DSPS: Section Section 504/ADA Complaint Policy
Section 504/Americans With Disabilities Act Complaint Policy
Cerritos College supports the idea that no person shall, on the basis of a physical or mental disability, be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under any program or activity offered under the control of the college. Any student, applicant for admission, employee or applicant for employment who believes he or she has been subject to a discriminatory action on the basis of a physical or mental disability may file a complaint through the following procedures. An individual may also file a complaint directly with the Office of Civil Rights.
Step I. Informal Complaint Procedure
The complaining party should first discuss the complaint with the individual(s) involved or with the Cerritos College Section 504/ADA Coordinator (Lucinda Aborn, 860-2451, ext 2345). The 504/ADA Coordinator will contact all parties concerned and attempt to reach some resolution of the problem. If the complaint cannot be formally resolved within ten working days, the complaining party may then proceed to file a formal complaint. The informal complaint procedure is optional.
Step II. Formal Complaint Procedure - Preliminary
- In order for a formal complaint to be processed, it must be filed within one year of the alleged unlawful discriminatory action, or within one year of the complaining party learning of the discriminatory action.
- The complaining party shall complete a complaint form provided by the 504/ADA Coordinator. The complaining party may request assistance of the 504/ADA Coordinator in formulating and presenting the complaint.
- Upon receipt of the completed complaint form, the 504/ADA Coordinator will forward a copy of the complaint to the President and the individual(s) or college unit against which the complaint is made, and will advise the complaining party that an investigation of the complaint will ensue.
- The 504/ADA Coordinator will investigate the complaint by discussing matters with all individuals who are parties to the complaint, interviewing relevant witnesses and reviewing relevant documents. The 504/ADA Coordinator will arrive at findings and make recommendations as a result of the investigation within 60 calendar days of the filing of the complaint.
- In the event the complaint is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, a memorandum stating the resolution of the conflict will be sent to all parties and the President. If the recommendation is unacceptable to the complainant then the complainant may request a formal hearing within 15 days of receipt of the 504/ADA Coordinator's findings and recommendations.
Step II - Formal Complaint Procedure - Formal Hearing
In the event the complaint is not resolved by the 504/ADA Coordinator, an ad hoc Discrimination Complaint Panel shall be established as follows:
- The complaining party, with the assistance of the 504/ADA Coordinator if desired, shall designate one person (student or employee) who is unbiased, not involved in the complaint, and willing and available to serve as a member of the ad hoc section 504/ADA Discrimination Complaint Panel.
- The individual complained against shall designate one person (student or employee) who is unbiased, not involved in the complaint, and willing and available to serve as a member of the ad hoc Sec. 504/ADA Discrimination Complaint Panel.
- The two panel members will, by mutual agreement, select a third member for the panel who will serve as the chair of the panel. If the two members are unable to agree on a chair, the 504/ADA Coordinator will make the selection. The panel will be formed within twenty working days.
- The 504/ADA Coordinator will provide training in disability law and policy.
- The ad hoc Sec. 504/ADA Discrimination Complaint Panel shall hear the complaint and receive information from such individuals as it deems appropriate in order to evaluate the complaint. The complaining party will be given the opportunity to appear in person or to employ and be accompanied by counsel, at their own expense. Upon completion of the hearing, the panel shall forward its findings and recommendation to the President within seven working days after the close of the hearing. Proceedings shall be conducted in a closed hearing. Each party shall have an opportunity to rebut information presented by the opposing party. A copy of the panel's findings and recommendation shall be sent to both parties involved in the complaint. The 504/ADA Coordinator shall serve as recorder of the proceedings and advisor to the panel, but shall not vote. The panel shall make every reasonable effort to conduct its hearing and present it findings and recommendation within fourteen working days of the panel's formation.
- Either party to the complaint may forward to the President his or her comments on the panel's findings and recommendation. Such commentary must be submitted to the President within seven working days of receipt of the panel's recommendation.
- The President shall issue a decision within 14 working days following receipt of the panel's findings and recommendation. The decision of the President shall be final.
Step III - Findings
- Upon a finding of discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability, the President's decision will provide for an appropriate remedy.
- In the event the President's decision is unfavorable to the complaining party, the complaining party shall be notified of the procedure for filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, should they so desire.