The following procedures shall be used to address all complaints which allege that the District has violated federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs. Compliance officers shall maintain a record of each complaint and subsequent related actions, including all information required for compliance with 5 CCR 4631 and 4633.
All parties involved in allegations shall be notified when a complaint is filed, when a complaint meeting or hearing is scheduled, and when a decision or ruling is made.
Step 1: Filing of Complaint
Any individual, public agency, or organization may file a written complaint of alleged noncompliance by the District. (5 CCR 4630)
A complaint concerning unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed only by a person who alleges that he/she personally suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to it. The compliant shall be initiated no later than six months from the date when the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying occurred, or six months from the date when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. However, upon written request by the complainant, the Superintendent or designee may extended the filing period for up to 90 calendar days. (5CCR 4630)
If a complainant is unable to put a complaint in writing due to conditions such as a disability or illiteracy, District staff shall assist him/her in the filing of the complaint. (5 CCR 4600)
Step 2: Mediation
Upon receiving the complaint, the compliance officer may informally discuss with the complainant the possibility of using mediation. If the complainant agrees to mediation, the compliance officer shall make all arrangements for this process.
Before initiating the mediation of a discrimination complaint, the compliance officer shall ensure that all parties agree to make the mediator a party to related confidential information.
If the mediation process does not resolve the problem within the parameters of law, the compliance officer shall proceed with his/her investigation of the complaint.
The use of mediation shall not extend the District's timelines for investigating and resolving the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time. (5 CCR 4631)
Step 3: Investigation of Complaint
The compliance officer is encouraged to hold an investigative meeting.
The complainant and/or his/her representative shall have an opportunity to present the evidence or information leading to evidence to support the allegations in the complaint. (5 CCR 4631)
A complainant's refusal to provide the District's investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, or his/her failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation or his/her engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. (5 CCR 4631)
The District's refusal to provide the investigator with access to records and/or other information related to the allegation in the complaint, or its failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation or its engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in a finding, based on evidence collected, that a violation has occurred and may result in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)
Step 4: Final Written Decision
The District's decision shall be in writing and sent to the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)
The District's decision shall be written in English and in the language of the complainant whenever feasible or as required by law.
The decision shall include:
1. The findings of fact based on the evidence gathered. (5 CCR 4631)
2. The conclusion(s) of law. (5 CCR 4631)
3. Disposition of the complaint. (5 CCR 4631)
4. Rationale for such disposition. (5 CCR 4631)
5. Corrective actions, if any are warranted. (5 CCR 4631)
6. Notice of the complainant's right to appeal the District's decision within 15 days to the CDE and procedures to be followed for initiating such an appeal. (5 CCR 4631)
7. For discrimination complaints, notice that the complainant must wait until 60 days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil law remedies. (Education Code 262.3)
If an employee is disciplined as a result of the complaint, the decision shall simply state that effective action was taken and that the employee was informed of District expectations. The report shall not give any further information as to the nature of the disciplinary action.
If dissatisfied with the District's decision, the complainant may appeal in writing to the California Department of Education within 15 calendar days of receiving the district's decision. For good cause, the Superintendent of Public Instruction may grant an extension for filing appeals. (5 CCR 4652)
Appeals to the California Department of Education
If dissatisfied with the District's decision, the complainant may appeal in writing to the CDE within 15 days of receiving the District's decision, whether the facts are incorrect and/or the law has been misapplied. The appeal shall be accompanied by a copy of the locally filed complaint and a copy of the District's decision. (5 CCR 4632)
Upon notification by the CDE that the complainant has appealed the District's decision, the Superintendent or designee shall forward the following documents to the CDE: (5 CCR 4633)
1. A copy of the original complaint.
2. A copy of the decision.
3. A summary of the nature and extent of the investigation conducted by the District, if not covered by the decision.
4. A copy of the investigation file, including but not limited to all notes, interviews, and documents submitted by the parties and gathered by the investigator.
5. A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint.
6. A copy of the district's complaint procedures.
7. Other relevant information requested by the CDE.
The CDE may directly intervene in the complaint without waiting for action by the District when one of the conditions listed in 5 CCR 4650 exists, including cases in which the District has not taken action within 60 days of the date the complaint was filed with the District.