ADMINISTRATIVE RULE NO: 1015-01

RELATED TO POLICY SERIES NO: 1015

TITLE: NONDISCRIMINATION, NONHARASSMENT STATEMENTS & PROCEDURES

PURPOSE

To encourage an atmosphere free from harassment, discrimination, 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 and state statutory and regulatory requirements.

STATEMENT

Linn-Benton Community College prohibits unlawful harassment as well as any form of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, gender, marital status, disability, veteran’s status, age, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, in any activity or operation of the college. 

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, 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, and all federal, state and local civil rights laws.  

Under this administrative rule, the college is committed to providing equal opportunity in all of its programs, policies, procedures, 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 his or her rights and responsibilities under LBCC’s Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy.  Management and staff will be held accountable to take reasonable action to maintain work areas and educational environments free from conduct that causes, or reasonably could be considered to cause, intimidation, hostility, or discrimination.

If you believe that you may have been harassed or discriminated against by a college employee, you are encouraged to file a complaint through  the Title IX/Affirmative Action Officer  (hereafter referred to as “the Title IX/AAO”) or a designee in Human Resources. 

If you believe that you may have been harassed or discriminated against by a student, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs (hereafter referred to as “the Associate Dean”), or a designee. If the complainant does not feel comfortable reporting to the Title IX/AAO or the Associate Dean, they should contact another member of the Human Resources department.  Any employee, supervisor,  manager, or campus security authority (as defined by the Clery Act, [20 USC § 1092(f)]), who is made aware of an alleged incident of harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct will take immediate action to bring the matter to the attention of the most appropriate management authority, who will take action pursuant to this policy.

Complaints about conduct related issues 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 process.

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);

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

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

DEFINITIONS

A.  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 requires employers and educational institutions alike to employ differential treatment to allow for full participation in work/education for persons with disabilities.

Unlawful harassment, on the other hand, defined below, is a form of unlawful discrimination.

B.  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
  1. Creates a hostile or adverse work/educational environment; or
  1. 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.
  1. The most common types of unlawful harassment are:

    a.  Sexual Harassment or Violence
    Severe and/or pervasive conduct that is sexual in nature, is unwelcome, and that either (1) denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational programs; (2) creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive working environment; or (3) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment, salary, or other benefit changes affecting an employee, or academic decisions affecting a student.

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 or rape;
  • Writing graffiti or otherwise displaying / distributing visual or written items of a sexually explicit nature;
  • Performing sexual gestures or other sexually explicit verbal or physical behavior in front of others;
  • Telling jokes of a sexually explicit nature;
  • Spreading sexual rumors or rating students / staff related to sexually explicit criteria, activity or performance;
  • Generating, circulating, or displaying e-mails or web sites of a sexual nature.

    b.  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.

    c.  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.

    d.  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.

C.  Sexual Violence Prevention and Awareness Program
All incoming students will be offered, and all employees will complete a Personal Empowerment Through Self Awareness (PETSA) 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.  

D.  Nonretaliation Statement
No employee or student shall be fired, expelled, suspended or otherwise harassed or discriminated against because he or she has engaged in activity protected by law, or because he or she has filed a 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

E.  Complaint Procedure
There is both an informal and formal complaint procedure.  Normally the informal process is followed before any formal process begins unless the college determines it is more appropriate to begin with the formal process.

The Title IX/AAO or designated deputy, at their discretion, may enlist any assistance deemed necessary to resolve a complaint.

Any individual may initiate a discrimination, harassment complaint against an employee by contacting the Title IX/AAO in the Human Resources Department at (541) 917-4420 or internally, at extension 4420.  For incidents where a student is the focus of a complaint, the Associate Dean should be contacted at (541) 917-4848 (internally, X4848).  The allegations will be examined for application of this policy.  If the allegations do not implicate discrimination or harassment, the college will notify the individual of any other applicable college policy or procedure for addressing the concerns.  A record will be kept of the complaint or incident for the time period required by law.

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.
  1. If the Title IX/AAO or any member of Human Resources is the subject of allegations of harassment or discrimination the complaint will go directly to the college president.
  1. If the complaint is against the Board of Education, the complaint falls outside the scope of this document and should be filed with the State of Oregon Affirmative Action Director.

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 with the involved parties. If informal means do not resolve the complaint, the complainant has the option of filing a formal complaint. 

  1. Complaints within the scope of the Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy must be addressed by either the Title IX/AAO, or the Associate Dean of Student Services. In the event that the alleged harasser is a student, please contact the Associate Dean of Student Services at (541) 917-4848.  In the event that the alleged harasser is an LBCC staff member, please contact the Director of Human Resources at (541) 917-4425.

  2. Complaints must be made within a maximum of 180 days after a disputed action.

  3. After receiving an informal complaint, the Title IX/AAO, Associate Dean of Student Affairs or 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.

              3.  Attempt to resolve the complaint by meeting with the complainant, any individual accused of discrimination or harassment, college officials, and anyone else involved. These meetings will be informal, and unless all parties agree in writing, neither the complainant nor the college will be represented by an attorney.

        D.  Informal complaints will be conducted in a prompt and equitable manner in attempting to resolve complaints alleging action prohibited under this policy.
        E.  Complainants may skip the Informal Complaint Procedure and file a formal complaint which will be handled under the Formal Complaint Procedure.

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 Title IX/AAO, Associate Dean of Student Affairs or designee will meet with the complainant to learn more about the complaint. The Title IX/AAO or Associate Dean will determine whether the Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy is applicable.
  3. If the complaint alleges behavior that is prohibited by the Nondiscrimination and Non-harassment Policy, the Title IX/AAO, Associate Dean of Student Services, or designee shall notify the person against whom the complaint has been made. Before meeting with a person against whom the complaint has been made the college will provide a summary outlining the complaint.  The Title IX/AAO, Associate Dean, or designee, shall objectively investigate the allegations, interview witnesses, and review any supporting documentation.  All parties involved have the right to have another person present as a witness during interviews. 
  4. Information concerning an investigation is generally considered confidential and will be disclosed only if required by law. 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.
  5. Complainants, respondents and witnesses are expected to fully cooperate with any investigation. If the complainant refuses to cooperate, the complaint will be withdrawn. If the respondent or employees identified as witnesses refuse to cooperate, it will be considered a violation of college policy. 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
  6. After completing the investigation, the Title IX/AAO, Associate Dean, or designee shall prepare a draft report to be discussed with the appropriate manager, the direct supervisor, or the appropriate academic administrator, describing the complaint, the results of the investigation, and the suggested remedy, if any.  The final report will be submitted to the college president and appropriate vice president, with a summary sent to the involved parties.
  7. The Title IX/AAO, Associate Dean, or designee will strive to complete the investigation and the report within forty-five (45) college business days of the receipt of the complaint. If circumstances warrant an extension of the forty five (45) day deadline, the complainant and the respondent will be notified.

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

STEP III: DECISION BY THE APPROPRIATE EXECUTIVE OFFICER

  1. Step III only comes into effect in the event that the investigator concludes that the allegations are substantiated.  The Title IX/AAO or Associate Dean shall issue a written determination concerning the complaint.  If appropriate, the decision should contain an outline of the actions proposed to remedy the situation.
  2. The written decision and the determination will be sent to the college president and appropriate vice president.  Executive staff will try to provide the written decision to the complainant and the respondent within ten (10) calendar days of the meeting with the complainant or of the complainant's decision not to meet.

STEP IV: APPEAL TO THE COLLEGE VICE-PRESIDENT

A complainant may appeal a decision that finds the complaint unsubstantiated to the appropriate college vice-president (the vice-president with responsibility for the work unit in which the complaint resides) by providing a written letter of appeal within fifteen calendar days of receipt of the summary report.  

The college vice-president will review the appeal and any information they deem necessary to determine if the investigation was fair and impartial and whether the findings are supported by facts.  Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving a written appeal, the college vice-president will respond to the complainant and provide a copy to the Title IX/AAO, the respondent, and any other appropriate personnel.

STEP V: 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
DATE OF LAST REVIEW: 05/07/15; 05/02/19