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Complaint Resolution Procedures

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. SCOPE OF COVERAGE

II. SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS

III. REPORTING A SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT

IV. PROCESS IMPARTIALITY

V. CONFIDENTIALITY

VI. TIME PERIOD FOR FILING A COMPLAINT

VII. INFORMAL COMPLAINT RESOLUTION

VIII. FORMAL COMPLAINT RESOLUTION

IX. RETALIATION

X. FALSE ALLEGATIONS

XI. INDEPENDENT ACTION

XII. EXAMPLES OF BEHAVIOR

XIII. RESPONSIBILITY

XIV. GUIDELINES FOR THE RESPONDENT

Note: In this document a person who feels that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment or believes that he or she has witnessed sexual harassment will be referred to as the Complainant.

A person accused of behavior that may constitute a finding of sexual harassment will be referred to as the Respondent.

I. Scope of Coverage

Any student or University of Louisville employee who feels that he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment or who believes he or she has witnessed sexual harassment is encouraged to report the incident(s) of sexual harassment and/or pursue recourse through established University procedures.  Any University Official referenced in Section III (Reporting a Sexual Harassment Complaint) of this document is charged with the responsibility for preventing, reporting, investigating, and/or resolving sexual harassment complaints. To identify behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment see Examples of Behavior.  One does not have to be the direct target of sexual harassment to report it.

The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office is charged with the implementation of the University's non-discrimination policy and has professional staff available for information, consultation or advice regarding problematic behavior and potential complaints. This office does not act as an advocate for either party.

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II. Sexual Harassment of Students

  1. Peer Harassment Student-to-student sexual harassment falls under the guidelines of the Code of Student Conduct and therefore is not addressed under these procedures. For information, please contact the Dean of Students at 852-5787 or go to: http://louisville.edu/dos/

  2. Harassment in an Academic or Employment Setting A student in the academic environment who believes that he or she may have been or is being sexually harassed by faculty or staff, or A student who is in an employment capacity within the University community and who believes that he or she may have been or is being sexually harassed is covered under these guidelines and should proceed through these Complaint Resolution Procedures.

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III. Reporting a Sexual Harassment Complaint

The purpose of reporting a complaint is to inform the University that sexual harassment is or may be occurring and to provide information sufficient to identify the parties involved.  Additional information is available in the Sexual Misconduct Brochure.

A complaint of sexual harassment may be reported to any of the following:

Sam Connally, Title IX Administrator

Vice President of Human Resources and University EEO Officer

1980 Arthur Street

Louisville, KY 40208-2770

Phone: (502) 852-3698

Email:  sam.connally@louisville.edu

 

Dr. Michael Mardis, Associate Title IX Administrator (for Complaints Against Students)

Associate Vice President

Dean of Students

2100 S. Floyd Street

Student Activities Center – W301

Louisville, KY 40208

Phone: (502) 852-5787

Email: m.mardis@louisville.edu

 

Mary Elizabeth Miles, Associate Title IX Administrator (for Complaints Against Employees)

Director of Staff Development and Employee Relations

1980 Arthur Street

Louisville, KY 40208-2770

Phone: (502) 852-6688

Email: maryelizabeth.miles@louisville.edu

 

Wayne Hall, Associate Title IX Administrator (for Complaints Against Non-University Community Members)

Chief of Police

Floyd Street Parking Garage

Suite 100

Louisville, KY 40292

Phone: (502) 852-7293 or 852-6111

Email:  wayne.hall@louisville.edu

 

Kim Maffet, Title IX Coordinator for Athletics

Associate Athletic Director

Athletics Business Office/SAC

2100 South Floyd Street

Louisville, KY  40208

Phone:  (502) 852-2411

Email:  k0maff01@louisville.edu

 

David Wiegman, Title IX Coordinator for Health Sciences Campus

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs

Department of Physiology

530 S. Jackson Street

Louisville, KY 

Phone:       (502) 852-5184

Email:        dlwieg01@louisville.edu


ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

 

·         Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, and Coaches

 ·         Any other employee in a supervisory role

 

Some forms of harassment and discrimination may violate federal and state laws, and a Complainant or Respondent may choose to contact the following agencies regarding their complaint: 

 

Philadelphia Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Education

The Wanamaker Building

100 Penn Square East, Suite 515

Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323

Phone:       (215) 656-8541

TDD:          1-877-521-2172

Email:        OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov

 

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

332 W. Broadway, 7th Floor

Louisville, KY 40202

Phone:       (502) 595-4024 or 1-800-292-5566

Email:        kchr.mail@ky.gov

 

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Place

Suite 268

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Phone:       1-800-669-4000

TTY:           1-800-669-6820 

Email:        www.eeoc.gov

 

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IV. Process Impartiality

A complaint is an allegation of a violation of the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment. The University will take appropriate steps to ensure that a person against whom such an allegation is brought is treated fairly, that he or she has an opportunity to respond or give his or her account of the charges, and may present fact witnesses who can speak to the complaint.

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V. Confidentiality

Information regarding an allegation of sexual harassment and the parties involved is kept as confidential as possible and shared only with those who have a legitimate reason to know. This includes those individuals who may be interviewed during informational fact finding or those who may be called upon as witnesses. A person seeking information on a situation or behavior that may constitute sexual harassment should be aware of the following:

  1. The University is obligated to investigate, even without the Complainants consent, once it is informed that harassment has occurred or may be occurring.
  2. If the Complainant or person making the inquiry wishes the discussion to remain confidential and that no action be taken unless he or she wishes to pursue the matter, it is essential that the inquiry or request for information remain non-specific and that the Complainant or person making the inquiry not disclose information sufficient to identify the Respondent.
  3. Once the Complainant or person making the inquiry discloses information sufficient to identify the Respondent, he or she will be considered to have filed a complaint with the University.
  4. When a Complainant requests either an informal or formal complaint resolution, the names of the involved individuals and units must be identified to the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office. If the decision is made to move forward, either informally or formally, the Respondent has the right to be informed of the specifics of the complaint.

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VI. Time Period for Filing a Complaint

Prompt reporting of a complaint to a University Official is strongly recommended to allow rapid response and resolution of the objectionable behavior. The complaint should be filed within one hundred eighty days (180) of the incident.

However, in its discretion, the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office may investigate any allegation of sexual harassment brought to its attention.

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VII. Informal Complaint Resolution

The primary goal or objective of Informal Complaint Resolution is to stop the behavior and resolve the conflict. While Informal Complaint Resolution is underway an informal complaint may advance to Formal Complaint Resolution at any time. There are several options available in resolving a complaint through Informal Complaint Resolution:

1. The Direct Approach

The Complainant may immediately voice his or her concern to the person(s) whose actions he or she finds offensive or to the administrative head of the department in which he or she is a student or employee. The Complainant should document the incident(s) for his or her own records and include the date of the incident(s) and the name(s) of anyone who was involved. The Complainant should also include the name(s) of anyone who may have witnessed the incident(s) or who may have overheard the incident(s).

Another option in the direct approach is that the Complainant may submit his or her complaint in writing to the person(s) who offended him or her. The written complaint should include three elements:

  • Describe the incident
  • Explain how it made you feel
  • State that you want it to stop

The Complainant should keep a copy of the written complaint. If the behavior does not stop, the Complainant should submit a copy of the written complaint to a University Official.

If the Complainant decides to deal with the Respondent on his/her own but has informed a University Official of the incident, the University Official is required to report the incident and any action taken to the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office.

2. Third-Party Intervention

The Complainant may request the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office or any University Official to act as an advisor or mediator to bring all parties together to resolve the issue. A person who acts as an advisor or mediator under these guidelines is required to submit a written report of the incident and any action taken to the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office.

Resolution at this level may include, but is not be limited to, an agreement in which one or more of the parties involved agree(s) to seek counseling or accept disciplinary action, or any other such action as may be warranted by the circumstances of each case and as determined by the University Official and/or the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office.

If there is no mediated solution after 60 days, or if the Respondent does not comply with the mediated solution, Formal Compliant Resolution will be initiated.

The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office will offer support and advice to any University Official acting as an advisor or mediator.

If, during this intervention an agreement is not reached, or if the Complainant is not satisfied with the resolution or comfortable that the behavior will stop, or if the Respondent does not wish to participate in resolving the situation, the complaint will advance to Formal Compliant Resolution.

3. Indirect Approach

At the request of the Complainant a University Official informs the Respondent that an informal complaint has been filed and notifies the Respondent of his or her alleged inappropriate behavior in such a way that the behavior stops. This option may be able to maintain the anonymity of the Complainant. If the Respondent confirms the charges discipline may be imposed up to and including suspension, demotion or termination, by the University Official.

The Complainant may first consult with The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office to determine which of these three options would best suit his or her specific situation or needs.

The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office may determine to investigate serious allegations brought to its attention even when the Complainant is reluctant to pursue the complaint.

As a result of Informal Complaint Resolution, a University Official or other appropriate administrator may impose discipline up to and including suspension, demotion or termination. If discipline is imposed, results will be placed in the personnel file of the Respondent as well as kept on file in the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office. If no discipline is imposed, a record of the complaint will be kept on file in the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office.

The foregoing does not preclude the filing of a formal complaint by others, including the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office or other University Official. Nor does it prevent disciplinary action or any other such action as may be warranted by the circumstances.

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VIII. Formal Complaint Resolution

The Complainant may file formal allegations at the onset, or if the outcome of Informal Complaint Resolution was not satisfactory, either party may elect to proceed directly to Formal Complaint Resolution. While Informal Complaint Resolution is underway, an informal complaint may advance to Formal Complaint Resolution at any time.

In Formal Complaint Resolution the University will conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation, including the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence; and if indicated, take appropriate disciplinary action.  Formal Complaint Resolution requires that the Complainant submit the complaint in writing to the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office. This can be accomplished by submitting a letter or statement. Upon receipt of the complaint an investigation will be initiated.

1. Purpose and Scope of the Investigation

Formal Complaint Resolution begins with an investigation into the facts. This fact-finding process is completed as expeditiously as possible. The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office generally allows sixty-days (60) to process the complaint. The Director of Staff Development and Employee Relations may extend the amount of time needed to process the complaint as deemed necessary.

The investigative process is an internal University process and therefore is not open to persons, including counsel from outside of the University community. The Complainant and Respondent are free however, to meet with internal and/or external advisors, including counsel from outside the University community, throughout the process. These advisors may not address or question the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office or any investigator, the Complainant, the Respondent and/or any witness regarding the allegation(s).

In addition to interviewing the Complainant and Respondent, the investigator may interview witnesses as provided by the Complainant, the Respondent, and/or anyone whom he or she feels may offer relevant information. Additional information may also be gathered, such as records and documents deemed necessary to present findings and recommendations to the investigative report.

Evidence of prior disciplinary action involving allegations of sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment of the Respondent may be considered, but prior sexual activities of either the Respondent or the Complainant, which are not relevant to the current issue, will not be admissible.

Upon completion of the investigation, a Case Summary Report will be completed documenting the scope of the investigation and resulting in a factual determination as to whether the evidence supports the allegation(s) of the complaint. These confidential findings will be submitted to the appropriate administrator(s) to render any disciplinary action (as appropriate) that is deemed necessary. In cases that involve faculty members a copy of these findings will be submitted to the University Provost. The Complainant as well as the Respondent will receive a copy of the findings.

2. Reconsideration of the Determination

If the investigation results in a factual determination that the evidence supports the allegation(s) of the complaint (a "cause" finding) then, upon request, the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office may, for reasonable cause, reconsider the determination.

The decision rendered upon completion of the investigative process in the Case Summary Report is not subject to the appeal process. For reconsideration, a written request should be submitted to the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office accompanied by affidavits or other written documentation that would substantially alter the findings of the investigation.

3. The Standard of Proof

The standard is not that of "beyond a reasonable doubt," such as found in a criminal case. The standard is that of a "preponderance of evidence." That is, based on the findings, a reasonable person in the same set of circumstances would find that it is more likely than unlikely, based on the "totality of the circumstances," that a violation of the policy has occurred.

4. Penalties and Disciplinary Action

Persons found to have violated the provisions set forth in the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment will be subject to disciplinary action and penalties as set forth in the University of Louisville Policies and Procedures as outlined in the Redbook and the Staff Handbook. These penalties include, but are not limited to, suspension, demotion and/or termination. In addition, violation(s) of the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment may be subject to liabilities available under state and federal law.

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IX. Retaliation

The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office will investigate any reported retaliation against any person who is party to the complaint process under these guidelines. Anyone who feels he or she is being or has been a victim of retaliation should contact the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office at 852-6536 or 852-6538.

Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to discipline independent of the merits of the sexual harassment allegation.

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X. False Allegations

The submission of false, spurious, or frivolous claims by an individual who knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth makes allegations of sexual harassment against another person, will result in the immediate consideration of disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Students who make false allegations of sexual harassment will be disciplined under guidelines set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.

Failure to prove a claim of sexual harassment is not equivalent to a false allegation.

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XI. Independent Action

The University of Louisville reserves the right to investigate inappropriate circumstances even in the absence of an allegation brought forward by an individual.

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XII. Examples of Behavior

The Staff Development and Employee Relations Office would evaluate conduct that is alleged to constitute sexual harassment according to the objective standard of a reasonable person and on a case-by-case basis.

Conduct that does not fall under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidelines relating to sexual harassment as listed in paragraph three, [3] of the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment, is beyond the purview of this policy.

Examples of conduct that may constitute or support a finding of sexual harassment in violation of the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Physical

  • Unnecessary and unwanted physical contact
  • Unwanted hugging or touching
  • Brushing up against a person's body, pressing or rubbing
  • Touching of one's own body in a sexually suggestive way
  • Blocking someone's path or impeding their movement
  • Stalking, physical assault, or coerced sexual activity

2. Non-Verbal

  • Obscene or offensive gestures
  • Scoping, staring, leering, or looking at a person's body from head to toe (elevator eyes)
  • Altering a photograph or cartoon in such a way as to make the content look sexually suggestive
  • Graffiti with sexual content
  • Display of calendars or web sites with sexually suggestive material
  • Noises, such as animal sounds, lip-smacking, sucking, and wolf whistles

3. Verbal

  • Sexual comments or innuendoes
  • Offensive or derogatory comments or jokes of a sexual or gender specific nature
  • Repeated requests for dates or sex
  • Spreading rumors of one's physical attributes or sexual activity
  • Comments of one's physical attributes
  • Rating a person from 1 to 10
  • Sexually explicit or sexually suggestive mail, email and voice mail

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XIII. Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each member of the University community to know the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment as well as the Complaint Resolution Procedures and to become familiar with their provisions. Failure to follow or utilize the procedures set forth in this policy may inhibit or prevent the University from taking appropriate remedial action, or properly investigating an incident of alleged sexual harassment.

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XIV. Guidelines for the Respondent

If you are a person accused of sexual harassment (Respondent) you should take the complaint seriously and, where applicable, stop any offending behavior immediately. You should document your version of the incident(s) and any conversation(s) you have regarding the alleged behavior you are being accused of. You should include the date(s) and name(s) of any person(s) who may have been involved. You should include the name(s) of anyone who may have witnessed the incident(s) or who may have overheard the incident(s). You should immediately notify your supervisor, Chair, Dean, Department Head or the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office.

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Revised: July 2001

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