Formal resolution of sexual harassment complaints are guided by Memorial University’s policy on sexual harassment and sexual assault and University-wide Procedures for Concerns and Complaints. If you would like to make a formal complaint, the first step is to contact the Sexual Harassment Advisor.
Formal resolution generally begins with lodging a formal complaint. A formal complaint must be made within 12 months of the incident. Events prior to the 12-month period can be referenced if they are relevant and part of a series of incidences that show a pattern of harassment.
If necessary, interim accommodations may be made to preserve the health, safety and security of the involved individuals while the situation is being resolved, investigated or decided.
After filing a complaint, you may request mediation or investigation.
As per the Sexual Harassment Policy, mediation is often referred to as alternative dispute resolution and is an assisted negotiation. It is a process in which a neutral third party, known as the mediator, attempts to facilitate a private discussion in a setting which is as safe as possible with the goal of achieving an effective resolution.
Mediation is a non-disciplinary means of resolution designed to address complaints of sexual harassment. Mediation is not appropriate when only one party is committed to the process. Mediation may not be appropriate in circumstances where there have been allegations of: physical violence; threats to safety; serious emotional or physical abuse; intimidation, or where there is an imbalance of power between the parties.
If, through the mediation process, a resolution is achieved, the mediator shall record the agreed upon resolution in writing. This agreed upon resolution shall be signed by the complainant, the respondent and the mediator and shall be presented to each of the parties and the Advisor.
If a resolution is not achieved as a result of mediation, the mediator notifies the respondent, complainant and Advisor in writing that the mediation has failed.
If mediation is not successful or if mediation was not chosen as an appropriate process, the complainant has the option of asking for an investigation to be conducted.
The request for formal investigation is sent to the President’s Office and the President will review and determine if an investigation is warranted. If they do, an investigator will be appointed and charged with conducting the investigation in an impartial, fair and objective manner and generating an investigative report. This report will be sent to the complainant and respondent when complete, and both will have 5 days to respond to the findings of the report.
The President will, based on the investigator’s report and responses (if any), decide if sexual harassment has occurred. The President will advise both the complainant and respondent in writing of the decision, any actions taking and whether or not discipline will be imposed.
The President may consult with advisors, both internal and external to the university, and may impose fair and reasonable penalties, subject to the applicable handbooks, collective agreements or code of conduct. Discipline will follow the concept of progressive discipline.
The respondent and the complainant have the right to appeal/grieve. The President will, through the Advisor, notify a complainant if the President's decision is grieved or appealed, and will provide notice in the same manner to the complainant of the outcome of any such grievances or appeals.
If the President decides that the allegations do not warrant an investigation, he or she will inform the complainant and respondent in writing of the decision and further advise each of them that they have 10 working days following notification to use informal options or to avail of mediation.
For more information on formal resolution, please contact the Sexual Harassment Office or review the University-wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints.