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Policy Manual

4122.04 - Complaint Procedures Related to Alleged Discrimination and/or Harassment in Employment

If an employee or applicant believes that she/he has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of his/her race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, handicapping condition, marital status, military status, genetic information, or social or family background (protected characteristics), the person may utilize the following complaint procedure as a means of reaching, at the lowest possible administrative level, a prompt and equitable resolution of the matter.

In accordance with Title II, Title VI, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and their implementing regulations, the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, and/or the Florida Educational Equity Act, individuals will be notified of their right to file a complaint regarding an alleged violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of Title II, Title VI, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967and/or their implementing regulations, the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, and/or the Florida Educational Equity Act. In addition, individuals will be notified of their right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and any other State or Federal agencies responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

The following person is designated as the District’s Section 504/ADA Compliance Officer ("District Compliance Officer"):

Title:

General Manager of Employee Relations

   

Address:

Raymond O. Shelton Administration Center
901 East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33602

   

Telephone:

813-272-4000

The name, title and contact information for the District Compliance Officer will be published annually on the School District's web site, and shall also appear in District publications such as announcements, bulletins, brochures, job postings, student applications and admission forms, catalogs, and other recruitment materials that are made available to students, parents, staff, and the general public.

Complaints may initially be discussed informally with the District Compliance Officer, or with the Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, or may be reduced to writing and submitted to a District Compliance Officer in accordance with the complaint procedure described below. The individual must identify, either verbally or in writing, the specific circumstances or areas of dispute that have given rise to the complaint, and should offer possible solutions to the dispute. The complaint must be filed with the District Compliance Officer, or with the Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, within the time limits specified below.

The District Compliance Officer, or the Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, is available to assist individuals in filing a complaint.

Complaint Procedure

The complaint procedure described in A through F below is available to employees, unsuccessful applicants, and others for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination in employment based upon protected classes.

Use of the complaint procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies, including the filing of a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and/or any other State or Federal agencies responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination.

 

A.

An individual with a complaint based on alleged discrimination related to employment may first discuss the problem with the District Compliance Officer or his/her designee. If the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, the employee may first discuss the matter with the Superintendent.

 
 

B.

If the informal discussion does not resolve the matter, or if the individual skips Step A, the individual may file a formal written complaint with the District Compliance Officer, or with the Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment. The written complaint must contain the name and address of the individual or representative filing the complaint, be signed by the complainant or someone authorized to sign for the complainant, describe the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the District Compliance Officer, or Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, of the nature and date of the alleged violation, and propose a resolution. The complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the circumstances or event giving rise to the complaint, unless the time for filing is extended by the District Compliance Officer, or the Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, for good cause.

 

C.

The District Compliance Officer or his/her designee, or the Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, will conduct an independent investigation of the matter, which may or may not include a hearing. Although this complaint procedure allows an informal, but thorough investigation, all interested persons and their representatives, if any, shall be afforded an opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence relevant to the complaint. The District Compliance Officer, or Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, will provide the complainant with a written disposition of the complaint within 20 workdays.

     
   

If no decision is rendered by the District Compliance Officer within 20 workdays, or the decision of the District Compliance Officer is unsatisfactory in the opinion of the complainant, the individual may file, in writing, an appeal with the Superintendent. The District Compliance Officer, or Superintendent if the District Compliance Officer is the individual alleged to have committed the discrimination or harassment, shall maintain the District’s files and records relating to the complaint.

 

D.

The Superintendent will, within 20 workdays of receiving the written appeal, conduct a hearing with all parties involved in an attempt to resolve the complaint.

 
 

The Superintendent will render his/her decision within 20 workdays of the hearing.

 
 

E.

The individual may be represented, at his/her own cost, at any of the above-described meetings/hearings.

 
 

F.

The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, any other State or Federal agencies responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination, or the filing of a court case in the appropriate Federal District Court.

     
   

Use of this complaint procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.

Federal and/or State Complaint

At any time, if an individual believes that she/he has been subjected to discrimination with regard to employment, the individual may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), and/or any other State or Federal agencies responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination.

The OCR can be reached at:

 

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 19T70
61 Forsyth Street S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8909
FAX: (404) 562-7881
TDD: (404) 562-7884
E-mail: OCR@ed.gov
Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

The FCHR can be reached at:

 

Florida Commission on Human Relations
2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 488-7082
Toll-Free: (800) 342-8170
Fax: (850) 488-5291
The Florida Relay Service Voice (statewide) 711
TDD ASCII: (800) 955-1339
TDD Baudot: (800) 955-8771
E-mail: fchrinfo@fchr.myflorida.com
Website: http://fchr.state.fl.us

Confidentiality

The School Board will make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the parties involved in an investigation of discrimination, provided such complaint was not made with malice or the knowledge that it was false, consistent with the Board’s legal obligations under Federal and State law. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed.

All public records created as a part of an investigation of a complaint of discrimination will be maintained by the Compliance Officer, or the Superintendent for complaints involving the Compliance Officer, in accordance with State law and the Board's records retention policy.

Prohibition Against Retaliation

The Board will not discriminate against, coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any individual because the person opposed any act or practice made unlawful by Title II, Title VI, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and their implementing regulations, the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, and/or the Florida Educational Equity Act, or because that individual made a charge, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the aforementioned laws or implementing regulations, or because that individual exercised, enjoyed, aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by the aforementioned laws or their implementing regulations.

F.S. 760.01 through 760.11 (and 509.092), Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992
F.S. 448.075, 760.50
F.S. 1000.05, Florida Educational Equity Act
F.A.C. 6A-19
F.S. 553.501 et seq., Florida Americans With Disabilities Accessibility Implementation Act
F.S. 553.014
29 C.F.R. Part 1630
29 U.S.C. 794, Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended

Adopted 4/1/14

© Neola 2012

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