Georgia Tech is committed to affirmative implementation of equal opportunity in education and employment.
The Office of Human Resources Performance and Talent Management (PTM) team facilitates compliance of the Institute with federal, state, and Board of Regents Equal Opportunity (EO) laws and guidelines. This office has the full support of the Institute to identify and initiate resolution of EO policy violations. This policy sets forth the procedure by which employees and faculty of the Institute may file a complaint of discrimination or an appeal.
PTM also facilitates compliance of the Institute with Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education programs or activities. In addition, PTM investigates student discrimination complaints involving faculty or staff of the Institute.
The Institute will use this complaint process whenever it becomes aware of a possible violation of the laws or guidelines referenced herein. However, if an alleged violation is under review in another office/forum, or has already been reviewed in a different forum, PTM may reject a new complaint regarding the same allegations or elect to temporarily set the complaint aside until processing in the other forum is complete.
Entities Affected By This Policy
All employees, students, and contractors of Georgia Tech are covered by this policy.
Who Should Read This Policy
All employees, students, and contractors within Georgia Tech should be aware of this policy.
Seeking revenge, evening the score, or striking back at a perceived wrong. In an employment law context, examples of retaliation could include termination, suspension, disciplinary action, denial of promotion, benefits, or refusal to hire an individual. Federal and state laws prohibit retaliation against persons who file complaints of discrimination or who participate in an employment discrimination proceeding. For Appeals, an employee will be free from restraint, interference, coercion, or reprisal in bringing an appeal, serving as a representative of an appealing party, appearing as a witness, or in seeking information about the Appeal policy.
Abuse of Process
Adverse employment action may be taken against persons who knowingly file false complaints of discrimination, retaliation, or harassment. Such actions may include dismissal of the complaint and/or disciplinary actions against the employee, up to and including discharge or dismissal.
Either the complainant, the appealing party, or the respondent may submit a voluntary complaint resolution or proposal for resolution prior to or during an investigation. The complainant or the appealing party may also, at any time, withdraw a complaint or appeal through the complaint and appeal line. PTM may have a business responsibility to continue investigating certain types of complaints, even if the complaint is withdrawn, and where applicable will do so.
If an employee is not able to resolve the complaint informally and wishes to pursue the matter further, Georgia Tech has partnered with EthicsPoint, Inc. to provide an enterprise-wide solution by which members of the Georgia Tech community may file a formal complaint. Such complaints must be filed by completing an online form or by calling 1.866.294.5565 and having a neutral third party from EthicsPoint, Inc. transcribe the information. There are two types of formal procedures: (1) Discrimination Complaints and (2) Appeals.
Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to communicate effectively, treat each other with respect, and to resolve conflicts as quickly as possible without having to use these formal procedures. However, any employee or student who believes he or she has been subjected to discriminatory and/or harassing behavior from individuals covered by the same policies may have their complaints addressed by the Institute's official complaint process.
Lawyers are prohibited unless the hearing involves a criminal indictment.
Alternatively, individuals may elect to file their discrimination complaints with an external civil rights agency or court of law and subject to the processes of those forums.
Employees who believe that they have been subjected to illegal discrimination or workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or retaliation may file their complaint within 60 days of the alleged harm. All such complaints will be referred to PTM for investigation and resolution. Please refer to the 4-Step Discrimination Complaint Process and the 60-Day Timeline for PTM Discrimination Complaint Process documents for more details.
Employees who have been terminated, suspended, or demoted may appeal management's decision. If a satisfactory resolution of an appeal is not achieved by appealing to one administrative level above the level of the supervisor who took the original employment action, then the employee has up to 5 days of notification by next level management to file an Appeal. A PTM Rep. will initiate the formal grievance process. Please refer to the 4-Step Appeal Process and the 60-Day Timeline for PTM Appeal Process documents for more details.
According to the University System of Georgia's Grievance Policy, a grievance will not be available to dispute:
- promotion and tenure decisions,
- performance evaluations,
- hiring decisions,
- classification appeals,
- challenges to grades or assessments,
- challenges to salary decisions,
- challenges to transfers or reassignments,
- termination or layoff because of lack of work or elimination of position,
- investigations or decisions reached under the institutions Harassment Policy, and
- normal supervisory counseling.
A classified employee may file a grievance only if:
- The employee has been suspended; or
- The employee has been discharged; or
- The employee has been demoted, or their salary has been reduced.
An employee may not file a grievance, even in the above circumstances, if:
- The discharge occurred during the six (6)-month provisional period;
- They have been adversely affected by a reorganization, program modification or financial exigency (such employees may apply to the Board of Regents for review);
- The issue underlying the grievance is a charge of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, disability or religion.
- The issues being grieved have been previously heard by an administrative panel at the institution.
Faculty members who appeal may also seek the assistance of the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC). See Faculty Handbook
The responsibilities each party has in connection with Equal Opportunity Complaint Policy are:
|Vice President for Institute Diversity and Inclusion||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|
|Office of Human Resources||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|
|Student Affairs, Dean of Students||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|
|AVP for Enrollment Services||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|
|Athletics, Director and Title IX Coordinator||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|
|Legal Affairs||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|
|Business Services, Procurement||Ensure compliance with policy & offer assistance with policy interpretation.|