ADMINISTRATIVE RULE NO: 1015-01

RELATED TO POLICY SERIES NO: 1015

TITLE: NONDISCRIMINATION, NONHARASSMENT STATEMENTS & PROCEDURES

PURPOSE
To encourage, create, or maintain a workplace, campus, properties, educational environments, benefits, programs, and activities that are free from harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or other misconduct so students and staff may be fully able to engage in the mission, vision, and values of Linn-Benton Community College. To remain in full compliance with federal, state, or local statutory and regulatory requirements. To demonstrate LBCC’s commitment to a timely and impartial means of due process to address any allegation of unlawful or impermissible discrimination and/or harassment.

STATEMENT
Linn-Benton Community College prohibits unlawful harassment as well as any form of unlawful discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex or sexual content, gender, marital status, disability, veteran’s status, age, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, in any activity, benefit, service, program, or operation of the college on any property or at any location under the control of LBCC or its partners at the time. 

The college complies with applicable provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), related executive orders 11246 and 11375, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (as amended), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Jeanne Clery Act, the Violence against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA, as later ratified); and all federal, state, and local civil rights or non-discrimination/non-harassment; and non-hazing laws (ORS 339, 339.351, et al ).  

In addition to enforcing federal law and definitions of gender discrimination and harassment, LBCC enforces Oregon state law and definitions as published here.  Processes to address state violations will comply with or exceed the requirements of HB 3415 as enrolled.

Under this rule, the college is committed to providing equal opportunity in all of its programs, policies, procedures, activities, locations, and practices, and the college shall promote equal opportunity and treatment through application of this policy and other college efforts designed for that purpose.  

Under the college’s policy, unlawful discrimination or unlawful harassment (hereafter referred to simply as “discrimination” and “harassment”) will not be tolerated. This includes the responsibility of notifying each employee/student of their rights and responsibilities under LBCC’s Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy and other college rules or standards of conduct. Management and staff will be held accountable to take reasonable action to maintain work areas, educational environments, college locations (or locations under our control for educational programs or activities) free from conduct that causes, or reasonably could be considered to cause intimidation, hostility, or discrimination, including all forms of hazing, as defined in statute.

Individuals aggrieved according to these standards are encouraged to report. LBCC will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon receipt of notice of alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. LBCC can act to remove a respondent entirely or partially from its education program or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk analysis has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any individual justifies removal, and LBCC shall consider providing a reasonable post-investigation remedy when there is no finding of misconduct under any LBCC policy or rule.

Complaints and parties to a Title IX incident have additional rights as set out in the LBCC Title IX PROCEDURES, (i.e., the right to an advocate). Complaints about conduct-related issues other than alleged discrimination or harassment may be submitted in accordance with the applicable board policy, administrative rule, collective bargaining agreement procedure; or for students, through the Student Rights Responsibilities and Conduct Code process (AR 7030-01).

The college president or designee shall establish whatever additional procedures  may be required to implement this policy consistently across the district.

DEFINITIONS

For additional Title IX definitions, see Procedures, Glossary of Terms.

  1. Unlawful Discrimination
    Unfair or unequal treatment of a person because of the person's protected status. However, not all types of discrimination will violate federal and/or state laws that prohibit discrimination. Some types of unequal treatment are perfectly legal and cannot form the basis for an allegation of unlawful discrimination. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requiresemployers and educational institutions alike to employ differential treatment (accommodations) to allow for full participation in work/education for persons with disabilities.

    Unlawful harassment, on the other hand, defined below and as defined by federal and Oregon state law, is a form of unlawful discrimination.

  2. Unlawful Harassment
    Verbal, visual or physical behavior that:

    1. Can reasonably be perceived by the receiver(s) as unwelcome/offensive and refers in a demeaning way to characteristics of any of the groups listed in the policy statement (Board Policy 1015) above; and
    2. Creates a hostile or adverse work/educational environment; or
    3. Subjects employees or students to different terms or conditions based on the characteristics listed in the policy statement.  Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to: comments, slurs, jokes, symbols, innuendos, cartoons, pranks, physical harassment, etc., which are derogatory on the basis of characteristics listed in the policy statement.

     

  3. Sexual Harassment:
    Sexual Harassment under federal Title IX is one of three types of misconduct on the basis of sex/gender, all of which jeopardize the equal access to education that Title IX is designed to protect: This includes any instance of quid pro quo harassment by a college employee; any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access; any instance of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and/or Clery Act.

    Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

    • Making sexual propositions or pressuring students/employees for sexual favors;
    • Unwanted touching of a sexual nature. This definition would include, for example, sexual violence, dating violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or rape;
    • Performing sexual gestures or other sexually explicit verbal or physical behavior in front of others;
    • Telling jokes of a sexually explicit nature in the workplace or educational programs;
    • Spreading sexual rumors or rating students/staff related to sexually explicit criteria, activity, or performance;
    • Generating, circulating, or displaying e-mails or websites of a sexual nature in the workplace or in educational programs where such subject matter is unrelated to the teaching and learning goals of the curriculum.
  4. Sex-Based Harassment
    A behavior that degrades, denigrates, ridicules, and/or is physically abusive of an employee/student because of his or her perceived gender or sexual orientation. (See PROCEDURES, Other Civil Rights Offenses, and Glossary of Terms.)

  5. Racial Harassment
    A behavior that denigrates, ridicules, and/or is verbally or physically abusive of an employee/student because of his or her perceived race.

  6. Harassment Based on National Origin
    A behavior that denigrates, ridicules, and/or is physically abusive of an employee/student because of his or her perceived ancestry, heritage or background identification.

    Harassment can occur based on any protected status and all such harassment is prohibited by this policy.

TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS
All incoming students will be directed to complete and all employees will complete a Personal Empowerment Through Self Awareness (PETSA) or other training that includes key definitions, educates students and staff about the reporting and response processes of the college and protective measures that the college may take in the event that a determination of fault is made against an individual.  This comprehensive training will be repeated for both students and staff at regular intervals to assure ongoing prevention and awareness and will include training on hazing, which is prohibited under state law.  

NONRETALIATION STATEMENT
It is prohibited for LBCC or any member of (or visitor to) the LBCC community to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual participating in either the reporting or investigation of discrimination or harassment or other college rule violation.

No employee or student shall be fired, expelled, suspended or otherwise unlawfully harassed or discriminated against because he or she has engaged in activity protected by law, or because he or she has filed a good faith complaint, internally or externally, or has objected to, or testified about a possible violation of the law when such activity is protected by the law. (See PROCEDURES, Retaliation.)

Deliberately false or malicious accusations, as opposed to good faith reports, are serious offences and may be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions, including actions for dishonesty or divisiveness under other LBCC rules.

MANDATORY REPORTING
All LBCC employees (faculty, staff, administrators) are expected to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment within this rule to appropriate officials (EO/Title IX Coordinators or others listed herein) immediately, unless they are a member of a limited group of exceptions (i.e., licensed professional counselors and LBCC Victim Advocates). See our Equal Opportunity webpage for a list of designated Title IX “Persons with Authority” for reporting and action.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY
Information concerning an investigation is generally either confidential or private and will be disclosed only if required or permitted by law or necessary to conduct an investigation or threat assessment. The college may keep the names of witnesses and complainants confidential when, in the discretion of the college, doing so is necessary for the protection of the student or employee. [See also PROCEDURES, Topic: Privacy.]

 In cases where allegations are proven to be without foundation, no record of the allegations or the investigation would be included in the personnel or student academic file of the accused or any party.

 If a complainant would like supportive measures or other LBCC services but would also like the details of the incident to be kept confidential, the complainant may speak with an LBCC Victim Advocate or a licensed professional counselor, health service provider, licensed clergy or chaplain, rape/crisis counselor, attorney, or other person under the laws of privilege and prohibited from reporting. Certain employees designated as Campus Security Authorities have a duty to report statistical elements for purposes of Clery Act; employees will provide appropriate facts necessary for accurate statistical reporting, but will not provide identifying information when a reporting party requests no investigation and when LBCC does not otherwise have a duty or right to proceed with an investigation for reasons of public safety.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
There is both an informal and formal complaint procedure. Any aggrieved person may file a complaint. (A complainant may remain anonymous; however, anonymous complaints are difficult to investigate and may require dismissal due to lack of evidence.) A complaint is ideally filed in the online reporting system, or may be filed by telephone, in an in-person meeting, by U.S. mail, or by any other means at any hour of any day (24/7). To report against an employee, contact the EO/Title IX Coordinator in Human Resources at (541) 917-4425; or to report a student, contact the Students’ EO/Title IX Coordinator at (541) 917-4848. (See below for additional options.) The complainant will soon be informed of informal and formal options for resolution.

At the time of receipt, the EO/Title IX Coordinator will make every effort to determine whether the Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy or Title IX Policy/Procedure or other rules apply and will explain the process to be used and the applicable standard of proof, if relevant, to be applied to any formal decision.

The EO/Title IX Coordinator or designee, at their discretion, may enlist any assistance deemed necessary to resolve a complaint.

Allegations will be examined for application of this policy and the incorporated Title IX PROCEDURES.  A record will be kept of the complaint or incident for the time period required by law.

Other Reporting Options: If any of the college's representatives typically involved in processing a nondiscrimination and non-harassment policy complaint are or become the subject of the complaint, the following guidelines will be followed:

  1. If the college president is the subject of allegations of harassment or discrimination, the complaint will go directly to the chair of the Board of Education.
  2. If the EO/Title IX Coordinator or any member of Human Resources is the subject of allegations of harassment or discrimination, the complaint will go directly to the college president.
  3. If the Students’ EO/Title IX Coordinator is the subject of allegations of harassment or discrimination, the complaint will go directly to the EO/Title IX Coordinator or Human Resources Director.
  4. If the complaint is against the Board of Education, the complaint falls outside the scope of this document and should be filed with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) serving the State of Oregon or the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC/CCWD -- see below).

At any point in the procedure, an LBCC employee complainant may file a complaint with: 

  1. the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);
  2. the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR);
  3. the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Civil Rights Division (BOLI); or
  4. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission's Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD);

Student complainants may file with any of the above agencies with the exception of the EEOC and BOLI.

If the complainant chooses to file through any of these external agencies or in court, the college may suspend or postpone the internal complaint procedure.

STEP I: INFORMAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
The informal procedure is voluntary and creates an avenue to attempt to resolve the complaint through personal and cooperative meetings (or shuttle meetings) with the involved parties. If informal means do not resolve the complaint, the complainant has the option of filing a formal complaint and requesting continuation in formal processes.

    1. Complaints within the scope of the Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy must be addressed by either the EO/Title IX Coordinator, or the Students’ EO/Title IX Coordinator. Names and contact information for these parties are available here.

    2. Complaints must be made within a maximum of 180 days after a disputed action. Title IX complaints have no time limitation. (However, evidence is best preserved when a matter is reported in a timely fashion. See PROCEDURES.)

    3. After receiving an informal complaint, the EO/Title IX Coordinator his /her designee will:

      1. Meet with the complainant and determine the nature of the complaint.
      2. Explain the informal complaint procedure and develop an action plan, including discussing supportive measures.
      3. Attempt to resolve the complaint by meeting with the complainant, any individual accused of discrimination or harassment, college officials, and anyone else involved.

 

  1. Informal complaints will be conducted in a prompt and equitable manner in attempting to resolve complaints alleging action prohibited under this policy.

  2. Complainants may skip the Informal Complaint Procedure and file a formal complaint which will be handled under the Formal Complaint Procedure.

  3. The college will keep any written records, if produced, of informal complaints/resolutions separate from personnel or student academic records.

STEP II:  FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

  1. If the complaint is not resolved informally or if it begins under the Formal Complaint Procedure, the complainant must prepare a written statement, using appropriate forms whenever possible, describing the basis of the claim and a summary of the facts which are alleged to constitute discrimination or harassment. 

  2. The EO/Title IX Coordinator or Students’ EO/Title Coordinator (hereinafter Coordinator may refer to either, depending on accused parties status) or designee will meet with the complainant to learn more about the complaint.

  3. If the complaint alleges behavior that is prohibited by the Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy, including Title IX, and is within the jurisdiction of college authority, the Coordinator or designee shall notify the person against whom the complaint has been made [respondent] and provide them with a summary outlining the complaint.  The Coordinator will meet with the respondent to learn more about the reported incident/behavior.

  4. The Coordinator will determine whether it is appropriate to continue the investigation (informally or formally based on appropriate factors including consultation or wishes of the parties) or dismiss. For Title IX, the Coordinator will assign the matter to investigators if continuing formally. If not continuing formally or for all other matters, the Coordinator or designee shall objectively investigate the allegations, interview witnesses, and review any supporting documentation.  All parties involved may elect to have another person present in an assisting role throughout the process. 

  5. Complainants, respondents and witnesses are expected to fully cooperate with any investigation. If the complainant refuses to cooperate, LBCC will not rely on their statements and the complaint may be withdrawn, absent other evidence. For employees, if the respondent or employees identified as witnesses refuse to cooperate, it will be considered a violation of college policy. If a student identified as a witness refuses to cooperate, it will be considered a violation of Student Responsibilities; however, a student respondent may remain silent when participating without fear of additional consequence. Failure of an accused student to attend a scheduled conference, without good cause and prior notification or a verifiable emergency, will constitute a waiver of the student's right to participate and appeal further. For purposes of Title IX, all parties and witnesses must also be willing and available to be cross examined (questioned) on their reports or evidence provided.

  6. Investigators will write a report of their findings. In Title IX, the investigator’s report is submitted to the parties for response, updated, and then submitted to the parties and a Hearings Officer; and a hearing is held. [See Procedure.] In all other matters, i.e., non-Title IX, reports will be shared only with essential parties or LBCC Executives.

  7. The college will strive to complete the investigation and the report within sixty (60) to ninety (90)) college business days of the receipt of the complaint. If circumstances warrant an extension of the deadline, the      Coordinator will notify the parties of the adjusted timeline expected.

  8. For Title IX investigations, a party should see PROCEDURES and the Flow Chart of reporting, supportive measures, investigations, informal and formal options, and hearings.

STEP III:  DECISION
After completing the investigation, the Coordinator, or designee shall prepare a report. The final report for an employee respondent will be submitted to the appropriate college administrator for follow up; the administrator will deliver to the employee this information:

  • The decision and consequences,
  • Whether a decision found that allegations were or were not substantiated,
  • Means of appeal,
  • Name of appeal officer, and
  • Grounds for appeal.

For students, the Coordinator, delivers a statement of outcome to complainant and respondent. For Title IX (student or employee respondent),the college will keep a final report on file per records laws, which shall contain a notice of outcome, the final determination of the decisionmaker, the finding of responsibility or no responsibility, the findings of fact, remedies, sanctions, and the process for appeal; the name of the appeals officer and grounds for appeal will be shared with the parties and their Title IX advisors. The Coordinator will inform appropriate college executives.

STEP IV: APPEAL TO THE APPROPRIATE SENIOR EXECUTIVE
A party may appeal an adverse decision to the appropriate college senior executive (i.e., the vice-president with responsibility for the work unit in which the complaint resides or a trained Title IX Coordinator for Title IX matters) or designee by providing a written letter of appeal within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the summary report or notice of outcome. Grounds for appeal are as follows: procedural irregularity, conflict of interest, or bias, and newly discovered information.  [For Title IX, see PROCEDURES: Appeal, for more information.]

The assigned appeals officer will review the appeal and any information they deem necessary to determine if the investigation was in compliance with college procedure and impartially conducted. If newly discovered information is the grounds for appeal, the appeals officer will review that information for relevance; if relevant, the officer may return the complaint to the hearings officer for reconsideration, which may return the matter to Step II and then continue forward through these processes. In all other instances, within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving a written appeal, the appeals officer will respond to the original parties and provide a copy to the Coordinator and any other appropriate individuals.

STEP V: HECC/CCWD APPEAL
In any case where the complainant asserts they have been discriminated against by an LBCC employee, the complainant may appeal the college's final decision by writing to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) -- pursuant to the Oregon Department of Education Administrative Rule OAR 589-010-0100.

 

 

 

DATE OF ADOPTION: 10/04/12
DATE(S) OF REVISION(S): 11/6/2014; 05/07/15; 05/02/19; 9/10/2020
DATE OF LAST REVIEW: 05/07/15; 05/02/19;9/10/2020