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Human Resources | Employee Handbook: Part XIV

Part XIV: COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAWS AND POLICIES

A. Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination

1. The Affirmative Action Plan

2. Complaint Procedures – Discrimination Claims

3. Disciplinary Actions

B. Sexual Harassment

C. Americans with Disabilities Act

D. Drug-Free Workplace Act

A.  Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination

Trinity College is committed to providing equal employment opportunity in the workplace without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and all other categories governed by the laws of the United States and the District of Columbia. Trinity does not engage in discrimination on the basis of any personal characteristics defined by law as prohibited classifications. All supervisors must adhere strictly to the policies and procedures that implement the non-discrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements.

1. The Affirmative Action Plan

To maintain the vitality of the commitment to equal opportunity, the College has prepared an Affirmative Action Plan designed to guarantee equal access to employment opportunities on the basis of individual merit and performance. Trinity embraces the goals of equal opportunity, and the specific goals of its Affirmative Action Plan, in its hiring and employment practices, including, but not limited to advertising, recruitment and employment, position upgrading, promotion, demotion or transfer, layoff, termination, compensation, training and apprenticeship.

Because of the importance of strict adherence to the expectations of the Affirmative Action Plan, all supervisors, including faculty personnel with hiring responsibilities, must work through the Office of Human Resources in all personnel searches and hiring.

Copies of the Affirmative Action Plan are available for review in the Office of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources is also the Affirmative Action Officer.

2. Complaint Procedures – Discrimination Claims

Any person who believes that he or she has been the victim of employment discrimination at Trinity College under this section may make a formal or informal complaint according to the following procedures:

  1. The complainant should meet with the Director of Human Resources to discuss the situation. Upon hearing the nature of the complaint, the Director may take one of the following actions:
    1. Ask the complainant to write a formal written complaint; or
    2. Ask the complainant if she or he is willing to participate in an informal discussion with the supervisor or other person who allegedly violated this section; or
    3. Investigate further, including conducting a meeting with the accused party, before determining an appropriate course of action.
  2. Whether or not the complainant makes a formal written complaint, the Director is responsible to maintain a record of the complaint and to inform the President of the College of the matter. The President may request additional investigation of the case, or direct an alternative process.
  3. Upon receiving a formal written complaint, or based on the results of the initial investigation, the Director must provide a formal written notice to the accused person. This notice sets forth the nature of the charges and describes the likely disciplinary action. The notice asks for a written reply, and admonishes the accused party that he or she may not discuss this case with the complainant or take any action that might be construed as retaliation. The Director and the accused party may meet to discuss the expectations for the written reply.
  4. If the accused party refuses to provide a written reply within the timeframe stated, or if the accused party engages in any act of retaliation or intimidation toward the complainant, the Director will notify the President of the College immediately, and the President will take disciplinary action which may include termination of the offending party.
  5. Upon receiving a written reply from the accused party, the Director may choose a course of action depending upon the nature of the reply. The likely options include:
    1. If the accused person denies the charges, then the Director will create a small committee, composed of two or three members of the staff or faculty, to conduct a further investigation of the case; upon receiving the report of the committee, the Director may determine appropriate disciplinary action as the findings warrant; the accused may appeal the findings and the action to the President, who may direct additional inquiry or who may take any other action appropriate to the circumstances of the case;
    2. If the accused person admits the charges, then the Director will determine the appropriate disciplinary action;
    3. If the reply provides sufficient evidence to dismiss the case, the Director may do so, in which case the Director must also provide a written reply to both parties explaining the reasons for the dismissal.

If the Director dismisses the complaint, the complainant may appeal the  dismissal according to this procedure:

The complainant makes a formal request in writing to the President for a review of the case;

The President appoints a three person review panel, consisting of members of the staff and faculty who are not in the immediate department of either the complainant or the accused; the President designates the chair of the review panel;

The review panel may review all of the evidence, invite both parties to make oral or written statements, seek the testimony of other witnesses, review the report of the Director of Human Resources, and otherwise engage in inquiry activities reasonably designed to establish the facts and assess the issues in the case;

The review panel makes a formal written report to the President, along with a recommendation for the disposition of the case;

The President reviews the report and makes the final decision in the case.

3. Disciplinary Actions

Trinity College may take disciplinary actions against employees and supervisors under this section according to the circumstances of the case. The range of actions includes, but is not limited to:

a.    Mandatory participation in education and training programs;

b.    Reduction in pay;

c.    Dismissal from supervisor position and re-employment in a non-supervisory position, but only as possible and appropriate;

d.   Administrative leave with pay;

e.   Administrative leave without pay;

f.   Termination.

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B.  Sexual Harassment

The Trinity College Policy on Sexual Harassment is issued as a companion document to this Handbook and may be found in its entirety in the Policy Section of the Trinity web site.

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C.  Americans with Disabilities Act

Trinity College welcomes all people to study and work at the College who otherwise meet the requirements for admission to the College or for employment in the particular positions advertised.

In all aspects of its employment policies and practices, Trinity College seeks to ensure that applicants for employment, as well as employees, are treated in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Trinity College is committed to nondiscrimination in its hiring and employment practices, including but not limited to advertising, recruitment and employment, position upgrading, promotion, demotion or transfer, layoff, termination, compensation, training, and apprenticeship.

The College provides prompt, fair and impartial consideration of all complaints of discrimination in employment or personnel practices. Complaints brought under the ADA should follow the same process as described above for complaints of discrimination.

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D.  Drug-Free Workplace Act

Trinity complies with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act.

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Trinity College reserves the right to interpret or change the policies stated in this Handbook as the need arises. This document is not a contract.

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