Retaliation against any Complainant or witness is prohibited and shall be treated as a separate violation of the institution’s or OPC’s community standards and Non-Discrimination Policy. Specifically, no officer, employee, or agent of the institutions or OPC under the Council’s jurisdiction shall retaliate, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise discriminate against any individual for filing a complaint or participating in any investigation or proceeding brought pursuant to this policy.
There shall be no disciplinary action, retaliation or reprisal for bringing a complaint in good faith. Individuals shall not, however, knowingly make false charges of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment, or sexual violence.
These procedures constitute the general complaint process to be followed by the Institutions and OPC in addressing and resolving complaints and cases of unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment and sexual violence. The Institutions and OPC shall have the right to reasonably alter and/or deviate from the procedural guidelines contained herein when it is warranted by either the circumstances of a case or required by applicable state and federal law and regulations. The Institutions and OPC shall also have the right to authorize and appoint a designee to serve in the Affirmative Action Officer's capacity in the execution of these procedures.
The parties are to be provided timely written notice of any such designation and of any substantive deviation from the procedural guidelines.
The Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator shall meet with the Complainant to discuss the Complainant's concerns, and review the complaint procedure, determine the appropriate jurisdiction, and explain the different methods available to resolve the complaint under these procedures. (See: formal resolution and informal resolution, where applicable).
The purpose of this initial step is to assist individuals to identify the source of the concern and provide the Complainant with information concerning institutional/OPC resources, policies and procedures; so that the Complainant might best assess the most appropriate course of action, given their circumstances.
If it is determined that the Affirmative Action Office shall retain responsibility for the case, the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator will ascertain from the Complainant which of the following procedural resolution options he/she prefers to utilize.
The selected option will be verified by the Complainant's signature. Selection of an option at this time will not preclude the Complainant from electing another option at a later time, where appropriate, as determined in consultation with the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator. Informal Resolution may only be utilized when both the Complainant and Respondent agree to it.
If it is determined that the case should not be addressed by the Affirmative Action Office, the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator will refer the Complainant to the appropriate office or department.
If, during the initial consultation, the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator determines that immediate action may be necessary to protect the rights, interests, or safety of the Complainant, Respondent or the campus community, the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator will advise the institution's/OPC’s human resources office and Division/Office of Student Affairs (if applicable) of the situation. Upon consultation with appropriate institution/OPC officials, immediate action may be taken which may include temporary changes in duties and responsibilities, directives to Complainant and Respondent regarding personal contact, warnings to the Respondent and, in severe cases, the immediate suspension of the Respondent pending the completion of a formal investigation. These remedial and protective actions may be coordinated with any similar actions independently provided by the institution upon the request of the Complainant.
The Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator may contact any other pertinent individuals who may have knowledge of or information relating to the matter.