Responding to Reports of Racial Harassment

Berkeley Campus Procedures for Responding to Reports of Racial Harassment

The primary purpose of the procedures is to provide all members of the University community with a process for reporting racial incidents and harassment in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits recipients of federal funds from discriminating against persons on the basis of race, color or national origin, and to provide for prompt and effective response to reports of racial harassment in accordance with the law. These procedures also cover reports of retaliation related to reports of racial harassment.

A. Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Reports of Racial Harassment

1. Making Reports of Racial Harassment

All members of the University community are encouraged to contact the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) if they observe or encounter conduct that may constitute racial harassment. Reports of racial harassment may be brought to the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer), to a human resources coordinator, or to any manager, supervisor, or other designated employee responsible for responding to reports of racial harassment. If the person to whom harassment normally would be reported is the individual accused of harassment, reports may be made to another manager, supervisor, human resources coordinator, or designated employee. Managers, supervisors, and designated employees shall be required to notify the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) when a report is received.

Reports of racial harassment shall be brought as soon as possible after the alleged conduct occurs. Prompt reporting will enable the University to investigate the facts, determine the issues, and provide an appropriate remedy or disciplinary action.

2. Options for Resolution

Individuals making reports of racial harassment shall be informed about options for resolving potential incidents of racial harassment. These options shall include procedures for Early Resolution, procedures for investigation, and filing complaints or grievances under applicable University complaint resolution or grievance procedures. Individuals making reports also shall be informed about policies applying to confidentiality of reports under this procedure (see E. below). The campus shall respond, to the greatest extent possible, to reports of racial harassment brought anonymously or brought by third parties not directly involved in the harassment. However, the response to such reports may be limited if information contained in the report cannot be verified by independent facts.

Individuals bringing reports of racial harassment shall be informed about the range of possible outcomes of the report, including interim protections, remedies for the individual harmed by the harassment, and disciplinary actions that might be taken against the accused as a result of the report, including information about the procedures leading to such outcomes.

An individual who is subjected to retaliation (e.g., threats, intimidation, reprisals, or adverse employment or educational actions) for having made a report of racial harassment in good faith, who assisted someone with a report of racial harassment, or who participated in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a report of racial harassment, may make a report of retaliation under these procedures. The report of retaliation shall be treated as a report of racial harassment and will be subject to the same procedures.

3. Procedures for Early Resolution

The goal of Early Resolution is to resolve concerns at the earliest stage possible, with the cooperation of all parties involved. The Berkeley campus encourages Early Resolution options when the parties desire to resolve the situation cooperatively and/or when a comprehensive investigation is not likely to lead to a satisfactory outcome. Early Resolution may include an inquiry into the facts, but typically does not include an investigation. Means for Early Resolution shall be flexible and encompass a full range of possible appropriate outcomes. Early Resolution includes options such as mediating an agreement between the parties, separating the parties, referring the parties to counseling programs, negotiating an agreement for disciplinary action, conducting targeted educational and training programs, or remedies for the individual harmed by the harassment. Early Resolution also includes options such as discussions with the parties, making recommendations for resolution, and conducting follow-up after a period of time to assure that the resolution has been implemented effectively. Early Resolution may be appropriate for responding to anonymous reports and/or third party reports. Steps taken to encourage Early Resolution and agreements reached through early resolution efforts should be documented.

While the University encourages early resolution of a complaint, the University does not require that parties participate in Early Resolution prior to the University's decision to initiate an investigation. Some reports of racial harassment may not be appropriate for early resolution, but may require an investigation at the discretion of the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer).

4. Procedures for Investigation

In response to reports of racial harassment in cases where Early Resolution is inappropriate (such as when the facts are in dispute in reports of serious misconduct, or reports involve individuals with a pattern of inappropriate behavior or allege criminal acts such as stalking, racial assault or physical assault) or in cases where Early Resolution is unsuccessful, the campus may conduct an investigation. In such cases, the individual making the report shall be encouraged to file a written request for investigation. The wishes of the individual making the request shall be considered, but are not determinative, in the decision to initiate an investigation of a report of racial harassment. In cases where there is no written request, the Title VI Compliance Coordinator, in consultation with the administration, may initiate an investigation after making a preliminary inquiry into the facts.

Investigation of reports of racial harassment shall incorporate the following standards:

  1. The individual(s) accused of conduct that is racially harassing or that may create a racially hostile environment shall be given a full and complete written statement of the allegations, and a copy of Procedures for Responding to Reports of Racial Harassment.
  2. The individual(s) conducting the investigation shall be familiar with Procedures for Responding to Reports of Racial Harassment and have training or experience in conducting investigations.
  3. The investigation generally shall include interviews with the parties if available, interviews with other witnesses as needed and a review of relevant documents as appropriate. Disclosure of facts to parties and witnesses shall be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation. Participants in an investigation shall be advised that maintaining confidentiality is essential to protect the integrity of the investigation.
  4. Upon request, the complainant and the accused may each have a representative present when he or she is interviewed. Other witnesses may have a representative present at the discretion of the investigator or as required by applicable University policy or collective bargaining agreement.
  5. At any time during the investigation, the investigator may recommend that interim protections or remedies for the complainant or witnesses be provided by appropriate University officials. These protections or remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, or making alternative working or student housing arrangements. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections may be considered a separate violation of University policy.
  6. The investigation shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases within 60 working days of the date the request for investigation was filed.
  7. Generally, an investigation should result in a written report that at a minimum includes a statement of the allegations and issues, the positions of the parties, a summary of the evidence, findings of fact, and a determination by the investigator as to whether University policy has been violated. The report also may contain a recommendation for actions to resolve the complaint, including educational programs, remedies for the complainant, and a referral to disciplinary procedures as appropriate. The report shall be submitted to a designated University official with authority to implement the actions necessary to resolve the complaint. The report may be used as evidence in other related procedures, such as subsequent complaints, grievances and/or disciplinary actions.
  8. The complainant and the accused shall be informed promptly in writing when the investigation is completed. The complainant shall be informed if there were findings made that University policy was or was not violated and of actions taken to resolve the complaint, if any, that are directly related to the complainant, such as an order that the accused not contact the complainant. In accordance with University policies protecting individuals' privacy, the complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action, but shall not be informed of the details of the recommended disciplinary action without the consent of the accused.
  9. The complainant and the accused may request a copy of the investigative report pursuant to University policy governing privacy and access to personal information. However, the report shall be redacted to protect the privacy of personal and confidential information regarding all individuals other than the individual requesting the report in accordance with University policy.

B. Complaints or Grievances Involving Allegations of Racial Harassment

An individual who believes he or she has been subjected to racial harassment may file a complaint or grievance pursuant to the applicable complaint resolution or grievance procedure listed in Appendix II: University Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures. Such complaint or grievance may be filed either instead of or in addition to making a report of racial harassment to the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) under this procedure. A complaint or grievance alleging racial harassment must meet all the requirements under the applicable complaint resolution or grievance procedure, including time limits for filing.

If a complaint or grievance alleging racial harassment is filed with an appropriate campus unit which has authority to process the complaint or grievance, the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) will coordinate with, and serve as a resource to, the campus unit with which the complaint/grievance has been filed, and the procedures of that campus unit are applicable to the process of resolving the complaint/grievance.

C. Remedies and Referral to Disciplinary Procedures

Findings of violations of University policy may be considered in determining remedies for individuals harmed by the racial harassment and shall be referred to applicable campus disciplinary procedures (Appendix III). Procedures under this policy shall be coordinated with applicable campus complaint resolution, grievance, and disciplinary procedures to avoid duplication in the factfinding process whenever possible. Violations of University policy may include engaging in racial harassment, retaliating against a complainant reporting racial harassment, violating interim protections, and filing intentionally false charges of racial harassment. Investigative reports made pursuant to this procedure may be used as evidence in subsequent complaint resolution, grievance, and disciplinary proceedings as permitted by the applicable procedures.

D. Privacy

The University shall protect the privacy of individuals involved in a report of racial harassment to the extent required by law and University policy. A report of racial harassment may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about individuals in the University community. While such information is considered confidential, University policy regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information concerning a report of racial harassment. In such cases, every effort shall be made to redact the records in order to protect the privacy of individuals. An individual who has made a report of racial harassment may be advised of sanctions imposed against the accused when the individual needs to be aware of the sanction in order for it to be fully effective (such as restrictions on communication or contact with the individual who made the report). However, information regarding disciplinary action taken against the accused shall not be disclosed without the consent of the accused, unless it is necessary to ensure compliance with the action or the safety of individuals.

E. Confidentiality of Reports of Racial Harassment

Confidential resources, identified in Appendix I of these procedures, provide members of the University community who may be interested in talking to someone about a racial harassment situation, with a safe place to discuss their concerns and learn about the procedures and potential outcomes involved. Confidential resources include campus ombudspersons and/or licensed counselors in employee assistance programs or student health services. Because content of discussions with confidential resources is not reported to an office of record, such discussions do not serve as notice to the University to address the alleged racial harassment. However, individuals should be informed of the appropriate campus offices to which racial harassment incidents may be reported in a manner that the University is put on notice that it may need to address the alleged racial harassment.

The Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer), all other resources listed in Appendix I of these procedures, managers, supervisors, and other designated employees have an obligation to respond to reports of racial harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken. An individual's requests regarding the confidentiality of reports of racial harassment will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the University's legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from racial harassment and the due process rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the University will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible.

F. Retention of Records Regarding Reports of Racial Harassment

The office of the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) and the Office of Human Resources/Discrimination Complaint Resolution Office are responsible for maintaining records relating to racial harassment reports, investigations, and resolutions. Records shall be maintained in accordance with University records policies, generally five years after the date the complaint is resolved. Records may be maintained longer at the discretion of the Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) or the OHR Discrimination Complaint Resolution Officer, in cases where the parties have a continuing affiliation with the University. All records pertaining to pending litigation or a request for records shall be maintained in accordance with instructions from legal counsel.


APPENDIX I: Berkeley Campus Racial Harassment Resources

1. Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer)

The Berkeley Campus has a designated Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer), whose responsibilities include, but may not be limited to, the duties listed below.

  1. Training and supervision of an Education Coordinator to plan and manage campus racial harassment education and training programs. The programs should include wide dissemination of this procedure to the University community; providing educational materials to prevent racial harassment, and familiarity with local reporting procedures; and training University employees responsible for reporting or responding to reports of racial harassment.
  2. Develop and implement local procedures to provide for prompt and effective response to reports of racial harassment in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources/Discrimination Complaint Resolution Office.
  3. Maintain records of reports of racial harassment at the Berkeley campus and actions taken in response to reports, including records of investigations, voluntary resolutions, and disciplinary action, as appropriate.

2. Trained Racial Harassment Complaint Resolution Officers

The Title VI Compliance Coordinator (Racial Harassment Officer) and the Office of Human Resources/Discrimination Complaint Resolution Officer are the primary Complaint Resolution Officers for the campus. The Assistant Provost for Academic Compliance & Disability Standards, Director for Faculty Equity Services, Title VI Education Coordinator, and others appointed by the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Welfare and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services on an "as needed" basis, may serve as additional complaint resolution officers for members of the University community who have concerns regarding behavior that may be racial harassment.

3. Campus Resources on Racial Harassment

Faculty, staff and students with a question or complaint about racial harassment, or the campus policy for responding to incidents may inquire and/or receive information at any of the following offices:

Title IX & Title VI Compliance Office: This office addresses issues of sexual & racial harassment campus-wide; the office seeks to resolve situations that may constitute discrimination on a prohibited basis, such as sexual or racial harassment. In addition to serving as an investigation officer when a formal complaint of sexual or racial harassment is filed, this office provides consultation to faculty administrators, directors, managers and supervisors and graduate and undergraduates students for resolution strategies at the earliest possible levels.

685 University Hall; 642-2795

Title IX & Title VI Education Coordinator: manages and provides educational workshops and interactive training programs to academic departments, administrative units and the student community on issues of discrimination and harassment. The Education Coordinator offers intake, problem resolution strategies, and may serve as a Complaint Resolution Officer.

685 University Hall, 643-9707

ASUC Student Advocate's Office: provides advocacy for students in a dispute with the University. The SAO offers representation, help and advice to any student for a broad variety of problems, including racial harassment and discrimination concerns.

204 Eshleman; 642-6912

Campus Police Department: The UCPD's Threat Management Unit provides assistance to any member of the campus community with filing criminal charges and/or restraining orders, and handles issues of potential violence in the work place, classroom, or student residence halls.

1 Sproul Hall; 642-6760

Dean of Student Life: an entry point for students that offers policy and referral information on all issues related to student co-curricular life on campus.

102 Sproul Hall; 642-6741

Faculty Equity Services, Director: provides information about the campus Academic Affirmative Action Plan, and may serve as a Complaint Resolution Officer.

200 California Hall; 643-3707

Hate and Bias Prevention Coordinator, Gender Equity Resource Center: provides advocacy and crisis intervention to students and staff in dealing with an experience of possible racial harassment. Support ranging from listening to "case coordination" (interacting with all the campus units that have responsibilities when an incident of racial harassment occurs) is offered.

202 Cesar Chavez Center; 643-0788

Office of Human Resources/Discrimination Complaint Resolution Officer: the office seeks to resolve situations that may constitute discrimination on a prohibited basis. In addition to serving as an investigation officer, this office provides assistance with filing a grievance against a supervisor or another staff member, alleging discrimination on a prohibited basis including racial harassment. It also offers consultation to managers and supervisors for resolution strategies at the earliest possible levels.

641 University Hall; 642-6020

Ombuds Offices: These offices provide informal, impartial assistance with academic or work-related concerns. The Ombuds offices are confidential resources, and provide assurance that what is said will not be disclosed to anyone without the individual's permission. These offices are not offices of record, and are not offices for filing complaints.

Ombudsman for Faculty*
Academic Senate Office
320 Stephens; 642-7213

Ombudsman for Staff*
642-7823

Ombudsman for Students and Post-doctoral Appointees*
642-5754

Office of Student Conduct: handles complaints filed against students who may have violated policy, including possible discriminating or racially harassing behaviors.

326 Sproul Hall; 643-9069

University Health Services*: The two departments below provide assessment, consultation and counseling in a confidential setting, and/or referrals regarding work and personal stress, emotional concerns that are interfering with an individual's ability to work in his or her professional or academic setting.

Tang Center, 2222 Bancroft Way
CARE Services for Faculty and Staff; 6423-7754
Social Services for Graduate and Undergraduate Students; 642-6074

* indicates confidential resources with whom members of the University community can consult for advice and information regarding making a report of racial harassment. All other resources such as the Title VI Compliance Coordinator, managers, supervisors and other designated employees have an obligation to respond to reports of racial harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken. University standards regarding confidentiality are further detailed in section E of this document.


 

APPENDIX II: University Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures

Applicable complaint resolution and grievance procedures if a member of the University community elects to file a complaint or grievance containing allegations of racial harassment:

Academic Personnel:

Members of the Academic Senate Senate Bylaw 335
Non-Senate Academic Appointees APM - 140
Exclusively Represented Academic Appointees Applicable collective
bargaining agreement

Students:

Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, Section 110.00

Staff Personnel:

Senior Managers PPSM II-70
Managers and Senior Professionals,
Salary Grades VIII and IX
PPSM 71
Managers and Senior Professionals,
Salary Grades I — VII; and
Professional and Support Staff
PPSM 70
Exclusively Represented Staff Personnel Applicable collective
bargaining agreement
DOE Laboratory Employees Applicable Laboratory
policy

All:

The University of California Policy on Reporting and Investigating Allegations of Suspected Improper Governmental Activities (Whistleblower Policy) and the University of California Policy for Protection of Whistleblowers from Retaliation and Guidelines for Reviewing Retaliation Complaints (Whistleblower Protection Policy), which govern the reporting and investigation of violations of state or federal laws or regulations and University policy, including racial harassment.


APPENDIX III: University Disciplinary Procedures

Applicable disciplinary action procedures if a report of racial harassment results in a recommendation for disciplinary action:

  1. The University Policy on Faculty Conduct and the Administration of Discipline (APM - 016), as approved by the Assembly of the Academic Senate and by The Regents, outline ethical and professional standards which University faculty are expected to observe. It also identifies various forms of unacceptable behavior which are applicable in cases of racial harassment and outlines sanctions and disciplinary procedures. The forms of unacceptable behavior listed in the Faculty Code of Conduct are interpreted to apply to racial harassment.
  2. Provisions of Non-Senate Academic Appointees/Corrective Action and Dismissal (APM - 150) (applicable to non-exclusively represented academic appointees) and collective bargaining agreements (applicable to exclusively represented academic appointees) provide for corrective action or dismissal for conduct which violates University policy.
  3. Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students sets forth in Section 100.00 the types of student misconduct that are subject to discipline and the types of disciplinary actions that may be imposed for violation of University policies or campus regulations.
  4. Provisions of the Personnel Policies for Staff Members and the DOE Laboratories personnel policies (applicable to non-exclusively represented staff employees) and collective bargaining agreements (applicable to exclusively represented staff employees) prohibit conduct which violates University policy with respect to racial harassment and provide for disciplinary action for violation of University policy.