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Part 4. Personnel Policies
Section V. Internal Grievance Procedures
E. Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure (Updated 5/02)
1. Grievance Committee
The EEO/Affirmative Action Grievance Committee, an appointed hearing officer by this committee, or the EEO/Affirmative Action Officer are to be responsible for receiving and investigating complaints of sexual harassment. Any employee, dean, supervisor, department chairperson, or faculty member who is made aware of an alleged incident of sexual harassment will take immediate action to bring the matter to the attention of the most appropriate University authority who will take immediate action pursuant to this policy.
2. Investigation and Resolution
Individuals who have been subjected to alleged acts of sexual harassment are encouraged to file complaints through the University’s Affirmative Action grievance procedure. Due to the sensitive nature of this subject, any person or step normally part of the grievance procedure may be bypassed if the complainant feels it is necessary to do so.
The offices that are designated for students to file complaints are the University Counseling and Testing Services, the Dean of Students' Office, and the EEO/Affirmative Action Office.
If an employee so chooses to bypass the grievance procedure, he/she should contact the EEO/Affirmative Action Officer for additional advice on other procedures.
Due to damage that could result to the career and reputation of any person falsely or in poor faith accused of sexual harassment, all investigations and hearings surrounding such matters will be designed to the maximum extent possible to protect the privacy of, and minimize suspicion toward the accused as well as the complainant. Only those persons responsible for investigating and enforcing civil rights matters will have access to confidential communications.
c. Investigation Procedure
When an allegation of sexual harassment is made by any employee or student, the Grievance Committee or its appointee or the EEO/Affirmative Action Officer will take immediate steps to:
(1) Obtain a statement or grievance from the complainant regarding the times, dates, places, and circumstances surrounding the allegations.
(2) Discuss the matter with the accused.
(3) Obtain statements of witnesses or possible witnesses, if any.
(4) The Grievance Committee, its appointed hearing officer, or the EEO/Affirmative Action Officer shall prepare a report of the investigation and submit it to the highest administrative authority in the University.
d. Action and Resolution
Based on the report, the designated authority shall take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the designated authority will look at the record as a whole and at the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from the facts on a case by case basis.
If there appears to be no foundation to the allegation other than the complaint:
(1) No record shall be made of the allegation in either the accused or accuser’s personnel records.
(2) A reiteration of the policy against sexual harassment may be appropriate.
(3) Bad faith allegations or use of this policy for unintended purposes may result in disciplinary action against the accuser.
If a foundation for the allegation exists, disciplinary action against the offending employee will follow. The disciplinary action will be commensurate with the scope and severity of the occurrence, and may include, but is not limited to, demotion, suspension, dismissal, warnings or reprimands. Additionally, every effort shall be made to provide appropriate relief for the victim.