Our Policies and Procedures to Prevent Discrimination
It is the policy of NAI that, to the extent provided by applicable law, no person will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored or conducted by NAI related to npj Microgravity on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, religion, sex, veteran status or disability. We have appointed a Compliance Coordinator to answer questions relating to compliance and put in place Complaint Procedures to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints by any participant in a program or activity sponsored or conducted by NAI related to npj Microgravity who perceives that he or she has been subject to any form of discrimination.
Complaint Resolution Process
It is the policy of NAI that, to the extent provided by applicable law, no person will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored or conducted that is related to npj Microgravity on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, religion, sex, veteran status or disability. To support that commitment, NAI has developed procedures for program participants to report complaints of actions that violate Section 504 or the NASA Age Act.
1. Complaint. Complaint means a signed document alleging discrimination, including harassment under this policy.
2. Complainant. Complainant means a person who submits a written complaint alleging discrimination, including harassment under this policy.
3. Respondent. Respondent means the person designated to respond to a complaint. Generally the respondent would be the person alleged to be responsible for the prohibited discrimination or harassment alleged in a complaint. The term "Respondent" may be used to designate persons with direct responsibility for a particular action or those persons with administrative responsibility for procedures and policies in those areas covered in a complaint.
4. Notification. Notification takes place five days after the date of posting of any document in the United States mail, properly addressed. Written communications to a complainant are properly addressed when sent to the address given in the complaint or the last address given since the filing of the complaint.
B. Complaint Procedure
1. Complaint. A complaint alleging discrimination or harassment must be submitted in writing to the Compliance Coordinator. A complainant can use a Complaint Form or provide the information on a separate. To be considered, the complaint must contain the following information:
- name of the Complainant(s);
- contact information, including address, telephone, e-mail;
- name of person(s) or practice responsible for alleged violation(s);
- date(s) and place(s) of alleged violation(s);
- nature of alleged violation(s) as defined in this policy;
- detailed description of the specific conduct that is the basis of alleged violation(s);
- copies of documents pertaining to the alleged violation(s);
- names of any witnesses to alleged violation(s);
- action requested to resolve the situation;
- complainant's signature and date of filing; and
- any other relevant information.
The following communications do not constitute a complaint and will not be investigated or resolved pursuant to the complaint resolution process:
- oral allegations
- anonymous communications
- courtesy copies of correspondence or a complaint filed with others
- inquiries that seek advice or information only
- pre-complaint consultations and informal resolution activities
2. Time Limit. A written complaint must be filed within ninety (90) calendar days of the occurrence of the alleged violation.
3. Acknowledgement. Within ten (10) business days after receipt of a written complaint, the Compliance Coordinator will send the complainant an acknowledgment of the complaint, stating that the complaint will be evaluated, and advising the complainant(s) that he or she will be contacted within a given time. The acknowledgment letter will include a copy of these complaint procedures.
4. Complaint Evaluation. A formal investigation will be initiated if a complaint is complete, timely, within the scope of this policy and articulates sufficient specific facts, which, if determined to be true, would support a finding that our policy against discrimination was violated. NAI will not proceed with a complaint investigation under a variety of circumstances, for instance:
- a person fails to provide a written, signed complaint;
- a complaint fails to describe in sufficient detail the conduct that is the basis of the complaint;
- the conduct described in the complaint is not covered by our policy;
- a complaint is not timely;
- the complainant declines to cooperate in NAI's investigation;
- the complaint has been withdrawn; or
- an appropriate resolution or remedy has already been achieved, or has been offered and rejected.
If it is determined that NAI will not proceed with a complaint investigation, the Compliance Coordinator will send a notification letter explaining the reason(s) to the complainant, with a copy to the alleged offender, if one has been named. The notification letter will also include a statement informing the complainant that, within ten (10) business days of the notification, he or she may appeal the determination not to proceed with a complaint investigation to the Managing Director, Open Research. The request for appeal must be a signed, written document articulating why the decision to dismiss the complaint was in error. The Managing Director, Open Research will respond within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the appeal. If the decision to dismiss is upheld, that decision is final. If the decision to dismiss is overturned, the complaint is sent back to the Compliance Coordinator, for investigation in accordance with the procedures outlined below.
5. Notification of Respondent. If it is determined that NAI will proceed with a complaint investigation, the Compliance Coordinator will give the respondent, if it is an individual, written notification of the complaint investigation. The notification letter will include a copy of the written complaint. The notification letter will provide the respondent an opportunity to submit a written response to the allegations within ten (10) business days, unless unusual circumstances warrant additional time. The notification letter will include a statement advising the respondent that retaliation against the complainant is prohibited and will subject the respondent to appropriate disciplinary action.
6. Investigation Responsibility. The Macmillan Legal Department is responsible for conducting formal investigations of complaints alleging discrimination and harassment in violation of NAI policies. An individual from the Macmillan Legal Department will be selected to conduct the investigation (the "investigator"). If a complaint is directed against an individual who would otherwise play a role in investigating and attempting to resolve the complaint, the function assigned to that person by these procedures will be delegated to another person.
7. Investigative Process and Findings. The investigator will interview both the complainant and the respondent(s), if appropriate, and persons who are considered to have pertinent factual information related to the complaint. The investigator will also gather and examine documents relevant to the complaint. Facts will be considered on the basis of what is reasonable to persons of ordinary sensitivity and not on the particular sensitivity or reaction of an individual. Findings will be based on the totality of circumstances surrounding the conduct complained of, including but not limited to: the context of that conduct, its severity, frequency, whether it was physically threatening, humiliating or was simply offensive in nature.
8. Representation. During the complaint process, the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) may designate and thereafter be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choosing at meetings and interviews at which he or she is present; however, no representative may examine witnesses or otherwise actively participate in a meeting or interview.
9. Submission of Evidence. During the complaint investigation process, the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) will provide the Compliance Coordinator or the investigator, as appropriate, with all documents relied upon regarding the issues raised in the complaint.
10. Report of Findings and Recommendation -
- The investigator will provide a proposed statement of findings, copies of relevant documents and any physical evidence considered to the Managing Director, Open Research within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the respondent's statement, unless unusual circumstances require more time. If a complaint is directed against the Managing Director, Open Research, follow up on the findings will be delegated to another person.
- The investigator will promptly notify the complainant and the respondent that the investigation has been completed and attach a copy of the proposed statement of findings. Within ten (10) business days from the date of notification, the complainant and respondent may each submit, for consideration by the Managing Director, Open Research such comments and corrections as they may have.
- Within fifteen (15) business days of the notification to the complainant and respondent that the investigation has been completed, the Managing Director, Open Research and the investigator will meet to discuss the findings, and review the record, along with any comments and proposed corrections submitted by the complainant and respondent.
- Within fifteen (15) business days from that meeting, the Managing Director, Open Research will take one of the following actions: a) request further investigation into the complaint, b) dismiss the complaint if the results of the completed investigation are inconclusive or there is insufficient reasonable, credible evidence to support the allegation(s) or c) find that this policy was violated.
- If the Managing Director, Open Research determines that this policy was violated, he or she, following consultation with the investigator or other knowledgeable persons as appropriate, will determine an appropriate response which may include some or all of the following: 1) change in NAI practices and/or 2) disciplinary action appropriate for the severity of the conduct. Disciplinary actions can include, but are not limited to, written reprimands, the imposition of conditions, reassignment, suspension without pay and termination.
- The investigator will inform the complainant and accused individual, if there is one, and the appropriate unit head in writing of the decision of the Managing Director, Open Research, and will attach a copy of the final statement of findings. Copies of the investigator's letter, the attached statement of findings and relevant documents will also be sent to the Compliance Coordinator. The Compliance Coordinator will enter the complaint and the outcome on the Complaint Listing.