Any employee, applicant, student or visitor of the College may file a complaint of illegal discrimination. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. If the complaint is received verbally, the complainant may be asked to confirm the elements of the complaint. The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online. Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus: Human Resource Services, Campus Security Office.
1. Any student, employee or visitor who believes that he or she has been the subject of illegal discrimination should report the incident or incidents to the director of human resource services, or the administrator designated by the college president. If the complaint is against the director of human resources, the complainant should report the matter to the president’s office for a referral to an alternate designee. The college encourages the timely reporting of any incident(s) of discrimination.
2. The complainant alleging discrimination must submit a brief written statement of allegations and a requested remedy to the director of human resources. If the complainant does not submit a written statement, the director of human resources shall prepare a statement of limited facts as known which will be provided to the complainant with a request for comment and/or clarification. That statement, along with any subsequent clarifications by the complainant, will be forwarded to the respondent along with a request for a response.
3. Based upon the nature of the complaint, the director of human resource services may attempt to mediate a resolution to the complaint. If the nature of the complaint does not lend itself to mediation, or mediation fails to gain the approval of all parties, the director of human resource services may appoint a designee(s) to investigate the complaint.
4. The investigator shall conduct a thorough investigation. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the complainant, respondent relevant witness(s); and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time.
5. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall set forth his or her findings and recommendations in writing. The investigator shall send a copy of the findings and recommendations to the director of human resources.
6. The director of human resources shall consider the findings and recommendations of the investigator and take action as deemed appropriate to end any illegal discrimination, prevent prospective illegal discrimination and remedy the effects of illegal actions. The director of human resources shall advise the complainant and respondent of the college’s findings and action(s).
7. If the director of human resources and respondent’s appointing authority determine that disciplinary actions should be instituted against an employee, the applicable provisions of employee rights and responsibilities shall be followed. These provisions include but are not limited to, state and federal constitutional and statutory provisions, rules of the Washington office of financial management, collective bargaining agreement(s), and college policies. If the director of human resources determines that disciplinary action should be instituted against a student, the matter shall be referred to the Dean of Student Services as provided in applicable provisions of the college student code. In cases where the respondent has multiple roles (i.e., is both a student and an employee), an action shall be taken with respect to their primary role at the institution.
Human Resource Services Department
South 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Blvd
Yakima, WA 98902
YVC COMPLAINT / GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT
Yakima Valley College recognizes its responsibility for investigation, resolution, implementation of corrective measures, and monitoring the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendment Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and Washington State’s Law Against Discrimination, Chapter 49.60 RCW and their implementing regulations. To this end, Yakima Valley Community College has enacted policies prohibiting discrimination against and harassment of members of these protected classes. Any individual found to be in violation of these policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College or from employment.
Any employee, student, applicant, or visitor who believes that he or she has been the subject of discrimination or harassment should report the incident or incidents to the College’s Title IX / EEO Coordinator identified below. If the complaint is against that Coordinator, the complainant should report the matter to the president’s office for referral to an alternate designee.
Name: Steven Sloniker, Executive Director of Human Resource Services
Title: Title IX / EEO Coordinator
Contact info: Human Resource Services, Prior Annex, Building 1, 509.574.4670
The Title IX / EEO Coordinator or designee:
- Will accept all complaints and referrals from College employees, applicants, students, and visitors.
- Will make determinations regarding how to handle requests by complainants for confidentiality.
- Will keep accurate records of all complaints and referrals for the required time period.
- May conduct investigations or delegate and oversee investigations conducted by a designee.
- May impose interim remedial measures to protect parties during investigations of discrimination or harassment.
- Will issue written findings and recommendations upon completion of an investigation.
- May recommend specific corrective measures to stop, remediate, and prevent the recurrence of inappropriate conduct.
The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. Complaints may be submitted in writing or orally. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online. Hard copies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus: Human Resource Services, Campus Security Office.
- Complainant: employee(s), applicant(s), student(s), or visitors(s) of Yakima Valley College who alleges that she or he has been subjected to discrimination or harassment due to his or her membership in a protected class.
- Complaint or Grievance: a description of facts that allege a violation of the College’s policy against discrimination or harassment.
- Consent: knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in non-consensual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
- Discrimination: unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination.
- Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of their membership in a protected class or their perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs and/or student housing. Petty slights, annoyances, offensive utterances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) typically do not qualify as harassment. Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include but are not limited to the following:
Epithets, “jokes,” ridicule, mockery or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual’s membership in a protected class.
Verbal or physical threats of violence or physical contact directed towards an individual based upon their membership in a protected class.
Making, posting, emailing, texting, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected class.
- Protected Class: persons who are protected under state or federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
- Resolution:the means by which the complaint is finally addressed. This may be accomplished through informal or formal processes, including counseling, mediation, or the formal imposition of discipline sanction.
- Respondent: person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.
- Sexual Harassment: a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, electronic and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s gender. There are two types of sexual harassment.
- Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational and/or social programs [and/or student housing].
- Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority, conditions the receipt of a benefit upon granting of sexual favors.
Examples of conduct that may qualify as sexual harassment include:
- Persistent comments or questions of a sexual nature.
- A supervisor who gives an employee a raise in exchange for submitting to sexual advances.
- An instructor who promises a student a better grade in exchange for sexual favors.
- Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
- Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual’s body.
- Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual’s clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experiences.
- Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship.
- Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity.
- Unwelcome letters, emails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
- Sexual Violence: is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
- Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
- Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
- Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
- Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
- Stalking means intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
WHO MAY FILE A COMPLAINT (also referred to as a “grievance”)
Any employee, applicant, student or visitor of the College may file a complaint. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. The College encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online. Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the following locations on campus: Human Resource Services, Campus Security Office. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the College’s anti-discrimination policies and procedures.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Yakima Valley College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as Yakima Valley College policies and procedures. Although Yakima Valley College will attempt to honor complainants’ requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the Title IX / EEO Coordinator.
Confidentiality Requests and Sexual Violence Complaints. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence complainant asks that his or her name not be revealed to the respondent or that the College not investigate the allegation, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the college’s ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the complainant still insists that his or her name not be disclosed or that the College not investigate, the Title IX /EEO Coordinator will determine whether the College can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the college community, including the complainant. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:
- the seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
- the age of the complainant;
- whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints;
- whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others; and
- whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).
If the College is unable to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.
If the College decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.
- INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE
Upon receiving a discrimination complaint, the College shall commence an impartial investigation. The Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall be responsible for overseeing all investigations. Investigations may be conducted by the Title IX/EEO Coordinator or his or her designee. If the investigation is assigned to someone other than the Title IX/EEO Coordinator, the Title IX/EEO Coordinator shall inform the complainant and respondent(s) of the appointment of an investigator.
Interim Measures. The Title IX/EEO Coordinator may impose interim measures to protect the complainant and/or respondent pending the conclusion of the investigation. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, imposition of no contact orders, rescheduling classes, temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and imposition of summary discipline on the respondent consistent with the College’s student conduct code or the College’s employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
Investigation. Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the complainant and the respondent, relevant witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time, normally sixty days barring exigent circumstances. At the conclusion of the investigation the investigator shall set forth his or her findings and recommendations in writing. If the investigator is a designee, the investigator shall send a copy of the findings and recommendations to the Title IX / EEO Coordinator. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall consider the findings and recommendations and determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether a violation of the discrimination and harassment policy occurred, and if so, what steps will be taken to resolve the complaint, remedy the effects on any victim(s), and prevent its recurrence. Possible remedial steps may include, but are not limited to, referral for voluntary training/counseling, development of a remediation plan, limited contact orders, and referral and recommendation for formal disciplinary action. Referrals for disciplinary action will be consistent with the student conduct code or college employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
Written Notice of Decision. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator will provide each party and the appropriate student services administrator or appointing authority with written notice of the investigative findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, subject to the following limitations. The complainant shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, if any, only to the extent that such findings, actions or recommendations directly relate to the complainant, such as a finding that the complaint is or is not meritorious or a recommendation that the accused not contact the complainant. The complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action. The respondent shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified of referrals for disciplinary action. Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to review any final findings, conclusions, and recommendations, subject to any FERPA confidentiality requirements.
Informal Dispute Resolution. Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.
Final Decision/Reconsideration. Either the complainant or the respondent may seek reconsideration of the decision by the Title IX / EEO Coordinator. Requests for reconsideration shall be submitted in writing to the Title IX / EEO Coordinator within seven days of receiving the decision. Requests must specify which portion of the decision should be reconsidered and the basis for reconsideration. If no request for reconsideration is received within seven days, the decision becomes final. If a request for reconsideration is received, the Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall respond within 7 calendar days. The Title IX / EEO Coordinator shall either deny the request or, if the Title IX / EEO Coordinator determines that the request for reconsideration has merit, issue an amended decision. Any amended decision is final and no further reconsideration is available.
- PUBLICATION OF ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The policies and procedures regarding complaints of discrimination and harassment shall be published and distributed as determined by the president or president’s designee. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination in violation of College policy will be provided a copy of these policies and procedures.
- LIMITS TO AUTHORITY
Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the College President or designee from taking immediate disciplinary action in accordance with Yakima Valley Community College policies and procedures, and federal, state, and municipal rules and regulations.
- H. NON-RETALIATION, INTIMIDATION AND COERCION
Retaliation by, for or against any participant (including complainant, respondent, witness, Title IX / EEO Coordinator, or investigator) is expressly prohibited. Retaliatory action of any kind taken against individuals as a result of seeking redress under the applicable procedures or serving as a witness in a subsequent investigation or any resulting disciplinary proceedings is prohibited and is conduct subject to discipline. Any person who thinks he/she has been the victim of retaliation should contact the Title IX / EEO Coordinator immediately.
- CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS
Discriminatory or harassing conduct may also be, or occur in conjunction with, criminal conduct. Criminal complaints may be filed with the following law enforcement authorities:
911 – Yakima Police Department (if the conduct occurred within the Yakima City limits)
911 – Yakima County Sheriff’s Department (if the conduct occurred in Yakima County)
The College will proceed with an investigation of harassment and discrimination complaints regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
- OTHER DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT OPTIONS
Discrimination complaints may also be filed with the following federal and state agencies:
Washington State Human Rights Commission
US Dept of Education Office for Civil Rights
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Sexual harassment as used in this policy means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when: (i) Submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of education or employment; (ii) Submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a basis in decisions affecting that individual’s education or employment; or (iii) That conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment.
Employees shall be free from sexual harassment as defined above, and they shall not sexually harass each other, students or other employees of the District.
Yakima Valley College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and operates under an Affirmative Action Plan in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
It is the policy of Yakima Valley College to provide a working and learning environment free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation. This policy prohibits conduct that discriminates against individuals based on their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity, age, marital status disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status.
This policy also prohibits retaliation as a result of an individual filing a report of discrimination or harassment or participating in an investigation of a claim of discrimination or harassment.
This policy applies to all programs and facilities, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs and employment. Yakima Valley Community College complies with all Washington State anti-discrimination laws (RCW 49.60) and the following federal laws relating to equal opportunity: Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Yakima Valley College is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, program, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. The College will take steps to ensure that the lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in vocational education programs.
Coordination of the compliance efforts of Yakima Valley College with respect to equal opportunity and disability accommodation regulations is under the direction of the Director of Human Resources, Yakima Valley College, 1015 South 16th Avenue, Yakima, Washington, 98902; telephone 509.574.4670.
Declaracion de No-Discriminacion
Yakima Valley College es un empleador que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades, y funciona con arreglo a un Plan de Acción Afirmativa de acuerdo con las leyes federales y estatales aplicables, y reglamentos.
Es la póliza de Yakima Valley College proporcionar un ambiente de aprendizaje y trabajo libre de discriminación, acoso, y represarías. Esta póliza prohíbe una conducta que discrimine en contra de individuos por motivos de raza, color, credo, religión, origen nacional, sexo, orientación sexual y/o expresión de género o identidad, edad, estado civil, discapacidad, condición honorable de veterano o militar, y Veterano de la Era de Vietnam.
Esta póliza también prohíbe represarías como resultado de un individuo presentando un informe de discriminación o acoso, o participando en una investigación de una denuncia por lo mismo.
Esta póliza se aplica a todos los programas y servicios, incluyendo, pero no limitado a, admisiones, programas educativos y de empleo. Yakima Valley College cumple con todas leyes del Estado de Washington contra la discriminación (RCW 49.60), y las siguientes leyes federales relativas a la igualdad de oportunidades: los Títulos VI y VII de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, Título IX de las enmiendas de Educación de 1972, la Sección 504 del Acta de Rehabilitación de 1973, la Ley de Discriminación por Edad de 1975, y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades de 1990.
Yakima Valley College se suscribe al acuerdo de proporcionar acceso, la igualdad de oportunidades y adaptaciones razonables en sus servicios, programas y actividades, la educación y el empleo para las personas con discapacidades. El colegio tomara medidas para asegurar que la falta de conocimientos del idioma inglés no sea una barrera para la admisión y participación en los programas educativos (vocacionales) para formación profesional.
Coordinación sobre los procedimientos de cumplimiento de Yakima Valley College con respecto a la igualdad de oportunidades y reglamentos sobre adaptaciones razonables para la discapacidad está bajo la dirección del Director de Recursos Humanos, Yakima Valley College, 1015 South 16th Avenue, Yakima, Washington, 98902, teléfono 509. 574.4670.
The Human Resources Services Department provides education and training to Yakima Valley College. Email email@example.com for more information, or to schedule training for your department.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
This training is customized to the audience, the focus is on sexual harassment definitions and types (quid pro quo and hostile work environment, etc.) The training aligns sexual harassment definitions with YVC harassment policies and procedures.
Yakima Valley College Hiring Policies and Procedures
The intent of this training is to help search committees conduct a search in such a way that is fair and provides an equal opportunity for all. This training helps provide a clear understanding of what the “best fit” candidate is for our institution in the review of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, based on the consistency of the interview questions being asked.
These courses may be completed online by visiting the Human Resources Training Site.
- Employee Sexual Harassment Awareness
- Workplace Harassment for Supervisors and Managers
- Workplace Diversity Awareness
State & Federal Regulations
Yakima Valley College employees are employees of the State of Washington. All Washington employment laws and regulations apply to Yakima Valley College employees. In addition to state regulations, employees are governed by Federal laws and regulations, College policies and procedures and negotiated working agreements.