UMMS Hostile Work and Learning Environment Complaint Procedures
If any individual(s) (complainant) believes he/she has been subject to a hostile environment based on any characteristic protected by law, the individual should initiate a complaint immediately by calling or visiting the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office (DEOO) to arrange an appointment as soon as possible. The longer the period of time between the incident and the initiation of a complaint, the more difficult it is to reconstruct what occurred. A complaint should be filed as soon as possible following the occurrence(s) of discrimination; prompt filing within ninety (90) days of the occurrence is strongly encouraged. However, the Medical School retains the right to review a complaint of discrimination that is filed beyond the recommended time period.
The presence/involvement of legal counsel is not permitted at any time during the discrimination complaint procedures. If an individual is a member of a collective bargaining unit, they may have the support of a union representative. However, the representative is not a part of the proceedings, but they may be available for support. All parties involved in an investigation, including the union representative, are required to keep information related to the investigation confidential.
TYPES OF COMPLAINTS
During the informal complaint process, a complainant shares his/her concern with a DEOO staff member. The DEOO staff member may suggest ways the complainant can resolve the issue(s) in an informal, non-adversarial approach that satisfies all concerned parties. DEOO may consult with or refer complainant to other appropriate offices, i.e. Human Resources or the Employee Assistance Program. DEOO may schedule follow-up meetings as needed to further assist the complainant.
When filing an informal complaint, the individual must provide the following information:
- the name of the complainant
- the specific nature of actions/behaviors leading to the allegation of hostile environment
- the date(s) and time (s) of the occurrence(s) of a hostile environment
- a detailed description of the occurrence(s) of a hostile environment
- the name(s) of the person(s) the complainant is accusing of a hostile environment
- the name(s) of other individual(s) who have knowledge of the occurrence(s) of the hostile environment brought forth in the complaint
- the remedy or relief that is being sought
If at any time the complainant considers the informal complaint procedure unsatisfactory, he/she may elect to forgo the informal procedure and request that a formal complaint be initiated. Also, in some instances, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equal Opportunity may determine that the serious nature of the complaint requires that it be addressed as a formal matter.
When filing a formal complaint, the individual should put the information stated above in writing and submit it to the DEOO. Please use the Formal Complaint Form available on the DEOO Web site or in the DEOO.
The individual(s) accused by the complainant is/are provided a summary of the DEOO written report of the complaint and given an opportunity to respond to the allegation(s). The appropriate managers are informed of the filing of a formal complaint on a need to know basis.