Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act/Rehabilitation Act
A. Resolution of Grievances through Direct Consultation
Claims of discrimination due to a disability (including the denial of a reasonable accommodation of a disability by a person or Office, such as a faculty member, department chair or any administrator responsible for a service area) can be resolved through direct consultation with the person involved. The Director of Human Resources and Associate Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs and Accessibility Services, who serve as ADA/504 Coordinators for employees and students, respectively, are available to advise or assist individuals who seek to resolve a dispute by direct consultation. If the Human Resources Office or the Dean of Students Office is the alleged source of a dispute, the individual may seek advice or assistance from the Executive Director of the Office of the President, who serves as the ADA/504 Compliance Officer for the College.
B. Resolution of Grievances through Formal Process
A formal grievance alleging discrimination due to a disability (including an alleged denial of a reasonable accommodation) alternatively may be initiated through the Executive Director of the Office of the President by submitting a written complaint within 90 days of the alleged act or occurrence. The Executive Director will attempt to achieve an informal resolution, which may include consulting with a relevant senior staff member(s). (If the Executive Director of the Office of the President is the alleged source of a dispute, the individual may contact the President of the College.)
If an informal resolution cannot be achieved within 30 days of the grievance being filed, and the Executive Director of the Office of the President determines there is a reasonable basis for proceeding, then he or she will appoint a three person ad hoc Accessibility Grievance Committee to review the complaint. The Committee will consist of a tenured faculty member and two staff members from the Accessibility Services Team. The Accessibility Grievance Committee will normally convene, review all relevant materials and make a recommendation to the Executive Director within 60 days. The Accessibility Grievance Committee may want to hear from the complainant, the respondent or Office charged, and any witnesses it deems relevant either in person, in writing or in any combination and will be responsible for making any necessary procedural determinations regarding the proceeding before it. However, in all cases in which the Executive Director elects to proceed with Accessibility Grievance Committee review, the complainant and the respondent or Office charged will be given the opportunity to be heard in some manner. The Executive Director will communicate the final decision to all parties.
The aggrieved party may appeal the ruling by filing a written statement (explaining fully the basis for the petition) with the President of the College, within 14 days of the decision. An appeal should only be filed for a claimed failure to afford a party the process required by the policy or because new evidence has become available which was not reasonably accessible at the time of the proceeding before the Committee. The President of the College will issue a final decision to all parties within 14 days receipt of the appeal statement.
All written grievances should contain (1) a description of the nature of the complaint; (2) previous efforts at resolution; and (3) one or more proposed remedies. At each level of the formal process, a grievant will be notified of decisions in writing. Additionally, should an accommodation be in question, it will be honored until a final formal decision is rendered, and under no circumstances will the threat of retaliation against a complainant be tolerated.