Complaint Procedures

Complaint Procedures Touro College will investigate the facts and circumstances of any complaint alleging a violation of Touro’s Non-Discrimination policy. If a violation is found, corrective action will be taken as appropriate. Touro College prohibits any form of reprisal or retaliation against any employee or student for opposing an unlawful discriminatory practice, reporting an alleged violation of this policy, or for participating in any internal or external investigation of any such complaint.

A. Prompt Reporting: Touro encourages early reporting of complaints so that prompt, effective and remedial action may be taken. It will be more difficult for Touro to pursue a thorough investigation of any complaint if an employee delays the reporting of a violation. Anonymous complaints will be investigated to the extent possible subject to the information provided in the complaint.

Touro reserves the right to investigate any matter that may be considered, in Touro’s sole and absolute discretion, to be a current, continuous or repeating bearing on the Touro community.

B. Confidentiality: Touro has a duty to report or investigate potential misconduct, even if a complainant does not wish to initiate an official process under the Title IX Grievance Policy or broader Sexual Misconduct Policy. Therefore, though Touro will protect, to the extent possible, the privacy of all persons relevant to a complaint, absolute confidentiality cannot be promised since facts may be disclosed, when necessary, for Touro’s effective investigation of a matter.

C. Investigation of Complaint:

(a) Mandatory Cooperation: All members of the Touro community must cooperate with investigations. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or separation. As part of this duty, Touro employees must also ensure that received complaints are directed to the appropriate office. Obfuscation is not cooperation and is grounds for discipline.

(b) Complaint Process: Following the occurrence of the event, harassment and/or discrimination, complaints should, preferably in written form, be sent to the Office of Institutional Compliance at compliance@touro.edu / 646-565-6000 x55330 as soon as possible. Complaints should include the following: (a) complainant’s name, address, email, telephone and Touro ID number; (b) against whom complaint is made, including job title or student status, if known; (c) the protected status that is the basis for the alleged misconduct; (d) a statement of the facts, including relevant dates and witnesses; (e) the specific harm that resulted from the alleged act and the remedy sought; and (f) the complainant’s signature and the date on which the complaint was submitted.

(c) Intake Interview: The Compliance Officer or his/her designee will make efforts to meet with complainant within one week and will not be delayed more than thirty (30) days after receipt of a complaint. At such meeting the complainant will be informed of the investigation procedures, the timeline. A complaint will be processed even in the absence of a signed written complaint.

(d) Investigation: The Compliance Officer or his/her designee shall investigate the circumstances of a complaint. The Respondent will be notified of the claim but need not receive a copy of the actual complaint. Touro will endeavor to complete the investigation within 60 days unless adversely affected by unavailability, recalcitrance, or other uncooperative actions of necessary parties or any other unforeseeable circumstances. Investigation periods may thus vary depending on the complexity of the case and severity of the harassment.

(e) Resolution: Upon completion of the investigation, the Compliance Officer or his/her designee will present their investigation file to a designated impartial Fact- Finder. For proceedings pursuant to the Title IX Grievance Policy, a more formal hearing is held before the Fact Finder makes a determination. For more information, see the Title IX Grievance Policy.

(f) Determination: The complainant and respondent will be notified of the Fact-Finder’s determination within ten days of the decision. Only the Complainant will be notified of what actions, if any, are to be taken in response to it. Inquiries regarding these actions should be directed to the Compliance Officer. The determination of the Fact-Finder is final, except for appeals in limited circumstances (see sub-section (g) below).

(g) Notice of Appeal For Violations of Environmental Harassment or Discrimination: Following receipt of a determination the recipient (i.e., the complainant or the respondent as the case may be) may wish to appeal the decision. The complainant/respondent has five (5) business days within which to submit a formal written appeal of the decision to the Office of Institutional Compliance. This time period will not be extended except in the most exceptional circumstances and represents an absolute bar date. The appeal should fully explain and substantiate the reason(s) for advocating a reversal of the determination of the Fact-Finder. An Appeals Committee will be convened and may grant an appeal only on the basis of one of the following:

1. Evidence of bias of the fact-finder;

2. New material, documentation or information that was not available to the Fact-Finder at the time of the initial decision; or

3. Procedural error.

The other party will be notified of any appeal and will have an opportunity to submit a narrative and any supporting documentation to the Appeals Committee.

(h) Conduct of Appeals Committee

(a) The Appeals Committee (“Committee”) shall be ad hoc and composed of three or more members of the Touro community appointed by the Office of Institutional Compliance.

(b) The Committee shall review the investigation file, and any appeal materials, submitted by the Complaint and Respondent. Additionally, the Committee may request information from any other individuals of its choosing who may be knowledgeable about the issue(s) under consideration, and may investigate relevant written reports, have discussions with involved parties, and conduct examinations, papers, or other related documents.

(c) A quorum (more than half) of this Committee must be present in order to conduct official business and render a decision.

(d) All decisions shall be made by majority vote, the voting mechanism and frequency to be as reasonably determined by the Committee. The Committee shall submit their decision in writing to the Office of Institutional Compliance

(i) Appeal Determination. The Office of Institutional Compliance will notify the parties in writing of the appeal decision. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

D. Timing: Investigations will generally be resolved within 60 days from the date of the complaint, but may be extended due to the unavailability data or evidence, the number of witnesses involved, the failure of the complainant to properly assist in the investigation or additional factors.

E. Protection Against Retaliation: Any conduct by a Touro community member that may be regarded as retaliatory is prohibited, regardless of the nature of the complaint issued by the complainant. Retaliation shall be construed as a separate violation, regardless of the validity of the original claim. Retaliation is any kind of reprisal or adverse action taken against an individual because he or she has: (1) complained about alleged discrimination or harassment, (2) participated as a party or witness in an investigation, or (3) participated as a party or witness in a proceeding.

Paid leave may be appropriate when circumstances require an investigation and it does not appear practical, desirable or in the best interests of the College or of the employee for the employee to remain in their position during that investigation. An investigative leave is not itself a disciplinary measure—therefore, no adverse job action results.

F. Sanctions:

(a) Employees who violate Touro’s policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including separation from employment. Touro will take prompt and effective action to resolve any discrimination or harassment determined to have existed, and take steps to avoid a reoccurrence.

(b) The extent of the sanctions may depend on a variety of factors and the nature of the offense. Touro has the right to apply any sanction or combination of sanctions.

(c) Individuals who retaliate against someone who files a complaint, or against a witness, representative, or advocate for a complainant, will also be subject to disciplinary action even though they may not originally party to the original complaint.

G. Fact Finder:

The Fact Finder:

(a) Receives training by the Office of Institutional Compliance and/or third-party Title IX compliance vendors.

(b) Is generally a senior member of the Touro College & University System community, or an external subject matter expert.

(c) Is not a party in the investigation.

(d) Does not serve on any Appeals Committee.

(e) Is free from any conflict of interest or bias in favor of or against any party to the investigation.

(f) Endeavors to issue a determination within fifteen (15) business days from receipt of the investigation file.