UCR

UCR Policies and Procedures

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Campus Policy Number: 650-17

Discrimination Complaint Resolution Procedures

Policy Owner: Affirmative Action
Effective Date: 9/15/92

PROCEDURES FOR RESOLVING COMPLAINTS OF UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, and staff can work together in an atmosphere free of unlawful discrimination. Any violation of this obligation detracts from the primary functions of the University. The Affirmative Action Office has designed the following procedures to review and resolve complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination.

PURPOSE

To describe the procedures of the Affirmative Action Office for reviewing and resolving complaints of alleged discrimination in violation of applicable state or federal laws or University policy.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to current employees and enrolled students who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated against by another current employee or student of UC Riverside. This policy is not applicable to former employees, applicants for employment or students who are not enrolled at UC Riverside. Current employees or enrolled students of UC Riverside must be aggrieved parties to file complaints.

POLICY

It is a violation of UC Riverside policy to discriminate against any employee or student on the basis of that individual's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, citizenship, intended citizenship, age, handicap, ancestry, special disabled and Vietnam era veteran status, medical condition (as defined in Section 12926 of the California Government Code), or any other unlawful discriminatory grounds.

An employee or student who believes he or she has been unlawfully discriminated against may discuss his or her concerns with the Affirmative Action Officer and/or file a written complaint of unlawful discrimination with the Affirmative Action Office within 30 days of the last act of alleged discrimination.

PROCEDURES

Initial Interview

A complaint shall not be filed with the Affirmative Action Office until the initial interview has been conducted. The complainant must schedule an initial interview with the Affirmative Action Officer. The complainant should bring appropriate documents that will assist the Affirmative Action Officer in evaluating the complaint. Such documentation may include offer letters, performance evaluations, memoranda, correspondence or other information related to the complaint. If the complaint is accepted based on its merits, then the Affirmative Officer will first try to handle the complaint informally. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Affirmative Action Officer will determine whether a formal written complaint is necessary. The determination will be based on any or all of the following criteria:

  • Whether either party is unwilling to settle the complaint informally.
  • Are there strong contradictory statements made.
  • Do additional witnesses have to be interviewed.

The Affirmative Action Officer shall advise the complainant of the right to file a charge of discrimination with an outside state or federal agency authorized to accept, investigate, resolve or make findings related to complaints of unlawful discrimination. The Affirmative Action Officer will further advise the complainant that filing with the Affirmative Action Office does not extend or postpone the time frames for filing with state and federal agencies, nor does it extend the time frames for filing a formal grievance under existing University policies and collective bargaining agreements.

Informal Resolution

During the initial interview or within seven days thereafter, the Affirmative Action Officer and the complainant shall determine whether the complaint should be handled informally either in lieu of or prior to filing a written complaint. If informal resolution is to be attempted, the Affirmative Action Officer and complainant shall work together to establish a method of informal resolution that the Affirmative Action Officer believes may assist in resolving the complaint.

If the complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complainant has the right to file a written complaint and to proceed under formal resolution procedures.

If the complaint is resolved informally, the Affirmative Action Officer shall prepare a report of the resolution, which shall be filed in the Affirmative Action Office and given to the complainant.

Formal resolution, complaint filing, requirements of the complaint

The complainant must identify the decision, conduct or other action that constituted an alleged act or practice of unlawful discrimination. The complaint must also allege that the action, decision or occurrence was based on the complainant's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, citizenship, intended citizenship, age, handicap, ancestry, special disabled and Vietnam era veteran status, medical condition (as defined in Section 12926 of the California Government Code), or any other unlawful discriminatory grounds.

PROHIBITION OF RETALIATION

Retaliation against a person who has filed a complaint is strictly prohibited. Any retaliatory action by faculty, graduate assistants or teaching assistants, supervisors, managers, administrators or other employees who have authority to take adverse action against a complainant is prohibited and may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Retaliation against witnesses or others participating in the resolution of a complaint is also prohibited and may also be grounds for disciplinary action.

DEADLINE FOR FILING A COMPLAINT

A complaint must be filed with the Affirmative Action Office within 30 calendar days of the last act of alleged discrimination. Within 10 days after receipt of a written complaint, the Affirmative Action Officer shall commence efforts to resolve the complaint. The Affirmative Action Office may attempt to resolve written complaints either by administrative action or by mediation, as described below. The Affirmative Action Officer shall determine which method is used in a particular case.

RESOLUTION BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

After consultation with the complainant, the Affirmative Action Officer may determine that a complaint should be resolved through administrative action. In such a case, the Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct an investigation into the allegations and, within 45 days after receipt of the complaint, submit a report and recommendation to the appropriate Vice Chancellor. All UC Riverside departments and personnel shall fully cooperate with the investigation.

The appropriate Vice Chancellor shall respond in writing to the Affirmative Action Office and to the complainant within 15 days after receipt of the report. The Affirmative Action Officer will then determine further appropriate actions.

RESOLUTION BY MEDIATION

The Mediator's Role

The Affirmative Action Officer may act as a mediator in resolving a complaint or may designate another mediator acceptable to the parties (the complainant, the alleged perpetrator, and the University). The mediator shall confer with the parties to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement of the dispute through such means as reconciliation, clarification, suggestion and advice.

Confidentiality of Mediation

Statements made during the mediation and documents specifically prepared for and used during the mediation shall not be used in further proceedings, unless all parties agree that such statements and documentation may be used later. Files pertaining to the mediation shall not be made available to the public by the University. Complainants are informed that pursuant to appropriate laws and University regulations, such records may be made available to the parties. A mediator shall not testify or participate in any subsequent proceeding, including a university grievance hearing, concerning the complaint or complainant.

Successful Mediation and Agreement

If the mediation is successful in resolving the complaint, the mediator shall prepare an agreement stating the terms agreed to by the parties (complainant, alleged perpetrator, UCR). Before signing, the complainant may submit the agreement to an advisor or legal counsel for review at his or her own expense. Before signing, the mediator shall have the agreement reviewed by the appropriate Vice Chancellor and, if needed, University General Counsel. Both parties shall sign the agreement. Each party and the Affirmative Action Office shall receive a copy of the agreement.

Compliance Monitoring

The Affirmative Action Office shall monitor compliance with the agreement. Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement shall be cause for appropriate disciplinary action.

Unsuccessful Mediation

If the complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the disputing parties (complainant, alleged perpetrator, UCR), or within 45 days after receipt of the complaint by the Affirmative Action Office, either party or the mediator may terminate the mediation. In such an event the mediator shall prepare a written report stating the following:

  • The name of the complainant and the alleged perpetrator of the discrimination act.
  • The date the complaint was filed with the Affirmative Action Office
  • The identity of the mediator and length of time mediation was attempted
  • A statement that mediation was not successful, and
  • A statement that the complainant was advised by the Affirmative Action Office of his or her right to file a charge of discrimination with DFE&H, EEOC, OCR or OFCCP within applicable time limits.

The mediator shall submit a report to the Affirmative Action Office, the complainant, the alleged perpetrator and the Executive Vice Chancellor. In the case of student complaints, the report shall be submitted to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled.

Upon receipt of the written report, the Affirmative Action Officer shall close the case and no further action shall be taken by the Affirmative Action Office.

For additional information concerning procedures for resolving complaints of unlawful discrimination at the University of California, Riverside, contact the Affirmative Action Office, University Cottage, University of California, Riverside 92521-0125, (714) 787-5604.

SUSPENSION AND/OR TERMINATION OF UC RIVERSIDE'S AA PROCEDURES

The Affirmative Action Officer, with the consent of the Chancellor, may suspend these procedures under extraordinary circumstances or in the interest of fairness. The Affirmative Action Office may terminate the processing of a complaint when any one of the following occurs:

  • A charge is filed by the complainant with the DFE&H, EEOC, OCR, OFCCP or any other federal or state agency;
  • A lawsuit is filed in a court of law; or
  • A grievance alleging unlawful discrimination is filed under the applicable grievance policy or collective bargaining agreement.

INFORMATION

For information concerning this policy, please contact the Affirmative Action Office, ext. 5604.