Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act/Rehabilitation Act
Hamilton College is committed to providing a learning and working environment free from unlawful discrimination or harassment, including discrimination and harassment based upon disability. The College's internal grievance procedure outline below is designed to further the equitable and prompt resolution of complaints and to address the effects of harassment and discrimination based up disability.
Employees and students may file a complaint using these procedures. These procedures apply to discriminatory and harassing conduct carried out by employees, students and third parties. The College reserves the right to reasonably extend any timeframe outline below as may be necessary given the facts of the case, the parties involved, and the academic calendar.
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 (“Associate Dean”), 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 Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees, who serves as the ADA/504 Compliance Officer for the College.
Director of Human Resources
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
Associate Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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. All written complaints should contain: (1) a description of the nature of the complaint; (2) previous efforts at resolution; and (3) one or more proposed remedies. The Executive Director may attempt to achieve an informal resolution which may include consulting with a relevant senior staff member(s). (If the Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees 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 Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees 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 Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees 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 Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees 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 Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees will communicate the final decision to all parties in writing.
Either party may appeal the Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees' decision by filing a written statement (explaining fully the basis for the petition) with the President of the College, within 14 days of the decision. Appeals should be sent to the Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees at 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323. 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 in writing within 14 days of receipt of the appeal statement.
The College May implement interim measures to protect the safety and well-being of those who report or experience discrimination/harassment, as well as those who have been accused of such conduct. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, changes in class schedules, changes in work assignments/supervisors, and academic support. The implementation of interim measures will depend upon the availability of College resources, the nature and severity of the allegations, and the parties involved.
Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, the following: training, written warnings, suspension, and expulsion/termination from the College.
The College may take additional steps to address effects of the misconduct and to prevent recurrence. Such steps will depend upon the nature and extent of the discrimination/harassment, but may include mandatory training/counseling for the perpetrator of the misconduct, campus-wide or targeted trainings, campus outreach, and/or reasonable academic/emotional support for those affected by the misconduct.
The College strictly prohibits any form of retaliation, intimidation, or reprisal for making a complaint of harassment/discrimination or otherwise participating in the investigation and resolution process. Anyone who experiences or witnesses retaliation should inform the Chief of Staff and Secretary to Board of Trustees immediately. Any person found to have committed an act of retaliation, intimidation, or reprisal will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include but is not limited to, suspension or expulsion/termination from the College.