Complaint Resolution Procedures


 Protected Categories

Allegations of discrimination must be reported within 180 calender days from the date of the last alleged discriminatory act and must violate one of the  following Title VII protected categories.

Chart  A: EEO  Protected Categories                               
Employment decisions cannot be based on any of these EEO protected categories
.
Age Age (40 years or older)
Color
Skin color
Disability Perceived or known physical or mental disability; accommodations for disability
Ethnicity Examples: African-American, Chinese-American, Hispanic, etc.
Gender Sexual harassment, sex discrimination, pregnancy, child  b earing/rearing,wages   based on gender, status as a parent
Genetic Information Genetic test, disease, or disorder of an individual or family member
National Origin Place of birth, parentage
Race Asian, Black, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native/American Indian, Caucasian
Religion Belief, practice, and/or celebration of one’s spiritual faith; accommodations for religious holidays, practice, etc.
Retaliation Adverse employment action or act of revenge taken against a person filing or participating in any EEO complaint whether alleged or validated.
Sexual Orientation Sexual preference or perceived sexual preference for member(s) of same or opposite gender
Veteran Status Status as a Vietnam Era veteran or other protected veteran status
 Ways to Report Allegations of Discrimination

(1) Advocate Grievance Management System (GME)  - OEE utilizes the Advocate GME Database to provide efficiency and uniformity in the processing of allegations of discrimination or any Title VII EEO Complaint. The GME system is a tool that assists the ADA Officer with conducting and responding to complaints  and involved parties in a timely manner. To report an incident click the button below  and complete the public reporting form.

 

File A Complaint

 

 

 

(2) EEO Complaint Form -  You can download an EEO Intake Complaint form, complete it and return it to the Office of Employment Equity by:

  • Regular Mail: 1120 15th St, AA 137 Augusta, GA 30912
  • Email: oee@augusta.edu
  • Fax:  (706) 721-1875

Upon receipt of a complaint, OEE will review the complaint and a determination will be made as to whether or not to proceed with a formal investigation, or proceed with management review.  Complainants are asked to allow 2 business days after submission for OEE to  conduct the review and respond.  Absence of a written complaint does not prevent the office from initiating an investigation.

The Complainant should provide sufficient information to support the allegation(s) of discrimination. This information can include emails, notes, pictures or any items which can help substantiate the claim(s). The accused will be informed of the allegations, and may provide an explanation and/or denial statement regarding the allegations. 

 In any proceedings, the investigation will be under the direction of the Office of Employment Equity.

 Notification of EEO Complaint

After submitting a  public report or EEO Intake Complaint form, notification will be made to the relevant parties (i.e. department management, the Accused, Provost, Vice President of Human Resources, and General Counsel for Legal Affairs).

 Investigation Confidentiality

The Equity Officer will endeavor to complete the investigation within a reasonable timeframe.   Throughout the investigation, confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not impede the investigation or prevent corrective actions from being taken. Participants may have a non-legal person attend interview meetings. However, this person will not represent the employee or take an active part in the interview proceedings.

 Retaliation

Augusta University officials may not fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against individuals who: (1) file or encourage one to file a complaint of unlawful discrimination, (2) participate in an investigation of unlawful discrimination, or (3) oppose unlawful discrimination in one or more of the listed protected categories. An individual who reasonably believes that he/she has experienced retaliation under these procedures, should report the incident to the Office of Employment Equity.

 Resolution

Once the investigation has concluded, the Equity Officer will normally document the findings in an investigative report that will be submitted to the applicable Executive Vice President (EVP). The Complainant and the accused will be notified by department management after the findings have been accepted by the EVP. The recommendations cited in the investigative report will be implemented within a reasonable period of time. The Equity Officer will work with appropriate management personnel to carry out the recommended actions.

A complainant may appeal the OEE's conclusion or a departmental resolution.  In the instance of a complainant, written notice should be sent to the President of Augusta University within five working days from the receipt of the decision.  In the case of a departmental resolution, either party may appeal the decision with written notice to the OEE.

 Mediation

Mediation is a viable option for settling disputes. For further information regarding mediation, contact Human Resources Division’s Training and Development section. Should mediation efforts breakdown, the Complainant will return to the Office of Employment Equity to begin the investigation.

 Appeal Process

A Complainant may appeal the conclusions of the Equity Officer, or a departmental resolution. In the instance of a formal complaint, written notice should be sent to the President of Augusta University within five (5) working days from receipt of the decision. In the case of a departmental resolution, either party may appeal the decision with written notice to the Office of Employment Equity. The Complainant may not appeal a decision to seek a stiffer penalty or challenge the factual findings.

 External Complaints

The Office of Employment Equity is responsible for responding to complaints from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity (GCEO). The Office of Employment Equity will request information from sources (e.g. departments, human resources, etc.) in order to facilitate an appropriate response. A response to an external agency usually has a preset deadline.

 Record Keeping

The Office of Employment Equity will maintain a record of EEO Complaints for a period of seven years.