- Why did MCCCD change the procedures?
MCCCD is committed to having an easier, more transparent procedure to bring and investigate complaints of discrimination and retaliation in violation of our policies.
- What do these procedures govern?
These procedures govern employee complaints of discrimination based on an employee’s protected class, i.e. their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, national origin, citizenship status (including document abuse), age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information, and/or for suspected claims of retaliation in violation of the MCCCD Non-Discrimination Policies.
- Do these procedures govern complaints of harassment?
Yes. These procedures govern employee complaints of harassment based on an employee’s protected class. These procedures also govern complaints of harassment because employees have complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Note- for claims involving gender and sex discrimination, the Title IX Process has primary jurisdiction. Even claims involving gender and sex discrimination only between employees will be referred to the Title IX process for primary review. For cases that meet the definition of Title IX sexual harassment, the Title IX process is the only process necessary to resolve the matter. Sexual harassment that does not meet the Title IX definition will be addressed with alternative policies, such as the EEO complaint procedure.
- What is harassment under the MCCCD Non-Discrimination Policies?
Harassment can take the form of slurs, graffiti, offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment (including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature) is also unlawful, and this is initially addressed through the Title IX process. Although the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal if it is so pervasive or severe that it creates a hostile work environment.
- What is retaliation under the MCCCD Non-Discrimination Policies?
Retaliation would be punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination, including harassment. Asserting these rights is called "protected activity," and it can take many forms. For example, it is unlawful to retaliate against applicants or employees for:
- filing or being a witness in an EEO charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit;
- communicating with a supervisor or manager about employment discrimination, including harassment;
- answering questions during an employer investigation of alleged harassment;
- refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination;
- resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others;
- requesting accommodation of a disability or for a religious practice; or
- asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages.
Participating in a complaint process is protected from retaliation under all circumstances. Other acts to oppose discrimination are protected as long as the employee was acting on a reasonable belief that something in the workplace may violate EEO laws.
According to the EEOC, engaging in an EEO-protected activity does not shield an employee from all discipline or discharge. Employers are free to discipline or terminate workers if motivated by non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory reasons that would otherwise result in such consequences. However, an employer is not allowed to do anything in response to EEO activity that would discourage someone from resisting or complaining about future discrimination.
- What happens if an employee who files a complaint or participates in an investigation experiences retaliation?
If an employee believes they have suffered retaliation in violation of the MCCCD EEO Policies, then they should file a complaint of retaliation with the MCCCD EEO office. The MCCCD prohibits any retaliatory action that would create a chilling effect on other employees engaging in protected activity.
- Do these procedures govern student complaints?
No. For more information on complaints by students, please go to https://district.maricopa.edu/legal/student-faculty-resources/harassment/discrimination-complaint-procedures-students.
- How long does an employee have to file a complaint?
An employee has 300 days to file a complaint, but MCCCD reserves the right to investigate complaints that were not timely filed.
- Can employees file anonymous complaints?
Yes. Anyone can file a complaint anonymously using MaricopaEthicsPoint, and it will be referred to the appropriate administrative designee for review. However, filing an anonymous complaint can impact the ability to conduct a thorough investigation. Anonymous complaints will be investigated to the best of the investigator’s ability with the information submitted.
- Are complaints confidential?
While MCCCD will strive to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the confidentiality of persons reporting or accused of discrimination, harassment, and or retaliation, MCCCD cannot guarantee confidentiality where it would conflict with its legal obligations, which include, but are not limited to investigating a complaint, taking action based on an investigation, and responding to public record requests as required by law.
- What if I file a complaint, and later want to withdraw it?
The MCCCD reserves the right to investigate and take any action appropriate based on any allegation, regardless of whether a written complaint is filed, withdrawn, or any conflict resolution process is pursued.
- What do I do if believe our policies have been violated?
MCCCD employees shall immediately report any suspected violations of the MCCCD EEO Policies to their own supervisor, to another supervisor, or to the MCCCD EEO Office.
- What happens after an employee files a complaint?
The EEO Office, or its designee, will investigate. The EEO Office serves as a neutral fact-finding party. While the EEO Office reserves the right to modify the investigation process based on the allegations or any other factor to promote the intent of these policies, generally, the following steps will occur:
- The EEO Office will provide notice to the appropriate College President or Vice Chancellor of the complaint and the investigation, unless such notice will adversely impact the ability to conduct investigation.
- The EEO Office will give the Complainant an EEO Complaint Form to complete. If the Complainant does not complete the form, the EEO Office will investigate allegation to the extent possible.
- The EEO Office will allow the Respondent to respond to the allegations.
- The EEO Office will interview any relevant witnesses.
- The EEO Office will review any relevant documents or other materials.
- What if an employee does not want to participate in the investigation?
All MCCCD employees have a duty to fully cooperate with any investigation under these policies.
- How long does an investigation take?
The EEO office has 90 calendar days to complete an investigation, but any deadlines in the process can be extended for good cause, i.e. employee schedules, medical leaves, and other factors specific to the investigation.
- What happens after an investigation?
The EEO Office, or designee, will complete a report that includes the following information:
- Factual findings as to the allegations investigated,
- A determination as to whether there was or was not sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations under the preponderance of evidence standard.
- This means the report will document whether the evidence supports the allegation and whether the allegation violates the policies.
- Recommendations as warranted by the facts and applicable policies:
- Unsubstantiated allegations may result in recommendations as appropriate based on the facts and applicable policies.
- If there is a substantiated finding of an EEO Policy violation, the Report will recommend remedial action, as appropriate under the applicable facts and policies.
- Any recommended remedial action should be designed to ensure compliance with any applicable policies. It should also allow appropriate discretion to the decision-maker in that process.
- Evidence gathered during the investigation may be used in subsequent grievance/disciplinary procedures or performance reviews.
- What if I do not agree with the results of an investigation?
A Complainant or Respondent may appeal the findings in an EEO Investigation Report by submitting a written notice of appeal to the head of the District Human Resources Office within 10 working days from receipt of the EEO Report. Appeals can only be made for the following reasons:
- Additional relevant evidence has been discovered that the appealing party was not aware of during the investigation;
- The party has procedural concerns that may change or affect the conclusion; and/or
- The party perceives that there was insufficient evidence to support the investigator’s findings.
- What happens if there is an appeal?
Within 10 working days from receipt of a timely appeal, the head of the District Human Resources Office, or its designee, shall respond to the appeal in writing. If the findings were not supported by the evidence or there are procedural concerns, the matter will be reopened and assigned for further investigation. If the investigation is procedurally sufficient and the findings are supported by the evidence, HR will deny the appeal and close the matter.
- Why does MCCCD have an affirmative action program?
As a federal contractor, MCCCD is required to identify job groups where women and minorities are underutilized, establish affirmative action goals for those job groups, and make good faith efforts to achieve those goals. Good faith efforts to employ and advance protected veterans and persons with disabilities are also required, and recent regulations have established benchmark goals for hiring these individuals. The hiring benchmark for protected veterans is generally calculated annually based on the percentage of veterans in the national civilian workforce, while federal regulations have established a 7% utilization goal in each job group for qualified individuals with disabilities.
- Are affirmative action goals the same as quotas or preferences?
No, it is illegal to use quotas in employment decisions. A goal does not reserve a place for or require that preference be given to a particular type of candidate. Affirmative action is intended to ensure that no qualified candidate of any group is excluded from the pool of applicants being considered. Goals are simply placement objectives that MCCCD works toward by making good faith efforts to achieve broader representation in job groups where there is underutilization of females and/or minorities. Such efforts generally take place during the recruitment process and are designed to attract a diversity of qualified candidates into the applicant pool and to remove any barriers in the selection process that may affect equal employment opportunities.
- How is underutilization determined?
Existing MCCCD workforce data, census data, and faculty availability data are analyzed. For each job group, we determine if the number of qualified women and minorities in the labor market (availability) is significantly higher than the number of women and minorities in the MCCCD's current workforce (utilization). A job group is composed of positions that are similar with regard to their content, pay range, and opportunities. If there is a significant disparity between availability and utilization in a job group, placement goals are established for that group. The most recent Affirmative Action Reports are located on the Equal Employment Opportunity Webpage. If you have questions as to the reports or past data, please contact Dr. Deric Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.