After a report has been made, an equity specialist from ECRT will contact the complainant (the person reported to have experienced discrimination or misconduct) to listen to concerns and provide information about resources and resolution options. Equity specialists have specific training to ensure each report receives an appropriate and supportive response in which individuals can make an informed decision based on accurate and complete information. Equity specialists will be available throughout the resolution process as a consistent point of contact to answer questions, provide updates, and coordinate communications.
Multiple resolution options are available and participation is voluntary. Some resolution options may be requested by a party or initiated by ECRT, while others cannot be initiated by ECRT without request by a party. Ultimately, ECRT is responsible for determining the appropriate response to an allegation of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual or gender-based misconduct.
Investigative resolution under the following standard practice guide is an impartial process and disciplinary in nature. Its purpose is to gather facts to determine whether the evidence supports a finding of a policy violation. The process involves interviews of parties and others who may have relevant information (witnesses), and in some cases, involves a live hearing conducted remotely. If it is determined that a policy violation (or other inappropriate behavior by an employee) occurred, disciplinary/corrective action is taken to address the violation. The investigative resolution process may be requested by a complainant, or initiated by ECRT.
Standard Practice Guide
ECRT can, individually or in partnership with supervisors or other campus partners, conduct educational/informational conversations with individuals about whom concerns have been raised related to the following standard practice guide. This involves notifying the individual about the concerns, as well as providing education or information about the applicable University policies and expectations related to the reported concerns. An educational/informational conversation is not disciplinary in nature and does not involve a determination that the conduct occurred as alleged, but is intended to make an individual aware that ECRT has received concerns about their alleged conduct, as well as to stop and prevent recurrence of any inappropriate behavior that may have occurred.
Educational/informational conversations can be requested and are appropriate when the reported conduct does not constitute a potential policy violation, but would be inappropriate and may, if it were to recur or persist, arise to the level of a policy violation. They may also be initiated by ECRT in situations where a complainant chooses not to seek other action, or the information available to ECRT about the concerns is limited.
Standard Practice Guide
Adaptable Resolution is a new offering of conflict resolution and harm-repair services for employees at U-M that are voluntary, optional, and private for all parties. Adaptable resolution is a non-disciplinary process that is separate from investigative resolutions. Adaptable Resolutions are facilitated by the adaptable resolution and restorative practices lead. Adaptable Resolution must be requested, agreed to by both parties, and approved by ECRT.
Available to employees, mediation is an informal but structured process where people work together with the help of a volunteer mediator to prevent or resolve a misunderstanding or conflict.
When an employee has concerns related to their employment relationship with the University which include potential discriminatory or certain harassing conduct, and is seeking a specific remedy, a representative of ECRT can participate in the non-bargained-for grievance process to ensure that the concerns about discriminatory or harassing conduct are reviewed as part of the grievance process.
No Action Requested
In some instances, a complainant may elect not to engage with ECRT at all, or may consider information about resolution options and determine that they do not wish for ECRT to take action in response to the concerns. Supportive measures and other resources may still be available, regardless of an individual’s decision whether to engage in a resolution process. In these instances, ECRT will consider this request in light of the available information and determine whether it is appropriate to honor the request.
ECRT seeks to honor the requests of a complainant to the greatest extent appropriate, however, there are circumstances (for example, allegations that a University employee has engaged in sexual harassment of another member of the University community) in which ECRT must take additional action, even if the complainant chooses not to participate in that action. Depending on the nature of the concerns and the amount of information available, this may include, for example, an educational conversation with an individual(s), a prevention education measure offered to a particular unit or group, efforts by ECRT to obtain additional information or assess whether additional concerns exist involving a particular unit or individual, or in rare circumstances, an investigative resolution.
ECRT’s ability to conduct an investigative resolution or otherwise effectively address concerns may be limited if information is not available or a complainant does not participate, and it is not possible for ECRT to conduct a formal investigative resolution process if the identity of the respondent is not reported to ECRT.