Responsible Employee Obligations

Responsible Employee Obligations

Image credit:
Keegan Houser

Responsible Employees

Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, any UC employee who is not identified as a confidential resource is a “Responsible Employee” required to report sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by the policy to the OPHD.  Sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited include sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, retalition, an other probited conduct defined in the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.

If a complainant confides in a Responsible Employee, they must notify OPHD including details about the complainant and/or the respondent. Many university employees are considered responsible employees including academic advisors, Faculty members, administrators, athletic coaches, professors, resident advisors, supervisors/managers, and more. Being a Responsible employee also apply to resident assistants, GSI's, and all other student employees, when disclosures are made to them in their capacities as employees.  Learn more below.

Am I a responsible employee?

Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, any UC employee who is not identified as a confidential resource is a “Responsible Employee” required to report sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by the policy to the Title IX officer or designee.

There are different reporting responsibilities, depending on whether the incident involves a student or a non-student.

All UC employees: All UC employees who are not designated as confidential must inform the Title IX officer if they become aware that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other behavior prohibited by the university’s policy. This includes managers and supervisors, all faculty (including faculty advisors), all staff, athletic coaches and student employees. Responsible employees include both represented and non-represented employees.

Faculty, managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel and campus police: All managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel, faculty and campus police must inform the Title IX officer if they receive a report of prohibited behavior from anyone affiliated with the university, which includes faculty, staff and others affiliated with the university.

Are employees who don’t have supervisory duties considered Responsible Employees?

Yes. All UC employees, including those who don’t directly supervise anyone, are Responsible Employees who must notify the Title IX officer if, while they’re working, they learn that a student may have experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment.

I am a Responsible Employee. How do I fulfill my obligation?

As a Responsible Employee, you must contact OPHD as soon as possible when you learn of an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment and share whatever information you have, including the names of any individuals involved, their contact information, and any details of the incident you have.

As a Responsible Employee, you should report directly OPHD, even if you are unsure that the incident actually occurred or unsure whether it constitutes sexual harassment, sexual violence and or other prohibited behavior. You should not investigate the report, and should not try to intervene or resolve the issue.

The Title IX officer will assess the information you provide, and will work with the appropriate people to determine next steps.

While information must be provided to the Title IX office, responsible employees should not discuss the case with other people who do not have a legitimate need to know.

What happens after a Responsible Employee gives the information to the Title IX officer?

The Title IX officer will evaluate the report and respond as outlined under university policy. The Title IX officer will reach out to the person who reported experiencing the sexual violence or sexual harassment to provide information about confidential resources and reporting options. This outreach allows the person to make an informed choice about how they wish to proceed.

As a Responsible Employee, if someone tells me about an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment, should I tell them I need to report it? What if they asked me to keep it confidential?

Before the individual tells you about an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment, you should inform the person that you are a Responsible Employee and that you are required to report incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by university policy to the Title IX officer. This includes names of parties involved, contact information, and details of the incident. You should tell the person that you cannot keep reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence confidential, but that the Title IX officer will consider requests for confidentiality.

The responsible employee should also inform the complainant that the university prohibits retaliation and that the university encourages individuals to report retaliatory conduct.

As a responsible employee, You should also inform the person telling you about sexual violence or sexual harassment that there are confidential resources available to them, including the Path to Care Center, which serves survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment. Providing this information upfront allows the individual to decide whether to talk to you or go to a confidential resource. For a complete list of resources for complainants that experience Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, please visit the SVSH Complainant Resources Page.

Do "confidential employees" have to notify the Title IX Officer in OPHD?

i. Confidential employees do not disclose information to OPHD, the campus, or other entities, as confidentiality is both respected and required by applicable laws or professional codes. Any limitations on confidentiality will be explained to survivors by the confidential provider. The “responsible employee” designation does not apply to individuals specifically identified and designated as confidential employees (see list of confidential resources on the survivor website).

ii. If you are not sure if your job responsibilities designate you as a confidential employee under UC Policy, please contact your supervisor or OPHD at ask_ophd@berkeley.edu.

Where can I get more information about being a Responsible Employee?

Employees can contact OPHD at ask_ophd@berkeley.edu for guidance and advice about how to fulfill their Responsible Employee obligations.