Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Discrimination Complaint Process

Type

Procedure

Category

Institutional Integrity

Department

Human Resources

Phone

(541) 463-5115

Primary Contact

Shane Turner

Contact Email

Responsible Executive Authority

President's Office

Purpose

Lane Community College prohibits sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination. These polices are found in Board Policy BP 630: HarassmentBoard Policy BP 535: Equality of Opportunity and Board Policy BP415: Sexual Assault, and in the following College policies and procedures: Harassment based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Religion or Disability, Harassment, Sexual: GeneralSexual Respect/Sexual Misconduct Procedure; and Sexual Misconduct and Stalking Procedure.

This procedure is intended to apply to sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or gender-based discrimination complaints by or against College students and employees. Student-on-student complaints will be processed pursuant to this procedure, however, any outcomes, which may include sanctions for students or discipline for employees, will be determined pursuant to the Student Conduct Code, applicable labor agreements (Classified and Faculty), or the Management Working Conditions Agreement, respectively.

The complaint procedure is designed to provide for prompt and effective response to and resolution of complaints. The College will take steps to: stop the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy any adverse effects on the complainant or the campus community.

Narrative

If this is an emergency:
On campus, call 5555; Off campus call 911.

If you have questions about this procedure please contact Terrie Minner, Title IX Coordinator and Associate Dean of the Mental Health and Wellness Center (minnert@lanecc.edu) or (541) 463-3010.

Incidents Covered by this Procedure

This reporting procedure applies to all Lane Community College students and employees alleging sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sex discrimination carried out by employees, other students, or third parties and to incidents that occur on college property and off college property when there is a College-related event or activity in which misconduct occursAll actions by a member of the College community that involve the use of the College's computing and network resources from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts, will be deemed to have occurred on college property.

LCC encourages members of LCC community to report sexual harassment. This procedure only applies to conduct defined sexual harassment under Title IX and applicable federal regulations and that meet Title IX jurisdictional requirements. LCC will respond to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that falls outside that definition and outside the jurisdiction of the Title IX federal regulations using State law and applicable LCC policies and procedures. In implementing these procedures discussed below LCC will also provide supportive measures, training, and resources in compliance with State law, unless they are preempted by the Title IX regulations.

Retaliation

Retaliation prohibited

LCC prohibits any intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual who made a report or complaint of sexual harassment, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in a Title IX investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Individuals who experience retaliation may file a complaint using the formal complaint process described above.

Timelines

Individuals with complaints covered by this procedure always have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg.
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Telephone: (800) 421-3481
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR@ed.gov

To file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Bureau of Labor and Industry, go to Oregon Civil Rights Divison.

Since failure to report harassment and discrimination impedes LCC’s ability to stop the behavior, LCC strongly encourages anyone who believes they are being harassed or discriminated against, to file a complaint. LCC also strongly encourages the filing of such complaints within 30 days of the alleged incident. While all complaints are taken seriously and will be investigated promptly, delay in filing impedes LCC’s ability to investigate and remediate.

All supervisors and managers have a mandatory duty to report incidents of harassment and discrimination; the existence of a hostile, offensive or intimidating work environment, and acts of retaliation.

LCC will investigate complaints involving acts that occur off campus if they are related to an academic or work activity or if the harassing conduct interferes with or limits a student’s or employee’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s programs or activities.

LCC will undertake its investigation promptly and swiftly as possible. To that end, the investigator shall complete the above steps, and prepare a written report within 120 days of LCC receiving the complaint.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality Agreements

To protect the privacy of those involved, the Parties and Advisors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to attending an interview or otherwise participating in the LCC’s grievance process. The confidentiality agreement restricts dissemination of any of the evidence subject to inspection and review or use of this evidence for any purpose unrelated to the Title IX grievance process. The confidentiality agreement will not restrict the ability of either Party to discuss the allegations under investigation.

Use of Privileged Information

LCC’s complaint procedure does not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally-recognized privilege (e.g., attorney-client privilege, doctor-patient privilege, spousal privilege, etc.), unless the person holding the privilege provides voluntary, written consent to waive the privilege.

With the exception of health care providers and licensed college counselors, all employees are required to inform the College’s Title IX Coordinator of any and all reports alleging sexual misconduct by college students or employees. Sexual misconduct is defined in the College’s Sexual Respect/Sexual Misconduct Procedure. Sexual Assault is defined in the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Stalking Procedure . Employees must provide the Title IX Coordinator with all of the information a complainant shares with them.

Lane counselors and Health Clinic providers are confidential resources in their role as personal counselors or medical care providers and are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without the complainant's permission. This protection regarding counselor/client or doctor/patient communications applies only when counselors or medical care providers are supporting individuals in a personal counseling or medical care provider role and only to the extent authorized by state law.

When considering a request for confidentiality, the College must weigh its duty to protect the community from sexual misconduct/sexual assault against the individual’s desire to remain anonymous. If the unwanted conduct can be stopped without disclosing the complainant’s name, then the College will respect the complainant’s wish to remain anonymous. When the conduct alleged, if true, presents a risk of future harm to the complainant or other members of the College community, for example in cases involving use of a weapon, predatory behavior, violence, or where there is a pattern of similar misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator may initiate an investigation, in which case the College cannot withhold the complainant’s identity from the person they are accusing. Anytime the College makes the decision to move forward and must disclose the complainant’s name, the complainant will be notified in writing of this decision.

LCC Employees and Officials with Authority

LCC Officials with Authority are not confidential resources and are required to report allegations of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator promptly. All other employees are encouraged to report allegations to the Title IX Coordinator but are not required to do so.

LCC has designated that all employees with the exception of counselors, mental health counselors, and medical care providers are officials with authority.

Officials with Authority are required to report all relevant information they know about sexual harassment including the name of the Respondent, the Complainant, any other witnesses, and the date, time, and location of the alleged incident.

Under Oregon law, when a public employee receives a report that involves suspected abuse of a minor (under the age of 18), all employees, including college counselors, are required to notify child protective services and/or local law enforcement as follows:

  • If the child is in immediate danger, call 911.
  • If there is no immediate danger, contact Lane County Department of Human Services at 541-686-7555 (local) or 866-300-2782 (toll free).

Formal Complaint Grievance Process

Notice to Parties

Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the following notice in writing, to the Parties:

  • Notice of LCC’s Title IX grievance process;
  • Notice of the allegations of alleged sexual harassment with sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview;
  • Statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
  • Notice that the Parties may have Advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
  • Notice that the Parties may inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including the evidence upon which LCC does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility, and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a Party or other source; and
  • Inform the Parties of any provision in LCC’s code of conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

If, in the course of an investigation, LCC decides to investigate allegations about the Complainant or Respondent that are not included in the notice provided above, the Title IX Coordinator will provide notice in writing of the additional allegations to the Parties.

The College May Implement Interim Actions as Appropriate

The “Responsible Administrator” refers to the College employee who is responsible for ensuring that the complaint is recognized, processed and resolved by the College. Each complaint will be processed and resolved by either the College’s Title IX Coordinator or an administrator designated by the President, typically the Vice President of Academic Affairs or the Vice President of Finance & Administration. The Responsible Administrator may implement interim actions to protect the complainant or community, and to provide interim remedial assistance while a report is being resolved. These actions are available for complainants and respondents and are not disciplinary.

Interim measures may include but are not limited to:

  • on-campus counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment;
  • assistance accessing community and college resources that provide:
  • medical care,
  • forensic exams,
  • individual safety planning,
  • counseling,
  • advocacy throughout the complaint resolution process,
  • legal advocacy,
  • emergency shelter/housing
  • no contact directives to both parties
  • class section/schedule changes, including the ability to withdraw from a course,
  • rescheduling of exams, projects and assignments,
  • alternative course completion options,
  • changes to work schedules, job assignments, or job locations for college employment
  • academic support services such as tutoring
  • limiting or barring an individual’s access to certain college-owned facilities or activities,
  • working with Public Safety staff to develop a safety plan, which may include a personal escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities,
  • leaves of absence.

Reporting Complaints

Employment-Related Complaints: The Title IX Coordinator is the person charged with receiving complaints of discrimination or harassment, and coordinating their investigation. The actual investigation of complaints may be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator to the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to outside persons or organizations under contract with LCC. At a minimum, the investigation will be assigned to other LCC staff or outside investigators whenever the Title IX Coordinator is named in the complaint or implicated by the allegations in the complaint.

Who May File a Complaint:  Any student, employee, or third party who believes he/she/they has been discriminated against or harassed by a student, employee, or third party in violation of this procedure and the related policy.

Where to File a Complaint:  An employee who believes he/she/they has been discriminated against or harassed in violation of these policy and procedures may make a complaint orally or in writing.

A Complainant may file a complaint against LCC with any of the following:

  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Complainants filing employment-related complaints shall be notified that they may file employment discrimination complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or through the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) complaint resolution process.

An employee or claimant must provide advance notice of a claim against the employer as required by the Oregon Tort Claims Act (ORS 30.275). 

Any LCC employee who receives a harassment or discrimination complaint shall notify the Title IX Coordinator immediately.

Reporting Options

Any individual may report sexual harassment to LCC’s Title IX Coordinator.

LCC strongly encourages prompt reporting of sexual harassment. Prompt reporting allows for the collection and preservation of evidence, including physical evidence, digital media, and witness statements. A delay may limit LCC’s ability to effectively investigate and respond.

Individuals have the opportunity to decide whether they want to pursue a formal Title IX complaint. Reporting sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator does not automatically initiate an investigation under these procedures. A report allows LCC to provide a wide variety of support and resources to impacted individuals and to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct. A Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator filing a formal complaint will initiate an investigation.

If there are parallel criminal and Title IX investigations, LCC will cooperate with the external law enforcement agency and will coordinate to ensure that the Title IX process does not hinder legal process or proceedings.

LCC will document reports of sexual harassment in compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law requiring data collection of crime within the campus geography. Under the Clery Act, LCC does not document personal information; LCC reports the type of conduct, and the time, date, and location.

Employee reports of sex discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct may be made to:

  1. Title IX Coordinator 541-463-3010
  2. Human Resources Managers 541-463-5586
  3. Associate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion (541) 463-5307
  4. Any Associate Vice President in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) 541-463-5037
  5. Associate Deans in Student Affairs who are the lead Judicial Advisors for ASA 541-463-5037
  6. Division Deans
  7. Campus Public Safety Office at 541-463-5558.

Student reports of sex discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct may be made to:

  1. Title IX Coordinator 541-463-3010
  2. Mental Health and Wellness Center 541-463-5920
  3. Women’s Program, Building 1, Room 202, 541-463-5353
  4. Campus Public Safety Office, 541-463-5558
  5. Multicultural Center, 541-463-5144
  6. Office of Academic and Student Affairs, Executive Deans, 541-463-5037
  7. Division Deans

Notice to Persons Who Report a Sexual Assault

Title IX Harassment Complaints, Investigations, and Hearings

These Title IX sexual harassment procedures and the related policy protects students, employees, applicants for employment, and applicants for admission.

Jurisdictional Requirements – Application of Procedures

These procedures apply if the conduct meets the following three jurisdictional requirements:

  • The conduct took place in the United States;
  • The conduct took place in an LCC “education program or activity.” This includes locations, events, or circumstances over which LCC exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the harassment occurred, including on-campus and off-campus property and buildings LCC owns or controls or student organizations officially recognized by LCC own or control.
  • The conduct meets the definition of Title IX “sexual harassment.”

Definitions

Advisor:  Throughout the grievance process, both the Complainant and Respondent have a right to an Advisor of their choice. If a Party does not have an Advisor at the time of the hearing, LCC must provide the Party an Advisor of its choice, free of charge. LCC establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the Advisor may participate in the proceedings as long as the restrictions apply equally to both Parties.

Complainant:  A Complainant is an individual who alleges he/she/they is the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Decision-Maker:  The person who will oversee the live hearing and make a determination of responsibility. LCC may have one Decision-Maker determine whether the Respondent is responsible and another Decision-Maker determine the appropriate level of penalty for the conduct. The Decision-Maker cannot be the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator.

Formal Complaint:  A written complaint signed by the Complainant or Title IX Coordinator, alleging sexual harassment and requesting an investigation. If the Title IX Coordinator signs the formal complaint, he/she/they will not become a Party to the complaint.

Parties:  As used in this procedure, this means the Complainant and Respondent.

Respondent: A Respondent is an individual reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Bias or Conflict of Interest

LCC’s Title IX Coordinator, investigator, Decision-Maker, or any person designated by LCC to facilitate an informal resolution process, will not have potential actual bias or conflict of interest in the investigatory, hearing, sanctioning, or appeal process or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally. Actual bias is an articulated prejudice in favor of or against one Party or position; it is not generalized concern about the personal or professional backgrounds, positions, beliefs, or interests of the Decision-Maker in the process. LCC will ensure that the Title IX Coordinator, investigator, Decision-Maker, and facilitator receive training on:

  • The definition of sexual harassment in this procedure;
  • The scope of LCC’s education program or activity;
  • How to conduct an investigation;
  • The grievance process including conducting hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes; and
  • How to serve impartially, including avoiding: prejudgment of the facts at issue; conflicts of interest; and bias.

Records

All records of the formal complaint process, including the complaint form, documents reviewed and all reports and findings as well as all documentation concerning the post-complaint review processes, will be delivered to the Human Resource Department for compliance review and kept in a secure and confidential complaint file. Complaint files are retained in a secure location for the retention period required by the Oregon Secretary of State.

Reports to the Board and Clery Reports: A data report that summarizes all complaints and resolution by type of incident and the relationship of those involved is presented annually to the Lane Board of Education in the college’s Treatment of Staff and Treatment of Learners Reports. Sexual assault complaints are also included in the College’s annual Clery Report. No information that would identify the parties involved is included in any of these data reports.

Discipline and Corrective Action

take disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator and any other remedial action it determines to be appropriate consistent with State and federal law. The action will be prompt, effective, and commensurate with the severity of the conduct. Remedies for the Complainant might include, but are not limited to:

  • providing an escort for the Complainant between the parking lot and his/her/their workplace or classroom office;
  • ensuring that the Complainant and alleged perpetrator do not attend the same classes or work in the same work area;
  • preventing offending third parties from entering campus;
  • providing counseling services or a referral to counseling services;
  • providing medical services or a referral to medical services;
  • providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
  • arranging for a student-Complainant to re-take a course or withdraw from a class without penalty, including ensuring that any changes do not adversely affect the Complainant’s academic record; and
  • reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the Complainant to see if there is a causal connection between the harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in the Complainant being disciplined.

If LCC imposes discipline, the nature of the discipline will not be communicated to the Complainant. However, LCC may disclose information about the sanction imposed on an individual who was found to have engaged in harassment when the sanction directly relates to the Complainant; for example, LCC may inform the Complainant that the harasser must stay away from the Complainant.

In the case of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, and the alleged perpetrator is a student, the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by LCC against the alleged perpetrator may be disclosed to the complainant, if LCC determines as a result of the disciplinary proceedings, the student violated LCC’s rules or policies. The final results of any disciplinary proceeding include only the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution on that student.

Disciplinary actions against faculty, staff, and students will conform to all relevant statutes, regulations, personnel policies and procedures, including the provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

LCC will ensure that Complainants and witnesses know how to report any subsequent problems, and the Title IX Coordinator or a designee, should follow-up with complainants to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.

If LCC cannot take disciplinary action against the accused individual because the Complainant refuses to participate in the investigation, it should pursue other steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment and prevent its recurrence.

Employee disciplinary actions may include:

  • official verbal warning;
  • letter of reprimand;
  • just cause discipline, including, suspension, demotion and/or termination.

Informal resolution

If LCC determines that a formal complaint is appropriate for informal resolution, it may provide the Parties with the opportunity to participate in an informal resolution process, including mediation, at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility.

LCC will provide the Complainant and Respondent written disclosure of the allegations, the requirements of the informal resolution process including the circumstances under which it precludes the Parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations, and any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared.

LCC must obtain the Parties’ voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process. If the Parties reach an agreement, LCC does not have to complete a full investigation and adjudication of a report of sexual harassment. At any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any Party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint.

The informal resolution process is not available to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.

Dismissal of Formal Complaint

LCC must investigate the allegations in a formal complaint. However, LCC must dismiss the formal complaint and will not process the complaint under these procedures if any of the following three circumstances exist:

  • If the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute Title IX sexual harassment as defined in this procedure;
  • If the conduct alleged did not occur in LCC’s education program or activity;
  • If the conduct alleged did not occur against a person in the United States.

LCC has discretion to dismiss a formal complaint or any allegation under the following circumstances:

  • If at any time during the investigation or hearing: a Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations;
  • If the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by LCC or
  • If there are specific circumstances that prevent LCC from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility as to the formal complaint or allegations.
  • If LCC dismissed the formal complaint or any allegations, the Title IX Coordinator shall simultaneously provide the Parties with written notice of the dismissal and reason LCC will also notify the Parties of their right to appeal.

LCC may commence proceedings under other policies and procedures after dismissing a formal complaint.

Investigation

Intake and Processing of the Complaint: Upon receiving notification of a harassment or discrimination complaint, the Title IX Coordinator shall:

  • Undertake efforts to informally resolve the charges, including but not limited to mediation, rearrangement of work or academic schedules, obtaining apologies, providing informal counseling, training, etc.
  • Advise all parties they need not participate in an informal resolution of the complaint, as described above, and they have the right to end the informal resolution process at any time.
  • Advise student Complainants that they may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education and employee Complainants may file a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). All Complainants should be advised that they have a right to file a complaint with local law enforcement, if the act complained of is also a criminal act. LCC must investigate even if the complainant files a complaint with local law enforcement. In addition, the LCC should ensure that Complainants are aware of any available resources, such as counseling, health, and mental health services.
  • Take interim steps to protect a Complainant from coming into contact with the alleged perpetrator, especially if the Complainant is a victim of sexual violence. The Title IX Coordinator should notify the complainant of his/her options to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator. For instance, LCC may prohibit the alleged perpetrator from having any contact with the Complainant pending the results of the investigation. When taking steps to separate the Complainant and the alleged perpetrator, LCC shall minimize the burden on the Complainant.

Investigation of the Complaint: LCC shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into every complaint and claim of harassment or discrimination. No claim of workplace or academic harassment or discrimination shall remain unexamined. This includes complaints involving activities that occur off campus and in connection with all the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the LCC, whether those programs take place in LCC’s facilities, on a LCC bus, or at a class or training program sponsored by LCC at another location. LCC shall promptly investigate complaints of harassment or discrimination that occur off campus if the alleged conduct creates a hostile environment on campus. 

LCC will keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible, but cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality because release of some information on a “need-to-know-basis” is essential to a thorough investigation. When determining whether to maintain confidentiality, LCC may weigh the request for confidentiality against the seriousness of the alleged harassment, the Complainant’s age, whether there have been other harassment complaints about the same individual, and the alleged perpetrator’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by LCC as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S. Code Section 1232g; 34 Code Federal Regulations Part 99.15.LCC will inform the Complainant if it cannot maintain confidentiality.

Investigation Steps: LCC will fairly and objectively investigate harassment and discrimination complaints. Employees designated to serve as investigators under this policy shall have adequate training on what constitutes sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and that they understand how LCC’s grievance procedures operate. The investigator cannot have any real or perceived conflicts of interest and must be able to investigate the allegations impartially.

LCC will provide written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews to a Party whose participation is invited or expected, with sufficient time for the Party to prepare to participate.

Trained investigators will use the following steps: interviewing the Complainant(s); interviewing the accused individual(s); identifying and interviewing witnesses and evidence identified by each Party; identifying and interviewing any other witnesses, if needed; reminding all individuals interviewed of LCC’s no-retaliation policy; considering whether any involved person should be removed from the campus pending completion of the investigation; reviewing personnel/academic files of all involved Parties; reach a conclusion as to the allegations and any appropriate disciplinary and remedial action; and see that all recommended action is carried out in a timely fashion. When LCC evaluates the complaint, it shall do so using a preponderance of the evidence standard. Thus, after considering all the evidence it has gathered, LCC will decide whether it is more likely than not that discrimination or harassment has occurred.

If there are conflicting versions of relevant events, LCC’s investigator will weigh each Party’s credibility. Factors that will be considered in determining credibility include: inherent plausibility; demeanor; motive to falsify; corroboration; and past record.

LCC not the Parties, has the responsibility to gather information and interview witnesses. When the investigator evaluates the evidence, they will do so using the preponderance of the evidence standard. After considering all the evidence gathered, the investigator will decide whether it is more likely than not that reported conduct occurred.

Evidence Review

Both Parties have an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including the evidence upon which LCC does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a Party or other source.

Prior to the investigator preparing an investigative report, LCC will send to each Party and the Party’s Advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy. The Parties will have at least ten days to submit a written response. The investigator must consider this written response prior to completing the investigative report.

Hearing

After completing an investigation and prior to completing a determination regarding responsibility, LCC will hold a live hearing to provide the Complainant and Respondent an opportunity to respond to the evidence gathered before a Decision-Maker. Neither Party may choose to waive the right to a live hearing, but the Parties can choose whether to participate in the hearing or answer some or all cross-examination questions.

If LCC proceeds to a hearing, LCC will provide all Parties written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the hearing with sufficient time for the Party to prepare to participate.

LCC may provide a live hearing with all Parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at LCC’s discretion if either Party requests, LCC may provide any or all Parties, witnesses, and other participants the ability to appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other in real time.

LCC will make the information reviewed during the Evidence Review available at the hearing for reference and consultation. LCC will not restrict the ability of either Party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.

LCC will create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing and make it available to the Parties for inspection and review.

Presenting Witnesses

LCC will provide the Complainant and Respondent an equal opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. Witnesses, like Parties, are not required to participate in the live hearing process.

Only relevant evidence will be admissible during the hearing. Relevant evidence means evidence, including evidence relevant to the credibility of a Party or witness, having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact material to the allegations under investigation.

Cross-Examination

LCC will permit each Party’s Advisor to ask the other Party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those questions challenging credibility. The Party’s Advisor must conduct cross-examination directly, orally, and in real time. A Party may never personally conduct cross-examination.

Advisors may only ask relevant cross-examination and other questions of a Party or witness. Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Decision-Maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. The Decision-Maker need not provide a lengthy or complicated explanation in support of a relevance determination. If a Party or witness disagrees with a relevance determination, that individual has the choice of either (1) abiding by the Decision-Maker’s determination and answering the question or (2) refusing to answer the question.

If a Party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Decision-Maker will not rely on any statement of that Party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. A Party or witness may also decline to answer a question, and the Decision-Maker cannot rely on any statement on which that Party or witness has declined to answer cross-examination questions. A Decision-Maker cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a Party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

Determinations of Responsibility

When the Decision-Maker makes a determination of responsibility or non-responsibility, the Decision-Maker will issue a written determination regarding responsibility, no later than 20 business days after the date that the hearing ends.

When making a determination regarding responsibility, a Decision-Maker will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. A Decision-Maker may not make credibility determinations based on an individual’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness. In evaluating the evidence, the Decision-Maker will use the preponderance of the evidence standard. Thus, after considering all the evidence it has gathered, LCC will decide whether it is more likely than not that sexual harassment occurred.

The written determination will include:

  • Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Title IX sexual harassment as defined in these procedures;
  • A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including who conducted the investigation and gave notifications to the Parties. The determination will also state when, where, and the date the investigator interviewed the Parties and witnesses, conducted site visits, the methods used to gather other evidence. The procedural section should also discuss the dates and how the Parties were provided the opportunity to review and inspect evidence and the date of any hearings held and who attended the hearing;
  • Findings of fact supporting the determination. In making these findings, the Decision-Maker will focus on analyzing the findings of fact that support the determination of responsibility or non-responsibility;
  • Conclusions regarding the application of LCC’s code of conduct to the facts;
  • A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility;
  • A statement of, and rationale for, any disciplinary sanctions LCC imposes on the Respondent;
  • A statement of whether LCC will provide the Complainant with remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to LCC’s education program or activity;
  • LCC need not disclose to the Respondent remedies that do not affect him/her/them as part of the written determination. LCC can inform the Respondent that it will provide remedies to the Complainant. However, LCC will inform the Complainant of the sanctions against the Respondent;
  • LCC’s procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal.
  • LCC will provide the written determination to the Parties simultaneously. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that LCC provides the Parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if the Parties file an appeal, or if the Parties do not file an appeal, the date on which an appeal would no longer be timely.

Cooperation Encouraged:  All employees will cooperate with a LCC investigation into allegations of harassment or discrimination. Lack of cooperation impedes the ability of LCC to investigate thoroughly and respond effectively. However, lack of cooperation by a Complainant or witnesses does not relieve LCC of its obligation to investigate. LCC will conduct an investigation if it is discovered that harassment is, or may be occurring, with or without the cooperation of the alleged victim(s) and regardless of whether a complaint is filed.

Written Report: The results of the investigation of a complaint shall be set forth in a written report that will include at least all of the following information:

  • A description of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint;
  • A description of the procedural steps taken during the investigation, including all individuals contacted and interviewed;
  • A summary of the testimony provided by each witness the investigator interviewed;
  • An analysis of relevant evidence collected during the course of the investigation including a list of relevant documents;
  • A specific finding as to whether there is probable cause to believe that discrimination, harassment, or retaliation occurred with respect to each allegation in the complaint;
  • A table of contents if the report exceeds ten pages; and
  • Any other information deemed appropriate by LCC.

Reaching a Determination: Once the Title IX Coordinator or the designee who makes the determination receives the investigative report, he/she/they, will make a determination as to whether harassment or discrimination occurred.

Forward the complaint file to the President’s office.

After the complainant and the respondent have been notified of the Responsible Administrator’s findings, the Responsible Administrator will forward the official complaint file to the President's Office pending notice of appeal. If no notice of appeal is submitted within fifteen (15) working days of the date of the closing letters to the parties, the Responsible Administrator will confirm the findings of the official complaint file to the College President and Title IX Coordinator for final action.

Post-complaint monitoring.

Following the closure of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will review the actions the College has taken. When there are findings of violations of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, the Title IX Coordinator or his or her designee will review the effectiveness of any remedial action imposed to determine whether or not the action was effective in stopping the prohibited conduct and preventing its recurrence.

File Retention

LCC will retain on file for a period of at least 7 (seven) years after closing the case copies of:

  • the original complaint;
  • the investigatory report;
  • the summary of the report if one is prepared;
  • the notice provided to the Parties, of LCC’s administrative determination and the right to appeal;
  • any appeal; and
  • LCC’s final decision.

Appeals

If LCC imposes discipline against a student or employee as a result of the findings in its investigation, the student or employee may appeal the decision using the procedure for appealing a disciplinary decision.

If the Complainant is not satisfied with the results of the administrative determination, he/she/they may, within 15 days, submit a written appeal to an administrator pre-designated by the Title IX Coordinator. The designated administrator shall review the original complaint, the investigative report, the administrative decision, and the appeal. The designated administrator shall issue a final decision in the matter within 45 days after receiving the appeal. A copy of the decision rendered by the designated administrator shall be forwarded to the Complainant. The Complainant shall also be notified of his/her right to appeal this decision.

Victims Rights Sexual Assault Victims/Survivors Rights

Sexual assault victims/survivors have the following rights:

  • To be free from any suggestions that victims must report the crimes in order to be assured of any other right provided under this procedure and to have any allegations of sexual assault treated seriously;
  • To be treated with dignity;
  • To be free from any suggestion that victims are responsible for the commission of crimes against them;
  • To be free from pressure from campus personnel to:
    • Report crimes if the victim does not wish to do so,
    • Report crimes as lesser offenses than the victim perceives the crime to be,
    • Refrain from reporting crimes,
    • Refrain from reporting crimes to avoid unwanted personal publicity.
  • To be notified of existing campus and community-based medical, counseling, mental health and student services for victims of sexual assault whether or not the crime is formally reported to campus or civil authorities;
  • To have access to campus counseling under the same terms and conditions as apply to other students in their institution seeking counseling; and
  • To be notified of options for changing their academic situation and other interim measures.
  • Accuser and accused must have the same opportunity to have others present at any hearing.

Equitable Treatment of the Parties

LCC’s determination of responsibility is a neutral, fact-finding process. LCC will treat Complainants and Respondents equitably. The procedures will apply equally to both Parties. LCC will not discipline a Respondent unless it determines the Respondent was responsible for sexual harassment at the conclusion of the grievance process.

Statement of Presumption of Non-Responsibility

The investigation is a neutral, fact-finding process. LCC presumes all reports are in good faith. Further, LCC presumes the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct. LCC makes its determination regarding responsibility at the conclusion of the grievance process.

Supportive Measures

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered free of charge to the Complainant or the Respondent regardless of whether a formal complaint has been filed. LCC will provide the Complainant and Respondent with supportive measures as appropriate and as reasonably available to restore or preserve equal access to LCC’s education program or activities. These measures are designed to protect the safety of all Parties, protect LCC’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. LCC will provide supportive measures on a confidential basis and will only make disclosures to those with a need to know to enable LCC to provide the service. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines, other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the Parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.

Removal of Respondent Pending Final Determination

Upon receiving a report regarding sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator will make an immediate assessment concerning the health and safety of the Complainant and campus community as a whole. LCC has the right to order emergency removal of a Respondent, or if the Respondent is an employee, place the employee on administrative leave.

Emergency removal

LCC may remove a non-employee Respondent from LCC’s education program or activity on an emergency basis after it conducts an individualized safety and risk analysis and determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal.

LCC may not use emergency removal to address a Respondent’s threat of obstructing the sexual harassment investigation or destroying relevant evidence. Emergency removal is only available to address health or safety risks against individuals arising out of sexual harassment allegations, not to address other forms of misconduct that a Respondent might commit pending the processing of a complaint.

LCC’s Title IX Coordinator or designee will conduct the individualized safety and risk analysis.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines emergency removal is appropriate, they or designee will provide the person LCC is removing from campus on an emergency basis with a notice and opportunity to attend a meeting and challenge the basis of their removal. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will determine whether the emergency removal from campus order is warranted after considering information provided by the Respondent challenging the emergency removal.

Administrative leave

LCC may place a non-student employee Respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of a grievance process described in the formal complaint process below. LCC will follow any relevant policies, procedures, collective bargaining agreements, or State law in placing an employee on administrative leave.

Dissemination of Policy and Procedures

LCC’s board policy and administrative procedures related to harassment will include information that specifically addresses sexual violence. LCC’s board policy and administrative procedures will be provided to all students, faculty members, members of the administrative staff, and members of the support staff, and will be posted around campus and on LCC’s website.

When hired, employees are required to sign that they have received the policy and procedures, and the signed acknowledgment of receipt is placed in each employee’s personnel file. In addition, these policies and procedures are incorporated into the LCC’s course catalogs and orientation materials for new students.

Training

LCC will provide training to all employees. This includes counselors, faculty, health personnel, law enforcement officers, coaches, and all staff who regularly interact with students. Training for academic staff should emphasize environmental harassment in the classroom. LCC will also provide training to students who lead student organizations. LCC should provide copies of the sexual harassment policies and training to any LCC law enforcement unit employees regarding the grievance procedures and any other procedures used for investigating reports of sexual violence.

In years in which a substantive policy or procedural change has occurred, all LCC employees will attend a training update or receive a copy of the revised policies and procedures.

Participants in training programs will be required to sign a statement that they have either understood the policies and procedures, their responsibilities, and their own and LCC’s potential liability, or that they did not understand the policy and desire further training.

Definitions

Primary Contact for Staff: Shane Turner
Contact Email: turnerms@lanecc.edu

Primary Contact for Students: Paul Jarrell
Contact Email: jarrellp@lanecc.edu

Date Adopted

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Date Last Reviewed

Tuesday, August 11, 2020