13.0 Complaint Procedures (Harassment and EEO)
_________ County Extension Office has a commitment to EEO. In light of this commitment the district wishes to make every possible attempt to eliminate discriminatory employment practices or harassment and to provide a vehicle by which an employee may seek recourse for alleged discriminatory acts or harassment. This applies to:
- Any employee/client of ________ County Extension or any applicant for hire who feels he/she is, or has been the victim of discriminatory/harassing acts may file a complaint of discrimination/harassment. Examples of actions which may be causes of complaints include, but are not limited to:
a. Application of policies, practices, rules, regulations, and procedures believed to be to the detriment of an employee/client;
b. Treatment considered unfair by an employee/client, such as coercion, reprisal, harassment, or intimidation;
c. Alleged discrimination because of race, color, sex, age, religion, handicap, national origin, military reserve or veteran status, marital status, or sexual orientation;
d. Improper or unfair administration of employee benefits or conditions of employment such as vacations, fringe benefits, promotions, retirement, holidays, performance review, salary, or seniority.
- Any employee/client of ________ County Extension who feels he/she has suffered retaliation or reprisal for filing a discrimination/harassment complaint, testifying, or assisting in any manner in the investigation or hearing under this complaint procedure.
Employees/clients who feel they have been discriminated against or harassed on one of the aforementioned basis are encouraged to use the following procedures. The charging employee may follow the procedures in sequence or proceed directly to a higher step, depending on the seriousness of the situation.
Note: Employees/clients may file a complaint directly with the USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision at any time. Assistance in doing such will be made available through the ISUE Human Resources Office.
After attempts to resolve issues directly with the offender have failed, the employee reserves a time to discuss the problem with the REED, Council Chair, Extension Human Resources, as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination/harassment occurs.
- The person contacted determines the nature of the problem and discusses the situation with the person who allegedly discriminated/harassed. The discussion will include the nature of the complaint and corrective action to remedy the situation. If possible based on the nature of the complaint and if the accuser requests, anonymity will be maintained. The accuser will be informed if anonymity is possible prior to the discussion.
- If the alleged discriminating/harassing behavior continues, the employee needs to report this (in writing) to the initial person contacted who will determine if the alleged discriminating act is valid. Note: At this stage, the person contacted informs the accuser that anonymity or confidentiality is no longer possible. The Extension Council Chair will be notified that a written complaint has been received.
- The complaint may be investigated by the person contacted and/or Council Members. In special circumstances the person contacted in consultation with the Council Chair may recommend an “outside” third party to be used for an investigation. The investigators write a memo to the person who allegedly discriminated/harassed, outlining the alleged discriminating behavior, steps to take to remedy the situation, and the consequences of failure to change the discriminating/harassing behavior. A meeting is held with the accused for their response. Modifications to the memo and possible consequences are made as appropriate. The accuser is informed of action taken. It should be noted that if the accused is an ISU Employee, Extension Human Resources should be contacted immediately, to provide guidance.
- If the alleged discriminating/harassing behavior persists, the consequences are followed which in cases of serious problems will result in dismissal.
- The charging employee who believes a reasonable and satisfactory resolution has not been obtained may file his/her complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Complaint Procedure Involving A Vendor
If a written complaint is received regarding the behavior of a non-employee and the content or the claim occurred in the context of a working relationship, the business, organization, or agency of the offender will be contacted by the Council Chair and apprised of the situation and circumstances surrounding the claim, and request that some appropriate type of investigative action be taken. Follow up will be made to ensure appropriate action is taken. If the follow up reveals appropriate action has not been taken and if circumstances warrant such, the Council will disassociate its self from the offender and his/her business, organization, or agency.
ISUE Employees should follow appropriate ISU policies and procedures or file directly with the USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Iowa Civil Rights Commission or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ISUE Human Resources office or the ISU Equal Opportunity & Diversity office will provide assistance upon request.