Employee Applicants & Independent Contractor Complaint Procedures
SSU Complaint Procedures
The President has designated Joyce Suzuki, Managing Director, from the Office of Employee Relations and Compliance Services (ERC), Salazar Hall 2nd floor, (707) 664-4470, as the individual responsible for receiving all informal and formal compliants related to discrimination and/or sexual harassment. The following complaint procedures shall apply.
In order to use these procedures, an individual must assert:
- A violation of SSU's Non-Discrimination Policy against discrimination, harassment or retaliation; and
- The specific harm resulting from the alleged violation
- Prior to or instead of filing a written formal complaint with the ERC, an individual (claimant) may seek to meet with the Managing Director of ERC to determine the nature of any discrimination/harassment/retaliation claim and to explore a resolution of the claim. Such claimant must be given information on how to file a formal complaint during this meeting.
- Those choosing this option do not need to complete the Discrimination Compliant Form.
- If either the complainant or the alleged violator is under 18 years of age, the appropriate legal guidelines will be followed.
- An individual may initiate the Formal Complaint process with the Office of Employee Relations and Compliance in one of three ways:
- By filing a written Discrimination Compliant form,
- By filing a written formal complaint at the invitation of the Managing Director of ERC who, having discussed the allegations with the complainant via the Informal Resolution process, determined that an investigation is warranted; or
- By responding to the results of an Informal Resolution which the complainant disagrees.
- In the first two instances, a complainant may contact the ERC office to start the formal complaint no later than:
- Thirty (30) days after the event giving rise to the complaint; or
- Thirty (30) days after the individual knew or reasonably should have known of the event giving rise to the complaint.
- In the third instance, an individual may initiate the formal complaint process no later than ten (10) days after receiving the Informal Resolution response.
- If the individual chooses to file a written formal complaint, he/she shall complete the Discrimination Complaint Form.
- If the allegations contained in the complaint have not previously been evaluated to determine whether an investigation is warranted, the Managing Director of ERC shall do so.
- If either the complainant or the alleged violator is under 18 years of age, the appropriate legal guideline will be followed.
- If an investigation is deemed not warranted, the Managing Director of ERC shall respond to the complainant in a timely manner, explaining why no investigation is conducted.
- If an investigation is deemed warranted, the investigator shall hold a meeting with the complainant and the complainant's representative, if any, at a mutually acceptable time and location.
- The complainant shall inform the investigator of all issues and evidence known, or which could reasonably be known, to the complainant that are related to the complaint. If an investigation had been conducted at the Informal Level, the complainant shall discuss the complainant's specific disagreements with such findings and the relevant reasons and evidence.
- The investigator shall carefully review the issues raised by the complainant and conduct an investigation pursuant to the SSU non-discrimination policy. Where an Informal Level investigation had already been conducted, the Level I investigation should be limited in scope to the complainant's specific disagreements with the findings at the Informal Level.
- The Managing Director of ERC shall respond to the complainant no later than sixty(60)days after the filing of the formal complaint, unless an extension of the timeline has been obtained.
- Generally, the formal complaint response should include a summary of the allegations, a description of the investigative process, the standard used to determine whether a violation of policy occurred, the evidence considered and a determination of whether the allegations were substantiated.
- The person who conducts an investigation under this procedure may be Managing Director of ERC, or someone else designated by the Managing Director of ERC, provided that he/she shall be an MPP employee or an external consultant, who is not within the administrative control or authority of the person alleged to have discriminated, harassed or retaliated. All investigations under this procedure shall be conducted in a reliable and impartial manner.
- All SSU students and employees are required to cooperate with the investigation, be forthright and honest, and keep confidential the existence and details of the investigation.
- The investigation shall include, at a minimum, formal interviews with the claimant/complainant and the person alleged to have discriminated or harassed (the respondent).
- Both the complainant and the respondent shall have the right to identify witnesses and other evidence for consideration in connection with the investigation; however, the investigator may decide which witnesses are relevant to the investigation.
- The complainant may have a representative present during his/her meeting with the investigator to discuss the discrimination or harassment complaint. Where the respondent is an employee of SSU, and the allegations are such that, if true, they could reasonably subject the respondent to discipline, then the respondent shall be permitted to have a representative accompany him/her to the interview.
- Time limits set forth herein refer to working days, which are Monday through Friday, excluding all officially recognized University holidays or closure of the campus where the complaint originated.
- If the complainant, the respondent, the witnesses, the Managing Director of ERC, the designee of the Managing Director, or the investigator is on an approved leave of three days or more, the time limits shall be extended by the length of time the individual is absent.
- Time limits set forth herein may also be extended by mutual agreement. If the University requests a time extension in order to conduct an effective investigation and the complainant does not agree, the University will issue a response within the above timeline based on the information available at that time.
- Although the complainant is barred from filing subsequent complaints on the same incident, the underlying allegations of a withdrawn discrimination, harassment or retaliation complaint shall be investigated if CSU determines the circumstances warrant investigation. The investigation conducted in such a circumstance does not resurrect the employee's complaint or permit a subsequent filing of that complaint. The response issued at the conclusion of the investigation will note that the complaint was withdrawn. The investigation shall be conducted under the Informal Resolution Procedure.
When the investigation results in findings, appropriate sanctions will be recommended. Based on the recommendations, the University will pursue disciplinary actions against the alleged violator(s).
For Staff, Faculty Members and Administrators
Any discipline administered will be in accordance with the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement, federal, state or CSU guidelines. If a hearing is required prior to any disciplinary action against the alleged violator(s), Title V, HEERA or the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement will govern.
Sanctions may range from an oral warning or a letter of reprimand, to formal disciplinary proceedings with sanctions of suspension, demotion or dismissal.
During an investigation, students may be subject to interim suspension or housing relocation (either on or off-campus). Any discipline will be administered in accordance with Title V of the California Code of Regulations and appropriate CSU guidelines. If both Housing Discipline and Student Discipline are initiated and require a hearing, the Housing and Student Discipline hearings will be combined into one hearing.
One or more of the following sanctions will be implemented for students found to have violated the campus’ non-discrimination policy:
- Violations that involve sexual assault may include: denial of access to the campus, suspension, and/or expulsion.
- Violations that involve inappropriate physical behavior may include: probation, denial of access to the campus, suspension, and/or expulsion.
- Violations that involve inappropriate verbal behavior may include: an oral warning, probation, denial of access to the campus, suspension, and/or expulsion.
In addition to these sanctions, other appropriate administrative measures may be taken (e.g., loss of privileges, mandated referrals, eviction from housing, etc.). Any additional violations of the campus’ non-discrimination policy will result in a more serious sanction.