Petaluma City Schools | AR 4144 Personnel
The procedure specified in this administrative regulation shall be used to investigate and resolve any complaint by an employee alleging misapplication of the district's policies, regulations, rules, or procedures or for "whistleblower" complaints by an employee or job applicant regarding an improper district activity including, but not limited to, an allegation of gross mismanagement, a significant waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a specific danger to public health or safety.
Any of the time limits specified in the following procedure may be extended by written agreement between the district and complainant.
Step 1: Informal Complaint Process
Prior to instituting a formal, written complaint, the employee shall first discuss the issue with his/her supervisor or the principal of the school where the alleged act took place. Formal complaint procedures shall not be initiated until the employee has first attempted to resolve the complaint informally.
Step 2: Site Level Formal Complaint Process
If a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved through the informal process in Step 1, the complainant may file a written complaint with his/her immediate supervisor or principal within 60 days of the act or event which is the subject of the complaint. If an employee fails to file a written complaint within 60 days, the complaint shall be considered settled on the basis of the answer given at the preceding step.
In the written complaint, the employee shall specify the nature of the problem, including names, dates, locations, witnesses, the remedy sought by the employee, and a description of informal efforts to resolve the issue.
Within 20 working days of receiving the complaint, the immediate supervisor or principal shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet with the complainant in an effort to resolve the complaint. Within five working days after the meeting, he/she shall prepare and send a written response to the complainant.
Step 3: District Level Appeal
If a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved at Step 2, the complainant may file the written complaint with the Superintendent or designee within five working days of receiving the written response from the immediate supervisor or the principal. The complainant shall include all information presented to the immediate supervisor or principal at Step 2.
Within 20 working days of receiving the complaint, the Superintendent or designee shall conduct any necessary investigation, including reviewing the investigation and written response by the immediate supervisor or principal at Step 2, and shall meet with the complainant in an effort to resolve the complaint. Within five working days after the meeting, he/she shall prepare and send a written response to the complainant.
Step 4: Appeal to the Board of Education
If a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved at Step 3, the complainant may file a written appeal to the Board within five working days of receiving the Superintendent or designee's response. All information presented at Steps 1, 2, and 3 shall be included with the appeal, and the Superintendent or designee shall submit to the Board a written report describing attempts to resolve the complaint and the district's response.
The Board may uphold the findings by the Superintendent or designee without hearing the complaint or the Board may hear the complaint at a regular or special Board meeting. The hearing shall be held in closed session if the complaint relates to matters that may be addressed in closed session in accordance with law.
(cf. 9321 - Closed Session Purposes and Agendas)
The Board shall make its decision within 30 days of the hearing and shall send its decision to all concerned parties. The Board's decision shall be final.
Complaints alleging unlawful discrimination on any basis specified in the district's nondiscrimination policies, including complaints of sexual harassment, shall be resolved in accordance with the district's procedure in BP/AR 4030 - Nondiscrimination in Employment.
(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)
(cf. 4031 - Complaints Concerning Discrimination in Employment)
Complaints regarding unlawful discrimination in district programs or the district's failure to comply with state or federal laws regarding educational programs shall be resolved in accordance with BP/AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. Complaints regarding sufficiency of textbook materials, teacher vacancy or misassignment, an urgent or emergency facility condition shall be resolved in accordance with AR 1312.4 - Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4621)
(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)
(cf. 1312.4 - Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures)
For complaints regarding working conditions or other subjects of negotiation, the employee shall use the grievance procedure specified in the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Regulation PETALUMA CITY SCHOOLS
approved: November 13, 2012 Petaluma, California
revised: February 13, 2018