Discrimination Complaints Procedures
Part of the OEOD's responsibility as UCI's discrimination complaint office includes investigating complaints/ allegations of violations that are related to discrimination and equal opportunity laws, policies and procedures. The purpose of investigations is to gather facts and determine if there is probable cause that Federal or State laws and/or University Policies have been violated. If we find probable cause that a violation occurred, a report of findings is forwarded to the appropriate authority for action and/or resolution.
The OEOD does not represent the complainant or the respondent. We are not advocates and we do not provide support or counseling. Investigators write reports objectively as a neutral, third-party fact finder. We refer to the statements and evidence provided by complainants, respondents, and witnesses in our analysis and findings. To obtain a complaint form, come into the OEOD office which is located in 103 MSTB or contact us at (949) 824-5594. Often an appointment is required when a complaint form is requested.
The role of the OEOD Investigator is to...
- Ask questions and obtain facts. The questions asked are not meant to imply, assume or assign guilt or blame. Difficult questions may be asked, however, they are meant to facilitate the fact-finding process and not intimidate or coerce.
- Provide a copy of the complaint to the respondent.
- Describe the role of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
- Define the purpose of an OEOD investigation (including approximate time frame, and information on the feedback process, confidentiality and privacy rights, recognition of first amendment/academic freedom right, relevant documents, witnesses, files, etc.).
- Make referrals to appropriate counseling offices for support.
Notice of Rights
- No employee shall be subject to reprisal or retaliation for using or participating in the complaint resolution process.
- The complainant has the right to request informal versus formal processing of their concern/complaint.
- The respondent has the right to the written complaint specifying the allegations made against him/her.
- The respondent has the right to be informed of the applicable University policy(ies) or campus regulations alleged to have been violated.
- The respondent and the complainant have the right to seek legal advice or to be self-represented.
- The respondent and the complainant have the right to procedural due process.
- The respondent and the complainant have the right to have explained the nature of the due process.
- The respondent and the complainant have privacy rights to keep information confidential and on a "right to know" basis.
- The respondent and the complainant have the right to be informed that anything he/she says during the investigation may be used to determine probable cause.
- The respondent and the complainant have the right to be informed of possible sanctions.
- OEOD makes every effort to protect confidentiality but cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality.
- The right to due process and equitable treatment for all parties involved in a dispute or conflict requires the OEOD staff to interview many individuals who are relevant to and/or involved in our inquiry. Such an inquiry may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about individuals. Confidentiality will be protected and honored to as great a degree as is legally possible. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of all individuals throughout all phases of the complaint resolution process. Anonymity and complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed once a complaint is made or unlawful behavior is made known.
- Although the OEOD will not speak with any person who is not necessary to our investigation or who does not hold a "need to know" standing (i.e., a legitimate business reason), we cannot guarantee "absolute confidentiality."
- However, the OEOD will do everything possible to safeguard your privacy. Furthermore, we will limit our investigation to those individuals who we believe are absolutely necessary to the addressing of the problem. Complaint files will be maintained in confidence to the fullest extent of the law.
- The OEOD will respond to your inquiries as quickly as possible, will keep you informed regarding the progress of our meetings and discussions, and will strive to adhere to the established investigatory timeline. If you are interviewed, we expect that you will keep the proceedings of the interview strictly confidential.
- If you have any questions regarding confidentiality or any related issues, please contact an Investigator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. The OEOD is located in Room 103 MSTB and can be contacted at (949) 824-5594 or via the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Hotline (949-824-7037).