Conflict Resolution and Grievance Procedure

Gonzaga has established processes for addressing conflicts with disability access and accommodation.

1.  Step I: Initial Intervention: this step is designed to resolve the situation informally through discussion and agreement.  Step I resolution is not intended to determine if any laws or policies were violated.

 a.    The complainant should file the grievance by contacting the ADA/504 Coordinator.  The complaint does not have to be in writing.

b.    The ADA/504 Coordinator will conduct a preliminary inquiry by gathering information and attempting to resolve the situation by:

Working directly with faculty, chairs, deans, program directors, supervisors and administrators to clarify policies and procedures, enhance communication and understanding and agree on a resolution

Assisting the complainant to articulate issues and serving as liaison between the complainant and Gonzaga

 c.   Normally, most situations are positively resolved through intervention within a reasonable time frame.  If the situation is urgent, the ADA/504 Coordinator will work diligently to expedite resolution.  The ADA/504 Coordinator will notify the parties if additional time is needed due to extenuating circumstances, and will communicate progress and/or resolution in writing to all parties.

d.    If the Complainant does not believe the situation has been appropriately resolved at Step I, he/she may file a formal grievance.  The ADA/504 Coordinator will inform the complainant of the formal grievance process and refer the individual to the Equal Opportunity Office.

 2.  Step II: Formal Grievance: the formal grievance is designed to address problems that the complainant believes were not resolved at step I: Initial Intervention.  This step is designed to:

Determine whether a violation of law and/or Gonzaga policy occurred

Implement consequences for violation

Correct the access or accommodation situation and restore the complainant’s employment or academic environment or public access issue which led to the grievance

Initiate steps to prevent the problem from recurring

 a.    Meeting with Gonzaga official:  The complainant should make an appointment with the Equal Opportunity Officer.

 b.    Submitting the grievance: The complainant will submit the grievance in writing with this information:

The name and address of the person filing the grievance (the complainant)

A statement of the alleged discriminatory actions, including the date(s) the action(s) occurred and the name(s) of the persons involved and the nature of their involvement

c.    Inquiry:  The Equal Opportunity Officer will interview the complainant, other persons, contact the ADA/504 Coordinator for relevant information, and conduct a formal investigation.  The EO Officer will work with the appropriate Vice Presidents to ensure a complete and thorough inquiry.

d.    Hearing the Grievance:

Student Grievances regarding academic access and accommodation are heard by the Academic Vice President or designee

Student Grievances regarding non-academic access and accommodation are heard by the Vice President for Student Life of designee

Employee Grievances regarding employment access and accommodation and the Public regarding access to facilities, activities, events and services are heard by the Executive Vice President (EVP) or designee.

The designated Vice President will hear and resolve the grievance.  The VP may meet with complainant and other persons as appropriate, or make a determination only on the written intervention and inquiry records.

e.   Communicating the Resolution:  The Vice President will communicate the decision in writing to the complainant and Gonzaga within a reasonable time frame after the complaint is filed.

f.    Grievance Records:  The Equal Opportunity Officer will maintain all files and records of the grievance.  A copy of the written decision will be sent to the ADA/504 Coordinator for the complainant’s official file.

Grievances alleging harassment or discrimination other than access or accommodation are filed under Gonzaga’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Compliant Procedures.  If the grievance involves both access/accommodation and harassment/discrimination, the Equal Opportunity Officer will determine the appropriate grievance procedure(s).

Grievances in which an individual faculty member is accused of harassment or discrimination will be handled according to the Faculty Handbook, Section C300, PROCEDURES FOR RESOLVING COMPLIAINTS WHEN THE ACCUSED IS A  FACULTY MEMBER.  Any accused faculty member can waive the C300 procedure.  If that occurs, the grievance will be handled under this procedure.

      3.  Step III:  Appeal to the President

a.   Either the complainant or Gonzaga, if dissatisfied with the Vice President’s decision at Step II, may appeal in writing with the Equal Opportunity Officer after the parties receive the Vice President’s written decision.  The document should outline the reason for appeal.  The Equal Opportunity Officer will provide a copy of the appeal to the other party or response should be filed with the Equal Opportunity Officer, who will provide a copy of the response to the party filing the original appeal.

b.   The appeal will be resolved by the President of Gonzaga University who will either personally review the matter or designate another person to do so.

c.   The President may request anyone to meet with him to discuss the appeal and/or request anyone to submit written materials.  The President may rule only on the written record.

The President, or designee, normally will issue a written decision as to the appeal within a reasonable time after the appeal is received.  The decision will determine the validity of the appeal and its resolution, if any.  Copies of the appeal decision will be sent to the complainant and Gonzaga.

This appeal is the final recourse within Gonzaga.

d.    The Equal Opportunity Officer will maintain all official documentation of the appeal and resolution.

e.    A copy of the written decision will be sent to the ADA/504 Coordinator for the complainant’s file.

      4.  Step IV:  Outside Remedies

Complainants are not required to use this Grievance Complaint Policy or other internal remedies before pursuing remedies through state and federal agencies.

       These agencies are:

Washington State Human Rights Commission       
Information and Complaints
1-800-233-3247
1-800-622-2755 (Spanish)

Washington State Human Rights Commission   
Rock Point Plaza III
1330 N. Washington St., Suite 2460
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 568-3196

U.S.  Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
915 Second Avenue, Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174
(206) 607-1600
TDD (877) 521-2172

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal act Compliance Programs
1111 Third Ave., Suite 745
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 398-8000

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Office Building
909 First Ave., #300
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 669-4000

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0011
(202) 514-2000