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Complaint Processing Forms and Model Procedures

  1. File a Discrimination Complaint (PDF)
  2. Sexual Assault Information and Reporting Options
  3. Model Procedures For Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace (DOC) (PDF)

Policy Prohibiting Discrimination

Ramapo College of New Jersey is committed to maintaining an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Under this policy, discrimination based on the following protected categories are prohibited: race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex/gender (including pregnancy), marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, religion, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or disability.

Further, the College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any educational, employment, or extracurricular activity. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal law which provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title IX applies to students, staff, faculty, visitors (including children) and business vendors at the College. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination and sexual violence which occurs either on campus or at a College-sponsored event and program held off-campus that may adversely affect the educational environment for members of the college. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

This Policy Prohibiting Discrimination serves to protect all students and employees from discrimination/harassment by others at the College and it applies to both physical and verbal conduct that is discriminatory in nature and occurs at the College, including electronic communications sent or received on campus, and that occurs at any location, which can be reasonably regarded as an extension of the College (i.e., any field location, on-line course, any off-site college-related social function, or event, or any facility where College-sponsored activities are being conducted or discussed). This policy extends to employment and admission.

This policy will not be applied to abridge one’s exercise of free speech or expression which is protected by the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

I. Reporting an Incident of Discrimination

To file a complaint at the College about an incident of discrimination, please complete the form below and submit the form via email or in person to:

File a Discrimination Complaint

Nicole Morgan-Agard, Chief Equity and Diversity Officer
E-mail: nmagard@ramapo.edu
Phone: (201) 684-7503

     A. Reporting an Incident of Discrimination by a Student

Any student has the right to file a complaint with our office, the Office of Affirmative Action, or the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

To file a complaint with the College’s Office of Affirmative Action, please complete the form above, under Reporting an Incident of Discrimination.

To file a complaint with the Federal Office of Civil Rights, please contact:

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500
Email: OCR.NewYork@ed.gov
Phone: 646-428-3900 or TDD: 800-877-8339
Fax: 646-428-3843

Specific questions relating to Title IX may be referred to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Katherine McGee, or to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

Please visit the Ramapo: Advance website

     B. Reporting an Incident of Discrimination by a Faculty/Staff/Administrator

To achieve the goal of maintaining a work environment free from discrimination and harassment, the State of New Jersey strictly prohibits the conduct that is described in this policy. This is a zero tolerance policy. This means that the state and the College reserve the right to take either disciplinary action, if appropriate, or other corrective action, to address any unacceptable conduct that violates this policy, regardless of whether the conduct satisfies the legal definition of discrimination or harassment.

Prohibited discrimination/harassment undermines the integrity of the employment relationship, compromises equal employment opportunity, debilitates morale and interferes with work productivity. Thus, this policy applies to all College employees and applicants for employment. Neither the State of New Jersey nor the College will tolerate harassment or discrimination by anyone at the College including supervisors, co-workers, or persons doing business with the College. This policy also applies to both conduct that occurs at the College and conduct that occurs at any location which can be reasonably regarded as an extension of the College(any field location, any off-site College-related social function, or any facility where College business and activities is being conducted and discussed).

This policy also applies to third party harassment. Third party harassment is unwelcome behavior involving any of the protected categories referred to in (a) above that is not directed at an individual but exists at the College and interferes with an individual’s ability to do his or her job. Third party harassment based upon any of the aforementioned protected categories is prohibited by this policy.

II. PROHIBITED CONDUCT

a. Defined

It is a violation of this policy to engage in any practice or procedure that treats an individual less favorably based upon any of the protected categories referred to in 1(a) above. This policy pertains to all practices such as recruitment, selection, hiring, training, promotion, transfer, assignment, layoff, return from layoff, termination, demotion, discipline, compensation, fringe benefits, working conditions and career development.

It is also a violation of this policy to use derogatory or demeaning references regarding a person’s race, gender, age, religion, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, ethnic background, or any other protected category set forth in l(a) above. A violation of this policy can occur even if there was no intent on the part of an individual to harass or demean another.

Examples of behaviors that may constitute a violation of this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Discriminating against an individual with regard to terms and conditions of employment because of being in one or more of the protected categories referred to in l(a) above;
  • Treating an individual differently because of the individual’s race, color, national origin or other protected category, or because an individual has the physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics of a racial, religious, or other protected category;
  • Treating an individual differently because of marriage to, civil union to, domestic partnership with, or association with persons of a racial, religious or other protected category; or due to the individual’s membership in or association with an organization identified with the interests of a certain racial, religious or other protected category; or because an individual’s name, domestic partner’s name, or spouse’s name is associated with a certain racial, religious or other protected category;
  • Calling an individual by an unwanted nickname that refers to one or more of the above protected categories, or telling jokes pertaining to one or more protected categories;
  • Using derogatory references with regard to any of the protected categories in any communication;
  • Engaging in threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts toward another individual at the College because that individual belongs to, or is associated with, any of the protected categories; or displaying or distributing material (including electronic communications) in the workplace that contains derogatory or demeaning language or images pertaining to any of the protected categories.

b. Sexual Harassment

It is a violation of this policy to engage in sexual (or gender-based) harassment of any kind, including hostile work environment harassment, quid pro quo harassment, or same­ sex harassment. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Examples of prohibited behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment and are therefore a violation of this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Generalized gender-based remarks and comments;
  • Unwanted physical contact such as intentional touching, grabbing, pinching, brushing against another’s body or impeding or blocking movement;
  • Verbal, written or electronic sexually suggestive or obscene comments, jokes or propositions including letters, notes, e-mail, text messages, invitations, gestures or inappropriate comments about a person’s clothing;
  • Visual contact, such as leering or staring at another’s body; gesturing; displaying sexually suggestive objects, cartoons, posters, magazines or pictures of scantily-clad individuals; or displaying sexually suggestive material on a bulletin board, on a locker room wall, or on a screen saver;
  • Explicit or implicit suggestions of sex by a supervisor or manager in return for a favorable employment action such as hiring, compensation, promotion, or retention;
  • Suggesting or implying that failure to accept a request for a date or sex would result in an adverse employment consequence with respect to any employment practice such as performance evaluation or promotional opportunity; orContinuing to engage in certain behaviors of a sexual nature after an objection has been raised by the target of such inappropriate behavior.

Ill. RESPONSIBILITIES

Any student, faculty or staff member who believes that he, she or they have been subjected to any form of prohibited discrimination/harassment, or who witnesses others being subjected to such discrimination/harassment is encouraged to promptly report the incident(s) to a supervisor or directly to the Director of Affirmative Action or to any other persons designated by the College to receive discrimination complaints.

All students, faculty and staff members are expected to cooperate with investigations undertaken pursuant to VI below. Failure to cooperate in an investigation may result in disciplinary action.

IV. SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES

Supervisors shall make every effort to maintain a College environment that is free from any form of prohibited discrimination/harassment. Supervisors shall immediately refer allegations of prohibited discrimination/harassment to the Director of Affirmative Action, or any other individual designated by the College to receive complaints of discrimination/harassment. A supervisor’s failure to comply with these requirements may result in administrative and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. For purposes of this section and in the State of New Jersey Model Procedures for Processing Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace (Model Procedures), a supervisor is defined broadly to include any manager or other individual who has authority to control the environment of any other staff member (for example, a project leader).

V. DISSEMINATION

The College shall annually distribute the policy described in this section, or a summarized notice of it, to all of its students and employees, including part-time and seasonal employees. The policy, or summarized notice of it, shall also be posted in conspicuous locations throughout the buildings and grounds of the College (that is, on bulletin boards or on the College’s Intranet site). Ramapo College of New Jersey shall distribute the policy to vendors/contractors with whom the College has a direct relationship.

VI. COMPLAINT PROCESS

The College shall follow the Model Procedures with regard to reporting, investigating, and where appropriate, re-mediating claims of discrimination/harassment. See N.J.A.C. 4A:7-3.2. The College is responsible for designating an individual or individuals to receive complaints of discrimination/harassment, investigating such complaints, and recommending appropriate remediation of such complaints.

All investigations of discrimination/harassment claims shall be conducted in a way that respects, to the extent possible, the privacy of all the persons involved. The investigations shall be conducted in a prompt, thorough and impartial manner. The results of the investigation shall be forwarded to the respective College President or his/her designee to make a final decision as to whether a violation of the policy has been substantiated.

Where a violation of this policy is found to have occurred, the College shall take prompt and appropriate remedial action to stop the behavior and deter its re-occurrence. The College shall also have the authority to take prompt and appropriate remedial action, such as moving two employees apart or reassigning a faculty member to teach a different class, before a final determination has been made regarding whether a violation of this policy has occurred.

The remedial action taken may include counseling, training, intervention, mediation, and/or the initiation of disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

The College shall maintain a written record of the discrimination/harassment
complaints received. Written records shall be maintained as confidential records to the extent practicable and appropriate.

VII. PROHIBITION AGAINST RETALIATION

Retaliation against any student, faculty or staff who alleges that he, she or they were the victim of discrimination/harassment, provides information in the course of an investigation into claims of discrimination/harassment in the workplace, or opposes a discriminatory practice, is prohibited by this policy. No student, faculty or staff bringing a complaint, providing
information for an investigation, or testifying in any proceeding under this policy shall be subjected to adverse consequences based upon such involvement or be the subject of other retaliation. ·

Following are examples of prohibited actions taken against a student, faculty or staff member because they engaged in activity protected by this subsection:

  • Termination of a faculty or staff member;
  • Altering the grade of a student for reasons other than legitimate business reasons;
  • Failing to promote a faculty or staff member;
  • Altering a faculty or staff member’s work assignment for reasons other than legitimate business
    reasons;
  • Imposing or threatening to impose disciplinary action on a student, faculty or staff member for reasons other than legitimate business reasons; or
  • Ostracizing a student, faculty or staff member {for example, excluding an employee from an activity or privilege offered or provided to all other employees).

VIII. FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND INFORMATION

A student, faculty or staff member, who knowingly makes a false accusation of prohibited discrimination/ harassment or knowingly provides false information in the course of an investigation of a complaint, may be subjected to administrative and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Complaints made in good faith, however, even if found to be unsubstantiated, shall not be considered a false accusation.

IX. CONFIDENTIALITY

All complaints and investigations shall be handled, to the extent possible, in a manner that will protect the privacy interests of those involved. To the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances, confidentiality shall be maintained throughout the investigatory process. In the course of an investigation, it may be necessary to discuss the claims with the person(s) against whom the complaint was filed and other persons who may have relevant knowledge or who have a legitimate need to know about the matter. All persons interviewed, including witnesses, shall be directed not to discuss any aspect of the investigation with others in light of the important privacy interests of all concerned. Failure to comply with this confidentiality directive may result in administrative and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment for faculty and staff, or suspension or expulsion from the College, for students.

X. ADMINISTRATIVE AND/OR DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Any student, faculty or staff member found to have violated any portion or portions of this policy may be subject to appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary action which may include, but which shall not be limited to: referral for training, referral for counseling, written or verbal reprimand, suspension, reassignment, demotion, expulsion for students, or termination of employment, for faculty and staff. Referral to another appropriate authority for review for possible violation of State and Federal statutes may also be appropriate.

XI. TRAINING

The College shall provide all new faculty and staff with training on the policy and procedures set forth in this section within a reasonable period of time after each appointment date. Refresher training shall be provided to all faculty and staff, including supervisors, within a reasonable period of time. The College shall also provide supervisors with training on a regular basis regarding their obligations and duties under the policy and regarding procedures set forth in this section.

Model Procedures For Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace