Grievance Process

Grievance Process

To begin, the grievance process specifically presumes that the respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. In addition, SWIHA will respond in a way that is not deliberately indifferent to the complaint, complainant, or respondent. This process applies only to sex discrimination occurring against a person in the United States.

With respect to the promptness requirement, the grievance procedures for formal complaints of sexual harassment include reasonably prompt timeframes for conclusion of the grievance process, including the timeframes for filing and resolving appeals, and for the informal resolution. SWIHA will respond to initial formal complaints within 24 business hours, with a target completion of any investigation being 120 days.

To file a formal complaint, a complainant must submit a written formal complaint to the Title IX coordinator. This may be physical or electronic.

With respect to the requirement that the grievance process provide an equitable resolution, SWIHA enacts the following:

  1. SWIHA will treat complainants and respondents equitably. This means that SWIHA will provide remedies to a complainant where a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent, and SWIHA will follow this stated grievance process before the imposition of any disciplinary sanctions or other actions that are not supportive measures against a respondent. Remedies will be designed to restore or preserve equal access to the SWIHA’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include the same individualized services as “supportive measures;” however, remedies need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening SWIHA.
  2. SWIHA will provide an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence – including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence – and provide that credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.
  3. SWIHA requires any individual designated by SWIHA as a coordinator, investigator, informal resolution facilitator, or decision-maker to not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.
  4. Disciplinary actions, sanctions, and/or remedies following any determination of responsibility of the respondent may include, and are not limited to changing academic schedules, required sexual harassment training, required leaves of absences, and/or termination.
  5. SWIHA utilizes the preponderance of evidence standard when evaluation presented evidence and determining the scope of responsibility of the respondent. This standard applies to all complaints of sexual harassment.
  6. SWIHA will not require, allow, or rely upon or otherwise use questions or evidence that may be privileged information, unless that privilege is waived.

To file a formal complaint, a complainant must contact the Title IX Coordinator. Once this individual has been contacted, and a formal complaint filed, the grievance process will begin. The steps in the grievance process are:

  1. Receiving the formal complaint and identifying respondents.
  2. Notifying the complainant and respondent(s) as outlined in the notification section of these procedures.
  3. Investigating and interviewing the complaint and respondents as needed to gather evidence for the formal or informal hearing.
  4. Conduct the formal or informal hearing with the panel as outlined in the hearing section of these procedures.
  5. Notify the complainant and respondent(s) of the outcome of the panel as outlined in the notification and written determination sections of these procedures.

Title IX Table of Contents

1. Title IX Overview and Coordinator Information
2. Title IX Sequence of Events
3. Grievance Process Detail
4. Important Definitions
5. Important Title IX Procedures
6. Title IX Training Materials

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