If you find yourself at the point of needing to file a formal complaint, we are here to help. Our goal is always to ensure that any and all complaints have been initiated for resolution with the school site principal and/or department supervisor as the first step.
Please note: Not all complaint processes below have a specific form for filing a complaint. Forms are available for General Complaints and Uniform Complaints (Including Williams, Discrimination/Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Student Fees, and Bullying) at: https://www.tustin.k12.ca.us/resources/complaint-i...
TYPES OF COMPLAINTS
Below is a listing of the District's specific policies and administrative regulations for handling complaints relative to: General Complaints, Anti-bullying, Uniform Complaints, Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination/Harassment, Hate Motivated Behavior, and Williams Uniform Complaints.
The Tustin Unified School District exists to provide the best educational program and learning environment possible for all students entrusted to its care. To that end, the District welcomes constructive criticism of policies, programs, or operational decisions in order to improve its efforts and be responsive to its clients.
It is the intent of the Tustin Unified School District that matters giving rise to a complaint be addressed first on an informal basis and at the level closest to the situation. If a complaint cannot be addressed and resolved informally, then formal steps are available for resolution to any complaint leading, if necessary, to ultimate resolution by the Board of Education.
If a complaint by a parent requires a review and changing of a student’s written record, including the student’s grade(s), this policy shall be superseded by the protocol spelled out in Education Code Sections 49070 and 49071.
If confidentiality is a concern, every effort shall be made, but cannot be guaranteed, to respect the wishes of the complainant, without compromising the rights of all other parties involved.
In the interest of protecting the rights of anyone seeking resolution to a complaint, no harassment or retaliation of any kind against a student, parent/guardian, or community member shall occur because a complaint was filed.
NON-DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT
It is the intent of the Tustin Unified School District to provide a positive work environment where employees and job applicants are assured of equal access and opportunities, and are free from harassment in accordance with law. The District prohibits its employees from discriminating against or harassing any other District employee or job applicant on the basis of the person’s actual or perceived race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, military and veteran status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex, or sexual orientation in every aspect of personnel policy and practice in employment, development, advancement, and treatment of persons employed in the District. The District also prohibits retaliation against any District employee or job applicant who complains, testifies or in any way participates in the District’s complaint procedures.
All employees are expected to carry out their responsibilities in a manner that is free from discriminatory statements or conduct. Employees who permit or engage in discrimination or harassment may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Harassment consists of any unwelcome verbal, physical or visual conduct that is based on any of the prohibited categories of discrimination listed above and that is so severe or pervasive that it adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities, has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Harassment, based on a person’s race, sex or other attributes noted above includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Slurs, epithets, threats, or verbal abuse;
- Derogatory or degrading comments, descriptions, drawings, pictures or gestures;
- Unwelcome jokes, stories or teasing; and/or
- Any other verbal, visual or physical conduct which adversely affects the individual’s employment opportunities or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with his/her work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Harassment may arise not only as a result of the offender’s intention, but also as a result of the offended person’s perception of the offensive conduct and the way it affects him/her.
In order to obtain procedures for reporting a complaint, any employee or applicant for employment who feels that he/she has been denied equal employment opportunities should immediately contact the Chief Personnel Officer, Personnel Services, Tustin Unified School District, 300 South C Street, Tustin, CA 92780, (714)730-7301, extension 338, or the Equity/Title IX Coordinator, Director, Assessment and Evaluation, Tustin Unified School District, 300 South C Street, Tustin, CA 92780, (714)730-7301, extension 368.
THE CALIFORNIA FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT:
(Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Div. 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code)
- Prohibits harassment of employees or applicants and requires employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment.
- Requires that all employers provide information to each of their employees on the nature, illegality, and legal remedies which apply to sexual harassment. Employers may either develop their own publication, which must meet standards as set forth in California Government Code Section 12950, or use a brochure which may be obtained from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
- Requires employers to reasonably accommodate qualified physically or mentally disabled employees or job applicants in order to enable them to perform the essential functions of a job.
- Permits job applicants to file complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against any employer, employment agency, or labor union which fails to grant equal employment as required by law.
- Requires employers not to discriminate against any job applicant or worker in hiring, promotions, assignments, or discharge. On-the-job segregation is also prohibited, and employers may file complaints against workers who refuse to cooperate in compliance.
- Requires employers, employment agencies, and unions to preserve applications and personnel and employment referral records for a minimum of two (2) years.
- Requires employers to provide leaves of up to four (4) months to employees disabled because of pregnancy, maternity or childbirth.
- Requires employers of fifty (50) or more persons to allow employees to take up to four (4) months leave in any two (2) year period for the adoption or birth of a child or the care of an ill or injured spouse, parent or child.
- Requires employment agencies to serve all applicants equally, to refuse discriminatory job orders, and to refrain from prohibited pre-hiring inquiries or help-wanted advertising.
- Requires unions not to discriminate in member admissions or dispatching of jobs.
- Forbids any person to interfere with efforts to comply with the act. Authorizes the DFEH to work affirmatively with cooperating employers to review hiring and recruiting practices in order to expand equal opportunity.
UNITED STATES FEDERAL LAW
PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS:
Applicants to and employees of most private employers, state and local governments, educational institutions, employment agencies, and labor organizations are protected under the following Federal laws:
RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
DISABILITY – The American with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, protects qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability. The law also requires that covered entities provide qualified applicants and employees with disabilities with reasonable accommodations that do not impose undue hardship.
AGE – The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, protects applicants and employees 40 years of age or older from discrimination on the basis of hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
SEX (Wages) – In addition to sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (see above), the Equal Pay act of 1963, as amended, prohibits sex discrimination in payment of wages to women and men performing substantially equal work in the same establishment.
Retaliation against a person who files a charge of discrimination, participates in an investigation, or opposes an unlawful employment practice is prohibited by all of these Federal laws.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against under the above laws, you immediately should contact: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 1801 L. Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20507 or/and EEOC field office by calling toll free (800)669-4000. For individuals with hearing impairments, EEOC’s toll free TTD number is (800)800-3302.
EMPLOYERS HOLDING FEDERAL CONTRACTS OR SUBCONTRACTS
RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN – Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits job discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and requires affirmative action to ensure quality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.
INDIVIDUALS WITH HANDICAPS – Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, prohibits job discrimination because of handicap and requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with handicaps who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job.
VIETNAM ERA AND SPECIAL DISABLED VETERANS – 39 U.S.C. 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 prohibits job discrimination and requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified Vietnam era veterans and qualified special disabled veterans.
Any person who believes a contractor has violated its nondiscrimination or affirmative action obligations under the authorities above should contact immediately: The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington DC 20210 or call (202)693-0100 or an OFCCP regional or district office, listed in most telephone directories under U.S. Government, Department of Labor.
PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
RACE, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SEX – In addition to the protection of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance. Employment discrimination covered by Title VI of the primary objective of the financial assistance is a provision of employment, or where employment discrimination causes or may cause discrimination in providing services under such programs. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender in educational programs or activities which receive Federal Assistance.
INDIVIDUALS WITH HANDICAPS – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of handicap in any program or activity which receives Federal financial assistance. Discrimination is prohibited in all aspects of employment against handicapped persons who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in a program of any institution which received Federal assistance, you should immediately contact the Federal agency providing such assistance.
The District designates the position identified below as its coordinator for nondiscrimination in employment (coordinator) to coordinate the District’s efforts to comply with state and federal nondiscrimination laws and to answer inquiries regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policies. The coordinator may be contacted at:
Chief Personnel Officer
300 South C Street
To prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against District employees, volunteers, interns, and job applicants, the Superintendent or designee shall implement the following measures:
1. Publicize the District’s nondiscrimination policy and regulation, including the complaint procedures and the coordinator’s contact information, to employees, volunteers, interns, job applicants, and the general public by:(5CCR 4960; 34 CFR 100.6, 106.9)
a. Including them in each announcement, bulletin, or application form that is used in employee recruitment.
b. Posting them in all District schools and offices, including staff lounges and other prominent locations.
c. Posting them on the District’s web site and providing easy access to them through District-supported social media, when available.
(cf 1113 – District and School Web Sites)
(cr 1114 – District-Sponsored Social Media)
2. Provide to employees a handbook that contains information that clearly describes the District’s nondiscrimination policy, procedures for filing a complaint, and resources available to anyone who feels that he/she has been the victim of any discriminatory or harassing behavior.
(cf 4112.9/4212.9/4312.9 – Employee Notifications)
3. Provide training to employees, volunteers, and interns regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policy, including what constitutes unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and how and to whom a report of an incident should be made.
(cf. 1240 – Volunteer Assistance)
(cf. 4131 – Staff Development)
(cf. 4231 – Staff Development)
(cf. 4331 – Staff Development)
4. Periodically review the District’s recruitment, hiring, and promotion processes and regularly monitor the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment to ensure District compliance with law.
Any complaint by an employee or job applicant alleging discrimination or harassment shall be addressed in accordance with the following procedures:
- Notice and Receipt of Complaint: A complainant who is an employee shall inform his/her supervisor. However, if the supervisor is the person against whom the employee is complaining, the employee shall inform the coordinator or the Superintendent. A job applicant shall inform the coordinator or the Superintendent or designee.
The complainant may file a written complaint in accordance with this procedure, or if he/she is an employee, may first attempt to resolve the situation informally with his/her supervisor.
A supervisor or manager who has received information about an incident of discrimination or harassment, or has observed such an incident, shall report it to the coordinator, whether or not the complainant files a written complaint.
The written complaint should contain the complainant's name, the name of the individual who allegedly committed the act, a description of the incident, the date and location where the incident occurred, any witnesses who may have relevant information, other evidence of the discrimination or harassment, and any other pertinent information which may assist in investigating and resolving the complaint.
(cf. 0410 – Nondiscrimination in district Programs and Activities)
(cf 4032 – Reasonable Accommodation)
(cf 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 – Sexual Harassment)
2. Investigation Process: The coordinator shall initiate an impartial investigation of an allegation of discrimination or harassment within five
school business days of receiving notice of the behavior, regardless of whether a written complaint has been filed or whether the written complaint is complete.
The coordinator shall meet with the complainant to describe the District's complaint procedure and discuss the actions being sought by the complainant in response to the allegation. The coordinator shall inform the complainant that the allegations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, but that some information may be revealed as necessary to conduct an effective investigation.
(cf. 3580 –District Records)
(cf. 4112.6/4212.6/4312.6 – Personnel Files)
(cf. 4119.23/4219.23/4319.23 – Unauthorized Release of Confidential/Privileged Information)
If the coordinator determines that a detailed fact-finding investigation is necessary, he/she shall begin the investigation immediately. As part of this investigation, the coordinator should interview the complainant, the person accused, and other persons who could be expected to have relevant information.
When necessary to carry out his/her investigation or to protect employee safety, the coordinator may discuss the complaint with the Superintendent or designee, District legal counsel, or the District's risk manager.
The coordinator also shall determine whether interim measures, such as scheduling changes, transfers, or leaves, need to be taken before the investigation is completed to ensure that further incidents do not occur. The coordinator shall ensure that such interim measures do not constitute retaliation.
3. Written Report on Findings and Corrective Action: No more than 30 days after receiving the complaint, the coordinator shall conclude the investigation and prepare a written report of his/her findings. This timeline may be extended for good cause.If an extension is needed, the coordinator shall notify the complainant and explain the reasons for the extension.
The report shall include the decision and the reasons for the decision and shall summarize the steps taken during the investigation. If a determination has been made that discrimination or harassment occurred, the report also shall include any corrective action(s) that have been or will be taken to address the behavior, correct the effect on the complainant, and ensure that retaliation or further discrimination or harassment does not occur.
The report shall be presented to the complainant, the person accused, and the Superintendent or designee.
4. Appeal to the Governing Board: The complainant or the person accused may appeal any findings to the Board within 10 business days of receiving the written report of the coordinator's findings. The Superintendent or designee shall provide the Board with all information presented during the investigation. Upon receiving an appeal, the Board shall schedule a hearing as soon as practicable. Any complaint against a District employee shall be addressed in closed session in accordance with law. The Board shall render its decision within 10 business days.
(cf. 1312.1 – Complaints Concerning District Employees)
(cf. 9321 – Closed Session Purposes and Agendas)
In addition to filing a discrimination or harassment complaint with the District, a person may
also file a complaint with either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).The time limits for filing such complaints are as follows:
- To file a valid complaint with DFEH, within one year of the alleged discriminatory act(s), unless an exception exists pursuant to Government Code 12960
- To file a valid complaint directly with EEOC, within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act(s) (42 USC 2000e-5)
- To file a valid complaint with EEOC after first filing a complaint with DFEH, within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act(s) or within 30 days after the termination of proceedings by DFEH, whichever is earlier (42 USC 2000e-5)
- Download Complaint Policy and Form:
Discrimination in Employment Policy/Regulation
Uniform Complaint Procedures
The District uses uniform complaint procedures to resolve any complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against any protected group as identified under Education Code section 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135, including those with actual or perceived characteristics such as race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, in any program or activity conducted by the District or that is funded directly by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance. Uniform complaint procedures are also used to address any complaint alleging the District's failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in adult education programs, consolidated categorical aid programs, migrant education, career technical and technical education and training programs, child care and development programs, child nutrition programs, special education programs, and the development and adoption of the school safety plan.
Uniform complaint procedures are also used to address any complaint alleging the district’s non-compliance with Article 5.5 of Chapter 6 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code (commencing with Section 49010) regarding pupil fees.
The District prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant in the complaint process. Participation in the complaint process shall not in any way affect the status, grades, or work assignments of the complainant.
The District encourages the early, informal resolution of complaints at the site level whenever possible.
In investigating complaints, the confidentiality of the parties involved and the integrity of the process is protected. As appropriate, the District’s Uniform Complaint officer may keep the identity of a complainant confidential to the extent that the investigation of the complaint is not obstructed.
Should you have questions regarding the Uniform Complaint Procedures or find reason to file a Uniform Complaint, the District’s Uniform Complaint Officers are:
Director, Educational Services
300 South C Street
Tustin, CA 92780
714.730.7301 Extension 368
Charles Lewis, Ed.D.
Chief Personnel Officer
300 South C Street
Tustin, CA 92780
714.730.7301 Extension 338
Unless extended by written agreement with the complainant, the compliance officer will prepare and send to the complainant a written report of the District's investigation and decision within 60 days of the District's receipt of the complaint. (5 CCR 4631)
Uniform Complaint - Sexual Harassment (Employees)
The District is committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The District prohibits sexual harassment of students by other students, employees, or other persons, at school or at school-sponsored or school-related activities. The District also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against persons who complain, testify, assist, or otherwise participate in District complaint processes.
Chief Personnel Officer
300 South C Street