Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures

University Policy 502, Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures

Executive Summary: 

The University is committed to ensuring an environment for all employees and students that is fair, humane, and respectful. Behaviors that inappropriately assert sexuality as relevant to employee or student performance will not be tolerated, as they are violations of both law and University policy. This policy provides the definition of sexual harassment and sets forth employee and student responsibilities for creating and maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment. The University has established an Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and the Sexual Harassment Education and Awareness Program. This policy also includes detailed grievance procedures for filing complaints of sexual harassment.

Important Note:  Chapter 8, of the Code of Student Responsibility supersedes existing policies or procedures related to student Sexual Misconduct complaints by students against other students.  In the case of any conflict between Chapter 8, of the Code of Student Responsibility and University Policy 502, Chapter 8, of the Code of Student Responsibility shall prevail.

I. Statement of Policy

 
 
 
 
 

I. Statement of Policy
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte affirms its commitment to ensuring an environment for all employees and students that is fair, humane, and respectful--an environment that supports and rewards employee and student performance on the basis of relevant considerations such as ability and effort. Behaviors that inappropriately assert sexuality as relevant to employee or student performance are damaging to this environment. Sexual harassment is a violation of both law and University policy and will not be tolerated in the University community. Sexual harassment is a particularly sensitive issue that may affect any member of the University community and as such will be dealt with promptly and confidentially by the University administration.
II. Definitions of Sexual Harassment
A. Employees
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines define sexual harassment as follows:
 
Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII, which states that: "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when --
 
1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, 
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or 
3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment."
B. Students
Sexual harassment of students is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a University employee, by another student, or by a third party, constitutes sexual harassment if such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit the student's ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or create a hostile or abusive educational environment.
 
"Quid pro quo" sexual harassment is equally unlawful. It occurs when a University employee explicitly or implicitly conditions a student's participation in an education program or activity, or bases an educational decision, on the student's submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. "Quid pro quo" harassment occurs whether the student resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and thus avoids the threatened harm.
III. Responsibilities and Appointments
A. General
It is the responsibility of all employees and students in the University to conduct themselves in such a way as to contribute to an environment free of sexual harassment. University administrators and supervisors have special responsibilities to create and maintain such an environment. Should an administrator or supervisor have knowledge of conduct involving sexual harassment or receive a complaint of sexual harassment that involves a University employee or agent under his or her administrative jurisdiction, immediate steps must be taken to deal with the matter appropriately, whether or not invoked by a grievance procedure. Taking positive steps to educate and sensitize employees and students with respect to this issue is also a responsibility of University administration.
B. Responsible Institutional Officer
The University Affirmative Action Officer shall have overall responsibility for implementation of policies and procedures dealing with sexual harassment.
 
Annually in July, the Affirmative Action Officer will submit to the Chancellor a report of the cases of alleged sexual harassment received during the preceding fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) and the disposition of each case. A summary of this report (omitting names) will be made available to The University Times and The Campus News (weekly green sheet) for publication.
C. Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment
The Chancellor shall appoint, by written notice, a committee of six to eight members to advise and assist the University Affirmative Action Officer in maintaining a University environment that is free of sexual harassment. The committee shall include not less than two faculty members, two staff employees, and two students with the Chairperson to be elected by the members at the first sitting of the committee. Committee members shall, except where necessary to initially establish the rotation herein prescribed, serve two-year terms with approximately one-half of the terms expiring annually.
 
The Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Programs and Compliance Administrator (Human Resources Department), the Training and Staff Development Manager (Human Resources Department) and the Assistant Director of Programs (Student Affairs) serve as ex officio non-voting members of the Committee.
 
The University Affirmative Action Officer will keep the Chancellor informed of the activities of the Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment.
D. Sexual Harassment Education and Awareness Program
The Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Programs and Compliance Administrator (Human Resources Department) is responsible for coordinating the design and presentation of a comprehensive program of training and education on the subject of preventing sexual harassment. The program shall include education and awareness training for administrators, managers, and supervisors; faculty; staff members; and students. Student programs will be coordinated with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (position title); faculty programs with the Office of the Provost; and all other programs with the Human Resources Department (Training and Staff Development Manager).
 
Advice and assistance will be solicited from other members of the Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment regarding the training and education program.
E. University Mediators
On recommendation of the University Affirmative Action Officer the Chancellor shall appoint, by written notice, counselors and third party mediators to serve members of the University community. Term of appointment shall be two years.
IV. Grievance Procedures
To address the sensitive nature of situations involving sexual harassment and to assure speedy and confidential resolution of these issues, the University has established an informal counseling and mediation process as well as formal grievance procedures (Attachments 1-4) for handling complaints involving sexual harassment. Informal counseling and mediation may be utilized, but are not required to precede the formal grievance procedures.
 
If a complaint is directed against a supervisor or administrator who would otherwise play a role in responding to and attempting to resolve the complaint, the function assigned to that person by these procedures will be assigned to another person designated by the appropriate Vice Chancellor or the Chancellor.
A. Mediation; Counseling and Support
The function of University Mediators shall be to attempt to resolve, informally, complaints of sexual harassment brought to them by members of the University. Students, staff and faculty members may select a counselor/mediator of their choice from the list of University Mediators published by the University Affirmative Action Officer. In consultation with the University Affirmative Action Officer, informal proceedings may also be initiated by an administrative official of the University. Each mediator will function to mediate complaints, but all mediators will be trained by the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs and Compliance Administrator and follow consistent procedures established by the Affirmative Action Office. A confidential record of the mediation efforts will be kept on file with the University Affirmative Action Officer.
 
The Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Programs and Compliance Administrator (Human Resources Department) will maintain a list of individuals and groups in the University community offering to provide emotional support and formal or informal counseling to individuals involved in sexual harassment complaints.
B. Formal Grievance Procedures
Any UNC Charlotte student, faculty member, or other employee exempt from the State Personnel Act who believes that he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment by another member of the University community may seek relief by following the appropriate grievance procedure, according to the student status or employment category of the complainant and accused:
These sexual harassment grievance procedures are initiated by contacting the University Affirmative Action Office. A professional staff member in that office will provide advice, in confidence, on the specific procedure to follow.
 
Formal action may be pursued either in lieu of informal mediation or when efforts at informal mediation have failed.
 
The University encourages settlement of any actual or proposed formal complaint of sexual harassment through mutual agreement of the persons directly involved in the complaint and the University. Such settlements may or may not include the imposition of disciplinary sanctions mutually agreed upon. The Affirmative Action Officer, or a University official designated by that officer, is authorized to assist the parties involved in the complaint to achieve such settlements. The Affirmative Action Officer is authorized to approve such a settlement on behalf of the University after approval by the Chancellor or such others as the Chancellor may direct. The Affirmative Action Officer will maintain a confidential record of the terms of the settlement.
 
Sexual harassment grievance procedures for SPA employees are administered according to State requirements and guidelines set forth in UNC Charlotte Personnel Information Memorandum #35 (PIM-35) and are not addressed in this Policy.
V. Remedial Action
Remedial actions will depend on the severity of the incident, but violation of this policy may, in appropriate cases, result in discharge from employment, expulsion as a student, or, for non-employees or non-students, removal from campus property. Because of the private nature of sexual harassment incidents, and the emotional and moral complexities surrounding such issues, every effort shall be made to resolve problems on an informal basis, if possible. Informal resolution may include disciplinary action when appropriate. A confidential record of the mediation efforts will be kept on file with the University Affirmative Action Officer.
VI. Retaliation Prohibited
This policy seeks to encourage students, staff and faculty to express freely, responsibly, and in an orderly way their opinions and feelings about any problem or complaint of sexual harassment. Any act by a University employee or agent of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, coercion or harassment--overtly or covertly--against a student or an employee for responsibly using the Policy and its Procedures interferes with free expression and openness. Accordingly, such acts violate this policy and require appropriate and prompt disciplinary action.
VII. Frivolous or False Charge
This policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious charges against fellow students, faculty members or employees. Disciplinary action under the appropriate policies concerning personal misconduct shall be taken against any person bringing a charge of sexual harassment in bad faith.
 
 
 
 

 
Attachment 1
 
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR FACULTY MEMBERS ALLEGING SEXUAL HARASSMENT
 

 
1. This procedure applies only in the case of a faculty member who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment by a member of the University community.
 
2. A faculty member who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment may obtain information about informal and formal means available in the University and externally to assist with the problem. This information may be obtained from the University Affirmative Action Officer or from any member of a panel of mediators trained to respond to sexual harassment grievances. The telephone number of the Affirmative Action Office is 704-547-2804 and that office will respond to anonymous requests for the names and telephone numbers of campus sexual harassment mediators. The list of mediators may also be obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs.
 
3. The University and its representatives will treat sexual harassment matters as confidential and will limit communication about sexual harassment cases to the individuals directly involved in the grievance and those individuals the University deems necessary to resolve the matter.
 
4. Informal resolution may proceed in a variety of ways. The faculty member may elect to discuss the problem directly with the person whose behavior is questioned before seeking the informal assistance of the Affirmative Action Officer or a member of the panel of sexual harassment mediators. Any of those individuals may assist in establishing communication between the faculty member and the other individual and in attempting to reach informal resolution of the problem.
 
5. In any case brought to the attention of a University mediator or the Affirmative Action Officer, that Officer is authorized to notify appropriate administrators of the need to take immediate action, where such action appears necessary, to protect the interests of the faculty member or the person accused. Such actions may include temporary adjustment of schedules, temporary adjustment of supervisory relationships, or other steps considered appropriate to minimize present conflict until the investigatory process is complete.
 
6. Where a University mediator or the Affirmative Action Officer assists in the effort to resolve a sexual harassment grievance informally, the Affirmative Action Officer will maintain a confidential record of the nature of the complaint and its resolution (if any) summarizing the case and its disposition. The Affirmative Action Officer may, in his or her sole discretion, discuss the matter in confidence with the administrator or administrators responsible for the units in which the problem has arisen so that the situation may be monitored and appropriate steps taken to avoid future problems.
 
7. If a faculty member elects to proceed with a formal sexual harassment grievance against a University employee or student, whether or not informal efforts have been made, the faculty member must follow the procedures described herein.
 
8. A formal complaint under this procedure may be made only by means of a written statement signed by the faculty member and directed to the Affirmative Action Officer. The written statement must include the specific facts upon which the complaint is based, describe any past efforts to resolve the matter, and specify the relief requested by the faculty member.
 
9. The Affirmative Action Officer will review the written complaint for completeness and determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint, if true, could constitute a violation of the University policy against sexual harassment. If not, the Affirmative Action Officer may require the faculty member to clarify or amplify the statement, may refer the faculty member to another appropriate grievance process, or may dismiss the complaint. The faculty member may appeal a decision to dismiss the complaint, or to refer the faculty member to another grievance process, to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
 
10. If the Affirmative Action Officer determines that the complaint sufficiently states a claim of sexual harassment under the University sexual harassment policy, he/she will refer the complaint to the vice chancellor for the University division in which the person accused of sexual harassment is employed or, if the person accused of sexual harassment is a student, to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
 
 If the vice chancellor to whom the complaint would normally be referred will be absent from the University for a prolonged period, the Affirmative Action Officer will notify the Chancellor who will appoint another vice chancellor to conduct the investigation. The vice chancellor to whom the complaint is finally directed is referred to as the Administrator in the subsequent sections of this procedure.
 
11. The Administrator will have complete responsibility for conducting the investigation and making a University decision on the complaint. The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine whether the person accused has violated the University policy on sexual harassment. If the Administrator concludes that the policy has been violated, the Administrator will also deter mine whether the faculty member making the charge is entitled to the relief requested or to other relief and whether the person found to have violated the policy should be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
 
12. The Administrator may conduct the investigation directly, may enlist one or two others to assist him/her with the investigation, or may delegate to one or more others the responsibility to conduct the investigation and prepare reports and recommendations for the Administrator; however, in any event the final decision reached will be that of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. In subsequent sections of this procedure, persons designated by the Administrator to conduct or assist in the investigation are also referred to as the Administrator.
 
13. Settlement of charges by mutual agreement of the parties is encouraged. The faculty member making the charge or the person accused may at any time during the course of the investigation propose such an agreement to the Administrator, who is authorized to assist the parties in resolving the matter by agreement. The Administrator will consult with the Chancellor before approving any such agreement on behalf of the University.
 
14. The scope of the investigation will be determined by the Administrator in his/her discretion and according to the charge and the facts.
 
15. The method of investigation shall be within the discretion of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. However, the following requirements shall be observed:
 
a. The Administrator's decision shall be based solely upon the written complaint and evidence received during the investigation. All evidence collected during the investigation shall be preserved. All spoken evidence shall be tape recorded.
 
b. Both the faculty member and the person accused of sexual harassment may be accompanied by another member of the University community to provide support and assistance during meetings with the Administrator during the course of the investigation, so long as the individual does not interfere with the Administrator's ability to conduct the investigation.
 
c. The faculty member making the charge will be provided a reasonable opportunity to present his/her evidence supporting the charge in the form of documents or the spoken testimony of himself/herself or of others who may have evidence directly bearing on the facts alleged. As to any evidence collected during the investigation, the Administrator may ask questions or request additional information and may refuse to consider any evidence submitted which he/she concludes is repetitious, irrelevant, or otherwise without sufficient value to the investigation.
 
d. After receiving the initial evidence from the faculty member, the Administrator will interview the person accused and any other persons who may have information relevant to the investigation. Multiple interviews may be conducted as may be necessary with the faculty member, the person accused, or any other person to aid the Administrator in understanding the facts and issues related to the grievance. Likewise, the investigator may obtain any University record deemed necessary to the investigation (except the confidential records of past violations of University sexual harassment policy maintained by the Affirmative Action Officer), and may request from the participants or other sources any documents which will be of assistance.
 
e. After receiving evidence as provided in paragraphs c. and d. above, the Administrator will prepare a written Preliminary Report. This report will describe the facts related to the grievance as preliminarily determined by the Administrator, and announce a preliminary decision as to whether the sexual harassment policy has been violated. Both the faculty member making the charge and the person accused will be provided a reasonable opportunity to review the Preliminary Report, but will not be provided a copy. 
Both will be provided a reasonable opportunity to respond to the Preliminary Report.
 
f. After considering such response to the Preliminary Report as the faculty member and person accused may choose to make, the Administrator will reach a final decision. If the decision is that the person accused has violated the policy, the Administrator will obtain from the Affirmative Action Officer a confidential statement summarizing past instances, if any, in which the person accused has been found to have violated the University policy or has admitted violating that policy. The Administrator will consider such records in any recommendation to impose disciplinary penalties on the person found to have violated the policy.
 
g. A Final Report will then be prepared under the authority of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. This written report will summarize the facts found as a result of the investigation and explain the basis for the decision that the person accused has or has not violated the policy on sexual harassment.
 
h. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has not violated the policy, the vice chancellor who is the Administrator will so notify the faculty member and the person accused.
 
i. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has violated the policy, it shall also include:
 
(1) A decision whether the faculty member shall receive the relief requested or other relief, and,
(2) A decision whether the person determined to have violated the policy shall be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
 
j. The faculty member and the person accused will be provided the opportunity to read the Final Report, but will not be provided a copy, which, with the evidence collected during the investigation, will be preserved in a confidential file of the Affirmative Action Officer, except as it may be used in subsequent proceedings.
 
k. Any recommendation for dismissal, suspension, diminishment in rank or other sanctions shall proceed in accordance with established University procedures applicable to the individual subject to discipline.
 
16. After the Administrator has completed the Final Report, the faculty member who filed the formal complaint may appeal to the Faculty Grievance Committee if he or she is dissatisfied with the result.
 
A faculty member found to have violated the sexual harassment policy may appeal from the vice chancellor's decision to the Faculty Grievance Committee, unless the violation results in the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against that faculty member pursuant to Section 8 of the Tenure Policies. If such disciplinary proceedings are instituted, the faculty member may request a hearing by the Hearing Committee.
 
A person who is not a faculty member but who has been found to have violated the sexual harassment policy may pursue the University grievance procedure appropriate to his or her category of employment or status as a student, unless the violation results in the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against the individual, in which case the individual shall have the right to such review of the disciplinary action as is prescribed for individuals in that category of employment or status as a student.
 
17. At any time prior to implementation of a disciplinary penalty against the individual found to have violated the sexual harassment policy, the University may, after consultation with the faculty member who filed the formal complaint of sexual harassment, negotiate an agreement to resolve the disciplinary charge against the individual who violated the sexual harassment policy. No such negotiated agreement is effective on behalf of the University unless it has been approved by the Chancellor.

 
Attachment 2
 
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES EXEMPT FROM THE STATE PERSONNEL ACT ALLEGING SEXUAL HARASSMENT
 

 
1. This procedure applies to all full-time and part-time permanent or temporary UNC Charlotte employees exempt from the State Personnel Act other than faculty members subject to the "Tenure Policies, Regulations, and Procedures of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte." The procedure applies to students who are employed by UNC Charlotte, if the alleged harassment arises in the context of that employment. The employees to whom this procedure applies are referred to hereinafter as "exempt employees."
 
Sexual harassment grievance procedures for faculty members are set forth in Attachment 1 above. Sexual harassment grievance procedures for SPA employees are set forth in UNC Charlotte Personnel Information Memorandum #35 (PIM-35). Where alleged sexual harassment of a student does not arise in the context of the student's employment by the University, the student may proceed in accordance with Attachment 3 below, "Grievance Procedure for Students Alleging Sexual Harassment by a University Employee" (if the alleged harasser is a University employee), or Attachment 4 below, "Grievance Procedure for Students Alleging Sexual Harassment by Another Student" (if the alleged harasser is another student).
 
2. An exempt employee who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment by a member of the University community may obtain information about informal and formal means available in the University and externally to assist with the problem. This information may be obtained from the University Affirmative Action Officer or from any member of a panel of mediators trained to respond to sexual harassment grievances. The telephone number of the Affirmative Action Office is 704-547-2804, and that office will respond to anonymous requests for the names and telephone numbers of campus sexual harassment mediators. The list of mediators may also be obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs.
 
3. The University and its representatives will treat sexual harassment matters as confidential and will limit communication about sexual harassment cases to the individuals directly involved in the grievance and those individuals the University deems necessary to resolve the matter.
 
4. Informal resolution may proceed in a variety of ways. The exempt employee may elect to discuss the problem directly with the person whose behavior is questioned before seeking the informal assistance of the Affirmative Action Officer or a member of the panel of sexual harassment mediators. Any of those individuals may assist in establishing communication between the exempt employee and the other individual and in attempting to reach informal resolution of the problem.
 
5. In any case brought to the attention of a University mediator or the Affirmative Action Officer, that Officer is authorized to notify appropriate administrators of the need to take immediate action, where such action appears necessary, to protect the interests of the exempt employee or the person accused. Such actions may include temporary adjustment of schedules, temporary adjustment of supervisory relationships, or other steps considered appropriate to minimize present conflict until the investigatory process is complete.
 
6. Where a University mediator or the Affirmative Action Officer assists in the effort to resolve a sexual harassment grievance informally, the Affirmative Action Officer will maintain a confidential record of the nature of the complaint and its resolution (if any) summarizing the case and its disposition. The Affirmative Action Officer may, in his or her sole discretion, discuss the matter in confidence with the administrator or administrators responsible for the units in which the problem has arisen so that the situation may be monitored and appropriate steps taken to avoid future problems.
 
7. If an exempt employee elects to proceed with a formal sexual harassment grievance against a University employee or student, whether or not informal efforts have been made, the exempt employee must follow the procedures described herein.
 
8. A formal complaint under this procedure may be made only by means of a written statement signed by the exempt employee and directed to the Affirmative Action Officer. The written statement must include the specific facts upon which the complaint is based, describe any past efforts to resolve the matter, and specify the relief requested by the exempt employee.
 
9. The Affirmative Action Officer will review the written complaint for completeness and determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint, if true, could constitute a violation of the University policy against sexual harassment. If not, the Affirmative Action Officer may require the exempt employee to clarify or amplify the statement, may refer the exempt employee to another appropriate grievance process, or may dismiss the complaint. The exempt employee may appeal a decision to dismiss the complaint, or to refer the exempt employee to another grievance process, to the vice chancellor of the division in which the exempt employee is employed.
 
10. If the Affirmative Action Officer determines that the complaint sufficiently states a claim of sexual harassment under the University sexual harassment policy, he/she will refer the complaint to the vice chancellor for the University division in which the person accused of sexual harassment is employed or, if the person accused of sexual harassment is a student, to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
 
If the vice chancellor to whom the complaint would normally be referred will be absent from the University for a prolonged period, the Affirmative Action Officer will notify the Chancellor who will appoint another vice chancellor to conduct the investigation. The vice chancellor to whom the complaint is finally directed is referred to as the Administrator in the subsequent sections of this procedure.
 
11. The Administrator will have complete responsibility for conducting the investigation and making a University decision on the complaint. The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine whether the person accused has violated the University policy on sexual harassment. If the Administrator concludes that the policy has been violated, the Administrator will also determine whether the exempt employee making the charge is entitled to the relief requested or to other relief and whether the person found to have violated the policy should be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
 
12. The Administrator may conduct the investigation directly, may enlist one or two others to assist him/her with the investigation, or may delegate to one or more others the responsibility to conduct the investigation and prepare reports and recommendations for the Administrator; however, in any event the final decision reached will be that of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. In subsequent sections of this procedure, persons designated by the Administrator to conduct or assist in the investigation are also referred to as the Administrator.
 
13. Settlement of charges by mutual agreement of the parties is encouraged. The exempt employee making the charge or the person accused may at any time during the course of the investigation propose such an agreement to the Administrator, who is authorized to assist the parties in resolving the matter by agreement. The Administrator will consult with the Chancellor before approving any such agreement on behalf of the University.
 
14. The scope of the investigation will be determined by the Administrator in his/her discretion and according to the charge and the facts.
 
15. The method of investigation shall be within the discretion of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. However, the following requirements shall be observed:
 
a. The Administrator's decision shall be based solely upon the written complaint and evidence received during the investigation. All evidence collected during the investigation shall be preserved. All spoken evidence shall be tape recorded.
 
b. Both the exempt employee and the person accused of sexual harassment may be accompanied by another member of the University community to provide support and assistance during meetings with the Administrator during the course of the investigation, so long as the individual does not interfere with the Administrator's ability to conduct the investigation.
 
c. The exempt employee making the charge will be provided a reasonable opportunity to present his/her evidence supporting the charge in the form of documents or the spoken testimony of himself/herself or of others who may have evidence directly bearing on the facts alleged. As to any evidence collected during the investigation, the Administrator may ask questions or request additional information and may refuse to consider any evidence submitted which he/she concludes is repetitious, irrelevant, or otherwise without sufficient value to the investigation.
 
d. After receiving the initial evidence from the exempt employee, the Administrator will interview the person accused and any other persons who may have information relevant to the investigation. Multiple interviews may be conducted as may be necessary with the exempt employee, the person accused, or any other person to aid the Administrator in understanding the facts and issues related to the grievance. Likewise, the investigator may obtain any University record deemed necessary to the investigation (except the confidential records of past violations of University sexual harassment policy maintained by the Affirmative Action Officer), and may request from the participants or other sources any documents which will be of assistance.
 
e. After receiving evidence as provided in paragraphs c. and d. above, the Administrator will prepare a written Preliminary Report. This report will describe the facts related to the grievance as preliminarily determined by the Administrator, and announce a preliminary decision as to whether the sexual harassment policy has been violated. Both the exempt employee making the charge and the person accused will be provided a reasonable opportunity to review the Preliminary Report, but will not be provided a copy.
 
Both will be provided a reasonable opportunity to respond to the Preliminary Report.
 
f. After considering such response to the Preliminary Report as the exempt employee and person accused may choose to make, the Administrator will reach a final decision. If the decision is that the person accused has violated the policy, the Administrator will obtain from the Affirmative Action Officer a confidential statement summarizing past instances, if any, in which the person accused has been found to have violated the University policy or has admitted violating that policy. The Administrator will consider such records in any recommendation to impose disciplinary penalties on the person found to have violated the policy.
 
g. A Final Report will then be prepared under the authority of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. This written report will summarize the facts found as a result of the investigation and explain the basis for the decision that the person accused has or has not violated the policy on sexual harassment.
 
h. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has not violated the policy, the vice chancellor who is the Administrator will so notify the exempt employee and the person accused.
 
i. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has violated the policy, it shall also include:
 
(1) A decision whether the exempt employee shall receive the relief requested or other relief, and,
(2) A decision whether the person determined to have violated the policy shall be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
 
j. The exempt employee and the person accused will be provided the opportunity to read the Final Report, but will not be provided a copy, which, with the evidence collected during the investigation, will be preserved in a confidential file of the Affirmative Action Officer, except as it may be used in subsequent proceedings.
 
k. Any recommendation for dismissal, suspension, diminishment in rank or other sanctions shall proceed in accordance with established University procedures applicable to the individual subject to discipline.
 
16. After the Administrator has completed the Final Report, an exempt employee who filed the formal complaint--other than Senior Administrative Officers and students who are employed incident to their status as students--may appeal the disposition of the grievance to the EPA Nonfaculty Grievance Committee if he or she is dissatisfied with the result. (See University Policy 102.7). A Senior Administrative Officer who filed a complaint may appeal the disposition of the grievance as provided in Section 501C(4) of The Code of the University of North Carolina. A student who is employed by UNC Charlotte, if the alleged harassment arises in the context of that employment, may appeal the disposition of the grievance according to existing University procedures. Information on such procedures is available at the Office of the Chancellor.
 
A faculty member found to have violated the sexual harassment policy may appeal from the vice chancellor's decision to the Faculty Grievance Committee, unless the violation results in the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against that faculty member pursuant to Section 8 of the Tenure Policies. If such disciplinary proceedings are instituted, the faculty member may request a hearing by the Hearing Committee.
 
A person who is not a faculty member but who has been found to have violated the sexual harassment policy may pursue the University grievance procedure appropriate to his or her category of employment or status as a student, unless the violation results in the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against the individual, in which case the individual shall have the right to such review of the disciplinary action as is prescribed for individuals in that category of employment or status as a student.
 
17. At any time prior to implementation of a disciplinary penalty against the individual found to have violated the sexual harassment policy, the University may, after consultation with the exempt employee who filed the formal complaint of sexual harassment, negotiate an agreement to resolve the disciplinary charge against the individual who violated the sexual harassment policy. No such negotiated agreement is effective on behalf of the University unless it has been approved by the Chancellor.
 
(Initially approved May 19, 1998; revised February 26, 2001; updated July 9, 2008.)
 
 

 
Attachment 3
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS ALLEGING SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY A UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE
 

 
  1. This procedure applies only in the case of a student who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment by a University employee (faculty member, staff member, Postdoctoral Fellow, or student employee in the course of his/her employment). A student who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment by another student should proceed in accordance with the UNC Charlotte Code of Student Responsibility and the Grievance Procedure for Students Alleging Sexual Harassment by Another Student. Information on proceeding under the Code or Grievance Procedure is available in the Office of the Dean of Students.
  2. A student who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment is encouraged to attempt informal resolution of the matter. A student may obtain assistance in understanding processes available to pursue either informal or formal resolution of a sexual harassment complaint on a confidential basis by contacting one of the following: the Dean of Students, the University Affirmative Action Officer, or a University mediator appointed by the institution to respond to sexual harassment grievances. Both the Dean of Students Office and the Affirmative Action Office maintain a list of the names and telephone numbers of persons appointed by the University to provide such assistance.
  3. If a student elects to proceed with a formal sexual harassment grievance against a University employee, whether or not informal efforts have been made, the student must follow the procedures described herein.
  4. A formal complaint under this procedure may be made only by means of a written statement signed by the student and directed to the Affirmative Action Officer, who may prescribe a particular form for such written statements.
  5. The Affirmative Action Officer will review the written complaint for completeness and determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint, if true, could constitute a violation of the University policy against sexual harassment. If not, the Affirmative Action Officer may require the grievant to clarify or amplify the statement, may refer the student to another appropriate grievance process, or may dismiss the complaint. The student may appeal a decision to dismiss the complaint to the Chancellor.
  6. If the Affirmative Action Officer determines that the complaint sufficiently states a claim of sexual harassment under the University sexual harassment policy, he/she will refer the complaint to the University vice chancellor in whose division the employee accused of violating the policy is employed. If more than one University employee is accused in the complaint and those persons are employed in different divisions, the respective vice chancellors will have joint responsibility for carrying out the investigations as described in this procedure.
In the event a vice chancellor's prolonged absence from the University will prevent a prompt resolution of the grievance, the Affirmative Action Officer will notify the Chancellor, who will appoint another vice chancellor to conduct the investigation. The vice chancellor to whom the complaint is directed is referred to as the Administrator in the subsequent sections of this procedure.
  1. The Administrator will have complete responsibility for conducting the investigation and making a University decision on the complaint. The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine whether the accused employee has violated the University policy on sexual harassment. If the Administrator concludes that the policy has been violated, the Administrator will also determine whether the student is entitled to the relief requested or to other relief and whether the person found to have violated the policy should be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
  2. The Administrator may conduct the investigation directly, may enlist one or more others to assist him/her with the investigation, or may delegate to one or more others the responsibility to conduct the investigation and prepare reports and recommendations for the Administrator; however, in any event the final decision reached will be that of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. In subsequent sections of this procedure, persons designated by the Administrator to conduct or assist in the investigation are also referred to as the Administrator.
  3. Settlement of charges by mutual agreement of the parties is encouraged. The student or the person accused may at any time during the course of the investigation propose such an agreement to the Administrator, who is authorized to assist the parties in resolving the matter by agreement. The vice chancellor who is the Administrator will consult with the Chancellor before approving any such agreement on behalf of the University.
  4. The scope of the investigation will be determined by the Administrator in his/her discretion and according to the charge and the facts.
  5. The method of investigation shall be within the discretion of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. However, the following requirements shall be observed:
  1. The Administrator's decision shall be based solely upon the written complaint and evidence received during the investigation. All evidence collected during the investigation shall be preserved. All spoken evidence shall be tape recorded.
  2. Both the student and the person accused of sexual harassment may be accompanied by another member of the University community to provide support and assistance during meetings with the Administrator during the course of the investigation, so long as the individual does not interfere with the Administrator's ability to conduct the investigation.
  3. The student will be provided a reasonable opportunity to present his/her evidence supporting the charge in the form of documents or the spoken testimony of himself/herself or of others who may have evidence directly bearing on the facts alleged. As to any evidence collected during the investigation, the Administrator may ask questions or request additional information and may refuse to consider any evidence submitted which he/she concludes is repetitious, irrelevant, or otherwise without sufficient value to the investigation.
  4. After receiving the initial evidence from the student, the Administrator will interview the person accused and any other persons who may have information relevant to the investigation. Multiple interviews may be conducted as may be necessary with the student, the person accused, or any other person to aid the Administrator in understanding the facts and issues related to the grievance. Likewise, the investigator may obtain any University record deemed necessary to the investigation and may request from the participants or other sources any documents which will be of assistance.
  5. After receiving evidence as provided in paragraphs c. and d. above, the Administrator will prepare a written Preliminary Report. This report will describe the facts related to the grievance as preliminarily determined by the Administrator, and announce a preliminary decision as to whether the sexual harassment policy has been violated. Both the student and the person accused will be provided a reasonable opportunity to review the Preliminary Report, but will not be provided a copy.
Both will be provided a reasonable opportunity to respond to the Preliminary Report.
  1. After considering such response to the preliminary decision as the student and person accused may choose to make, the Administrator will reach a final decision. If the decision is that the person accused has violated the policy, the Administrator will obtain from the Affirmative Action Officer the confidential records of prior incidents involving the accused person, if any, and will consider such records in any recommendation to impose disciplinary penalties on the person found to have violated the policy.
  2. A Final Report will then be prepared under the authority of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. This written report will summarize the facts found as a result of the investigation and explain the basis for the decision that the person accused has or has not violated the policy on sexual harassment.
  3. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has not violated the policy, the vice chancellor who is the Administrator will so notify the student and the person accused.
  4. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has violated the policy, it shall also include:
    1. A decision whether the student shall receive the relief requested or other relief, and,
    2. A decision whether the person determined to have violated the policy shall be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
  5. Any recommendation for dismissal, suspension, or diminishment in rank shall proceed in accordance with established University procedures applicable to the individual subject to discipline.
  6. The student and the person accused will be provided the opportunity to read the Final Report, but will not be provided a copy, which, with the evidence collected during the investigation, will be preserved in a confidential file of the Affirmative Action Officer.
  1. After the vice chancellor who is the Administrator has completed the Final Report, the student who filed the complaint or the person accused may appeal the disposition of the grievance according to existing University procedures. Information on such procedures is available at the Office of the Chancellor.
 
(Initially approved February 8, 1993; revised February 26, 2001.)
 
 

 
Attachment 4
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS ALLEGING SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY ANOTHER STUDENT
 

 
REQUEST FOR RELIEF AND REVIEW OF COMPLAINT
 
  1. This procedure applies only in the case of a student who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment by another student or a student group or organization. "Sexual harassment" is defined above and in University Policy #406, "The Code of Student Responsibility."
  2. A student who believes that he/she has been the victim of sexual harassment is encouraged to attempt informal resolution of the matter. A student may obtain assistance in understanding processes available to pursue either informal or formal resolution of a sexual harassment complaint on a confidential basis by contacting one of the following: the Dean of Students, the University Affirmative Action Officer, or a University mediator appointed by the institution to respond to sexual harassment grievances. Both the Dean of Students Office and the Affirmative Action Office maintain a list of the names and telephone numbers of persons appointed by the University to provide such assistance.
  3. If a student elects to proceed with a formal sexual harassment grievance against another student, whether or not informal efforts have been made, the student making the charge must follow the procedures described herein.
  4. A formal complaint under this procedure may be made only by means of a written statement signed by the student making the charge and directed to the Affirmative Action Officer, who may prescribe a particular form for such written statements. If the student making the charge seeks relief other than disciplinary sanctions on the accused student (e.g., housing relocation or permission to withdraw from a class or group project in which the accused student is involved), he/she must specifically request such relief in the written statement.
  5. The Affirmative Action Officer will review the written complaint for completeness and determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint, if true, could constitute a violation of the University policy against sexual harassment. If the Affirmative Action Officer finds that the complaint is not complete or does not allege sufficient facts, the Affirmative Action Officer may require the student making the charge to clarify or amplify the statement, may refer the student to another appropriate grievance process, or may dismiss the complaint. The student may appeal a decision to dismiss the complaint to the Chancellor.
  6. If the Affirmative Action Officer determines that the complaint sufficiently states a claim of sexual harassment under the University sexual harassment policy, and the student making the charge does not request relief other than the discipline of the accused student, the Affirmative Action Officer will refer the complaint to the Assistant Dean of Students for Judicial Programs, and the disciplinary procedures will proceed as set forth in the The Code of Student Responsibility.
INVESTIGATION OF THE COMPLAINT AND DISPOSITION OF THE GRIEVANCE
  1. If the Affirmative Action Officer determines that the complaint sufficiently states a claim of sexual harassment under the University sexual harassment policy, and the student making the charge requests relief other than the discipline of the accused student, the Affirmative Action Officer will refer the complaint to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who will conduct an investigation of the complaint. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee is referred to as the Administrator in the subsequent sections of this procedure.
  2. The Administrator will have complete responsibility for conducting the investigation and making a University decision on the complaint. The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine whether the student accused has violated the University policy on sexual harassment. If the Administrator concludes that the policy has been violated, the Administrator will also determine whether the student making the charge is entitled to the relief requested or to other relief and whether the person found to have violated the policy should be recommended for disciplinary sanctions under the The Code of Student Responsibility.
  3. The Administrator may conduct the investigation directly, may enlist one or two others to assist him/her with the investigation, or may delegate to one or more others the responsibility to conduct the investigation and prepare reports and recommendations for the Administrator; however, in any event the final decision reached will be that of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. In subsequent sections of this procedure, persons designated by the Administrator to conduct or assist in the investigation are also referred to as the Administrator.
  4. Settlement of charges by mutual agreement of the parties is encouraged. The student making the charge or the student accused may at any time during the course of the investigation propose such an agreement to the Administrator, who is authorized to assist the parties in resolving the matter by agreement. The Administrator will consult with the Chancellor before approving any such agreement on behalf of the University.
  5. The scope of the investigation will be determined by the Administrator in his/her discretion and according to the charge and the facts.
  6.  The method of investigation shall be within the discretion of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. However, the following requirements shall be observed:
    1. The Administrator's decision shall be based solely upon the written complaint and evidence received during the investigation. All evidence collected during the investigation shall be preserved. All spoken evidence shall be tape recorded.
    2. Both the student making the charge and the student accused of sexual harassment may be accompanied by another member of the University community to provide support and assistance during meetings with the Administrator during the course of the investigation, so long as the individual does not interfere with the Administrator's ability to conduct the investigation.
    3. The student making the charge will be provided a reasonable opportunity to present his/her evidence supporting the charge in the form of documents or the spoken testimony of himself/herself or of others who may have evidence directly bearing on the facts alleged. As to any evidence collected during the investigation, the Administrator may ask questions or request additional information and may refuse to consider any evidence submitted which he/she concludes is repetitious, irrelevant, or otherwise without sufficient value to the investigation.
    4. After receiving the initial evidence from the student making the charge, the Administrator will interview the student accused and any other persons who may have information relevant to the investigation. Multiple interviews may be conducted as may be necessary with the student making the charge, the student accused, or any other person to aid the Administrator in understanding the facts and issues related to the grievance.

Likewise, the investigator may obtain any University record deemed necessary to the investigation (except the confidential records of past violations of University sexual harassment policy maintained by the Affirmative Action Officer), and may request from the participants or other sources any documents which will be of assistance.

  1. After receiving evidence as provided in paragraphs c. and d. above, the Administrator will prepare a written Preliminary Report. This report will describe the facts related to the grievance as preliminarily determined by the Administrator, and announce a preliminary decision as to whether the sexual harassment policy has been violated. Both the student making the charge and the student accused will be provided a reasonable opportunity to review the Preliminary Report, but will not be provided a copy. Both will be provided a reasonable opportunity to respond to the Preliminary Report.
  2. After considering such response to the Preliminary Report as the student making the charge and student accused may choose to make, the Administrator will reach a final decision. If the decision is that the student accused has violated the policy, the Administrator will obtain from the Affirmative Action Officer and the Dean of Students a confidential statement summarizing past instances, if any, in which the student accused has been found to have violated the University policy or has admitted violating that policy. The Administrator will consider such records in any recommendation to impose disciplinary sanctions on the student found to have violated the policy.
  3. A Final Report will then be prepared under the authority of the vice chancellor who is the Administrator. This written report will summarize the facts found as a result of the investigation and explain the basis for the decision that the student accused has or has not violated the policy on sexual harassment.
  4. If the Final Report concludes that the student accused has not violated the policy, the vice chancellor who is the Administrator will so notify the student making the charge and the student accused.
  5. If the Final Report concludes that the person accused has violated the policy, it shall also include:
  1. A decision whether the student making the charge shall receive the relief requested or other relief, and,
  2. A decision whether the student determined to have violated the policy shall be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
  1. The student making the charge and the student accused will be provided the opportunity to read the Final Report, but will not be provided a copy, which, with the evidence collected during the investigation, will be preserved in a confidential file of the Affirmative Action Officer, except as it may be used in subsequent proceedings.
  2. Any recommendation for disciplinary sanctions shall proceed in accordance with The Code of Student Responsibility.
  1. After the vice chancellor who is the Administrator has completed the Final Report, the student who filed the complaint or the student accused may appeal the disposition of the grievance according to existing University procedures. Information on such procedures is available at the Office of the Chancellor.
Revision History: 
  • Initially approved May 18, 1998
  • Revised February 26, 2001
  • Updated July 14, 2014