Administrative Procedures | KCTCS

Domestic Violence Procedure

 

Domestic Violence Procedure

Policy Number: 3.3.26-P

Current Effective Date: 01/01/2020

Original Effective Date: 01/01/2020

Revision Dates: 0

Revision Number: 0

Revision Summary: new policy and procedure

Responsible Official: General Counsel

References: Administrative Policy 3.3.26

1.  Purpose

This Procedure implements the KCTCS Domestic Violence Policy. 

2.  Scope

This Procedure applies to all KCTCS employees, students, stakeholders, campuses and operating locations without regard to gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, veteran or social status, social origin, indigenous status, or any other characteristic, trait, or identification protected by law. 

3.  Procedure

3.1 Domestic Violence Action Plan KCTCS officials have no duty to seek out or independently investigate incidents of domestic violence, but when a KCTCS employee, student, or other stakeholder  informs a supervisor or other responsible official of physical and/or psychological abuse, KCTCS shall take reasonable actions appropriate to the report, considering  the needs and wishes of the abused person. 

Abuse may include sexual misconduct, or threats thereof, and may be perpetrated by an intimate partner, spouse, or other domestic relative.  When an employee or other affiliated person reports abuse, KCTCS should consider offering a Domestic Violence Action Plan (DVAP) or other assistance under this Procedure or other policies. 

  1. When a KCTCS student reports abuse, the KCTCS official receiving the report must immediately refer the matter to the Chief Student Affairs Officer, and if the student issue involves an employee, the Human Resources Director. Student domestic violence issues shall be managed in accordance with policies and procedures specifically applicable to students, including but not limited to the Student Code of Conduct.

  2. A DVAP is a protective and supportive plan created in collaboration with the employee or other affected person.  It is intended to help victims of domestic violence maintain a safe, productive, and effective work/school environment.

  3. A formal DVAP is not required.  KCTCS may assist and support victims of domestic violence without a DVAP.

  4. DVAPs or other support and assistance do not excuse employees from performing assigned jobs and meeting employment standards.

  5. DVAPs, if used, may include
    1. Flexible schedules;
    2. Use of sick leave to manage domestic violence issues in accordance with reasonable rules and procedures;
    3. Additional paid time off for employees, not to exceed five (5) days; this additional PTO is intended to deal with domestic violence issues and may be used when all other applicable PTO has been exhausted; the Human Resources department and supervisor may extend paid time off beyond 5 days only when the college or KCTCS President determines a legitimate need and approves the time requested;
    4. Accommodation of unexpected absences;
    5. Referral to services that assist victims of domestic violence;
    6. Approved leave to confer with the EAP;
    7. Private and appropriate workplans that assist completion of assignments;
    8. Coordination with Security to safeguard the victim and campus; and
    9. Other assistance or support that help the employee and KCTCS maintain a relationship that meets the needs of the individual and the institution.

  6. KCTCS assistance does not require proof of a violation of law. The DVAP is intended to help employees who are victims of domestic violence continue successful job activities and does not depend on proof of abuse.  An employees’ unwillingness to report domestic violence incidents or pursue charges should not determine whether a DVAP is appropriate. However, victims of domestic violence should understand that their unwillingness to formally pursue a matter may limit some forms of assistance available to them.

  7. Responsible Parties for DVAPs.  Employees, employees’ supervisors, HR Directors, Title IX Officers, academic officials, the KCTCS System Director of Employee Relations, and any other appropriate persons will work together, to develop a DVAP individual to the abused employee.

    KCTCS will attempt to honor requests by potential victims that specific people participate or not participate in the process but must consider the appropriateness of personnel necessary to meet campus needs for safety and productivity.

3.2 Confidentiality KCTCS will maintain a victim’s privacy to the greatest extent possible but the law may require KCTCS to provide information or documents about domestic violence and its victims or perpetrators to requesters.  When required to provide documents or information, KCTCS will advise persons accordingly.  

3.3 Interim Safety Measures

  1. When aware of domestic violence issues affecting a KCTCS employee, student, or campus, KCTCS may implement reasonable interim safety measures to facilitate safety. Such measures may include:
    1. Separating the alleged perpetrator and victim in the campus environment while legal or administrative processes occur;
    2. Reasonable limitations to preserve safety, security, and peace of mind while on KCTCS owned or controlled property or at KCTCS events; or
    3. Other reasonable measures determined by appropriate officials.

  2. Interim safety measures are not discipline.
    1. Interim safety measures shall not adversely affect a student or employee’s pay, status, other benefits, or academic status.
    2. Interim safety measures shall not become part of an employee’s permanent personnel record or student’s academic record or used as a basis for adverse action against them.

3.4 Disciplinary Action

  1. Acts of violence, including domestic violence, sexual misconduct, or threats thereof, on KCTCS owned or controlled property, at a KCTCS-related event, or in connection with an employee’s KCTCS duties may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Such acts outside of a KCTCS campus or unrelated to KCTCS employment, study, or training may be a basis for disciplinary action if the conduct or its consequences substantially and adversely affect the KCTCS environment.

  2. No KCTCS employee shall take disciplinary action against a KCTCS employee for domestic violence violations without advanced consultation with the College Human Resource Director and KCTCS Office of General Counsel or against a student without consultation with the College Chief Student Affairs Officer and the Title IX Coordinator and/or the System Office Student Services department and the KCTCS Office of General Counsel.

  3. KCTCS may take reasonable action even if criminal or civil proceedings remain pending.

  4. Employees. Consistent with law, policy, and procedure,  KCTCS may take disciplinary action against KCTCS employees who perpetrate domestic violence, violate the terms of emergency protective orders (EPOs) or domestic violence orders (DVOs), act inconsistently with interim safety measures, or commit acts of retaliation, whether on or off KCTCS property and whether or not in direct connection with a KCTCS event or duties if the conduct bears any nexus to the reputation of or business effectiveness of KCTCS.  
    1. KCTCS may consider a criminal conviction of or civil liability judgment against a KCTCS employee on a domestic violence charge as grounds for adverse employment action if the institutional President determines the underlying conduct was substantial and is incompatible with the institution’s best interests.
    2. Because criminal proceedings employ the higher “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of evidence, an acquittal on a criminal charge shall not preclude disciplinary actions that use a lesser standard of proof.

  5. Students. KCTCS students who perpetrate domestic violence, violate the terms of emergency protective orders (EPOs) or domestic violence orders (DVOs), act inconsistently with interim safety measures, or commit acts of retaliation on campus or at or in connection with KCTCS events shall be disciplined pursuant to the Student Code and other policies applicable to Students.
    1. Policies and procedures specifically applicable to students shall govern disciplinary and other actions pertaining to students, except that when students are also employees, the student’s employment may be disciplined under this policy.

3.5 Disclosure of Protective Orders

  1. KCTCS encourages employees who have obtained EPOs or DVOs against a perpetrator to report those orders to the HR Director who shall immediately notify the College President and local security personnel. Students with EPOs or DVOs should notify the college Title IX Coordinator, who shall immediately notify the College President and local security personnel. The employee/student may work through any of the personnel previously named in this procedure in connection with the DVAP or may make the report him- or herself.

  2. KCTCS will reasonably assist in accommodating the EPO/DVP.

3.6  Education and Training

  1. To increase domestic violence awareness and inform KCTCS stakeholders  about available resources, KCTCS shall provide copies of the Domestic Violence Policy/Procedure and other domestic violence information, including current employee benefits such as the Employee Assistance Program and available external resources, to all employees and to all new employees during employee orientation. Chief Student Affairs Officers supported by the System Office Student Services Department, will offer reasonable periodic training on domestic violence to students.

  2. KCTCS shall post information about domestic violence resources in places where employees and students may view or obtain it without the need to request it or the probability of being seen accessing it. Such areas may include the intranet or lounge areas. 
     
  3. KCTCS shall ensure that human resources personnel and Title IX officials are trained to provide compassionate and private information about domestic violence resources.

3.7 Retaliation Prohibited

  1. No KCTCS employee or student may retaliate against a victim of domestic violence, or anyone who reports domestic violence or cooperates in any investigation or prosecution thereof because that person is a victim of, reported, or cooperated in an investigation of domestic violence allegations. Employees or students victimized by domestic violence, or who report domestic violence, or who cooperate in an investigation or prosecution of domestic violence may only be disciplined for acts/omissions that violate applicable law or KCTCS policy, provided related disciplinary decisions are not retaliatory.

  2. Retaliation may include, but is not limited to: 
    1. Adverse employment actions (demotion, involuntary change in work hours/conditions, etc.);
    2. Adverse academic action;
    3. Objectively offensive behavior, whether on or off the job/KCTCS premises;
    4. Adverse action against a third-party such as a victim/witness’s close associate or relative employed at or attending a KCTCS institution; 
    5. Use of social media to harass or retaliate against individuals involved in a sexual misconduct complaint.

  3. Any person who believes he/she has been retaliated against may report it using the same procedures as allegations of harassment and/or discrimination or sexual misconduct.