Complaint & Investigation Procedure
A. Complaint Procedure
The College cannot prevent or remedy sexual harassment or discrimination claims unless it is made aware. Any member of the College community who believes that he or she has experienced prohibited discrimination or discrimination-related harassment or sexual harassment in employment or in the context of academic pursuits should use the Complaint Procedure described herein for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints. Similarly, any member of the College community who becomes aware of potentially discriminatory or harassing conduct directed at another member of the College community should report such conduct to Human Resources.
|Staff||Immediate Supervisor or Director of Human Resources|
|Faculty||Department Chair or Dean or Director of Human Resources|
|Students||Immediate Supervisor or Dean or VP of Student Life or Director of Human Resources|
Individuals may also report a complaint directly to the Human Resources located in McSpedon Hall, 2nd Floor, and may be reached at (914) 633-2067. The Director of Human Resources also serves as the College’s Title IX Coordinator for gender equity matters.
Reports of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing. A complaint form for submission of a written complaint may be obtained in human resources, and all employees are encouraged to use this complaint form. Employees who are reporting discrimination or sexual harassment on behalf of other employees should use the complaint form and note that it is on another employee’s behalf.
a. All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected discrimination or sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected discrimination or sexual harassment to the Director of Human Resources. Failure to report may subject a manager or supervisor to employment discipline.
b. All College employees who have the authority to redress sexual misconduct, who have a duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty are required to report any incident involving sexual harassment or discrimination involving a student to the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator. Every effort will be made to maintain Privacy, and information reported to human resources and will be shared only with those having a need to know such information in order to respond in accordance with College policy.
c. Members of the College community are encouraged to report any alleged harassment and/or discrimination immediately in order to maximize the College’s ability to conduct a thorough, impartial, and reliable investigation. The College’s ability to investigate and respond effectively may be reduced with the passage of time. No individual will be precluded from reporting despite the passage of time.
Members of the College community who believe they have been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment may also seek assistance in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
B. Investigation Procedure
Upon receipt of the complaint, the Director of Human Resources or designee will conduct an immediate review of the allegations, and (if appropriate, in consultation with key supervisory personnel) take any interim actions, including interim suspension, as deemed appropriate. If the complaint is verbal, the Director or designee will encourage the individual to complete the complaint form in writing. If he or she refuses, the Director will prepare a complaint form based on the verbal reporting. The Director or designee will commence an investigation of the complaint in order to make a determination whether there was a violation of this policy. The investigation may consist of the following:
- Gather and review relevant documents including emails, texts, electronic communications or phone records and preserving them.
- Meet with the individual bringing the complaint and with the individual responding to discuss the available procedures, and possible avenues for resolution of the complaint.
- Interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses.
- Create a written documentation of the investigation.
- Notify the individual who complained and the individual(s) who responded of the final determination and implement any corrective actions identified.
- Inform the individual who complained of their right to file a complaint or charge externally as outlined below.
Timeliness: An investigation of any complaint, information or knowledge of suspected sexual harassment or discrimination will be prompt and thorough, and the College will make reasonable effort to complete its review within 60 days. The College may, at its discretion, extend any of the time limits imposed in this policy. If the Complainant fails to respond within the time limits provided, upon written notice of such failure, the complaint may be deemed to have been withdrawn.
Confidentiality: Matters involving discrimination and/or sexual harassment are particularly sensitive and demand special attention to issues of confidentiality. Dissemination of information relating to the case should be limited to individuals who have a legitimate need to know or who have information. College employees who learn of incidents of discrimination and/or harassment have an obligation to report and cannot guarantee confidentiality. Their privacy and that of the complainant will be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
Remedial and Disciplinary Action: The Director of Human Resources (and if appropriate, key supervisory personnel) will communicate as appropriate with the individual complaining and the individual responding any resulting remedial action and/or discipline imposed. When the College finds that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate and timely disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including separation from the College. The College will follow applicable College procedures including those provided in the Faculty Handbook, in taking any disciplinary action.
Employment at Will
This complaint procedure is intended to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee complaints alleging discrimination and harassment. It is not intended to create, and does not create, an employment contract or a guarantee of continued employment for any employee. Therefore, the College is free to discharge at-will employees at any time for any reason, just as an employee may resign at any time for any reason. Furthermore, the College may amend or rescind any of the provisions of this policy and the complaint procedure from time to time in its sole discretion.