Northern Highlands Regional School District Office of Affirmative Action
298 Hillside Avenue Allendale, New Jersey 07401 Phone: 201-327-8700 ext. 566
Affirmative Action Officer: Dr. Robin Knutelsky
Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures
In keeping with federal/state anti-discrimination legislation, the BOE has adopted and hereby publishes the Grievance Procedure provided for the resolution of employee complaints.
The purpose is to provide employees with a procedure by which they can seek remedy for alleged violations related to discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, affectional or sexual orientation, sex, ancestry, national origin, or socioeconomic status.
By definition, a grievance is a formal written complaint. The grievant is any employee aggravated by a decision or condition falling under the guideline of federal/state anti-discrimination laws. The Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) is a district employee designated to coordinate efforts with antidiscrimination legislation and charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints.
Step 1 – The grievant must present the complaint in written form to the responsible person designated as the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO). (Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form)
Step 2 – The AAO has ten working days in which to investigate and respond to the grievant. The AAO will inform the building principal that an affirmative action complaint was filed. The AAO will not involve the superintendent in the process as it may taint the future position of appealing the AAO’s decision to the superintendent.
Step 3 – If not satisfied, the grievant may appeal within ten working days to the Superintendent or designee (not the AAO).
Step 4 – Response by the Superintendent or designee must be given within ten working days
Step 5 – If the grievant is not satisfied at this level, an appeal may be made within ten working days to the Board of Education, which will hear the complaint at the next regular meeting or within thirty calendar days. Local board hearings shall be conducted so as to accord due process to all parties involved in the complaint, such as written notice of hearing dates, right to counsel, right to present witnesses, right to cross-examine, and to present a written statement. The decision of the board shall be by a majority of the members at a meeting that shall be public.
Step 6 – The Board of Education shall respond to the grievant within thirty calendar days.
Step 7 – If the grievant is not satisfied with the board’s decision, the grievant can have it referred to the Executive County Superintendent of Schools.
Step 8 – The grievant maintains the right to by-pass the grievance procedures and submit complaint directly to any or all of the following agencies:
1. The Commissioner of Education Bureau of Controversies and Disputes New Jersey Department of Education PO Box 500 Trenton, New Jersey 08625 Phone: (609) 292-5705
2 . Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Newark District Office 1 Newark Center, 21st Floor Newark, New Jersey 07102 Phone: 800-669-4000 or 973-645-6383
3. U.S. Office for Civil Rights
U.S Department of Education 32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500
Phone: 646-428-3900 or TDD: 877-521-2172
4. New Jersey Division on Civil Rights 140 East Front Street, 6th Floor
PO Box 090
Trenton, New Jersey 08652-0090
Phone: 609-292-4605 or TDD 609-292-1785