Complaints

University of Missouri Extension's Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy provides for prompt processing of complaints regarding employment status or condition through informal and formal procedures.

Complaints may be filed by current employees, former employees or applicants for employment who believe that discrimination in employment has occurred or that an employment practice has or will result in discrimination. Complaints on behalf of classes of individuals are also permitted. (Those filing complaints will be referred to as complainants.) A complaint of general discrimination in employment practices also may be filed by an organization for current employees, former employees or applicants for employment, provided that upon request of the vice provost of extension, the organization furnishes the names of individuals who are affected adversely by those practices.

A complaint is defined as

  1. An employee's, former employee's or employment applicant's expressed dissatisfaction with, and request for redress from, discrimination on the part of management that has affected the individual personally; or

  2. General discriminatory practices by an organization.

Complaints should be in writing, signed by the complainant or an authorized representative, and should contain the complainant's name and address and describe the public entity's alleged discriminatory action.
Direct complaints to one of the following offices:

Julie Middleton,
AA/EEO Director
University of Missouri Extension
109-F Whitten Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
phone: 573-882-3407
middletonj@missouri.edu

  or

Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738

Complaints may also be sent to agencies designated to process complaints under the regulation, or to agencies that provide federal financial assistance to the program in question.

Complainants may file an informal or formal complaint. (Proper procedures and forms for complaints follow below.) Complainants are encouraged to use informal means to resolve complaints before pursuing a formal complaint.

EEO counseling

Equal Employment Opportunity counseling is available to current and former employees and applicants for employment who believe they have been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin or status as a protected veteran.

EEO counseling serves as a link between University of Missouri Extension administration and employees, former employees and applicants for employment in the discrimination complaint process. As the first point of contact, counselors attempt to resolve problems brought to their attention and assist administrators in resolving informal complaints through interviews and inquiries.

Complaint procedures

Additional information on the formal and informal complaint procedures is available in the University of Missouri Extension Equal Employment Opportunity Program Manual (PDF).

Informal complaint procedure

  1. Begin with EEO counseling. Employee informs an EEO counselor of the complaint, either in writing or in person. He or she may contact any counselor, regardless of region.

  2. The EEO counselor hears the complaint and immediately informs the employee of the timeline and possibilities for filing the grievance:
    • The employee has a right to file a formal complaint with the MU Office of Human Resources if the employee has a staff appointment, or with the MU Equity Office if the employee has a faculty appointment.
    • The employee can also file a complaint directly with the USDA:
             USDA Office of Civil Rights, Director
             Room 326-W, Whitten Building
             14th and Independence Ave., SW
             Washington, DC 20250-9410
    • Finally, the employee may file an informal complaint with the extension AA/EEO officer.
      Before beginning this process, the EEO counselor should refer the individual to the appropriate Web page that describes university policies and the grievance process.
       
  3. If the individual decides not to file a formal complaint and desires to discuss the situation further with the EEO counselor, then the EEO counselor will gather facts through interviews with appropriate individuals and examine pertinent records and documentation.
     
  4. The EEO counselor may meet by phone or in person with the complainant to discuss possible solution. The EEO counselor may meet with the complainant and others involved in the complaint separately or together, at the complainant's discretion. Depending on the nature of the problem, more than one meeting may be required to gather all information and clarify possible solutions. The EEO counselor may contact the EEO officer at any time in the process to discuss pertinent issues.
     
  5. The EEO counselor should complete fact-finding and meetings with all parties within a reasonable amount of time, usually within 21 days.
    • If the issue cannot be resolved, on the twenty-first day, the counselor must remind the complainant in writing of his or her right to work directly with the extension EEO officer or file a formal complaint of discrimination. The individual may decide at that time to stop discussions with the EEO counselor and meet with the extension AA/EEO office or file a formal complaint.
       
    • Once the situation is resolved, the EEO counselor sends a record of the informal complaint, circumstances surrounding the complaint, and description of attempts to resolve the complaint to the AA/EEO officer. This documentation must be submitted as soon as possible.

Informal complaint form (Form CR-4) (DOC) | PDF
 

Formal complaint procedure

The formal complaint process may be found in HR policy and procedures.

If the complainant is staff, the formal complaint process may be found at HR Policy Manual Grievance Process (HR-502).

For faculty, the formal complaint process may be found at University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 370 to 390: Grievance Procedures.

 

Protection of complainants, employees, witnesses and representatives from interference, intimidation and reprisal

All employees are to be free from any or all restraint, interference, coercion or reprisal on the part of the their associates or supervisors in making a complaint or appeal, in appearing as witnesses or in seeking information in accordance with these procedures. These principles apply with equal force after a complaint has been adjudicated. Should these principles be violated, the complainant may bring the facts to the attention of the AA/EEO officer so that appropriate action may be taken.

The extension AA/EEO officer works closely with the MU Office of Human Resources and the MU Equity Office to resolve complaints.