2.12.1 Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Improper Sexual or Romantic Relationships or Suspected Improper Sexual or Romantic Relationships

Created:  October 1, 2016

The following steps should be completed in reporting improper sexual or romantic relationships:

A. Any supervising administrator who receives an improper sexual or romantic relationship complaint, or who has knowledge of such a relationship, shall inform his/her immediate supervisor and/or the Executive Vice President, appropriate Vice President, or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, who serves as the Title IX Coordinator,  The Title IX Coordinator will investigate all improper sexual or romantic relationship complaints.

B. Any College employee may report an improper sexual or romantic relationship, or alleged improper sexual or romantic relationship, to his/her immediate supervisor. If the relationship involves the immediate supervisor, or if the employee prefers, the employee may report the relationship to the next level of management or to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.

C. Any College student may report an improper sexual or romantic relationship or suspected improper sexual or romantic relationship to the appropriate department head. If the relationship involves the department head, or if the student prefers, the student may report the relationship to the Dean of Student Services, the Executive Vice President, or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.

D. Improper sexual or romantic relationships may involve conduct violating policy 5.17 – Sexual Misconduct. Students and employees are encouraged to follow those procedures in addition to or in lieu of the following procedure.

E. In the event of an improper sexual or romantic relationship complaint, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The appropriate college official shall investigate each improper sexual or romantic relationship complaint and a determination of the facts shall be made. The complainant and the respondent may expect a response to a complaint within thirty working days following the filing of a formal Improper Sexual or Romantic Relationship Complaint. The President (or designee) may extend the response period if any investigation requires additional time to gather facts.
  2. The appropriate college official shall investigate the complaint by separately interviewing the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed and potential witnesses. While an effective investigation cannot promise complete confidentiality of information provided by complainants or witnesses, the College will keep such information and identities confidential to the extent possible.
  3. Any employee involved in the investigation of an improper sexual or romantic relationship complaint must treat all information gained from the complainant(s) or witness(es) during the investigation as confidential and disclose such information only on a need-to-know basis.
  4. In appropriate circumstances, the President (or designee) may at any time during or after an investigation of an improper sexual or romantic complaint place the employee against whom a complaint has been filed on administrative leave per 4.28 Administrative Leave.
  5. Following the investigation of the complaint, the immediate supervisor of the accused, the Unit Vice President (or designee), and the Associate Vice President of Human Resources in the role of Title IX Coordinator, will determine whether the allegations were substantiated and recommend appropriate action to the President.

F. In the event that an improper sexual or romantic relationship complaint is made directly to the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator shall report the complaint to the immediate supervisor of the employee against whom the complaint is filed and the Unit Vice President (or designee).

G. Any employee who fails to act promptly and in accordance with established procedures in response to an improper sexual or romantic relationship complaint is in violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action as described in this policy.

H. Disciplinary Action
SCC will not tolerate improper sexual or romantic relationships, nor will it tolerate any form of retaliation against any employee or student who has brought good-faith concerns to the attention of the College or who has properly participated in the investigation or resolution of such concerns. A faculty member, supervising administrator, or other employee acting in an advisory, counseling, supervisory, or evaluative role with respect to employees or students who is involved in an improper sexual or romantic relationship or in any retaliatory activity will be deemed to have engaged in serious misconduct as defined in policies 4.07 Appointment, Reappointment, Discipline and Dismissal of Full-Time Administrators; 4.38 Employment, Discipline, and Dismissal of Full-Time Classified Employees; 4.31 Appointment, Reappointment, Discipline and Dismissal of Full-Time Professional Employees; and 4.08 Appointment, Reappointment, Discipline and Dismissal of Full-Time Faculty and Librarians and will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. While disciplinary action taken against an employee or faculty member as a result of a complaint of an improper sexual or romantic relationship may be the subject of a grievance under 4.32 Conflict Resolution and Grievance Process, the Title IX Coordinator’s conclusions, or alleged lack of conclusions, shall not be subject to the grievance process.
The College recognizes that romantic relationships may develop between employees or faculty members that if undisclosed would lead to situations in violation of this policy. In such circumstances, the College encourages the employees or faculty members involved in such a relationship to disclose its existence to the Title IX Coordinator. In circumstances where such early, voluntary disclosure is made, the College shall have the option of waiving the investigation and disciplinary procedures contained in this policy and addressing the new relationship through other means, including reassignment. While no right of reassignment or continuing employment of one or both parties to the relationship is guaranteed, the College will, when appropriate, seek a resolution where no violation of this policy would result. This option is not available in the event of any improper sexual or romantic relationship involving a student.

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