"Responding to OCR's 'Dear Colleague' Letter on Sexual Violence"
May 5th Noon - 2:00 PM EDT
On April 4, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a “Dear Colleague” letter on sexual violence. The letter supplements OCR’s 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance. The letter defines the term sexual violence broadly and reiterates that sexual violence can be a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX. It then goes on to make a number of recommendations concerning institutional responses to allegations of sexual violence, including recommendations concerning non-discrimination notices, Title IX coordinators, and institutional grievance procedures.
* Among the numerous recommendations or requirements are: • Training for a large number of campus officials, staff members or students who may be involved in the reporting, investigation or adjudication of allegations of sexual violence
* • How to deal with requests for confidentiality
* • The limited impact of law enforcement investigations or proceedings on the institution’s obligation to investigate complaints of sexual violence
* • Notice to complainant of options to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator, and obligation to minimize the burden of separation on the complainant
* • Designation of time frames for completion of various stages of the investigation and grievance procedure
* • No use of mediation procedures for sexual violence allegations
* • Required use of a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for sexual harassment or assault complaints
* • Discouragement of cross-examination by complainant or alleged perpetrator
* • Documentation of all grievance procedure proceedings
* • Steps to prevent sexual harassment and violence and correct their effects on complainants and others
OCR has stated that it expects “immediate compliance” with the “Dear Colleague” letter. This program will examine in detail the structure and purpose of the letter and the most important recommendations and requirements relating to responding to sexual harassment and violence, institutional grievance procedures, notices of non-discrimination, Title IX coordinators, and education, prevention, remedies and enforcement. A sample policy incorporating the recommendations or requirements included in the letter will also be discussed.
Please join our experienced panelists for an in-depth discussion of the “Dear Colleague” letter, its recommendations and requirements, and the issues and unanswered questions and challenges it may pose for institutions.
Register here: http://www.nacua.org/meetings/virtualseminars/may2011/register.html