University of Oregon employees received an email from the chief civil rights officer this week to remind them of their reporting responsibilities under the UO's Prohibited Discrimination and Retaliation Policy.
“The university is committed to providing a safe, respectful and inclusive learning and working environment for students and employees,” said Nicole Commissiong, chief civil rights officer and Title IX coordinator. “Everyone on campus has the right to a UO experience free from discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct in any form. Together, we share the responsibility to foster and demand a culture of respect at the UO.”
The Prohibited Discrimination and Retaliation Policy sets expectations that all employees will do the following when responding to disclosures of discriminatory misconduct:
- Listen to what the person wants to tell you before providing supportive resources, referrals and information.
- Inform the person of reporting options, including the option to report to the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance.
- Be sensitive to the needs of the person who allegedly experienced the conduct, without being judgmental, dismissive, condescending, discriminatory or retaliatory.
- At the outset of the conversation, if the person making the disclosure appears under 18, ask them if they are 18 years of age or older. If they are under 18, explain that all employees, except for confidential employees engaging in privileged communications, are required to report all disclosures of “abuse” as defined by state law, including physical or sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or a current threat of physical or sexual abuse of a minor, to the Department of Human Services or a law enforcement agency.
In addition to those general expectations, all employees are designated as either confidential employees, designated reporters or assisting employees and have the additional obligations outlined in the policy.
Commissiong encourages employees to review the policy and refer to the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance website so they fully understand important definitions, employee designations and their obligations. Employees who fail to comply with the policy and meet their obligations may be subject to disciplinary action.
Questions about the policy and fulfilling expectations should be directed to the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.