President or designee should strive to enhance the gender and ethnic balance of the reporting and investigatory network established by this policy.

To ensure awareness of this policy

  • Orientation materials and programs for administrators, faculty, and staff will include an explanation of and education on the University's Policy on Nondiscrimination.
  • Materials designed for and distributed to students will describe and discuss the University's Policy on Nondiscrimination. Brochures and other materials to be developed and distributed should be relatively brief, visually appealing, contain a simplified statement of the university policy, provide examples of situations covered by this policy, and include information on how to proceed when an alleged discrimination incident has occurred.
  • Telephone numbers will be established to provide information about discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including the location of appropriate offices to be contacted when one believes discrimination has occurred and the names of persons appointed by the President to receive inquiries and complaints. These phone numbers should be widely distributed.
  • Workshops, forums, seminars, and other education programs will be developed for all university community members (faculty, staff, and students) in order to sensitize the university community to issues of discrimination and the First Amendment. Supervisory personnel will transmit such information to persons under their direction. All materials used at these workshops will be made available by the University to departments or units where desired.
  • Resource materials will be established in a permanent reserve collection in Meriam Library for education on identifying and preventing discrimination in the workplace and in the learning environment.

ATTACHMENT 1

AGENCIES OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY WHICH DEAL WITH DISCRIMINATION

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

901 Market Street, #390

San Francisco, CA 94103

1-415-744-6500

Office of Civil Rights

United States Department of Education

50 United Nations Plaza, Room 239

San Francisco, CA 94102

1-415-556-7000

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

2000 O Street, #120

Sacramento, CA 95814-5212

1-800-884-1684

1-916-445-9918

ATTACHMENT 2

PERSONS DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE INFORMAL INQUIRIES

University Counseling Center

1-530-898-6345

Director, Faculty and Staff Assistance Program

1-530-898-4645/4596

Beverly Verlinde
Siskiyou 115

PERSONS DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE FORMAL INQUIRIES OR COMPLAINTS

Inquiries Concerning or Complaints Against Faculty or Staff

Director of Affirmative Action

Zaida Giraldo

1-530-898-5202

Kendall Hall 103F

Inquiries Concerning or Complaints Against Students

Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs

Lisi Porter

1-530-898-6897

Kendal Hall 100