Discrimination Complaint Procedures
In accordance with federal law, the law of the Commonwealth of
Virginia, and the policies of the Rector and Visitors of the University
of Virginia, the University does not discriminate in any of its
programs, procedures, or practices against any person on the basis
of age, citizenship, color, handicap, national origin, political
affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status
as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era. The University
is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
I. Rights of Parties
The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (Office of EOP) is responsible
for enforcement of the University's nondiscrimination obligations
and for the handling of discrimination complaints.
- The complainant (person making a charge of discrimination)
may elect to have the complaint heard by the Office of EOP in accordance
with these procedures; or may elect to file a formal charge of
discrimination with a state or federal agency authorized by law
to investigate such claims. In any event, the complainant's choice
of remedy is exclusive and the complainant simultaneously may
pursue the complaint in more than one forum as set out herein.
- A complainant is at all times permitted to pursue claims simultaneously
with the Office of EOP and the Virginia Department of Personnel and
Training. The Office of EOP will not accept a discrimination complaint
if the complainant has filed an employment grievance with the
University or a charge of discrimination with a federal agency
relating to the same subject matter. Although the complaintant
is free at any time before or after the filing of a complaint with the Office of EOP to file an employment
grievance or institute formal proceedings before a Federal or
State agency, the Office of EOP will immediately terminate any then-pending
proceeding of its own if a university grievance proceeding or
a formal proceeding before a Federal agency is instituted.
- Federal and State law and University policy prohibit any form
of retaliation against a person who files a discrimination complaint.
It is the responsibility of the Office of EOP to state clearly to
the respondent (a person who is the subject of a charge of discrimination)
that any form of retaliation against a person for having filed
a complaint is expressly prohibited and will not be condoned.
- The University also has a duty to protect and respect the rights
of the respondent. These procedures will not be used to bring
malicious or knowingly false charges. Disciplinary action will
be taken against any person who is shown by clear and convincing
evidence to have filed a discrimination complaint in bad faith.
In any case in which allegations of discrimination are not substantiated,
the University may, if appropriate, take reasonable steps to restore
the reputation of the respondent such as expungement of records
or notification to persons who participated in the investigation
of the charge if the respondent suffered any damage to reputation
as a result of the discrimination complaint procedure.
II. Procedure in General
A faculty member, staff employee, or student who believes they
may have been a victim of prohibited discrimination may file a
discrimination complaint with the Office of EOP subject to the standards
and in accordance with the policies described below.
Unless otherwise specified, in cases involving University employees,
the time periods listed herein shall be computed by work days.
In cases involving students, these time periods shall be computed
to only include week days when classes are in session. The time
periods listed below can be enlarged upon a showing of good cause
by the complainant, respondent or the Office of EOP.
- The discrimination complaint procedure is initiated when the
complainant files a written complaint with the Office of EOP.
- Complaints should be filed with the Office of EOP within ninety
(90) days of the last act complained of. The complainant's unwarranted
failure to file a complaint within the ninety-day period may lead
to the dismissal of the complaint. This ninety-day filling period
shall be computed by calendar days and is applicable to employees
and students alike.
- The complaint must describe the act or acts complained of,
identify the person or persons purportedly responsible, and indicate
the date or approximate date on which the discriminatory act or
acts occurred. The Office of EOP maintains complaint forms that,
if filled out by the complainant or an Office of EOP staff member
and signed by the complainant, satisfy the written complaint requirement.
- If the Office of EOP determines that the allegations in a complaint
are grave and may be well-founded, then the Office of EOP reserves
the right to continue in its own name any investigation that the
complainant does not wish to pursue.
If the Office of EOP determines that the allegations in the complaint
do not state a violation of state or federal law or University
policies, the Office of EOP shall inform the complainant in a written
statement within five (5) days of the filing of the complaint.
The statement shall provide reasons why the complaint does not
state a violation and inform the complainant of other avenues
available to pursue her or his complaint.
- Within ten (10) days of the filing of a written complaint,
a staff member of the Office of EOP will interview the complainant.
The purposes of the interview are to determine the factual allegations
on which the complaint is based, discuss the discrimination complaint
procedures, including mediation, and to asses whether the complainant
has any interest in resolving the complaint through the mediation
process. The complainant shall inform the EOP staff member within
five (5) days of the interview whether he or she agrees to proceed
- A complainant who files a timely written complaint may elect
to proceed by either mediation or investigation. Mediation is
an informal process by which the Office of EOP, without making findings,
endeavors to resolve complaints expeditiously and in a manner
satisfactory to the complainant and the University. A complainant
who elects initially to proceed by mediation may thereafter elect
at any stage during or upon the conclusion of the mediation process
to proceed by investigation. While a complainant can refuse mediation
and proceed directly to the investigation process, the Office of EOP
encourages complainants to participate initially in the mediation
process. If permitted by the circumstances, the EOP Officer will
honor a request from the complainant to preserve the complainant's
confidentiality during the mediation process.
- The Office of EOP reserves the right to not proceed with an investigation
if it determines that a complainant was offered and refused all
of the relief she or he would be entitled to as part of the mediation
- No more than ten (10) days following the initial interviews
set forth on II (4), the Office of EOP will notify the respondent
that he or she has been named in a complaint and inform the respondent
of the nature of the charges. The Office of EOP will also discuss
the discrimination complaint procedures including the mediation
process. If the complainant has agreed to proceed by mediation
the respondent must notify the Office of EOP within five (5) days
if he or she agrees. The respondent independently can request
to have the matter resolved through mediation.
- Because each case can involve many variables, it is neither
desirable nor practical to prescribe a mediation process applicable
to all cases. The primary objectives of the mediation process
are to resolve the complaint through counseling or mediation between
both parties or other appropriate action in order to resolve the
complaint quickly and confidentially. Except in unusual circumstances
(and except as provided in the second sentence of Paragraph (5),
below) no person other than the complainant and the respondent
will be contacted by the Office of EOP during the mediation process.
Both parties will be instructed by the Office of EOP to respect the
confidentiality of the process. Mediation should be completed
no later than ten (10) days after the parties have agreed to mediation.
- If the complaint is successfully mediated, the Office of EOP will,
within five (5) days of the mediation conference, prepare a form,
the "Successful Mediation Form", describing fully the
agreed-upon terms. It shall be the responsibility of the Office of EOP to ensure, through consultation with appropriate University officials, that the terms comport with university policies and procedures.
The complainant and the respondent will read and sign the Successful
Mediation Form. Under normal circumstances, this should take place
no more than ten (10) days after the successful completion of
the mediation. By signing the Successful Mediation Form the complainant
releases the University, its officers and employees from further
claims relating to the subject matter of the complaint, and that
the terms agreed to in the Successful Mediation Form are to be
kept strictly confidential.
- The Office of EOP will not retain any written record of the mediation
process except the complaint and the Successful Mediation Form,
which shall be made available to the complainant and respondent
upon request. The Office of EOP will discard all other documents
and notes as soon as the mediation process has been concluded.
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the
mediation process or elects to proceed directly to the investigation
process, or if the Office of EOP elects in accordance with Paragraph
(2) of the "Mediation" procedure, above, to proceed
with the investigation process in its own name, then that process
is conducted in accordance with the following procedures.
- The investigation process differs from the mediation process
in several respects:
University employees and charged parties are expected to fully
participate in and cooperate with the investigation because in
some cases, the University may bear ultimate liability for acts
of discrimination that violate state and federal laws and University
policies. The failure of a complainant, respondent or University
employee to participate in and cooperate with the investigation
can be separate grounds for disciplinary action by the University.
- The complaint, any written statements of the complainant, respondent
and witnesses, and the report of the Office of EOP constitutes the
written record. Upon completion of the investigation and after
the issuance of the final report, the record will be made available
upon request to the complainant and the respondent. It may be
used by the Office of EOP in the presentation of its report and as
documentation for any recommended disciplinary action.
- The Office of EOP will prepare a written report and will, if appropriate,
recommend corrective actions to the proper Dean, Director, Vice
President, Provost, Chancellor Clinch Valley College, or President.
- An investigation may involve persons other than the complainant
and respondent. As soon as the investigation process begins, the
Office of EOP will notify the respondent's supervisor and other appropriate
University officials that a charge naming the charged party has
been received and is being investigated. The Office of EOP will confer
as appropriate with the supervisor during the course of the investigation.
During the investigation process, other witnesses may be called
upon to provide oral or written statements.
- Whenever an investigation is conducted, the Office of EOP will
notify the Office of the University General Counsel, will consult
as necessary with that Office and will provide a copy of its written
report before it is circulated as provided in Paragraph (5), below.
- The investigation will be conducted by personnel in the Office of EOP, and will be concluded within sixty (60) calendar days of notification that an Investigation has been requested by the
complaining party. The Investigation will ordinarily include:
- Meetings with all persons who have information relevant to
the charges in the complaint;
- A review of relevant files and records including personnel
files, departmental and/or unit files, and other documents deemed
relevant by the complaining party, the charged party, or a witness;
- A thorough review of the circumstances under which the alleged
- If relevant, a comparison of the treatment of complainant as
compared with other persons in the department or unit; and
- An analysis of any policies or practices related to the allegations
of discrimination in the complaint.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, the Office of EOP will
prepare a written report which shall be completed within ten (10)
days of the conclusion of the Investigation. This report will
make findings of fact with respect to the allegations in the complaint.
The report will also make conclusions as to whether or not there
are violations of state, federal or University non-discrimination
laws or policies. Copies of the report will be provided to the
complainant, the respondent, the appropriate University Vice President, and the
President. If the Office of EOP concludes that the complainant's
allegations are substantiated, then the report will include:
- A specific directive to stop any discriminatory practice found;
- Recommendations on corrective actions to be taken against the
- Recommendations on specific make-whole provisions for the benefit
of the complainant such as reinstatement, hiring, reassignment,
promotion, training, back pay, or other compensation or benefits.
- If the Office of EOP concludes that the complainant's allegations
are not substantiated, then the report will inform the complainant
of his or her rights with regard to other avenues of complaint
- The Vice President to whom the Office of EOP's report is forwarded
may either accept, modify, or reject the finding. The Vice President's
decision and the reasons therefore will be communicated in writing
to the complainant and the respondent and the Office of EOP within
ten (10) days. This decision shall constitute the final decision
of the University.
The University's Coordinator of Concerns of Students with Disabilities is:
Patricia M. Lampkin
The Title IX Coordinator is:
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3294
Simon Brown, Director
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs
Poe Alley, West Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3204