The Johns Hopkins University Procedures on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Complaints
These University Procedures on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violencei Complaints apply to complaints of discrimination and harassment filed under the University’s Non- Discrimination Policy, Anti-Harassment Policy, Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy. All academic and administrative units of the University (including all schools, divisions, departments and centers) must comply with, and ensure that their policies and procedures comply with, these procedures.
I. Discrimination and Harassment Complaints Brought Within the University
The University is prepared to receive and resolve complaints of discrimination and harassment under the policies listed above that are brought to the attention of any University administrative officer by members of the University community. The University encourages any individual who has a complaint of discrimination or harassment where the following protected class categories are implicated: race, color, national origin/ethnicity, age, disability, religion/creed, sex/gender, pregnancy, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and/or genetic information, to bring the matter to the immediate attention of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity (the Vice Provost), or her designee, the Director for Equity Compliance & Education, who also serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator (the Director/Title IX Coordinator). Supervisors, department heads, directors, deans, or Human Resources personnel or others who receive complaints of discrimination or harassment should refer the matter to the Vice Provost or the Director immediately. Additionally, inquiries regarding procedures on discrimination or harassment complaints may be directed to the Vice Provost or the Director. Questions, concerns, or complaints related to Title IX may be directed to the Director/Title IX Coordinator.
Vice Provost for Institutional Equity
Caroline Laguerre-Brown, JD
The Johns Hopkins University
Wyman Park Building, Suite 515
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Electronic Mail: email@example.com
Director, Equity Compliance and Education/Title IX Coordinator
Allison J. Boyle, JD, MPH
The Johns Hopkins University
Wyman Park Building, Suite 515
3400 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218
Electronic Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Institutional Equity - Anonymous Sexual Harassment Hotline
Toll Free: 1.800.516.4001
In cases involving potential criminal conduct, including in cases of sexual violence, a complainant may also file a complaint with campus security. Campus security contact information for the following campuses is available at:
Homewood Campus Safety and Security
3001 Remington Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218
Telephone: 410.516.4600 or 410.516.7777
Johns Hopkins Medicine Corporate Security
550 N. Broadway, Suite 503
Baltimore, MD 21205
Schapiro House Basement
Baltimore, MD 21202
Telephone: 410.234.4605 or 410.234.4600
For security contacts at other University locations, please call Lt. Mark E. Long, Investigations Section, Homewood Campus Safety and Security, at: 410.516.6629.
In addition to filing a complaint internally, with the University, members of the University community may also file a complaint with the appropriate local, state or federal governmental agency (described below) and if applicable, may file a criminal complaint with applicable law enforcement units, as in cases of sexual violence (including sexual assault). Information on local and state law enforcement units and databases maintained by them is available on the website of Homewood Campus Safety and Security. The University’s Director/Title IX Coordinator and campus security will provide assistance to a complainant wishing to reach law enforcement authorities.
In receiving and resolving complaints of discrimination and harassment, the University will strive to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the confidentiality of persons reporting or accused of discrimination or harassment, and related information, by being as discrete as possible in its investigations; and minimizing, to the extent practicable, the number of individuals involved in the resolution process. The University, however, cannot guarantee complete confidentiality where it would conflict with the University’s legal obligation to investigate a complaint or take steps to deter further discrimination or harassment, or with its duty to comply with other legal obligations (e.g., responding to a subpoena). These legal obligations extend to complaints received anonymously as well. Individuals may wish to discuss possible claims of discrimination or harassment and whether to proceed with a complaint with a counselor, therapist or member of the clergy, who may, in certain circumstances, be permitted by law to assure greater confidentiality. Complainants should also note that a confidentiality request may limit the University’s ability to respond to the complaint.
II. Discrimination Complaints Filed With Government Agencies
Present or former University faculty members, staff members, students, or applicants to University education programs or employment who believe that they have been discriminated against or harassed may file a charge of discrimination or harassment with various local, state and federal U.S. government agencies. Agencies receiving such complaints notify the University that a charge has been filed and commence an investigation. The most likely agencies from which such complaints may emanate include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the Department of Labor, the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, the Baltimore Community Relations Commission, the D.C. Department of Human Rights, and the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education (OCR). OCR is the division of the federal government charged with enforcing compliance with Title IX, and questions, concerns or complaints related to Title IX may be directed to OCR. These complaints may allege that the University has violated laws prohibiting discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or other legally protected characteristics. The prompt investigation of complaints of discrimination must be given priority, as they place the University, its officers, agents, employees and students at considerable legal risk.
Notification of a discrimination complaint may be mailed by a government agency to any University department; accordingly, it is imperative that department heads and directors be aware of their responsibility to contact immediately the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, or the Director for Equity Compliance & Education, Wyman Park Building, Suite 515, Homewood Campus, 410.516. 8075, or the Office of the General Counsel, Garland Hall 113, 410.516-8128 if a discrimination complaint is received.
III. Procedures Applicable to Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment Brought Within the University
Inherent in the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy, Anti-Harassment Policy, Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy is the obligation to make every effort to achieve a prompt, equitable and impartial resolution of complaints brought under these policies using a preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that prohibited discrimination or harassment occurred). Complaint resolution is the shared responsibility of the Office of Institutional Equity, the offices of Human Resources and the department or program within which the charge arose, and in cases of sexual violence (including sexual assault), the campus law enforcement officers. In this effort, cooperation is required of all persons responsible. Importantly, there should be no oral or written response to the complaint or to inquiries from the media without coordination with the Office of the General Counsel and the appropriate office of communications/media relations.
A complaint may be resolved informally or formally. If mediation or other informal mechanisms of resolution are used to resolve complaints of discrimination or harassment, these informal mechanisms may be used only on a voluntary basis, and for complaints of sexual harassment, in the presence of a trained counselor, trained mediator, or other appropriate administrative or staff member. Mediation and other informal mechanisms may not used to resolve complaints of sexual violence (including sexual assault), regardless of whether participation is voluntary. A complainant may end an informal process at any time for any reason and begin the formal stage of the complaint process.
If formal proceedings other than those conducted by the Office of Institutional Equity are initiated against a respondent (e.g., a conduct board hearing), those proceedings are conducted by the relevant academic or administrative unit; however, the investigation of the complaint is coordinated by the Director/Title IX Coordinator who works with appropriate unit representatives during the investigation. An investigation conducted by the Office of Institutional Equity generally consists of two main phases: (a) an assessment of the complaint; and (b) the issuance of factual findings and a recommendation. The first phase, which usually takes up to sixty (60) days from the date of filing the complaint, involves extensive interviews with the complainant, respondent, witnesses and other relevant parties, in addition to gathering relevant documentation, if any. After this phase of the investigation, the Director/Title IX Coordinator or a designee conducts a thorough assessment of the facts and, usually within ninety (90) days of the date of filing the complaint, issues the factual findings and a recommendation for resolution of the complaint to the appropriate administrative official at the school, division or department. If an individual school’s conduct board hearing is involved, then board members will also receive a copy of the factual findings and recommendation(s). While every effort is made to adhere to these general time frames, these may vary depending on the complexity of the investigation and the severity and extent of the alleged discrimination or harassment.
For complaints of sexual violence (including sexual assault), investigations are generally conducted by the relevant campus security officials in consultation with the Director/Title IX Coordinator, with input from the relevant academic or administrative unit. The Director/Title IX Coordinator remains involved, receives regular updates, and offers guidance throughout the entire investigation, including during the drafting and issuance of the factual findings and recommendations.
Both the complainant and the respondent are afforded equal procedural rights during the investigation and any hearing that may follow, including an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and evidence during the investigation (whether conducted by the Office of Institutional Equity or an individual school). In cases where an individual school’s academic or administrative unit holds a hearing, both the complainant and the respondent will be afforded similar and timely access to any information used in connection with that hearing, consistent with the University’s obligations under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and other laws protecting privileged and confidential information. If an individual school’s academic or administrative unit’s procedures afford an opportunity to bring parents or other individuals to a hearing to provide personal support, such right shall be afforded equally to both the complainant and the respondent. Similarly, if unit procedures allow an appeal with respect to findings and/or sanctions, such right to appeal shall be available equally to the complainant and the respondent. In cases of sexual harassment (including sexual violence and sexual assault), subject to the University’s obligations under FERPA, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome of the complaint and the outcome of the appeal (if one is provided by the relevant unit’s procedures), where “outcome” means whether sexual harassment was found to have occurred; provided, that in cases alleging a sex offense,ii the final determination with respect to the alleged sex offense and any sanctions imposed against the respondent will be shared with the complainant. This notice will be provided to the complainant and the respondent in the same manner and in the same time frame. The University will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of any crime of violenceiii or a non-forcible sex offense,iv the report on the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense with respect to such crime or offense. If the alleged victim of such crime or offense is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim for purposes of the preceding sentence.
The University will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, and to correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, as necessary. Note that local, state, and federal law and University policy prohibit any form of retaliation against a person who files or bears witness to a discrimination or harassment complaint. These procedures apply to complaints and investigations of retaliation. Complainants are urged to contact the Office of Institutional Equity promptly, with any concerns or claims regarding retaliation and the University will take steps to address such retaliation.
i The term “sexual violence” as used in these procedures includes “sex offenses.” A forcible sex offense is any “sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent” and includes forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling. A non-forcible sex offense means “unlawful, nonforcible sexual intercourse” and includes incest and statutory rape. 34 CFR Part 668, Subpart D, Appendix A.
ii See footnote 1 for the definition of “sex offenses.”
iii The term ‘‘crime of violence’’ means: “(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or (b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.” Section 16 of Title 18, United States Code.
iv See footnote 1 for the definition of a non-forcible sex offense.