Filing a Discrimination or Sexual Harassment Complaint

BP 3410, Nondiscrimination
AP 3410, Nondiscrimination
BP 3430, Prohibition of Harassment
AP 3430, Prohibition of Harassment
AP 3435, Discrimination and Harassment Complaints and Investigations

Complaints

The law prohibits coworkers, supervisors, managers, and third parties with whom an employee comes into contact from engaging in harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. Any person who has suffered harassment, discrimination, or retaliation may file a formal or informal complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, or who has learned of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

A formal complaint is a written and signed statement that alleges harassment, discrimination, or retaliation in violation of the District’s Board Policies, Administrative Procedures or in violation of state or federal law. An informal complaint is any of the following: (1) An unwritten allegation of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation; (2) a written allegation of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation that falls outside the timelines for a formal complaint; or (3) a written complaint alleging harassment, discrimination, or retaliation filed by an individual who expressly indicates that he/she/they does not want to file a formal complaint.

Who May File a Complaint:  Any student, employee, or third party who believes he/she/they has been discriminated against or harassed by a student, employee, or third party in violation of this procedure and the related policy.

Where to File a Complaint:  A student, employee, or third party who believes he/she/they has been discriminated against or harassed may make a complaint orally or in writing.

Informal Complaint Process

Any person may submit an informal complaint to the Chief Human Resources Officer or any other District or college administrator.  Administrators receiving an informal complaint shall immediately notify the Chief Human Resources Officer in writing of all pertinent information and facts alleged in the informal complaint.

Upon receipt of an informal complaint, the Chief Human Resources Officer will notify the person bringing the informal complaint of his/her/their right to file a formal complaint, if the incident falls within the timeline for a formal complaint, and explain the procedure for doing so.  The Complainant may later decide to file a formal complaint, if within the timelines to do so.  If the individual chooses not to file a formal complaint, or if the alleged conduct falls outside the timeline to file a formal complaint, the Chief Human Resources Officer shall consider the allegations contained in the informal complaint and determine the appropriate course of action.  This may include efforts to informally resolve the matter, or a fact-finding investigation.

Investigation of an informal complaint will be appropriate if the Chief Human Resources Officer determines that the allegation(s), if proven true, would constitute a violation of the District policy prohibiting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. The Chief Human Resources Officer will explain to any individual bringing an informal complaint that the Chief Human Resources Officer may decide to initiate an investigation, even if the individual does not wish the Chief Human Resources Officer to do so. The Chief Human Resources Officer shall not disregard any allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation solely on the basis that the alleged conduct falls outside the deadline to file a formal complaint.

Formal Complaint Process

Before filing a formal complaint, the Complainant may consult with the District’s EEO Officer/ Vice President of Human Resources.

Formal Complaint:  Formal Complaints must be filed with the Chief Human Resources Officer unless the Party submitting the Formal Complaint alleges discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against the responsible district officer, in which case it should be submitted directly to the Superintendent/President.

What must a formal complaint contain?

  • It must allege facts with enough specificity to show that the allegations, if true, would constitute a violation of District policies or procedures prohibiting discrimination, harassment, or retaliation;
  • The Complainant must sign and date the Formal Complaint;
  • The Complainant must file any Formal Complaint not involving employment within one year of the date of the alleged discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct or within one year of the date on which the complainant knew or should have known of the facts underlying the allegation(s) of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation;
  • The Complainant must file any Formal Complaint alleging discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in employment within 180 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct, except that this period shall extended by no more than 90 days following the expiration of the 180 days if the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged violation after the expiration of the 180 days.
Other Reporting Rights

Employees: Complainants filing employment-related complaints may file employment discrimination complaints directly with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

Students: Student Complainants may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR)