At Platt College, the following individuals serve as advisors, investigators, decision maker:
- Advisor(s): Title IX Coordinator
- Investigator(s): Dean of Nursing and/or Associate Dean of Nursing
- Decision Maker(s): President and/or CFO
With the exception of cases involving allegations that a Platt College employee has sexually harassed a student or where a formal complaint of sexual harassment has been filed, both parties may voluntarily and mutally agree in writing to engage in an informal realoution process to resolve the complaint. Meditation or restorative justice may serve as an alternatiuve to a live-hearing process.
The final rule requires Platt College to investigate and adjudicate formal complaints of sexual harassment using a grievance process that must:
- Give all parties written notice of the allegations, an opportunity to select an advisor, and an opportunity to submit and review evidence throughout the investigation.
- Provide parties at least 10 days to inspect, review, and respond to all evidence directly related to the allegations prior to the completion of the investigative report.
- Utilize trained Title IX personnel to objectively investigate all reports of sexual harassment.
- Create an investigative report that summarizes the relevant evidence.
- Provide parties at least 10 days to review and provide a written response to the investigative report.
- Provide for a live hearing, as set forth below.
- Apply a presumption of innocence on the respondent during the grievance process and utilize either a preponderance of the evidence or a clear and convincing evidence standard in making findings. Platt College must use the same standard for all formal complaints of sexual harassment.
- Keep the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence on the institution, not the parties.
- Ensure the investigator is a different person than the final decision maker in a formal complaint.
- Prohibit any inappropriate questioning about prior sexual history and protect the privacy of a party’s medical, psychological, or similar treatment records.
- Provide a written determination with an analysis as to how the conclusion was reached.
- Offer an opportunity to appeal a final determination. An appeal can be filed on the following bases: procedural irregularity, newly discovered evidence, and/or bias of the Title IX personnel that affected or could affect the outcome of the matter. A covered entity may also add other rights to appeal, so long as the other bases are available to all parties.
- Provide protection from retaliation for any individual that participates in a Title IX grievance process.
- Post all Title IX training materials on the College’s website.
Covered entities may, in their discretion, dismiss a formal complaint or allegations therein if the complainant informs the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant desires to withdraw the formal complaint or allegations therein, if the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the College, or if specific circumstances prevent the institution from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint. Further, if the conduct alleged would not constitute sexual harassment under Title IX if proved, did not occur as part of an education program or activity, or did not occur in the United States, the College must dismiss the formal complaint for the purposes of sexual harassment under Title IX, but the dismissal does not preclude the institution from taking action under its code of conduct or policies.
Live Hearing Requirement
Platt College must “provide for a live hearing,” which can be conducted in person or virtually. A recording or transcript of the hearing must be created. At the hearing, both parties must be provided an advisor for the purposes of conducting cross-examination “directly, orally, and in real time.” Cross-examination must not be conducted directly by the party. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the institution must provide an advisor free of charge. At the request of either party, the parties shall be separated with the utility of technology to enable the parties to see and hear one another as needed from different rooms.
During the hearing the final decision maker will have the right to determine the relevancy of any questions asked on cross-examination and can exclude any irrelevant questioning. If a party or witness “does not submit to cross-examination,” the final decision “must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the decision-maker(s) cannot draw any inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.”
Investigation, sanctions, remedies, and any other pertanent paperwork involving an informal complaint or formal complaint process will be confidentially kept on file for a period of three years from the date of filing or informal report.