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Complaints of discrimination may be resolved by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EO/AA) without using a formal grievance procedure. In the case of employees not located in the Twin Cities area, employees have the right to discuss with or submit a complaint to the local Human Resources Department, the Office of Equal Opportunity, or Grievance Officer.
The EO/AA Office has the responsibility and authority to assist individuals with complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment. They will help resolve problems primarily through informal channels; the help is available to faculty, staff, and students with problems related to employment and education. The EO/AA Office reserves the right to change its policies and procedures.
The Employer agrees that the complaint procedure for discrimination complaints shall be opened to Union participation at the request of the complaining employee and that EO/AA personnel shall inform a complaining employee of this right. The complaint procedure shall include the following:
An employee who believes s/he has a discrimination complaint should discuss his/her situation with an EO/AA Office staff member, who will inform the person of various options.
The equal opportunity officer determines whether or not the complaint warrants investigation. The person may be asked to complete a complaint form. When a complaint is initiated, at the request of the employee, a notice of the complaint in progress will be sent to the Union. If in filing a complaint an employee states that s/he is unable to perform in the worksite from which the complaint arose, the EO/AA staff member shall conduct a preliminary review in a timely manner concerning the urgency of the situation. If this preliminary review establishes that a reasonable basis for the employee's concern about continuing in the work situation exists, the EO/AA shall take intervening action, when appropriate, to defuse the situation which may include temporarily reassigning either party until such time as the complaint is fully investigated, there is a finding, and corrective action, if required, is implemented.
If the complaint warrants investigation, an EO/AA Office staff member shall attempt to conduct the investigation within thirty (30) days of the original complaint to determine if University policy has been violated. The staff member shall prepare a written report at the conclusion of the investigation. If there is an EO/AA recommended action, that recommendation should be included in the report. If the complaining employee has requested the Union's involvement in the complaint, the Union's representative as well as the complainant shall be provided a written summary of the EO/AA's final disposition of the complaint. If EO/AA ceases their activities on a complaint in which the Union has been involved, the EO/AA office shall notify the employee and the Union in writing that their office is no longer investigating and/or working on mediating the complaint. The Union and the Employer agree that all hearings and records shall be confidential as provided by law and that retaliation against an aggrieved employee or witness is prohibited.
If it is determined that University policy was violated, a remedy to the problem will be offered.
If it is determined that University policy was not violated, the complainant will be informed, and other options will be explained, including where complaint procedures may be filed under state and federal law.
In assessing the existence of sexual harassment in a particular case, the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, will be considered. The determination of conduct which violates this policy will be made from the facts on a case by case basis.
Neither the procedure outlined above, nor any complaint which is not resolved by this procedure are subject to Article 21, Settlement of Disputes.
Incidents of harassment should be reported as follows:
Victims of harassment often need immediate help in overcoming the fear, trauma and anger caused by such behavior. These resources are available for counseling: