Berkeley Lab

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office

Reporting Sexual Harassment

Any member of the Laboratory community may report conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under this policy. In addition, supervisors, managers, and other designated employees are responsible for taking whatever action is necessary to prevent sexual harassment, to correct it when it occurs, and to report it promptly to the Title IX Compliance Coordinator (Sexual Harassment Officer) or other appropriate official designated to review and investigate sexual harassment complaints. An individual may also file a complaint or grievance alleging sexual harassment under the applicable Laboratory complaint resolution or grievance procedure (University of California Procedures for Responding to Reports of Sexual Harassment, Appendix I: University Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures).

Response to Sexual Harassment

The Laboratory will provide a prompt and effective response to reports of sexual harassment in accordance with the University of California Procedures for Responding to Reports of Sexual Harassment (Procedures). A prompt and effective response may include early resolution, formal investigation, and/or targeted training or educational programs. Upon findings of sexual harassment, the Laboratory may offer remedies to the individual or individuals harmed by the harassment consistent with applicable complaint resolution and grievance procedures (Procedures, Appendix I: University Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures). Such remedies may include counseling, an opportunity to repeat course work without penalty, or other appropriate interventions. Any member of the Laboratory community who is found to have engaged in sexual harassment is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in accordance with the applicable Laboratory disciplinary procedure (Procedures, Appendix II: University Disciplinary Procedures) or other Laboratory policy. Generally, disciplinary action will be recommended when the harassing conduct is so sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it alters the conditions of employment or limits the opportunity to participate in or benefit from Laboratory programs. Any manager, supervisor, or designated employee responsible for reporting or responding to sexual harassment who knew about the harassment and took no action to stop it or failed to report the prohibited harassment may also be subject to disciplinary action. Conduct by an employee that is sexual harassment or retaliation in violation of this policy is considered to be outside the normal course and scope of employment.

Intentionally False Reports

Because sexual harassment frequently involves interactions between persons that are not witnessed by others, reports of sexual harassment cannot always be substantiated by additional evidence. Lack of corroborating evidence or “proof” should not discourage individuals from reporting sexual harassment under this policy. However, individuals who make reports that are later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action under the applicable Laboratory disciplinary procedure (Procedures, Appendix II: University Disciplinary Procedures). This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report cannot be substantiated by an investigation.

Free Speech and Academic Freedom

As participants in a public university, the faculty and other academic appointees, staff, and students of the University of California enjoy significant free-speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and Article I, Section I, of the California Constitution. This policy is intended to protect members of the University community from discrimination, not to regulate protected speech. This policy shall be implemented in a manner that recognizes the importance of rights to freedom of speech and expression. The University also has a compelling interest in free inquiry and the collective search for knowledge and thus recognizes principles of academic freedom as a special area of protected speech. Consistent with these principles, no provision of this policy shall be interpreted to prohibit conduct that is legitimately related to the course content, teaching methods, scholarship, or public commentary of an individual faculty member or the educational, political, artistic, or literary expression of students in classrooms and public forums. However, freedom of speech and academic freedom are not limitless and do not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates federal or state antidiscrimination laws.

Additional Enforcement Information

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) also investigate complaints of unlawful harassment in employment. These agencies may serve as neutral fact finders and attempt to facilitate the voluntary resolution of disputes with the parties. For more information, contact the nearest office of the EEOC or DFEH listed in the telephone directory. Additional information on harassment and complaint procedures may be found at §2.05(E) (University of California Procedures for Responding to Reports of Sexual Harassment) .