Policies Concerning Sex Discrimination, Harassment and Complaint Procedure
This policy applies to all members of the Touro community, including students, faculty, and administrators as well as third-parties (i.e. vendors and invitees). Discrimination or harassment of any kind in regards to a person's sex is not tolerated at our institution. Information and/or training regarding this policy is available to students, faculty, and staff. In addition, information about this policy will be available on Touro College’s ("Touro") website.
All divisions of Touro seek to foster a collegial atmosphere where students are nurtured and educated through close faculty-student relationships, student camaraderie, and individualized attention. Discrimination or harassment of any kind is anathema to Touro's mission, history, and identity. Touro will resolve any identified discrimination in a timely and effective manner, and will ensure that it does not recur. Those believing that they have been harassed or discriminated against on the basis of their sex, including sexual harassment, should immediately contact the Title IX coordinator. When Touro has notice of the occurrence, Touro is compelled to take immediate and effective corrective action reasonably calculated to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and as appropriate, remedy its effects.
3.1 Discrimination and Harassment
Title IX, and its implementing regulations, prohibit discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. The prohibition against discrimination extends to employment and third-parties. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct. Environmental harassment (sometimes referred to as hostile environment) is sexually harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to limit an individual’s ability to participate in or receive benefits, services, or opportunities at Touro. This can include persistent comments or jokes about an individual’s, sex; verbal behavior, including insults, remarks, epithets, or derogatory statements; nonverbal behavior, including graffiti, inappropriate physical advances short of physical violence such as repeated and unwanted touching; and assault, including physical violence or the threat of physical violence.
Retaliation is any kind of reprisal, adverse action, or negative action taken against an individual because he or she has: (1) complained about alleged discrimination or harassment as defined above, (2) participated as a party or witness in an investigation relating to such allegations, or (3) participated as a party or witness in a proceeding regarding such allegations. Retaliation can occur contemporaneously during the complaint process or subsequent to it, once the retaliator is aware of the recipient's participation in the process. Retaliation does not exist in the absence of an adverse action. An individual is protected from retaliation even when the complaint at issue is ultimately found to lack merit, as long as the complaint was made in good faith.
Touro does not allow, nor tolerate any conduct by any Touro community member that may be regarded as retaliatory. Retaliation against any individual, whether said person submitted a complaint through the method described below in section 5.22 below, or for any other reason will not be tolerated.
3.3 Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator or his designee ("Title IX Coordinator") is trained and knowledgeable about enforcement, compliance, communication, and implementation of Touro's anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy.
The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is as follows:
Title IX Coordinator
500 7th Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 646-565-6000 x55636
Touro has independent obligations to report or investigate potential misconduct, even if a complainant does not wish to initiate an official process. Therefore, absolute confidentiality cannot be promised with respect to a complaint of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or retaliation received either through Touro's compliance hotline or otherwise. The phone number for the Touro hotline is 646-565-6000 x55330. Touro wishes, however, to create an environment in which legitimate complaints are encouraged, while also protecting the privacy of all involved in an investigation. Complaints about violations of these policies will therefore be handled in strict confidence, with facts made available only to those who need to know in order for Touro to promptly and thoroughly investigate and resolve the matter.
5.0 PROCEDURES & IMPLEMENTATION
5.1 Duty to Report Violations
Any member of the Touro community including students, faculty, employees, and third-parties have a duty to report violations of this policy where individuals know, or should know, of accusations or actions which violate Touro Policy and will notify the Touro Title IX Coordinator of such violations promptly.
5.2 Formal Investigation and Resolution of Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation Complaints
5.21 Duty to Cooperate and Facilitate
All members of the Touro community are required to cooperate fully with any investigations of discrimination or harassment. A faculty member, staff member, or student who has relevant information and refuses to cooperate with an ongoing investigation will be subject to disciplinary action for, among other things, violations of the Touro College Code of Conduct and/or insubordination. Likewise, all Touro employees are required to ensure that complaints about discrimination, harassment, or retaliation are directed to the appropriate administrative office for evaluation and investigation. Touro is committed to conducting an inquiry that is thorough, prompt and impartial.
5.22 Complaint Process
Complaints concerning sexual harassment and/or sexual discrimination should be sent to Elan Baram, Title IX Coordinator, 500 7th Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, New York, 10018, Elan.Baram@touro.edu (646-565-6000 x55636) or, alternatively, to the Chief Compliance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org and 646-565-6000 x55330.
Complaints should be filed as soon as possible after the date of the alleged misconduct, and a written complaint is preferable.
A complaint, which must be submitted within the later of the following two dates:(a) thirty (30) days after the alleged misconduct; or, (b) the end of the semester in which the alleged incident occurred. A complaint should include the following information:
a) Complainant’s full name, home address, email, telephone number, and Touro Student/Employee ID number.
b) Name of the person against whom the complaint was made, including job title or student status, if known.
c) The protected status that is the basis for the alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on the complainant’s gender.
d) A clear statement of the facts that constitute the alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, including dates on which the acts were committed and any information to identify witnesses.
e) Complainant should include the term and year of his/her most recent active employment, academic, or student status within the university.
f) A student who is seeking admission to Touro should include the term and year in which he/she sought admission to the university.
g) The full name, address, and telephone number of complainant’s advisor or supervisor, if any.
h) The specific harm that resulted from the alleged act and the remedy sought.
i) The complainant’s signature and the date on which the complaint was submitted.
While prompt reporting is expected, complaints older than 30 days will be processed. However, if more than 365 days have elapsed since the day of the complaint, the complaint may not be processed. Every effort is made to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation. Several factors may impact Touro’s ability to conduct a prompt investigation, including, but not limited to: the Complainant’s accessibility or unresponsiveness, witness availability or unresponsiveness, the number of witnesses, the timing of the investigation (i.e. if an investigation is being conducted at a time when students are taking final exams or on recess), etc.
5.23 Intake Interview
After receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will meet with the complainant as soon as possible, usually within one week, but not later than thirty (30) days after receipt. The complainant must make himself/herself available to meet.
The meeting will be an intake interview where the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will inform the complainant about the investigation procedure and timeline. The complainant may sign a formal complaint form at that time (under the above guidelines) if he/she has not already done so. A complaint will proceed even in the absence of a signed written complaint.
5.24 Complaints about Students, Faculty, Other Employees or Third Parties
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee, shall investigate the circumstances of the complaint. This investigation will include documented interviews of the complainant, the person against whom the complaint is written, and witnesses with relevant knowledge, if any. Further, the investigation will include a review of relevant documents and any other evidence.
The Title IX Coordinator shall have thirty (30) days from the intake interview to complete the investigation of the event in question. Such thirty (30) days may be extended in the event that one of the following occurs:
· Availability or unavailability of a witness or relevant/material documents;
· Recalcitrance of a witness and/or any necessary party;
· Delay or other uncooperative actions of any necessary party;
· Numerosity of witnesses;
· Holidays and vacation periods;
· Any other unforeseeable events/circumstances.
Generally speaking an investigation will take less than 60 calendar days following receipt of the complaint. This may not be practicable in every investigation and may vary depending on the complexity of the investigation and the severity and extent of the harassment.. The Title IX Coordinator shall report the findings of the investigation to a designated, impartial Fact Finder. The Fact Finder shall endeavor to issue a determination within fifteen day after receipt of the investigation file to determine and detail: (a) whether there is probable cause to believe discrimination occurred with respect to each allegation in the complaint, (b) a description of actions taken, if any, to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future, and (c) the proposed resolution of the complaint.
5.25 Preponderance of the Evidence
The greater weight of evidence in an investigation meaning that one party’s evidence outweighs the evidence of the other.
5.26 Notice of Determination and Further Action
Both the complainant, the party who filed the complaint or the alleged target of the sexual harassment, and the respondent, the accused, shall be informed of the fact finder's decision within ten days of the conclusion of the fact finder's deliberation. Please refer to Section 4.0 for the policies regarding the confidentiality of this determination.
At the time of the receipt of this notice both parties will be informed of any actions or precautions that will be taken in response to the decision. Questions concerning these further actions should be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator Elan Baram (see Section 3.3 for contact information) or the appropriate office as required by the fact finder's decision.
5.3 Grade Appeals
Touro has a grade appeal process which is not circumvented by this policy. This procedure is not a substitute for a grade appeal. A grade appeal may be suspended until a determination has been made by the fact finder.
Employees, faculty and students who violate Touro’s policies may be subject to disciplinary action. Individuals who retaliate against someone who files a complaint, or against a witness, representative, or advocate for a complainant, will be subject to further disciplinary action. Consistent with this Policy Touro will take prompt effective action to resolve any identified discrimination, and take steps to avoid a reoccurrence.
Touro does not allow, nor tolerate any conduct by any Touro community member that may be regarded as retaliatory. Retaliation against any individual, whether said person submitted a complaint through the method described above in section 5.22 or for any other reason will not be tolerated.
5.6 Availability of Counseling
As required under Title IX Touro College through its investigations and/or Title IX Compliance officer will offer its internal counseling services to any complainant who has begun the complaint process. It is ultimately complainant’s decision of whether or not to accept the counseling service offered by Touro College.
6.0 EXTERNAL REPORTING
Members of the Touro community are always subject to local, state, and federal laws, and nothing in these procedures is intended to limit or postpone the right of an individual to file a complaint or charge with appropriate federal, state, or local departments or agencies.
Among other options, students may contact the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education for inquiries concerning the application of Title IX as well as the implementation of its regulations. The Office for Civil Rights can be contacted using the following information:
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, New York 10005
Phone (646) 428-3800
Fax (646) 428-3843
7.0 SOURCE DOCUMENTS
34 CFR 106.8 and 106.9
Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students By School Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties, dated January 19, 2001
"Dear Colleague Letter" from the Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, dated April 4, 2011.
8.0 WHO APPROVED THIS POLICY
Office of Institutional Compliance
Office of the General Counsel
9.0 HISTORY/REVISION DATES
Last Review: October 28, 2013 (with OCR Region II)
Next Review: N/A