New Jersey City University Procedures for Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace

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Policy Name: New Jersey City University Procedures for Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination
in the Workplace
Policy Number: 01-03-002
Version Effective Date: February 28, 2013
Last reviewed on: January 1, 2019
Policy Applies To: Employees, Applicants for Employment, Vendors
Responsible Office: EEO


INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This describes procedures for Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace.

POLICY
In compliance with the mandates of the New Jersey Division of EEO/AA, New Jersey City University is responsible for following the procedure for handling complaints alleging discrimination within the University. A copy of this procedure is also filed with New Jersey City University Board of Trustees, Office of the President and the Civil Service Commission, Division of EEO/AA, Trenton, New Jersey. Any New Jersey City University employee, or participant in the University's work related programs or activities who believe that they have been inappropriately discriminated against may file a complaint in accordance with the procedure described below.

  1. All employees and applicants for employment have the right and are encouraged to immediately report suspected violations of the State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace, N.J.A.C. 4A:7-3.1.
     
  2. Complaints of prohibited discrimination/harassment can be reported to Lisa Marshall, the Director of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action ("EEO/AA") located in Hepburn 306.
     
  3. Every effort should be made to report complaints promptly. Delays in reporting may not only hinder a proper investigation, but may also unnecessarily subject the victim to continued prohibited conduct.
     
  4. Supervisory employees shall immediately report all alleged violations of the State of New Jersey Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace to Lisa Marshall, the Director of EEO/AA. Such a report shall include both alleged violations reported to a supervisor, and those alleged violations directly observed by the supervisor.
     
  5. If reporting a complaint to any of the persons set forth in paragraphs 2 through 4 above presents a conflict of interest, the complaint may be filed directly with the Division of EEO/AA, P.O. Box 315, Trenton, NJ 08625. An example of such a conflict would be where the individual against whom the complaint is made is involved in the intake, investigative or decision making process.
     
  6. In order to facilitate a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation, all complainants are encouraged to submit a Division of EEO/AA Discrimination Complaint Processing Form. An investigation may be conducted whether or not the form is completed.
     
  7. New Jersey City University shall maintain a written record of the discrimination/harassment complaints received. Written records shall be maintained as confidential records to the extent practicable and appropriate. A copy of all complaints (regardless of the format in which submitted) must be submitted to the Civil Service Commission, Division of EEO/AA, by New Jersey City University's Director of EEO/AA, along with a copy of the acknowledgement letter(s) sent to the person(s) who filed the complaint and, if applicable, the complaint notification letter sent to the person(s) against whom the complaint has been filed. If a written complaint has not been filed, New Jersey City University's Director of EEO/AA must submit to the Division of EEO/AA a brief summary of the allegations that have been made. Copies of complaints filed with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or in court also must be submitted to the Division of EEO/AA.
     
  8. During the initial intake of a complaint, the Director of EEO/AA will obtain information regarding the complaint, and determine if interim corrective measures are necessary to prevent continued violations of the State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace.
     
  9. At the Director of EEO/AA's discretion, a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into the alleged harassment or discrimination will take place.
     
  10. An investigatory report will be prepared by the Director of EEO/AA when the investigation is completed. The report will include, at a minimum:

    a.  A summary of the complaint;
    b.  A summary of the parties' positions;
    c.  A summary of the facts developed through the investigation; and
    d.  An analysis of the allegations and the facts.
         The investigatory report will be submitted to the President who will issue a final letter of 
         determination to the parties.
     
  11. The President will review the investigatory report issued by the Director of EEO/AA, and make a determination as to whether the allegation of a violation of the State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace has been substantiated. If a violation has occurred, the President will determine the appropriate corrective measures necessary to immediately remedy the violation.
     
  12. The President will issue a final letter of determination to both the complainant(s) and the person, against whom the complaint was filed, setting forth the results of the investigation and the right of appeal to the Civil Service Commission as set forth in Paragraphs 13 and 14, below. To the extent possible, the privacy of all parties involved in the process shall be maintained in the final letter of determination. The Civil Service Commission, Division of EEO/AA shall be furnished with a copy of the final letter of determination.

    a. The letter shall include, at a minimum:
         1.   A brief summary of the parties' positions;
         2.   A brief summary of the facts developed during the investigation; and
         3.   An explanation of the determination, which shall include whether:
                 i. The allegations were either substantiated or not substantiated; and
                 ii. A violation of the State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace did or did
                    not occur

    b. The investigation of a complaint shall be completed and a final letter of determination shall be issued no later than 120 days after the initial intake of the complaint referred to in Paragraph 8, above, is completed.

    c. The time for completion of the investigation and issuance of the final letter of determination may be extended by the President for up to 60 additional days in cases involving exceptional circumstances. The President shall provide the Division of EEO/AA and all parties with written notice of any extension and shall include in the notice an explanation of the exceptional circumstances supporting the extension.
     
  13. A complainant who is in the career, unclassified or senior executive service, or who is an applicant for employment, who disagrees with the determination of the President may submit a written appeal to the, New Jersey Civil Service Commission ("NJCSC"), Division of Appeals and Regulatory Affairs, Written Record Appeals Unit, P.O. Box 312, Trenton, N.J. 08625-0312, postmarked or delivered within 20 days of the receipt of the determination from the President. The appeal shall be in writing and include all materials presented by the complainant at the departmental level, the final letter of determination, the reason for the appeal and the specific relief requested. Please be advised that there is a $20 fee for appeals. Please include a check or money order along with the appeal, payable to NJCSC. Persons receiving assistance and those qualifying for NJCSC Veterans Preference are exempt from this fee, to the Civil Service Commission P.O. Box 312, Trenton, N.J. 08625.

    a. Employees filing appeals which raise issues for which there is another specific appeal procedure must utilize those procedures. The Civil Service Commission Chair may require any appeal, which raises issues of alleged discrimination and other issues, such as examination appeals, to be processed using the procedures set forth in this section or a combination of procedures as the Chair deems appropriate. See N.J.A.C. 4A:2-1.7.

    b. The Civil Service Commission shall decide the appeal on a review of the written record or such other proceeding as it deems appropriate. See N.J.A.C. 4A:2-1.1(d).

    c. The appellant shall have the burden of proof in all discrimination appeals brought before the Civil Service Commission.
     
  14. In a case where a violation has been substantiated, and no disciplinary action recommended, the party(ies) against whom the complaint was filed may appeal the determination to the Civil Service Commission at the address indicated in Paragraph 13 above, within 20 days of receipt of the final letter of determination by the President.

    a. The burden of proof shall be on the appellant.

    b. The appeal shall be in writing and include the final letter of determination, the reason for the appeal, and the specific relief requested.

    c. If disciplinary action has been recommended in the final letter of determination, the party(ies) charged may appeal using the procedures set forth in N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2 and 3.
     
  15. The Division of EEO/AA shall be placed on notice of, and given the opportunity to submit comment on, appeals filed with the Civil Service Commission of decisions on discrimination complaints, regardless of whether or not the complaint was initially filed directly with the Division of EEO/AA.
     
  16.  Any employee or applicant for employment can file a complaint directly with external agencies that investigate discrimination/harassment charges in addition to utilizing this internal procedure. The time frames for filing complaints with external agencies indicated below are provided for informational purposes only. An individual should contact the specific agency to obtain exact time frames for filing a complaint. The deadlines run from the date of the last incident of alleged discrimination/harassment, not from the date that the final letter of determination is issued by the President.

Complaints may be filed with the following external agencies:

Division on Civil Rights
N. J. Department of Law & Public Safety
(Within 180 days for violation of the discriminatory act)

Trenton Regional Office
140 East Front Street
6th Floor, P.O. Box 090
Trenton NJ 08625-0090
(609) 292-4605

Newark Regional Office
31 Clinton Street, 3rd floor
P.O. Box 46001
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 648-2700

Atlantic City Office
1325 Boardwalk
1st Floor at Tennessee Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 441-3100

Southern Region (formerly named Camden Regional Office)
5 Executive Campus Building 5
Suite 107
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
(856) 486-4080

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
(Within 300 days of the discriminatory act)
National Call Center – 1 800-669-4000


*Newark Area Office
One Newark Center, 17th Floor
Raymond Blvd at McCarter Highway (Rt.21)
Newark, New Jersey 07102
(973) 645-4684

**Philadelphia District Office
801 Market Street, Suite 1300
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127
(215) 440-2600

*Newark Area Office has jurisdiction over the State of New Jersey Counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

**The Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over the State of New Jersey, Counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem.

Issued: December 16, 1999
Revised: June 3, 2005
Revised: August 20, 2007
Revised: October 15, 2009
Revised: March 24, 2010
Revised: February 8, 2011
Revised: November 15, 2011
Revised: February 28, 2013
Revised: July 26, 2013
Revised: March 22, 2016
See N.J.A.C. 4A:7-3.2

DATE TO INITIATE REVIEW AND UPDATE
As deemed necessary or appropriate by the Policy Coordinator but at a minimum, at least every 5 years from the date of last review.