Sexual Harassment Policy
HEI OFFICE / HARASSMENT COMPLAINT CELL:
- Universities are to set up Offices / Harassment Complaint Cell, where complaints of sexual harassment or any other forms of harassment could be lodged. This would require a team consisting of a full time trained professional designated Harassment Monitoring Officer (Gender Sensitized, with strong professional and counseling skills), computer specialist, and assistant who could follow up the documentation through relevant offices. It is appropriate that one of the senior members be female in order to facilitate confidential communication. The harassment Complaint Cell would involve the following:
- Sensitization of all university faculty, staff, students to sexual harassment through workshops and training. All personnel / staff / faculty that enter the university employment would require completing a two-three day essential sensitization training programs. This would be an ongoing activity.
- Complaint registration: Formal verbal or written complaint could be lodged in this office, as a first and preliminary step. Resolution through counseling can take place at this first step. However, if the complaint wishes to follow through the hearing and tribunal procedures, he / she would be required to fill a complaint form that would be available in the cell.
- Tracking system: Once the complaint has formally been lodged, it would be entered into the database to track the processing of the complaint. It is important the every complaint be treated with utmost confidence and is sent to the concerning authorities / vice chancellor for further orders / inquiries. The preliminary investigation reports should also be uploaded into the database against every reference filed case to facilitate the entire investigation procedure.
- Implementation: Since the investigation of such cases requires a constant liaison between the appointed authority / committee and the complainant therefore all the meetings and schedule arranged would be the responsibility of cell
GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR ACTION BY HARASSMENT MONITORING OFFICER (HMO):
- If the Harassment Monitoring Officer receives repeated allegations of offenses against the same person but each of the persons making allegations is unwilling to appear as complainant, the Officer shall inform the highest authority of the HEI.
- The Harassment Monitoring Officer shall communicate with persons drawn from the pertinent notes / records to determine their willingness to provide testimony against the alleged harasser. The Officer shall not communicate the contents of the notes to such persons in either written or verbal form.
- The harassment Monitoring Officer shall provide to the appropriate senior authorities / officers the names of witnesses and the name of the alleged respondent and copies of any written complaints and responses.
- The appropriate senior authorities / officers shall communicate with the witnesses and the alleged respondent and decide (no later than six weeks from the date of receiving the information) whether to initiate formal procedures against the respondent.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT RESOULTION:
Resolution may be pursued through three progressive levels,
“Informal Resolution without a Written Complaint”, “Informal Resolution with a written Complaint” and “Formal Resolution with a Written Complaint”. The Harassment Monitoring Officer will normally encourage all complainants to seek resolution through informal means instead of, or prior to, proceeding to the process of formal complaint resolution.
This does not preclude a complainant’s requesting to bypass informal procedures and move directly to formal resolution or to seek counseling