Affirmative Action

English Valleys Community School District North English, Iowa Reviewed 2013
English Valleys Community School District

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program English Valleys Community School District has established an equal employment opportunity/ affirmative action program to reflect its moral, ethical, and legal commitment to equity in employment activities and in educational services.  This plan serves as an assurance to students, employees, and to the larger community of English Valleys Community School District’s efforts to comply with local, state, and federal regulations requiring equal employment opportunity, equal educational opportunity, and affirmative action.  It is designed to support affirmative action practices that advance the representation and utilization of protected class members.  It is not intended to be an end product, but rather an indication of an ongoing process toward accomplishing objectives and resolving conflict related to employment and educational equity within the school district.


English Valleys Community School District

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action

It is the policy of the English Valleys School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code sections 216.9 and 256.10(2), Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S.C.§§ 1681 – 1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).  The English Valleys Community School District affirms its commitment to comply with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and orders.

To assure that equal opportunity and non-discriminatory behavior is afforded to all students, employees, and applicants, English Valleys Community School District recognizes the need for, and the implementation of, an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action plan.


Administration of the Program

The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent, as well as all principals and employees are charged with the responsibility for supporting and complying with equal opportunity/affirmative action principles.

Responsibility of the Superintendent

The Superintendent has ultimate responsibility for the administration of the EEO/AA program.  The support for and commitment to equal opportunity in all facets of the district lies within the Office of the Superintendent.  Under the direction of the Superintendent, staff members assume specific responsibilities for maintaining procedures in compliance with all relevant federal and state equal opportunity/affirmative action legislation.

 

The Superintendent is also responsible for insuring compliance with legal mandates for equal employment opportunity/affirmative action that are applicable to the district personnel.  Such responsibilities include the review and revision of employment practices and procedures to comply with current employment legislation and with the policies of the Board of Education.  The Superintendent maintains a system that monitors all recruitment, selection, and placement procedures to insure that non-discriminatory practices are being exercised.  The Superintendent gives fair and impartial consideration to all requests and recommendations for employment actions to be processed through that office.

Responsibility of Administrative and Supervisory Personnel

All administrative and supervisory staff are familiar with equal employment opportunity/affirmative action guidelines, policies, and procedures as they affect employment activities within their departments/buildings.  They exercise their supervisory responsibility to insure that persons under their direction do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code.  Administrative and supervisory staff will assist with the district’s EEO/AA program throughout the recruitment and selection process, and in any other employment actions or recommendations involving district personnel.  It is also the responsibility of administrative and supervisory staff to keep the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent informed of any complaints or incidents of a discriminatory nature of which they become aware.

Responsibility of the EEO/AA Officer

The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent is responsible for the review, continued development, and coordination of the EEO/AA Program.  The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent provides assistance to administrative and supervisory personnel in the continuous effort to afford equal opportunity to all segments of English Valleys Community School.  The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent assists in the identification of problem areas and monitors steps to alleviate inequitable conditions and situations as they might arise.  The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent serves as a liaison with external civil rights agencies and processes internal discrimination complaints in an effort to resolve them at the local EEO/AA program level.  The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent is involved in recruitment, selection, and other personnel activities in insure the equitable treatment of all applicants and employees.

Officer:        Donita Joens, Superintendent
                    English Valleys Community Schools
                    PO Box 490
                    211 S. College PO Box 490
                    North English, Iowa  52316
                    319-664-3634

                    

Responsibilities of the EEO/AA Advisory Committee

The EEO/AA Advisory Committee may be composed of members representing all divisions and job classifications within the district. It will represent as many “underutilized” or “protected class” employees as possible.  The committee will meet on an as-needed basis.  Members will be appointed by the Superintendent.  The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent shall staff the committee. Responsibilities of the Committee will include:

1.      Periodic review of the English Valleys EEO/AA Plan and recommendations, additions, and/or revisions.

2.      Alert the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent of conditions or situations of concern.

3.      Assist in maintaining communication with local organizations representing special populations and “protected classes” for purposes of recruiting qualified job applicants.

4.      Assist in maintaining interest in and commitment to the EEO/AA program, both within the district and in the larger community.

Program Goals and Activities

1.      Provide updated EEO/AA information to supervisory and administrative personnel.

ACTION:  Provide appropriate in-services through Staff Development program.

2.   Review all negotiated agreements and revise as needed.

      ACTION:  The Superintendent will review annually.

3.   Review discrimination/sexual harassment policies and procedures with new employees.

      ACTION: Each new employee will receive information when completing payroll information.

4.   Perform all recordkeeping functions such as EEO-6, job applicant data, and current work force data.

      ACTION:  The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent and Human Resources staff will continue to maintain appropriate data for program and Affirmative Action monitoring.

5.   Provide EEO/AA information to all administrators and their search committees.

      ACTION:  The Superintendent will offer to attend organizational search committee meetings to review EEO issues and answer questions on appropriate procedures.


Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Process

All English Valleys Community School employees and students who feel they have been denied equal opportunity on the basis of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices may seek remedy through an internal complaint process.  This process also pertains to those who feel they have been the subjects of sexual harassment (see definition on page 11).  The district assures that full cooperation will be provided to any individual filing a complaint with no threat of penalty or reprisal to the complainant.  If the complaint involves alleged discriminatory or harassing behavior by the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent, the secondary principal should be contacted in lieu of the EEO/AA Officer wherever referenced in the following procedures.

Informal Inquiry

Individuals are encouraged to make informal inquiry to their immediate supervisor, teacher, or counselor, as soon as possible following the date of occurrence of the event giving rise to the complaint communication.  The staff member contacted will report the incident to the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent for purposes of documentation and advice regarding the necessary steps of the complaint process.  Every effort should be made to resolve the conflict at this time.  If this is not possible, the individual will be referred to the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent.

Formal Complaint Process

The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent should be contacted immediately following the event giving rise to an alleged discrimination or harassment complaint or at the time the complainant becomes aware of such an event or situation.  If a resolution has not been reached or is not possible through the informal process the following steps may be taken.

Step One

English Valleys Community School requires that aggrieved persons who believe they have been the subject of sexual harassment or discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices may submit a written complaint to the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent within thirty (30) calendar days of the occurrence of the event or situation.  The written complaint should contain the date of the occurrence, location, party or parties involved, names of witnesses, the facts and/or rationale of the complaint, and the category (age, sex, disability, etc.).

Step Two

The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent will conduct an investigation based upon the complaint.  The investigation will be conducted per the following process:

      a.   Meet with the person against whom the complaint is made and provide them with complete information of the complaint.  The alleged perpetrator will have the opportunity to respond to the complaint at that time, or may respond within the next five days.

      b. After the response has been made, the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent will conduct the investigation through interviews with others who may have witnessed the incident or been in the vicinity where the alleged behavior occurred.

      c. The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent will provide a written summary/report to the complainant and alleged perpetrator within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the complaint.  The summary will include a thorough and documented review of the circumstances under which the alleged discrimination or harassment occurred.

Step Three

The EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent will make recommendations for resolution of the complaint.  If a satisfactory resolution can be arrived at, the terms of the resolution will be documented in writing and made part of the complaint file.  In the event the complaint is found to be valid and involves an individual’s behavior, that person will receive appropriate counseling or disciplinary action.  Ultimate dismissal is included in the disciplinary actions which may occur.

 

Step Four

All aggrieved persons are encouraged to process complaints of alleged discrimination or harassment through the internal procedures established for this purpose.  However, the complainant may seek remedy at any time from the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other appropriate agencies.  The complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.  The complainant may withdraw the complaint at any time and resolution reached at any step of the process.


Definition of Sexual Harassment

Faculty, staff, and students at English Valleys Community School District have a right to be free from sexual harassment in the English Valleys Community School environment.  English Valleys Community School does not condone actions and words that a reasonable person would regard as sexually harassing or coercive.

Definition

Sexual harassment encompasses any sexual attention, from either gender, that is unwanted, and is defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

·         submission is made an express or implied term or condition of employment or status in a class, program, or activity;

·         submission to or rejection of the behavior is used to make an employment or educational decision (such as hiring, promotion, or grading a course);

·         the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work or educational performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or learning, including harassment in the English Valleys School environment from an outside party, such as a vendor.

Sexual harassment may take many forms, for example:

·         physical assault;

·         direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, or grades;

·         direct propositions of a sexual nature;

·         comments of a sexual nature;

·         sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;

·         unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body;

·         remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing, body, about sexual activity, or about previous sexual experience.

Students, faculty, and staff need to be concerned not only with the intent of their actions of this kind but also the effects; while sexual harassment involves repeated, unwanted sexual attention, persons involved in isolated or inadvertent incidents demonstrate an insensitivity toward others.  Repeated occurrences will be considered intentional violations of the policy.

 

Employment Activities

All English Valleys Community School personnel who recruit, interview, select, and make recommendations for employment, and employment actions such as training, promotion, performance appraisal, reassignment, disciplinary action, or discharge are required to adhere to English Valleys’ EEO/AA guidelines and polices of the Board of Education.

Recruitment

English Valleys Community School demonstrates its commitment to affirmative action by practicing recruitment techniques designed to encourage employment applications from under-represented groups and by providing equal opportunity for all members of the community. 

Selection and Placement

No employee, prospective employee, or student shall be discriminated against in the selection or placement process because of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices (except when a bona fide occupational qualification is proven to exist).  Employment decisions are based solely upon the qualifications of the individual applicant. 

Transfer, Promotion, Reassignment

Employment actions involving transfer, promotion, and reassignment are based upon employee qualifications and the needs of the district, and in adherence to the policies established by the Board of Education.  External and internal position openings are publicized throughout the district and all qualified employees are given the opportunity to make application for them.

Training and Development

Experience related to job improvement or personal and professional growth.  Employees are urged to participate in district sponsored training programs and other educational experiences.

 

Compensation, Benefits, and Working Conditions

English Valleys Community School complies with all relevant state and federal legislation concerning the administration of wage, salary, fringe benefits, working conditions, and other privileges associated with employment.  Information regarding these conditions is continually compiled, updated, and reviewed and action taken to eliminate any inequities based upon race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices.

Disciplinary Action, Termination, and Retrenchment

In the event that disciplinary action, termination, or retrenchment become necessary, procedures for these actions do not differ on the basis of the employee’s race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment.  Any such action or recommendation is reviewed by the EEO/AA Officer/Superintendent.  Alternatives to such action are explored and given consideration.  Termination or disciplinary action is not used as punishment or harassment against any employee who has filed a complaint of discrimination against the school district.


Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Policy Statement

English Valleys Community School District does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.  The district provides reasonable accommodation(s), as required by law, to otherwise qualified applicants, employees, and students with disabilities in all work settings, education programs, activities, services, and practices, including application procedures, the awarding of diplomas, discipline, and dismissal.  Educational, employment, or promotion opportunities will not be denied to an employee or students because of the need to make reasonable accommodation(s) or modification(s) for the physical and mental impairment(s) of any such individual.

Affirmative Action

Utilization Study

The district has conducted an underutilization study per federal guidelines in order to consistently

strive to achieve parity for protected groups under Title VII.  The data from the study and the hire

record for English Valleys Community School during the past year are found in Appendix B and C. 

Dissemination

Procedure

This Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program document will be posted on the English Valleys website (evbears.com).  It will also be distributed electronically each spring to administrators during the hiring season.

The district EEO policy statement will be included in all major publications.


Glossary

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Terms

Affirmative Action - The legal necessity to maintain a recruitment and employment program that will affect a change in staffing patterns; an attempt to eliminate employment discrimination based upon sex, race, age, creed, color, national origin, religion, or disability.

BFOQ (Bona Fide Occupational Qualification) - It may be lawful to make an employment decision based upon an otherwise prohibited criteria if that qualification (BFOQ) is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business.

Compliance - Adherence to applicable equal employment opportunity or affirmative action regulations, and establishing methods for carrying out their requirements.

Disability (Handicap) - (1) Having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of major life activities; (2) Having a record of such impairment; or (3) Being regarded as having such an impairment.  Discrimination is present if employment is denied an individual based on existence of the handicap where the handicap is unrelated to the individual’s ability to perform in that particular occupation.

Discrimination - Illegal treatment of a person or group of persons based upon their sex, race, age, creed, color, national origin, religion, or disability; also failure to remedy the effects of past discrimination.

Equal Employment Opportunity - The legal necessity to maintain programs to insure fair and equitable treatment of all employees and applicants regardless of sex, race, age, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, or disability.

Good Faith Efforts - Those actions required by affirmative action legislation and those an employer adopts voluntarily to achieve compliance.

Job Classification - One or group of jobs having similar content, wage, or salary, and career opportunities.

Minority - Persons who have identified themselves as American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, or Hispanic.

Promotion - Any personnel action resulting in movement to a position affording higher pay, greater rank, and/or providing greater skill or opportunity to attain such.

Protected Classes - Those individuals whose employment and educational rights are specially addressed in local, state, and federal legislation based upon their past history of discrimination as a group (i.e. women, minorities, the elderly, and disabled).

Reasonable Accommodation - Alterations, adjustments, or changes in the job, the workplace, and/or term or condition of employment which will enable an otherwise qualified disabled individual to perform a particular job successfully.

Reassignment (Transfer) - A lateral move from one position to another without an accompanying salary increase.

Recruitment - An effort to inform and encourage qualified employees and potential employees of job vacancies within the district; an effort to encourage students and potential students into educational programs.

Resolution - An agreement or informal conciliation between an employer and employee (or student) who has filed a complaint of discrimination against said employer.

Retrenchment - A reduction in the number of employees because of changes in institutional purposes or economic conditions affecting the district, including the loss of specific program enrollment.

Termination - Discontinuation of employment for cause.

Under representation/Underutilization - Employment of members of a sex, race, age, disabled, or ethnic group in a job classification at a rate below their availability in the work force (numerical disparity).