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Filing a Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure

Introduction

Sexual harassment by any member of the University community is expressly prohibited. The University’s Policy prohibiting sexual harassment is published in the Student handbook and copies are available in each Departmental office, and on reserve at the University’s Langsdale Library and Law Library.

As set forth in the University of Baltimore Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, both informal and formal procedures for resolving a complaint of sexual harassment are available for use by employees, students, faculty and volunteers of the University of Baltimore. Students include full, part-time and continuing education students who are currently enrolled at the University of Baltimore. For purposes of these procedures, the Complainant is the person filing the Complaint. The Respondent is the person who is accused of violating this Policy.

Informal Procedures for Resolving Complaint

A complaint of an incident of sexual harassment or other behavior in violation of the Policy may be reported to any University of Baltimore staff or faculty member, including the complainant’s supervisor, department/division head, Dean or any other University administrator. Any University of Baltimore employee who receives a report of sexual harassment or becomes aware of conduct in violation of the Policy shall immediately notify the Director of Affirmative Action. The Director of Affirmative Action shall promptly contact and inform a Complainant of the University’s Policy prohibiting sexual harassment and of the informal and formal procedures available to resolve a complaint of sexual harassment. Complainants, Respondents, witnesses and all persons involved in making, investigating, or resolving a complaint of sexual harassment shall use good faith efforts to keep confidential all information relating to a complaint. Failure to keep confidential a complaint may result in disciplinary action and /or other serious sanctions, including termination.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Director of Affirmative Action shall within one week conduct a confidential investigation of the facts which will include a discussion with the Complainant, the person alleged to be in violation of the Policy and any witnesses as well as consultation with the University’s attorney. While a complaint signed by the Complainant is not required to initiate an investigation, the Complainant is strongly encouraged to file a written and signed complaint with the Director of Affirmative Action.

After the conclusion of the investigation, the Director of Affirmative Action will make reasonable efforts to informally resolve the Complaint to the satisfaction of the University, the Complainant and the Respondent.

Formal Procedures For Filing A Complaint

  1. Filing a Complaint

    A person wishing to process a complaint of sexual harassment or other behavior in violation of the Policy through formal procedures shall file his or her Complaint with the Director of Affirmative Action within thirty (30) days following the incident(s) or within 30 days following the date on which the Complainant knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged incident(s). The Director of Affirmative Action is currently located at 1030 North Charles Street. The Complainant shall be signed by the Complainant and shall state: (1) the allegations, including when and where the alleged conduct occurred; (2) the names of the person(s) alleged to have violated the policy; (3) the names of any witnesses to the violation; and (4) the relief requested. The Respondent shall be promptly furnished with a copy of the Complaint by the Director of Affirmative Action and shall submit to the Director of Affirmative Action a written response to the allegations within ten (10) days upon receipt of the Complaint.

    Upon receipt of a formal Complaint of sexual harassment, the Director of Affirmative Action shall immediately consult with the University’s attorney prior to taking any action to investigate or resolve the Complaint. The Director of Affirmative Action (“the Director”) shall, within 15 days after receipt of a formal Complaint, conduct and conclude an investigation of the facts. The 15 day period of investigation may be extended with the approval of the President.

    The investigation shall include a discussion with the Complainant, with the person alleged to have violated the policy, and with any witnesses to relevant events. The investigation shall also include the collection of all relevant documents. The Director shall make every effort to keep the investigation confidential and shall ask all those who are contacted in the course of the investigation to keep in confidence both the fact of the investigation and any information that the individual provides to the Director.

    At the conclusion of the investigation, the Director shall prepare a written decision setting forth: (a) a statement of the Director’s findings of fact concerning the events that occurred or were alleged to have occurred; (b) a statement of the Director’s conclusions as to whether the events that did occur constituted a violation of the University’s Policy prohibiting sexual harassment; and (c) if the Director concludes the Policy has been violated, the Director’s recommendation as to what disciplinary sanctions, if any, should be imposed. Recommended disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, a letter of reprimand, a letter of apology from the Respondent to the Complainant, demotion of the Respondent, suspension of the Respondent, termination of the Respondent’s employment with the University, or suspension or expulsion of a student from the University. In preparing this decision, the Director shall consult fully with the University’s attorney. 1

    During the process of the investigation of a formal complaint, the Director may continue to make efforts to reach an agreed resolution of the Complaint that is satisfactory to the Complainant, the Respondent and the University.

    Within five days after the conclusion of the investigation, the Director shall mail to the Complainant and to the Respondent the written decision described in the previous paragraph. The Complainant and the Respondent shall also be informed of their rights to accept the decision of the Director or to have a further hearing under the provisions of this Policy.

  2. Formal Hearing

    If either the Complainant or the Respondent disagrees with the decision of the Director of Affirmative Action, either may request a formal hearing by filing a written request for such a hearing with the President of the University within fifteen (15) days of the date the Director’s decision was mailed. The request for a hearing shall state with specificity the portions of the decision of the Director with which the person requesting the hearing disagrees.

    If neither the Complainant nor the Respondent request a formal hearing within the time stipulated above, the decision of the Director shall be implemented as the final decision of the University unless the President directs otherwise.

    Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the President shall promptly appoint a Hearing Committee consisting of three members from the Sexual Harassment Panel. The President shall appoint one of the three members as the Presiding Officer. No member of the Hearing Committee may have served as an investigator, witness, or party in connection with the Complaint in question.

    The Hearing Committee shall promptly conduct a hearing to determine the Committee’s: (a) findings of fact concerning the events that occurred or were alleged to have occurred; (b) conclusions as to whether the events that did occur constituted a violation of the University’s Policy prohibiting sexual harassment; and (c), if the Committee concludes that the Policy has been violated, the Committee’s recommendation as to what disciplinary sanctions, if any, should be imposed. The Presiding Officer may focus the hearing so that it concerns solely those issues or aspects of the decision of the Director about which the parties disagree. Recommended disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, a letter of reprimand, a letter of apology from the Respondent to the Complainant, demotion of the Respondent, suspension of the Respondent, termination of the Respondent’s employment with the University, or suspension or expulsion of a student Respondent from the University. In preparing its decision, the Committee shall consult fully with the University’s attorney.

    At the Hearing, the decision of the Director of Affirmative Action shall be introduced as evidence but is entitled to no presumption of accuracy. The person or persons asserting that there has been a violation of the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment shall have the burden of ultimate persuasion, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the alleged events occurred and constituted a violation of the Policy.

    The Complainant, the Respondent, and the Director of Affirmative Action may all participate fully in the hearing. Each may present opening and closing statements; call, examine and cross-examine witnesses; and introduce documentary evidence. Hearing Committee members may question witnesses, and the Presiding Officer may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious testimony. The University attorney may be present at the hearing, to provide advice, education and counsel to the Hearing Committee.

    Within fifteen (15) days following the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Committee shall submit to the President a written report containing its findings, conclusions and recommendations concerning the matters before it. That written report shall at the same time be mailed to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Director of Affirmative Action.

    Within fifteen (15) days following the receipt of the report of the Hearing Committee, the President shall issue a final written decision. That final decision shall be mailed to the complainant, the Respondent, the Director of Affirmative Action, and the members of the Hearing Committee.

External Filing Procedures

Should an individual wish to file a formal complaint with an external agency, he or she may do so with one of the following agencies:

Filing an Appeal
The Complainant or Respondent may appeal the decision of the Director of Affirmative Action by filing a written appeal with the President of the University of Baltimore within five (5) days of the date of receipt of the written findings and recommendation(s) of the Director of Affirmative Action.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
1801 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20507
(202) 663-4900

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
10 Howard Street, 3rd floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

Maryland Commission on Human Relations
6 St. Paul Street, Suite 900
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 767-8600

United States Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
550 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100

To protect the legal rights and remedies available to a Complainant through external agencies, federal courts and/or State Courts, a person filing a complaint of sexual harassment must comply with certain time limits and deadlines. Therefore, a person wishing to file a complaint with an external agency must contact that agency to verify time periods for filing a complaint.


1 If the Director recommends a disciplinary sanction, the Director should consult with the respondent’s supervisor (dean, director, or department head) concerning the disciplinary sanction.