Next Steps: Non-DOE-Covered Conduct & Discrimination Concerns
As soon as practicable after receiving a report of non-DOE-Covered Conduct & Discrimination concerns, HDAPP will make an initial assessment, including a limited factual inquiry when appropriate and respond as appropriate. Non-DOE-Covered conduct is all discrimination concerns, sexual harassment and sexual violence concerns before 8/14/2020, and some sexual harassment and sexual violence concerns on or after 8/14/2020.
To better understand the definition of DOE-Covered conduct and/or the path to resolving those concerns, please go to Next Steps: DOE-Covered Conduct.
Initial Assessment of a Report
Based on the information received, HDAPP will make an initial assessment, including a limited factual inquiry when appropriate, to determine:
- whether the report on its face alleges an act of Prohibited Conduct as defined in the appropriate policy; and
- if so, whether the Prohibited Conduct is covered by this Policy, as described in the appropriate policy.
After it is determined that the concerns are not closed after the initial assessment, HDAPP typically will send an outreach email to the complainant offering them the opportunity to schedule an intake appointment. Please note intake appointments are not always done. For example, an intake may not occur if the report is submitted anonymously and/or the complainant made the report directly to HDAPP. If an intake appointment does not occur, continue on to the next page.
- What to expect with an intake appointment?
During an intake appointment, it is the complainant's opportunity to hear about our process and the complainant is reminded about Support resources. This appointment is also the complainant's opportunity to share their experience and to answer any questions the HDAPP representative may have about the report. It is helpful to hear from the complainant about the impact the experience had on them, and their desired resolution. All complainant's are welcome to have a support person accompany them. These appointments can be done in person, by phone, or via Zoom. Complainants may also elect to correspond via email with HDAPP in lieu of an appointment.
If other complainant's names are disclosed during the intake appointment, HDAPP may also send these individuals an outreach message allowing them the opportunity to make a report and ensure they are connected to resources.
Please note complainants are not required to schedule an intake appointment. If someone determines not to accept the offer for an intake appointment, the University may still need to respond based off the information reported. This is why it is helpful to hear first-hand from the complainant about their experience and their desired resolution. Regardless of a complainant's decision to participate, they will be informed of the outcome.
Review of Information
For all concerns, the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer may consult with other offices (e.g.,Academic Personnel Offices, Student Affairs Offices, Human Resources or Employee and Labor Relations Offices, etc.) as necessary to determine next appropriate steps and to assess immediate health and safety concerns. This can be done once a report is received, after an intake, or before/after an intake.
- Consultation/Immediate Health and Safety Assessment
- The Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer, in coordination with the Case Management Team, and in consultation with the Complainant when possible, will:
• make an immediate assessment of the health and safety of the Complainant and the campus community,
• determine and oversee interim measures that are immediately necessary (including no contact orders), and
• provide to the Complainant a written explanation of rights and reporting options (including the right to report to the police), and available campus and community resources.
After the initial assessment of the information provided and/or intake meeting, HDAPP will be closing its file due to the fact the university determines that:
- even if true, the alleged conduct is not Prohibited Conduct;
- the conduct is not covered by the appropriate Policy;
- there is not enough information to carry out a Resolution Process (for example, the identities of the people involved);
- a Complainant’s request that no Investigation occur can be honored; or
- there is not enough nexus between the conduct and the University to carry out a Resolution Process (for example, the conduct did not occur in the context of a University program, activity, and involved only third parties).
This does not mean that the events did or did not occur as alleged, or that they were or were not appropriate. Rather, there was insufficient information to support the allegations of discrimination and harassment under review. For more information on what you can do now that your report is closed, please see our document that outlines other reporting options and support resources.
Some cases are closed with a referral to another department and/or with the implementation of supportive measures.
When appropriate, HDAPP will take steps to stop the reported conduct, prevent its escalation or recurrence, and address its effects. This can either be done through supportive measures and/or referrals.
- Closure with Referral
- When the reported conduct is not Prohibited Conduct (such as stalking or harassment of a non-sexual nature), if appropriate, your report may be referred to another office for review and respond to as appropriate. These offices include, but are not limited to: The Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs and Employee and Labor Relations.
The concern may be closed without a referral if the concern is a protected action (i.e., Freedom of Expression) or not related to another University department. Often these cases are noted for climate purposes.
- Closure with Supportive Measures
- Supportive Measures include both Interim Measures and Mitigating Measures. The University provides Supportive Measures as appropriate and reasonably available, without fee or charge. For more information about Supportive Measures, please go to our webpage on Supportive & Remedial Measures.
Paths for Resolution
For concerns that are not closed after initial assessment, they may be addressed through one of our resolution pathways outlined below. Regardless which path is chosen to resolve the concern, the named complainant would be informed of the action taken.
- Preventative Measures
- Most discrimination and harassment cases are resolved via Preventative Measures. This can be the informal response to SVSH concerns where when the Complainant is a student and the Respondent is an employee, but an investigation is not charged.
Preventative Measures can include remedies such as:
• Helping you communicate directly with the other person.
• Arranging for a UCD official to talk with the other person (a “no-fault” or “notice” conversation.)
• Helping parties agree to certain changes in how you interact.
• Separating you and the other person.
• Negotiating a disciplinary agreement with the other person.
• Conducting training on discrimination for an individual, department or group.
• Using Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) or the Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) for emotional support.
• Other strategies you and the University agree to try.
Please note at this stage, if allegations are shared with the respondent, no complainants are named. However, respondents may be informed of allegations at this stage and can assume based on the information provided who the complainant is. That is why we emphasize retaliation is prohibited. For information on retaliation, please see Understanding the Process.
- Alternative Resolution (only Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment cases)
- Alternative Resolution is not available when the Complainant is a student and the Respondent is an employee.
After an initial assessment of the alleged facts, the Title IX Officer may—if the Complainant and Respondent agree in writing—begin an Alternative Resolution process. The Title IX Officer will, if appropriate, begin the process in consultation with other offices depending on whether the Complainant and Respondent are faculty, other academic appointees, staff, student employees, or students.
Alternative Resolution may include, among other responses:
• separating the parties;
• providing for safety;
• referring the parties to counseling;
•mediation (except in cases of sexual violence);
• referral for disciplinary action;
• an agreement between the parties;
• conducting targeted preventive educational and training programs; and
• conducting a follow-up review to ensure that the resolution has been carried out effectively.
Alternative Resolution may be especially useful when:
• an Investigation is not likely to lead to a resolution;
• both parties prefer an informal process; or
• a case involves less serious allegations
Once the parties have agreed to the terms of an Alternative Resolution, the University will not conduct a Formal Investigation or (if it applies) DOE Grievance Process unless the Title IX Officer determines that the Respondent failed to satisfy the terms of the Alternative Resolution, or that the Alternative Resolution was unsuccessful in stopping the Prohibited Conduct or preventing its recurrence.
For alternative resolution to be successful, both parties must agree to the outcome. This means that no action, including referral for discipline, will typically occur unless both the Complainant and Respondent agree. Sometimes, though, alternative resolution includes actions by the University to support the Complainant—the Respondent need not agree to or know about these. Either party can terminate the alternative resolution process at any time before it is completed. Additionally, the Title IX Officer can terminate the process if it appears that the process will not be successful. If the process is terminated, either the formal investigation process or DOE grievance process (if applicable) will generally be used to resolve the conflict
For more information on Alternative Resolution, please see this document: Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Resolution Process Frequently Asked Questions
- Formal Investigation
- Most complaints are resolved through Preventative Measures or Alternative Resolution, but some cases may need to be investigated before they can be resolved. The Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer will begin a Formal Investigation when they decide not to close a report after their initial assessment, the alleged conduct is not DOECovered Conduct, and either (i) Alternative Resolution and Other Inquiry are not appropriate, or (ii) the parties do not agree to participate in Alternative Resolution or it ends before they agree on terms. The Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer may coordinate the investigation with other offices, depending on the identities of the Complainant and Respondent (that is, faculty, other academic appointees, staff, or students.). Usually in cases of sexual violence, a formal investigation will be charged.
If the Complainant does not want an Investigation, the Title IX Officer will seriously consider this preference. However, the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer may determine an investigation is necessary to mitigate a risk to the campus community. If the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer begins an Investigation despite the Complainant’s request, the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer will provide the Complainant with all information required by this Policy unless the Complainant states in writing that they do not want it.
If the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer does not begin a an investigation, they will inform the Complainant that this limits possible remedies. The Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer will nonetheless provide Mitigating Measures as appropriate and consistent with Complainant’s privacy and the absence of a an investigation.
If the University decides a formal investigation is necessary, the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer appoints an official investigator. The complainant and the respondent will be notified of the investigation. The investigator will conduct separate interviews with the complainant, the respondent, and other potential witnesses. The investigator may recommend that certain steps (interim measures) be taken to protect the complainant or witnesses at any time during the investigation. The investigator will prepare and submit a report addressing whether or not University policy was violated. If there is a finding of a policy violation, the University will consider disciplinary action against the respondent and/or other remedies that may be appropriate.
For more information about Formal Investigation for Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment cases, please see this document: Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Resolution Process Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Inquiry
- When a report is not closed after initial assessment yet is not appropriate for Alternative Resolution, or a Formal Investigation because there is no individual identifiable Respondent over whom the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer has jurisdiction, the Title IX Officer/Chief Compliance Officer will:
• conduct an inquiry to try to determine what occurred, and
• take prompt steps reasonably calculated to stop any substantiated conduct, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.
Such an inquiry may be appropriate when, for example, the Complainant alleges Prohibited Conduct by an organization, a person whose identity is unknown, or a third party, or alleges conduct by multiple people that rises to the level of Prohibited Conduct only when considered in the aggregate. The extent of the inquiry and responsive steps will depend on the specific circumstances.
This includes, for example:
• the nature and location of the alleged conduct,
• the University’s relationship to the Complainant, and
• the University’s relationship to and level of control over the organization or person alleged to have engaged in the conduct.