2019-2020 Catalog 
    
    Oct 20, 2020  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

A. Disability Grievances



This disability grievances policy meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This policy applies to all students, employees, visitors and third-party vendors hired by the college that wish to file a grievance alleging discrimination specifically on the basis of disability in the admission and treatment of students, access to educational programs and activities, services provided by the college and the terms and conditions of employment. Reasonable accommodations can be denied if it causes undue hardship to the college. The college reserves the right to redirect a grievance to the proper grievance procedure or to any other appropriate review procedure when applicable.

Grievances should be submitted as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation to Wor-Wic’s ADA coordinators and investigators.

Grievances by students, visitors or third-party vendors:
Amanda Messatzzia
Director of Student Success
Wor-Wic Community College
BH 109
32000 Campus Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804
410-334-2993
amessatzzia@worwic.edu
Grievances by employees or prospective employees:
Karen Berkheimer
Senior Director of Human Resources
Wor-Wic Community College
BH 107
32000 Campus Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804
410-334-2915
kberkheimer@worwic.edu

Filing a Grievance

Informal Grievance Procedures

Members of the college community who have a grievance can first attempt to resolve the grievance informally. All grievants should first attempt to discuss the matter orally or in writing with the individual most directly responsible. If no resolution results, or the grievant feels that direct contact is inappropriate under the circumstances, grievants can contact the appropriate ADA coordinator. If the grievant is grieving determinations or actions of the academic and disabilities counselor, the grievant can contact the senior director of student development. If the grievant is grieving determinations or actions of the human resources administrator, the grievant can contact the senior director of human resources.

If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved within 30 days, the ADA coordinator, senior director of student development or senior director of human resources informs the grievant of his or her right to file a formal grievance.

Formal Grievance Procedures

If no satisfactory resolution is reached after informal attempts to resolve the grievance are made, or if the individual chooses to bypass the informal grievance process, he or she can submit a written grievance. Investigations of grievances are conducted to ensure adequacy, reliability and impartiality. If the grievant attempts to resolve the matter informally and that attempt has failed, or the grievant decides to end the informal process for any other reason, the grievant has 10 days from the time they receive notice from the ADA coordinator stating that informal attempts have failed in order to file a formal grievance. A listing of all meetings and/or written attempts to resolve the issue informally must be included with the formal grievance. The grievance must be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination. The college does not review a grievance that is untimely or fails to contain all required information. To facilitate a clear and prompt resolution, once initiated, a grievance cannot be expanded beyond the issues presented in the individual’s initial grievance. The written grievance must include the following:

  1. Location, date, full description of the grievance, and any relevant facts;
  2. A summary of the steps the grievant has already taken in his or her attempt to resolve the grievance, including the names of people involved;
  3. A statement of the requested resolution and the grievant’s rationale for the requested accommodations for each perceived violation;
  4. Any supporting documentation; and
  5. Name, address, contact information and signature of the person initiating the grievance.

Alternative means of filing grievances, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the grievance, are made available for persons with disabilities upon request.

Student or Third-Party Grievances

  1. When the grievance by a student, visitor or third-party alleges harassment related to a disability, other discrimination based on disability, retaliation, the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation, denial of an approved accommodation or service, or inaccessibility of a program or other college activity, the grievance should be filed with the director of student success. The director of student success, or designee, assesses the formal grievance and reviews all information necessary during an investigation to render a written determination to the grievant, accused and to any administrator whose authority is needed to carry out the proposed resolution. This includes providing the grievant and accused with an opportunity to submit evidence, including identifying witnesses and documents for the director of student success’s consideration as part of the investigation. The director of student success, or designee, issues a letter of determination to the grievant and the accused of their findings within 30 days of the formal grievance. If extenuating circumstances cause a delay, the director of student success notifies the grievant in writing of the delay along with an anticipated timeframe for issuance of the final letter of determination.
  2. If the grievant or accused disagrees with the determination given by the director of student success, he or she can seek a reconsideration of the determination by the senior director of student development. The senior director of student development reviews the letter of determination offered by the director of student success and all information necessary to render a written determination. If needed, the grievant can submit any additional information and/or documents as requested. The senior director of student development issues a letter of determination within 15 days of receiving the request, supplies the grievant and relevant parties with a copy of the letter of determination, and takes any steps necessary to implement his or her decision, including but not limited to, providing a copy of the letter of determination to the appropriate college officials. The decision of the senior director of student development is final.
  3. If the grievance is against the director of student success, designee or another employee in the counseling office, the grievance should be filed with the senior director of student development. The senior director of student development, or designee, assesses the formal grievance and reviews all information necessary during an investigation to render a written determination to the grievant, accused and to any administrator whose authority is needed to carry out the proposed resolution. This includes providing the grievant and the accused with an opportunity to submit evidence, including identifying witnesses and documents for the senior director of student development’s consideration as part of the investigation. The senior director of student development, or designee, issues a letter of determination to the grievant and the accused of their findings within 30 days of the formal grievance. If extenuating circumstances cause a delay, the senior director of student development notifies the grievant and the accused in writing of the delay along with an anticipated timeframe for issuance of the final letter of determination.
  4. If the grievant or accused disagrees with the determination given by the senior director of student development, he or she can seek a reconsideration of the determination by the vice president for enrollment management and student services. The vice president for enrollment management and student services reviews the letter of determination offered by the senior director of student development and all information necessary to render a written determination. If needed, the grievant can submit any additional information and/or documents as requested. The vice president for enrollment management and student services issues a letter of determination within 15 days of receiving the request, supplies the grievant and relevant parties with a copy of the letter of determination, and takes any steps necessary to implement his or her decision, including but not limited to, providing a copy of the letter of determination to the appropriate college officials. The decision of the vice president for enrollment management and student services is final.

Employee Grievances

  1. When an employee alleges harassment related to a disability, other discrimination based on disability, retaliation, the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation, denial of an approved accommodation or service or inaccessibility of a college activity, the grievance should be filed with the human resources administrator. The human resources administrator, or designee, assesses the formal grievance and reviews all information necessary to render a written determination to the grievant, accused and to any administrator whose authority is needed to carry out the proposed resolution. This includes providing the grievant and accused with an opportunity to submit evidence, including identifying witnesses and documents for the human resources administrator’s consideration as part of the investigation. The human resources administrator, or designee, issues a letter of determination of his or her findings to the grievant and the accused within 30 days of the formal grievance. If extenuating circumstances cause a delay, the human resources administrator notifies the grievant and the accused in writing of the delay along with an anticipated timeframe for issuance of the final letter of determination.
  2. If the grievant or accused disagrees with the determination given by the human resources administrator, he or she can seek a reconsideration of the determination by the senior director of human resources. The senior director of human resources reviews the letter of determination offered by the human resources administrator and all information necessary to render a written determination. If needed, the grievant or accused can submit any additional information and/or documents as requested. The senior director of human resources issues a letter of determination within 15 days of receiving the request, supplies the grievant, accused and relevant parties with a copy of the letter of determination, and takes any steps necessary to implement his or her decision, including but not limited to, providing a copy of the letter of determination to the appropriate college officials. The decision of the senior director of human resources is final.
  3. If the grievance is against the human resources administrator, designee or another employee in the human resources department, the grievance should be filed with the senior director of human resources. The senior director of human resources, or designee, assesses the formal grievance and reviews all information necessary during an investigation to render a written determination to the grievant, accused and to any administrator whose authority is needed to carry out the proposed resolution. This includes providing the grievant and the accused with an opportunity to submit evidence, including identifying witnesses and documents for the senior director of human resources’ consideration as part of the investigation. The senior director of human resources, or designee, issues a letter of determination to the grievant and the accused of their findings within 30 days of the formal grievance. If extenuating circumstances cause a delay, the senior director of human resources notifies the grievant and the accused in writing of the delay along with an anticipated timeframe for issuance of the final letter of determination. 
  4. If the grievant disagrees with the determination given by the senior director of human resources, he or she can seek reconsideration of the determination by the vice president for administrative services. The vice president for administrative services reviews the letter of determination offered by the senior director of human resources and all information necessary to render a written determination. If needed, the grievant can submit any additional information and/or documents as requested. The vice president for administrative services issues a letter of determination within 15 days of receiving the request, supplies the grievant, accused and relevant parties with a copy of the letter of determination, and takes any steps necessary to implement his or her decision, including but not limited to, providing a copy of the letter of determination to the appropriate college officials. The decision of the vice president for administrative services is final.

Timelines

Specified time limitations refer to the academic year, September through May. If a grievance is presented or the alleged incident occurs during June, July or August, the time calculation is suspended until the beginning of the new academic year in September. In such a situation, the 60-day timeframe begins on the first day of classes for the fall term. In addition, time limitations do not include official college holidays or other closures. The term “days” refers to days when the college is open for business.

Remedies

The college imposes remedies intended to correct the discriminatory effects on the grievant or others and to prevent the recurrence of any prohibited acts.

Wor-Wic does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. If the allegation against an employee is substantiated, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, including possible dismissal. The vice president of the employee, in consultation with human resources, determines the appropriate corrective action(s) to be taken, prepares a written memorandum addressed to the accused that outlines the corrective action(s) to be taken, forwards a copy to the immediate supervisor of the accused and provides a copy to the human resources administrator for placement in the personnel file of the accused. The immediate supervisor is responsible for the implementation and follow-up of the corrective action(s). College policies and procedures regarding dismissal, including any appeals that exist, govern the handling of grievances against employees.

If the allegation against a student is substantiated, the student is subject to disciplinary action, including possible permanent suspension. College policies and procedures regarding student conduct, including any appeals that exist, govern the handling of grievances against students.

If it is found that the employee or student who filed the grievance deliberately filed a false accusation, that individual is subject to disciplinary action in accordance with dismissal policies and procedures (when the grievant was an employee) or student conduct policies and procedures (when the grievant was a student).

External Grievances

The college community is encouraged to attempt resolution of grievances pertaining to disabilities by using this grievance procedure, but an individual has the right to file a grievance directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Grievants can also file a disability discrimination grievance with the responsible federal or state department or agency, including the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Maryland Commission on Human Rights.

Retaliation

No individual who files a grievance or cooperates with a college investigation can be subject to retaliation, including any adverse employment or educational consequence. An individual who believes that he or she was retaliated against as a result of filing a grievance or cooperating with a college investigation can file an additional grievance. An employee who retaliates against anyone who has filed a grievance is subject to disciplinary action, including possible dismissal. A student who retaliates against anyone who has filed a grievance is subject to disciplinary action, including possible permanent suspension.

Records

The ADA coordinators or vice presidents maintain the files and records of all grievances for which they are responsible under this grievance policy.