Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination

Miami University Policy & Information Manual Section 3.6:

3.6.A Harassment and Discrimination Are Prohibited
Respect for human diversity is an essential element of the Miami University community. Miami University strongly opposes and will not tolerate harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status. This prohibition extends to harassment or discrimination, based on the protected status listed above, including the creation of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment. This policy also prohibits discrimination in employment based on genetic information as prohibited by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).

Harassment and discrimination are illegal. This policy is not intended to impair or limit the right of anyone to seek a remedy available under state or federal law. Legal remedies may be pursued outside Miami University by contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, or by consulting an attorney at the person’s own expense. Under the law, there are various time limits for filing charges outside the University. Persons should contact the agencies listed above or an attorney to determine the applicable time limits.

This policy may in some respects exceed the requirements of applicable law. However, this policy will not be enforced so as to infringe upon First Amendment rights, including the right to academic freedom.

3.6.B Definitions
For the purpose of determining whether particular conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the following definitions will be used:

Discrimination: conduct that is based on a person’s sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status that:
1. adversely affects a term or condition of a person’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University activity; or
2. is used as a basis for or a motivating factor in decisions affecting the person’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University activity.

Harassment: conduct that is based on a person’s sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s employment or educational experience or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive working, educational or living environment.

The University will provide, consistent with state and federal law, reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and reasonable accommodations for religious practices.

Examples of conduct prohibited by this policy include but are no means limited to:

1. Denying a person access to an educational program based on the person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status.
2. Denying salary increases and/or promotions on the basis of the person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status.
3. Preventing a person from using University facilities or services on the basis of that person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status.
4. Instigating or perpetuating an environment that is unwelcome or hostile based on a person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status.
5. Subjecting a person to offensive and unwelcome conduct based on the person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, or veteran status. Offensive and unwanted conduct includes offensive jokes, offensive pictures and digital images, slurs, epithets, threats, intimidation, stalking, and sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. The more severe the conduct the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to demonstrate a hostile environment. In fact, a single severe incident may be sufficient to create a hostile environment.
6. Basing decisions about employment or educational opportunities on a person’s acceptance or rejection of a sexual advance, sexual imposition or request for sexual favors.

 

3.6.C Coverage

This policy applies to all aspects of Miami University’s operations and programs, including regional campuses. It applies to all University students and employees, including faculty, administrators, classified non-bargaining staff, bargaining unit staff, and student employees. It also applies to all vendors, contractors, subcontractors, and others who do business with the University. It applies to all visitors or guests on campus to the extent that there is an allegation of harassment or discrimination made by them against University students or employees. This policy also applies to harassment or discrimination that occurs outside the educational program or workplace if the conduct negatively affects a person’s educational or work environment.
Sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking are forms of sexual harassment and may be pursued through this policy. If the alleged offender is a student, complaints may be pursued through the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. If the alleged offender is a faculty member, see Section 8.3 of this Manual. If the alleged offender is a staff member, see Section 13.7 of this Manual. Sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking should also be reported to the Miami University Police Department for law enforcement. (See Miami University’s Sexual Misconduct/Assault Protocol at http://www.MiamiOH.edu/campus-safety/sexual-assault/protocol.html.)

3.6.D Romantic and Sexual Relationships in the Instructional and Supervisory Contexts
The University discourages romantic and sexual relationships between supervisor and employee or faculty and student (see Reporting Romantic and Sexual Relationships in the Instructional and Supervisory Setting). In the event of an allegation of sexual harassment, the University will carefully scrutinize any defense based on a claim that the relationship was consensual when the facts establish that an academic or employment power differential existed within the relationship.

3.6.E Information and Assistance
General information regarding this policy is available at the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-7157.

Title IX Coordinator- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. The University’s Title IX Coordinator is Ms. Kenya Ash, Director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Ms. Ash may be reached at 513-529-7157 or ashkd@MiamiOH.edu.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics- Ms. Jennifer A. Gilbert, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator/Director of NCAA Compliance is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to equality of treatment and opportunity in Intercollegiate Athletics. This includes athletic financial assistance, accommodation of interest and abilities and equity of athletic program benefits. Ms. Gilbert may be reached at Millett Assembly Hall, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-3113 or
gilberj2@MiamiOH.edu.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Assault- Ms. Rebecca Getson, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to student sexual violence. This includes sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and sexual coercion of students. Ms. Getson also serves as the coordinator for matters relating to student domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Ms. Getson may be reached at Student Health Services, 104 Health Services Center, 421 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or getsonra@MiamiOH.edu.

Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator- Section 504 and the ADA are federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. The University’s Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is Ms. Kenya Ash, Director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Ms. Ash may be reached at 513-529-7157 or ashkd@MiamiOH.edu.

3.6.F Retaliation is Prohibited
Any retaliatory action or conduct taken by any person against a person who has sought relief under this policy is strictly prohibited and will be regarded as a separate and distinct violation of this policy. Examples of retaliatory action include assigning low grades, assigning undesirable teaching or work schedules, and/or giving deflated performance evaluations. This protection against retaliation extends to any person who opposes acts of harassment or discrimination or who testifies, assists, or participates in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing relative to harassment or discrimination.

3.6.G Action
Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of or witness to harassment, discrimination, or retaliation is strongly encouraged to make a report. Immediate assistance and options can be made available to victims including changes to academic and working situations, changes in student living situations, no-contact orders, counseling, transportation, and academic tutoring.

If the victim elects to file a report and as the result of an investigation of a report, the University determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, the University will take action to provide appropriate additional relief to the victim. The University will also take appropriate action, up to and including disciplinary action, against the perpetrator under Section 3.6.O of this policy.

3.6.H Reporting Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation
Any person who believes he or she is the victim of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation may report the behavior directly to the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity (OEEO). Alternatively, the person may report the behavior to any of the following persons: a department chair, a supervisor, a dean, an administrative head of office, the Senior Director or staff member of Human Resources, the Assistant Provost for Personnel and Director or staff member of Academic Personnel Services, the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics or coaches. Any person designated in the preceding sentence that receives a report or has knowledge of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation must promptly inform OEEO, which will conduct a preliminary assessment of the report.
The report should not be made to the same person alleged to have violated this policy. A person who believes that he or she has been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation by someone listed in the preceding paragraph should make the report to someone else on the list.
Anonymous reports will be accepted; however, the University’s options for investigating or resolving anonymous reports may be limited because of the unique challenges presented. There is no way to assess the reporter’s veracity and no ability to obtain additional information from the reporter if the report is unclear or confusing. However, OEEO will review and take appropriate action on all reports, including anonymous reports.

3.6.I Advisers
Any person who reports alleged harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, and any person against whom such an allegation is made may be accompanied at all stages of the process described in this policy by a friend, family member, or other person of his or her choice to provide support and assistance.

3.6.J Initial Assessment of a Report
Upon the receipt of a report of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, OEEO will make a preliminary assessment of the report. Every effort will be made to handle such reports fairly, impartially, and quickly. OEEO understands that these matters can be extremely sensitive. However, in order for the University to take action where warranted, it will usually be necessary to conduct an investigation. In order to protect both the person making the report and the person against whom the report has been made, every effort will be made to handle the matter discreetly. Because information relating to the report will be shared in the course of the investigation on a need-to-know basis, or as otherwise required by law or under this policy, it is not possible to guarantee complete confidentiality. OEEO may facilitate an informal resolution of the report agreed to by the person who made the report (or the victim if someone other than the victim made the report) and the person alleged to have violated this policy. An informal resolution of the report does not bar a subsequent request to pursue a formal resolution.
Upon receipt of a report, and upon request, the University will provide the alleged victim with support services. Support services include:
• Providing the alleged victim with a temporary safe space within the University residence halls (available to Oxford students);
• Moving the accused student or the alleged victim so he/she does not share the same residence or dining hall (available to Oxford residential students);
• Changing class assignments so that the accused and the alleged victim do not share the same classes (available to instructional staff and students);
• Providing the alleged victim with academic support services including tutoring (available to students); and/or
• Prohibiting the accused from having any contact with the alleged victim (available to faculty, staff and students).

3.6.K Making a Report of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation
To initiate formal resolution procedures, a person should report the alleged violation of this policy to OEEO within three hundred (300) calendar days of the most recent occurrence of the alleged harassing, discriminatory, or retaliatory behavior. This report should specify the incident(s) of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation and be signed by the person making the charge. A copy of the report will be provided to the person alleged to have violated this policy.

3.6.L Investigation of a Report
Within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of a report, OEEO will conduct an investigation to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, including the extent and severity of the violation. The parties will have the opportunity to be accompanied by an adviser, to present information and respond to written reports, and to ask that witnesses be interviewed. At the completion of the investigation, OEEO will issue a written report of its investigation that includes a finding of either reasonable cause or no reasonable cause and related recommendations. OEEO’s findings will be based on a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is the evidence that has the most convincing force; the greater weight of credible evidence. OEEO will consider all information presented. This standard of evidence essentially asks, “Is it more likely than not that our policy was violated?”

A copy of the OEEO report will be given to both the person who made the report (or to the victim if someone other than the victim made the report) and the person alleged to have violated this policy. After the OEEO report is issued, both the person who made the report (or the victim if someone other than the victim made the report) and the person alleged to have violated this policy are permitted to review the OEEO investigation file.

3.6.M Review
If dissatisfied with the OEEO report, either the person who made the report (or the victim if someone other than the victim made the report) or the person alleged to have violated this policy may request a review by a Harassment/Discrimination Review Panel Committee (the Panel Committee). A Panel Committee review of the OEEO report is only available to Miami University students and employees. The request must be made in writing, stating the reasons therefore, to OEEO within ten (10) class days of the issuance of the OEEO report. (Note: any reference to class days in this manual includes exam week.)
The Harassment/Discrimination Review Panel (the Panel) is appointed annually by the President to serve for the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, the faculty, and the classified and unclassified administrative staff. The Panel Committee will consist of five (5) members selected from the Panel. Each Panel Committee will receive appropriate training on this policy.
The composition of the Panel Committee will reflect the peers of the parties involved and will depend on the status of those parties:

Parties Involved Composition of Panel Committee
1. Both are faculty members All faculty members
2. Both are staff members All staff members
3. One is a faculty member and one is a staff member Both faculty and staff members
4. One is a student and one is a faculty or staff member Two students and three faculty or staff members
5. Both are students All students
   
EXCEPT:  
a. If either student requests that one or two members be faculty or staff members a. One or two faculty or staff members; the rest students
b. If the report arises out of a graduate assistant’s teaching responsibilities b. Two students and three faculty members
c. If the report arises out of a graduate assistant’s non-teaching responsibilities c. Two students and three staff members

Both the person who made the report (or the victim if someone other than the victim made the report) and the person alleged to have violated this policy will be presented with the list of names of all appropriate members of the Panel. Each party may disqualify up to three members from service on the Panel Committee. The President or designee will select five members from the remaining names and appoint one of the five to serve as committee chair. The Panel Committee will have full access to the OEEO investigation file.


3.6.N Decision of the Panel Committee

Within ten (10) class days of its appointment, the Panel Committee will issue a written report in which a majority of its members concur. (Note: any reference to class days in this manual includes exam week.)
In the report, the Panel Committee will do one of the following:
1. Affirm or reverse the finding of no reasonable cause.
2. Affirm or reverse the finding of reasonable cause.
3. Remand the matter to OEEO for additional investigation and a supplementary report based on the additional investigation.
4. Affirm or recommend modifying any recommendations made by OEEO.
If the Panel Committee concludes that reasonable cause exists to believe that this policy has been violated, it may instruct OEEO to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment or discrimination.

3.6.O Disciplinary Action
If there has been a finding of reasonable cause and a recommendation that the person alleged to have violated this policy be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action either in the OEEO report or as a result of a review and report by the Panel Committee, the discipline, if any, to be imposed will be determined according to the procedures described in the Student Conduct Regulations, if the person is a student; the Ohio Civil Service Law or a collective bargaining agreement then in effect, whichever is applicable, if the person is a member of the classified staff; Section 13.7 of the Miami University Policy and Information Manual if the person is a member of the unclassified administrative staff; or Section 8.3 of the Miami University Policy and Information Manual, if the person is a member of the instructional staff.
If disciplinary action is initiated, the person alleged to have violated this policy, the person or office initiating disciplinary action, and the hearing body will be entitled to full access to the OEEO investigation file and the file, if any, of the Panel Committee.
If there has been a finding that reasonable cause exists to believe that a vendor, contractor, subcontractor, visitor, guest or other person who does business with the University has violated this policy, the matter shall be referred to the Vice President for Finance and Business Services for appropriate administrative action.

3.6.P Additional Remedies
Additional remedies including but not limited to, no-contact orders, counseling, required education/training for persons found to be in violation of this policy may also be available.

3.6.Q Miscellaneous
After a report of harassment or discrimination has been made, subsequent time limits specified in this policy may be extended by the vice president or the President who has authority in relation to the person alleged to have violated this policy, or by the President’s designee for those under no vice presidential authority. Notice of the extension will be made in writing and will include the reason for the extension. Notification of extension will be made to both the person who made the report and the person alleged to have violated this policy.
It is a violation of this policy to knowingly make a false allegation of harassment or discrimination. However, failure to prove a claim of harassment or discrimination is not equivalent to making a false allegation. It is also a violation of this policy for a person alleged to have violated this policy or other person interviewed by OEEO to knowingly make a false statement.

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