Grievance and Appeals
PCCC has established a procedure for filing complaints under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”). The College (PCCC) strives to maintain the highest standards of integrity and fairness in its policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability. As a result, the College has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability may file complaints pursuant to the procedures below. This may include, but is not limited to, issues related to academic or work accommodations, different treatment based on disability, disability related harassment or retaliation, physical accessibility, etc. Any of the time frames set out below may be extended for good reason, such as (but not limited to) when classes are not in session, the College is closed or upon mutual agreement by the individual filing the complaint and the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.
Informal Grievance Procedure
The College encourages informal resolution of concerns and complaints. If a qualified individual with a disability has a concern or complaint regarding any of the matters set forth in the first paragraph above, the individual may first, voluntarily, attempt to resolve the problem through an informal discussion with the Office of Accessibility Services (Darleen McGrath Florance) or the Office of Human Resources (Debra Hannibal).
- To be timely, the individual must initiate this informal discussion with the OAS or HR within two (2) weeks of the alleged act that gave rise to the complaint.
- If the grievance is satisfactorily resolved at the conclusion of the conference, the matter will be considered closed with no need for advancement to the formal grievance process.
- If the conference is unsuccessful or the individual does not wish to voluntarily attempt to resolve the grievance with an informal process, that individual may file a formal grievance.
- OAS or HR will document all informal grievance conferences by memorializing the date, time, persons present, issues in dispute, and agreements reached.
Formal Grievance Procedure
In the event an individual is dissatisfied with the informal grievance resolution, or does not wish to voluntarily attempt to resolve the grievance with an informal process, the individual may file a formal complaint by contacting and filing a written complaint to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.
- To be timely, the written complaint must be filed within two (2) weeks after the results of the informal process has been submitted; or if the individual does not choose to proceed with the informal process, within two (2) weeks of becoming aware of the need for an accommodation.
- The complaint may be written using the information in the ADA/Section 504 Grievance Resolution form or by completing the Grievance Resolution Form, which is available in the Office of Student Affairs (A231), Human Resources (E305) or online at pccc.edu/ods.
- The form must be completed and returned to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.
- If another type of communication is used to notify the College of a possible grievance, the individual filing the grievance will be given an opportunity to complete the Form and forward a copy of the form to ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.
- Within twenty (20) business days of the receipt of the written complaint, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will work with all parties involved to resolve the grievance and notify all interested parties in writing of the decision.
An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow the filing of a complaint.
- The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator or designee will conduct a thorough, non-adversarial investigation, affording all interested persons an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
- All parties in the complaint will be notified that the formal grievance process has been initiated. The notification will include advising the parties that an investigation will be conducted, the nature of the allegations, and the expected time of completion.
- The investigative process will include, but not be limited to, interviews of all interested parties and witnesses and the collection of pertinent documents, written statements and other evidence.
- A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution if any, shall be issued by the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator or designee and a copy forwarded to the complainant and all other interested parties no later than two (2) weeks after the filing of the complaint.
- The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator shall maintain the files and records for PCCC relating to the complaints filed.
If the investigation results in a finding that a violation occurred, appropriate corrective action will be undertaken to both correct the effects of the violation on the complainant or others, where possible; and to prevent a recurrence of the events resulting in the filing of the complaint. The College will ensure that any agreed upon resolutions are implemented in a timely and equitable manner.
Inquiries or complaints that involve potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act may also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which can be reached at:
New York Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500
Email: [email protected]
The College prohibits retaliation against any individual for filing a grievance under this process or against any other individual participating in the investigation of a grievance. Any such retaliation is against state and federal laws and Passaic County Community College Policy. Retaliation may subject the responsible person to disciplinary action. An individual who has participated in the grievance process in any capacity (for example, a neutral witness not associated with either party) is protected from retaliation and may file a grievance under these procedures with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator if they have experienced a retaliation as a result of their participation.
Office of Accessibility Services
Phone: (973) 684-6395
E-mail: [email protected]
Main Campus -Paterson
Memorial Hall M244
(across from the Testing Center)
Passaic Academic Center
PAC – Room 218
Students are met by appointment.
Check with Main Desk for room location.
Wanaque Academic Center
WAC – Room 117
Check with the Main Desk for room location.