Employment Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure
From the President
discrimination is a serious matter that interferes with
employees reaching their full professional potential.
This publication addresses Brooklyn College's employment
discrimination policy and describes the complaint procedure
you should follow if you believe that you have been
discriminated against. Please help ensure that the college
is a comfortable place for you to work and for our students
to learn by upholding this policy in your interactions
you have any questions regarding the policy and procedures
or feel that you have been discriminated against for
any of the reasons mentioned, please do not hesitate
to contact the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs 951-4128. Your concerns will be taken
seriously and investigated or otherwise resolved according
to the policy.
Karen L. Gould
College adheres to federal, state, and city laws and
regulations, as well as City University of New York
(CUNY) policies, regarding equal employment opportunity
and affirmative action. Federal laws that incorporate
equal employment opportunity components include, among
others, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as
amended in 1991; Title IX of the Educational Amendments
of 1972; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the
Americans with Disabilities Act; Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1974; and the Immigration Reform
and Control Act of 1986. Brooklyn College also complies
with New York State and New York City human rights laws.
these laws prohibit discrimination in employment on
the basis of:
Prior arrest or conviction record *
Victims of domestic violence
The assessment of the conviction record of an applicant
or employee must be reviewed in accordance with CUNY
policies and the New York Correction Law, Sec. 752,
which, among other things, states that if there is a
direct relationship between one or more of the applicant's
previous convictions and the specific employment sought,
or where employing the applicant poses an unreasonable
risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific
individuals or the general public, then the discrimination
is not unlawful.
laws also prohibit retaliation against an individual
for raising an allegation of discrimination, filing
a complaint alleging discrimination, or participating
in a proceeding to determine if discrimination has occurred.
affirmative action laws governing CUNY and Brooklyn
College include Executive Order 11246; as amended, Section
503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and Section 402
of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974.
affirmative action policies and practices of Brooklyn
College are part of CUNY's goal to provide equal employment
opportunity and prevent discrimination. Such policies
and practices apply to persons in federally protected
groups, including women, persons with disabilities,
Vietnam Era veterans, Blacks, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific
islanders, and American Indians/Alaskan natives. In
addition, CUNY and Brooklyn College have designated
Italian Americans as a protected group for whom these
may take several forms. It may occur when a person is
excluded from an employment opportunity or treated less
favorably than other similarly situated persons because
of race, color, religion, gender, national origin or
citizenship status, disability, age, marital status,
sexual orientation, prior arrest or conviction record,
genetic predisposition or carrier status, Sabbath observance,
or any other basis prohibited by law. This type of discrimination
is considered disparate treatment or a difference in
impact discrimination results from neutral employment
policies and practices that may be applied evenly to
all applicants or employees but have the effect of disproportionately
excluding a group with a protected status.
failure to provide reasonable accommodations for the
known disabilities of an otherwise qualified applicant
or employee, or to reasonably accommodate the religious
practices of an applicant or employee may be discriminatory
harassment on any of these bases is contrary to law,
as is the retaliation against an individual for raising
an allegation of discrimination, filing a complaint
alleging discrimination, or participating in a proceeding
to determine if discrimination has occurred.
state law and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
provide protections on the basis of a person's perceived
laws prohibiting discrimination in employment apply
to all terms and conditions of employment, including,
but not limited to, recruitment, testing, selection,
hiring, work assignments, salary and benefits, performance
evaluations, promotions and tenure, training opportunities,
transfers, discipline, discharge, and working conditions.
equal employment opportunity procedure applies to all
job applicants and employees and, in some instances,
former employees of Brooklyn College. Students employed
by Brooklyn College have the right to equal employment
opportunity in their capacity as employees.
procedure for handling allegations of discrimination
is objective and impartial, designed to assist in resolving
equal employment opportunity issues and in investigating
alleged illegal discrimination. The process does not
supplant any rights employees may have to pursue allegations
of discrimination through a collective bargaining agreement
that includes discrimination as a ground for grievance,
or any other rights conferred by law.
College places a strong emphasis on prompt action to
resolve complaints alleging discrimination. Members
of the college community who believe themselves to have
been discriminated against are strongly encouraged to
report allegations as promptly as possible. Delay in
making a complaint may make it more difficult for the
college to investigate the allegations.
How to Proceed
with the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment
Opportunity (AA/EEO) Officer
job applicant, employee, or former employee who wishes
to make a complaint related to affirmative action or
equal employment opportunity, including reasonable accommodations
for disabilities, may consult with the Affirmative Action/Equal
Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) Officer of the college:
2147 Boylan Hall
pertaining to sexual harassment may be directed to the
coordinator of the college's Sexual Harassment Panel:
Miriam B. Deutch
1303 James Hall
Any vice-president, dean, director, department chairperson,
administrator, or other person with managerial or supervisory
authority who becomes aware that applicants or employees
believe that they been discriminated against should
advise those applicants or employees to their right
to contact AA/EEO Officer.
have the right to meet privately with the AA/EEO Officer
during working hours; however, they should obtain approval
for leaving a work assignment. Employees need not disclose
the details of the purpose of a meeting with the AA/EEO
Officer to their supervisor. In other words, complaints
of discrimination need not go up the normal chain of
and supervisors shall allow employees to meet with the
AA/EEO Officer at the earliest practicable time consistent
with the operational needs of their units.
AA/EEO Officer may arrange to meet with an employee
outside the college when necessary in order to ensure
confidentiality. At an employee's request, arrangements
may also be made to hold meetings before or after working
hours or during the employee's lunch period.
initial consultation provides an opportunity for the
AA/EEO Officer to learn the general nature of the employee's
allegations and to determine whether those allegations
would, if demonstrated to be true, violate any law,
regulation, or policy related to equal employment opportunity
or affirmative action. If the facts presented do not
point to any violation of law, regulation, or policy
related to equal employment opportunity or affirmative
action, the complainant will be so advised. The AA/EEO
Officer, whenever possible, will provide information
about other college or CUNY offices that might provide
guidance or assistance to the employee.
may be circumstances in which the AA/EEO Officer initiates
an investigation of a matter that has come to the attention
of the college even when no specific complaint has been
the grievance procedure
lieu of consulting with the AA/EEO Officer, employees
who are covered by collective bargaining agreements
may use their contractual grievance procedures, within
the time limits provided in those agreements, to report
allegations of discrimination. Employees
choosing this avenue should contact their union representative
Brooklyn College would prefer having the opportunity
to investigate allegations of discrimination internally
and do remedy situations where the law, college, or
CUNY policies have been violated, a complainant may,
at any time, file a complaint of discrimination with
a city, state or federal administrative agency that
enforces the law prohibiting discrimination. The names
and contact information for such agencies are included
a Complaint with the AA/EEO Officer
consultation with the AA/EEO Officer, if it has been
determined that a violation may have occurred, the complainant
will be informed of options available for subsequent
action. These options may fall into two main categories:
Alternative dispute resolution
Internal complaint investigation
dispute resolution (ADR)
objective of this option is to stop the behavior or
action that forms the basis for the complaint of illegal
discrimination without the college's engaging in a full
investigation or making a finding as to whether discrimination
has occurred. This option will be recommended if the
AA/EEO Officer and the complainant agree that this approach
has the potential to address the allegation(s). A decision
to proceed through the ADR channel does not preclude
a subsequent investigation if the complaint cannot be
resolved through ADR. Possible resolutions through ADR
include, but are not limited to: the complainant taking
steps to resolve the complaint on her or his own without
intervention by the AA/EEO Officer or a college official;
or having complaint resolution activities facilitated
by the AA/EEO Officer or another appropriate college
possible, complaints should be resolved within ninety
working days following initiation of the complaint.
Any settlement, withdrawal, or other disposition of
such a matter does not constitute binding precedent
in the resolution of similar complaints.
ADR is not feasible or possible, the AA/EEO Officer
will completely and thoroughly investigate discrimination
complaints and will make a determination as to whether
an antidiscrimination law, regulation, or Brooklyn College
or CUNY policy has been violated. If a violation has
occurred, action will be taken to correct it and, where
appropriate, to discipline employees who have engaged
in discriminatory conduct.
employee wishing to pursue an investigation is encouraged
to file a written complaint with the AA/EEO Officer.
When a complainant is unwilling or unable to file a
written complaint, the AA/EEO Officer will nevertheless
investigate the complaint, based on the complainant's
oral statements, as soon as possible after the AA/EEO
Officer receives a complaint.
appropriate parties will be notified that a complaint
has been filed and that an investigation has begun.
an investigation of a complaint requires it, the AA/EEO
Officer shall have the authority to request and examine
relevant records and files and to make inquiries necessary
to investigate the complaint. All employees of the college
are expected to cooperate with the investigation.
complaints will be investigated, to the extent possible,
as any other complaint to ascertain the existence of
illegal discrimination and to remedy the problem, if
outcomes of an internal investigation
that the allegations are not supported by the facts.
In the event that the investigation uncovers no reasonable
basis for the allegations of discrimination, the complainant,
the president, and all other appropriate parties will
be notified of such outcome in writing. At that time,
the complainant will be notified of options available
to her or him.
that the allegations are supported by the facts.
When the allegations of discrimination are substantiated
by the facts, the AA/EEO Officer shall make a written
summary of the findings for the president. Following
receipt of the report, the president shall promptly
take such action as she or he deems necessary and proper
to correct the effects or to prevent further harm to
an affected party or others similarly situated.
of corrective action include, but are not limited to,
commencing disciplinary proceedings that could result
in discharge, issuing verbal warnings, transferring
an employee, and/or granting a benefit wrongfully withheld.
The college's action will vary from case to case and
will depend upon the degree and type of violation that
has occurred. If, before an investigation is fully completed,
the president feels immediate action must be taken to
protect the college community, she or he may do so.
complainant has the right to request that the investigation
be terminated at any stage of the process; however,
the AA/EEO Officer may not terminate an investigation
when there is evidence that the law or a CUNY or Brooklyn
College policy has been violated. In such an instance,
the investigation must continue until a finding is made.
If an investigation is terminated at the request of
a complainant, however, all parties will be notified
in writing of the termination.
procedure seeks to protect the privacy of persons making
inquiries about their rights as well as the rights of
persons otherwise involved in an investigation. Therefore,
while it is not possible to provide absolute confidentiality,
the entire complaint, investigation, and resolution
process will be handled discreetly. Information concerning
the process will be divulged only on a need-to-know
basis. All parties to the process are requested to adhere
to a similar standard of discretion.
The AA/EEO Officer will maintain records of all complaints
of discrimination whether they are processed through
ADR, an internal investigation, or by an outside agency.
is a violation of federal, state, and city law, as well
as college policy, to retaliate against any person for
opposing discrimination, filing a complaint, or participating
in a proceeding to determine if discrimination has occurred.
Complaints of retaliation will be investigated and a
finding reached. Where findings warrant, appropriate
disciplinary action will be taken.
and employees are encouraged to consult with the AA/EEO
Officer as soon as they become aware of an alleged violation.
Delays in reporting allegations may impair the ability
of the AA/EEO Officer to conduct a proper investigation
and reach a resolution. Thus, employees are encouraged
to report allegations immediately. Also, time limits,
some of which are extremely short, apply when filing
complaints with external agencies or when filing grievances
under collective bargaining agreements. Those administrative
agencies and/or labor relations representatives should
be consulted directly for time limits and other filing
requirements (see below).
Agencies Where a Complaint May Be Filed
applicants, employees, or former employees seeking to
file a discrimination complaint are encouraged to file
such complaint internally with the AA/EEO Officer; by
contacting the AA/EEO Officer, a person does not forfeit
her or his right to file an external complain with an
administrative agency handling discrimination complaints.
Once such an agency has intervened in a complaint, the
AA/EEO Office will surrender jurisdiction of the matter
to the CUNY Office of the General Counsel, which will
take over administration of the complaint.
following external administrative agencies enforce laws
prohibiting discrimination. Each agency has a time limit
governing the filing of complaints. Agencies should
be contacted directly for information pertaining to
filing a complaint.
York City Commission on Human Rights
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006
(212) 306-7686 (TTY)
York State Division of Human Rights
163 West 125 Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10027
(212) 961-8999 (TTY)
Broadway, 9th Floor
New York, NY
Hanson Place, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
New York District Office
201 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Office of Civil Rights, Region II
U.S. Department of Education
26 Federal Plaza, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10278
S. Department of Justice
Constitution Avenue & 10th Street
NW Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 514-0381 (TTY)