Discrimination and Informal Complaint Resolution (Berkeley Campus Policy)
Informal Complaint Resolution
The University of California at Berkeley provides both informal and formal procedures for the equitable and prompt resolution of complaints alleging a violation of the UC Non-Discrimination Policy. If your complaint is regarding what you perceive to be sexual harassment, the appropriate office to file your complaint is the Title IX Officer at (510) 643-7985 or visit their website at http://ccac.berkeley.edu/. The DCRC does not investigate allegations of sexual harassment.
Employees who believe they have been subjected to discrimination on a protected basis can file a formal grievance with the Labor Relations Unit or file a complaint (PDF) with the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Coordinator (DCRC).
The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. UC Berkeley is committed to protecting university employees from workplace discrimination in accordance with state and federal laws on the basis of age, disability, genetic information, national origin, race/color, religion, and sex. This includes, but is not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Sections 503 and 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADEA, and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
Discrimination Complaint Resolution Coordinator
The primary purpose of the DCRC is to conduct neutral, fair, appropriate, and objective fact-finding investigations that assist the U.C. Berkeley campus in ensuring a good faith and reasonable means of informally resolving complaints alleging discrimination on a protected basis at the earliest stage.
The DCRC serves two independent and neutral fact-finding functions for the U.C. Berkeley campus:
- The DCRC assists employees who believe they have been subjected to discrimination on a protected basis and want their complaint resolved informally;
- The DCRC provides neutral fact-finding assistance to U.C. Berkeley campus departments and units that seek to determine if a violation of the campus Non-Discrimination Policy has taken place.
The DCRC is an independent and neutral fact-finder and as such, does not provide advocacy, counseling, advice, support, or serve as a representative to campus personnel. The DCRC will refer persons who want these services to the appropriate campus offices.
The DCRC responsibility as U.C. Berkeley’s Informal discrimination complaint office Includes proactively exploring informal resolution of discrimination complaints at the lowest level and, when necessary, conducting fact-finding investigations.
The DCRC will only process complaints alleging discrimination on a protected basis that are filed within 365 days from the date of the alleged violation.
When an employee seeks informal resolution of a discrimination complaint, and the discrimination complaint warrants a fact-finding investigation be conducted )or if a campus department/unit requests an independent fact-finding investigation be conducted), the DCRC gathers information for the purpose of determining facts, analyzes those facts in relation to university policy, and generates a fact-finding report. All supporting documentation for findings in fact-finding reports are retained by the office of Human Resources, and all fact-finding reports are submitted to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for appropriate disposition.
Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process and Procedure
General Policies and Procedures
Filing a Discrimination Complaint
There are three ways to file a discrimination complaint with the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Officer:
- Complete and submit the Complaint Intake Form (PDF);
- Contact the DCRC by email at email@example.com;
- Contact the DCRC by telephone at (510) 643-8996.
Office of Record
The DCRC is an office of record and as such is mandated to respond to any allegations of discrimination or illegal activity that is disclosed by a person filing a complaint. Even if the person filing the complaint does not want to pursue informal or formal actions, the DCRC will remain in compliance with all federal and state laws pertaining to disclosure and discovery. The DCRC will report any allegations of criminal behavior to the appropriate law enforcement officials.
In order to ensure the integrity of all investigations, the DCRC will confirm that the complainant, accused person, and witnesses are notified that they are to keep investigations of allegations of discrimination confidential and appropriately notified of the U.C. Berkeley policy on Retaliation. The DCRC cannot guarantee complete confidentiality due to state and federal laws. The DCRC will make every effort to retain the integrity of the investigation by limiting disclosure to a need-to-know basis.
Informal Complaint Resolution Procedures
Step 1: Initial Complaint Intake
Upon receipt of a discrimination complaint, the DCRC will contact the person filing the complaint and conduct a preliminary review to determine if the DCRC is the appropriate office to file the complaint, and if not, provide the appropriate referral. If the DCRC is the appropriate office, the DCRC will conduct a more in-depth and comprehensive interview with the person filing the complaint in order to gather information sufficient to determine if there are allegations of discrimination. During the intake interview, the DCRC will:
- Describe the informal and formal procedures U.C. Berkeley offers persons who believe they have been discriminated against on a protected basis;
- Describe the other campus offices that resolve complaints of other types that are filed by employees (e.g., Whistleblower, Title IX, etc.);
- Describe the other external resources available for persons who believe they have been subjected to discrimination on a protected basis (e.g., EEOC and DFEH);
- Describe the campus Non-Discrimination Policy, Retaliation Policy, and commitment to Principles of Community;
- Describe the informal complaint resolution procedures and process;
- Describe the Principles and Limitations of Confidentiality.
After completing the intake interview with the person filing the complaint, the DCRC will review the details of the complaint and prepare a summary of the complaint details that will be sent to the person filing the complaint for verification that all issues and concerns have been appropriately communicated.
Step 2: Determination of Informal Resolution or Informal Investigation
The DCRC will review the complaint details to determine if the complaint is able to be resolved through informal resolution or if the complaint requires an informal investigation. If the complaint is able to be resolved through conflict resolution, mediation, consultation, or facilitation, the DCRC will refer the complaint to the appropriate campus personnel.
Step 3: Informal Investigation
Complaints that are not able to be resolved through facilitation, consultation, conflict resolution, or require informal investigation will be processed by the DCRC. The DCRC will initiate any necessary consultations with university support units (on a case-by-case and need-to-know basis), conduct document review, and create an investigation plan. The DCRC will begin informal investigative fact-finding by conducting interviews with the accused employee and any percipient witnesses who may have information relevant to the allegations of discrimination. After the relevant information is collected, the DCRC will review and analyze all of the information provided to determine if there has been a policy violation, and issue a fact-finding report.