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CWUP 2-35-070 Discrimination Complaint and Resolution

Central Washington University is committed to the investigation and resolution of complaints against employees by students, faculty, staff, applicants, and the public alleging discriminatory behavior and/or violations of the university's nondiscrimination policy. (See CWUP 2-35-030 Policies and Programs Pertaining to Students.)

Any employee of Central Washington University, including student employees, who believe he or she has been subjected to a violation of the university's nondiscrimination policy may file a complaint utilizing the discrimination complaint procedure. Students, visitors or guests of the university may contact Equal Opportunity (EO) for guidance in filing a complaint.

Informal review and consultative processes are highly desirable means of resolving problems at the lowest possible level within the university. Formal complaint procedures are also available.

Individuals who believe that they have been subjected to discriminatory behavior by staff or faculty at Central Washington University are encouraged to attempt to resolve the matter at the lowest possible level within the university. Supervisors, department chairs, unit heads, and others in management/leadership are charged with the responsibility for ensuring nondiscrimination in the employment and academic environment and for bringing issues forward to EO when they become aware of such behavior. Therefore, individuals are encouraged to bring their concerns to such leaders for resolution. Normally, resolution at this level does not involve a factual investigation or a finding that the policy was or was not violated. Rather, it involves an opportunity for communications regarding areas of dispute in hopes of resolution.

The director of EO has overall responsibility for assuring university compliance with nondiscrimination laws and regulations, and receives informal and formal discrimination complaints against staff and faculty. The director also receives requests for clarification on what constitutes discriminatory behavior.

Complaints should be brought forward as soon as possible after the alleged act of discrimination.

EO will be informed of all allegations of discrimination that involve staff or faculty and will act as the repository for information about all allegations of discrimination, institution-wide, regardless of origin. Upon receipt of an allegation or complaint, EO will notify appropriate supervisory personnel and university departments. See CWUP 2-35-015 Title IX Policy for related information.

Any person may contact EO directly for informal discussion, advice, and assistance at any time. EO staff will provide the reporting party with advice about available options, including the formal complaint and resolution process and external agencies, civil rights legislation and the university's nondiscrimination policies. If the behavior does not fall under the civil rights legislation or the university's nondiscrimination policy, the reporting party will be referred to the appropriate department(s) and/or unit(s). Contact information for external agencies including U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Washington State Human Rights Commission are available at EO.

Discussions involving EO will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law.

A reporting party electing to complain about discriminatory behavior will be treated courteously and the problem handled as quickly as possible. No individual shall be penalized or retaliated against in any way by the university community for his or her participation in a discrimination complaint process.

The type of process used to investigate allegations of discriminatory behavior, and the university's response to complaints, depends on the nature and extent of the alleged incident(s) and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. The university reserves the right to initiate an investigation where a complaint has not been received, but information exists that a violation of the university's nondiscrimination policy, or discriminatory behavior, may have occurred. Coordination of allegations of discrimination made at various university departments and offices is the responsibility of the director of EO. The university does not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or criminal proceeding to begin an investigation of allegations or concerns regarding discrimination.

See CWUR 1-30-010 Student Discrimination Complaint Procedures and CWUR 1-30-050 Discrimination Complaint and Resolution Procedure - Employees for more information.

[PAC/Pres.: 01/06/10; BOT: 02/10, Res.10/10; 10/05/2011; Responsibility: President's Office; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 05/02/2012; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]