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Miscellaneous

Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Complaint Procedures - 2C8 & 3C7

Introduction

It is the policy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) not to discriminate in the administration of its employment functions, admissions, educational programs or activities, on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation including gender identity, marital status, civil union status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, or unfavorable discharge from military service.

Each member of the University community shares a common responsibility to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment.

The Office of Institutional Compliance (OIC) is responsible for responding to and investigating complaints of discrimination including harassment. Inquiries and complaints regarding discrimination and harassment should be directed to the OIC located in the Office of the Chancellor, Rendleman Hall, Room 3310. Complaints may be filed according to the procedures outlined below. (Complaints alleging sexual harassment are covered in the Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures.)

  1. General Definitions

    1. Complaint. "Complaint" is an allegation of discrimination or harassment made under this policy.

    2. Complainant. "Complainant" is any person making a claim of discrimination under this policy. A complainant may include faculty, staff, students, applicants for employment, or any individual participating in campus sponsored activities, events, projects or programs; who files a complaint against an SIUE student or employee.

    3. Discrimination. "Discrimination," including illegal harassment, is defined as adverse conduct directed at an individual because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation including gender identity, marital status, civil union status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, or unfavorable discharge from military service.

    4. Respondent. "Respondent" is the person against whom a complaint is made.

    5. Sexual Harassment. See the Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures.

  2. Complaint Procedures

    These procedures are available to any employee, student, applicant for employment, or participant in a University sponsored activity, who believes she or he has been harassed or discriminated against. Individuals believing they have experienced or witnessed discrimination or harassment are encouraged to seek assistance at the lowest level of supervision or to report the incident to the OIC.

    Once a complaint is made, or even in the absence of a complaint, when University administrators, deans, chairs, directors, managers, or supervisors become aware of allegations of discrimination or harassment, it is their responsibility to inquire into the complaint, and seek assistance from the OIC to determine what action is warranted.

    Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment shall be filed with the OIC within 60 days after the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory behavior. Under special circumstances the OIC may extend the time required to file a complaint.

  3. Informal Complaint Procedures

    Any individual seeking advice regarding allegations of discrimination or harassment may utilize the following procedures, or may proceed directly to the formal procedures. Individuals hearing or receiving a complaint should consult with the OIC before engaging in informal resolution procedures.

    Complaints received by supervisors, faculty members, or other University personnel:

    1. Complainants are encouraged to seek assistance and resolution of a complaint at the lowest level of supervision. The individual receiving a complaint will take necessary action to resolve the complaint promptly, if appropriate.

    2. Individuals hearing or receiving a complaint shall document the contact, including the names of the complainant and respondent, description of incident, remedies sought, and action taken to resolve the complaint.

    3. The individual receiving a complaint is responsible for taking prompt and reasonable action to prevent retaliation against complainants and/or other individuals involved in the investigation process.

    All informal resolutions of a complaint under this policy shall be reported to the OIC.

  4. Formal Complaint Procedures

    Formal complaints shall be filed with the OIC. Formal complaints should be in writing pursuant to these procedures.

    Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the OIC will:

    1. Within five (5) working days of receiving a complaint:

      1. Meet with the complainant to obtain details of the allegations and make a written record of the complaint. The record shall include the name of the complainant, the name of the respondent, a factual description of the incident(s) (including dates, times, places, and the names of any witnesses), and the remedy sought by the complainant. The OIC shall notify the complainant's supervisor or appropriate University personnel of the complaint.

      2. Inform the complainant of the right to have a person of his or her choice, including an attorney present throughout the proceedings. However, the complainant is responsible for participating in the investigation process and the person chosen by the complainant may not speak or directly participate in the investigation, except to the extent that the person may be a witness.

      3. Advise the complainant that retaliation for exercising rights under these policies and procedures is strictly prohibited by University policy.

      4. Inform the appropriate Vice Chancellor that a complaint has been filed.

    2. Within ten (10) working days of receipt of a complaint:

      1. Meet with the respondent and provide a copy of the allegations. Notify appropriate University personnel of the complaint.

      2. Advise the respondent of the right to due process.

      3. Advise the respondent of the necessity of maintaining confidentiality to the extent possible throughout the investigation process.

      4. Inform the respondent of the right to have a person of his or her choice, including an attorney, present throughout the proceedings. However, the respondent is responsible for participating in the investigation process and the person chosen by the respondent may not speak or directly participate in the investigation, except to the extent that the person may be a witness.

      5. Advise the respondent that retaliation for exercising rights under these policies and procedures is strictly forbidden by University policy.

      6. Allow the respondent five (5) working days to respond to the allegations.

    3. The OIC may interview witnesses, review personnel files or other records to fully investigate the allegations of a complaint. Human Resources and other university units will assist the OIC in its investigation by providing requested documents, files or records helpful to resolving a complaint.

    4. During any stage of the investigation, the OIC may assess whether a resolution is possible and attempt to resolve the complaint in the least disruptive, most prompt and confidential manner.

    5. The OIC may assess whether interim measures are appropriate and make a recommendation for a consideration of such measures to the appropriate University official.

    6. During the investigation process, the complainant and respondent will have opportunities to present information, rebut evidence and present witnesses to the OIC.

    7. Within forty-five (45) working days of receipt of a complaint, the OIC will determine whether the action complained of violated the University's Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy. The OIC will prepare a report of findings and forward a copy of this report to the immediate supervisor and the appropriate Vice Chancellor for their consideration. A copy of the report will be provided to the complainant and respondent.

  5. Appeal Process

    1. Within five (5) working days of notification of the results of the investigation, if the complainant or respondent wishes to appeal the findings, he or she shall provide written notice of appeal to the Office of the Chancellor and the OIC.

    2. The Chancellor will review the investigation report within ten (10) working days and either uphold, reverse or modify the decision being appealed.

    3. Decisions not appealed within five (5) working days of the OIC's initial findings are deemed final.

  6. Sanctions

    1. Employees

      If there is a finding that an employee's behavior violated the University's Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, imposed sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

      1. Letter of apology to the victim;

      2. Advising and counseling sessions;

      3. Required attendance at OIC training;

      4. Letter of reprimand;

      5. Written warning; and

      6. Probation, suspension without pay, or termination.

    2. Students

      If there is a finding of discrimination against a student or student group, the University may impose sanctions including, but not limited to:

      1. Letter of apology to the victim;

      2. Advising and counseling sessions;

      3. Attending diversity training program for students;

      4. Transferring the student to another class or job;

      5. Transferring the student to a different housing unit or prohibiting the student from living in campus housing;

      6. Letter of reprimand;

      7. Written warning; and

      8. Probation, suspension, or dismissal from the University.

  7. Confidentiality

    All parties involved in an investigation and appeal are obligated to protect the privacy of all persons involved. The University will take reasonable steps to ensure confidentiality, however, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

    The OIC shall maintain a confidential record of the complaint and any reports. The record will contain all documentation on the complaint, actions taken, and the nature of the resolution. Legal counsel may review the file.

  8. Exclusive Remedy

    These procedures shall be the exclusive remedy at the University level available to any person complaining of discrimination or harassment unless alternative exclusive procedures are provided for in a collective bargaining agreement. The right of a person to prompt resolution of a complaint filed under these procedures shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of remedies outside the University.

    Use of these procedures is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies. Individuals should be aware that deadlines for filing a charge with an outside agency might range from 180 to 300 days following the alleged act of discrimination or harassment.

  9. Substantial Compliance

    Substantial compliance with these procedures shall be deemed full compliance. Extension of timelines established by these procedures may be necessary.

  10. Retaliation

    Retaliation against individuals exercising rights under this procedure is strictly prohibited, and such action may be grounds for disciplinary action. Complaints of retaliation should be brought directly to the OIC.

  11. Frivolous or Intentionally False Charges

    These procedures shall not be used to bring frivolous or intentionally false charges against students or employees. Disciplinary action may be taken against individuals bringing frivolous or intentionally false charges of discrimination or harassment.

  12. Education and Training

    The OIC will develop appropriate training programs implementing these procedures.

  13. Filing Complaints with External Agencies

    Any individual may file a complaint alleging discrimination or harassment with applicable federal and/or state agencies.

    1. Illinois Department of Human Rights
      222 South College, Floor 1
      Springfield, IL 62704
      (217) 785-5100
      TDD: (217) 785-5125
      http://www.state.il.us/dhr/

    2. U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
      St. Louis District Office
      1222 Spruce, Room 8.100
      St. Louis, MO 63103
      (314) 539-7943
      1-800-669-4000
      http://www.eeoc.gov

    3. U. S. Department of Labor
      Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
      1222 Spruce Street
      Room 10.207
      St. Louis, MO 63103
      (314) 539-6394
      http://www.dol.gov/OFCCP/

    4. U.S. Department of Education
      Office for Civil Rights - Chicago Office
      500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
      Chicago, IL 60661
      (312) 730-1560
      Fax: (312) 730-1576
      TDD: (312) 730-1609
      Email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov
      http://www.ed.gov/

Approved by the Chancellor effective 11/18/11
This policy was issued on December 8, 2011, replacing the December 7, 2011 version.
Document References: 2C8 & 3C7
Origin: OC 6/1/05; OC 2/5/07; OC 11/18/11