FAQs about Complaints

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about harassment and discrimination complaints.

Please also see our reporting how-to guidelines.

If you, as a student, faculty or staff member, have experienced discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation by a faculty or staff member, you can file a complaint with the Department of Equity and Inclusion.

If you have experienced discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation by a student, contact the Division of Campus Life's Office of Student Conduct to file a report.

Yes. Emory's commitment to providing members of its community with a working and learning environment that is free of discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation includes freedom from inappropriate conduct by vendors, contractors, and third parties.

If you believe you have been subjected to harassing conduct by a vendor, contractor, or third party, you should report such conduct to the Department of Equity and Inclusion, to your immediate supervisor or dean, or to a higher university official. Such complaints should be forwarded to the Department of Equity and Inclusion immediately.

DEI will work with the complaining party to investigate the complaint, and the university will take prompt corrective action if inappropriate conduct is found to have occurred.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the director of the Department of Equity and Inclusion will assign an investigator who will, within 45 work days, investigate the circumstances of the allegations. If additional time is needed to conduct a thorough investigation, DEI may, at its discretion, extend the time for completing the investigation as reasonably necessary. In this case, DEI will notify you and the respondent of the extension.

The investigation will include interviews with you (the complaining party), the respondent, and any material witnesses identified as well as a review of any documents or other evidence. You and the respondent will be kept apprised of the conduct of the investigation and will be given the opportunity to provide any additional relevant information to the investigator, including the names of additional witnesses to contact and/or additional documents to review before the investigation is closed.

At any time before the conclusion of the investigation, the dean or equivalent division head of the unit of the university to which the respondent is assigned may take interim emergency action (not involving reduction of compensation) until the conclusion of the investigation.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Department of Equity and Inclusion will promptly notify you, the complainant, and the respondent of the final determination.

The final determination will state only whether, based on DEI's investigation, there was a violation of the Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy.

The Department of Equity and Inclusion shall have no independent authority to impose sanctions.

Sanctions imposed on those individuals who have been found to be in violation of the university's Equal Opportunity or Discriminatory Harassment Policy shall be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the conduct and shall be adequate and sufficient to prevent such conduct in the future. The sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

  • An apology to the victim
  • A verbal or written reprimand
  • A requirement to attend remedial training
  • Appropriate workplace restrictions
  • Denial of a merit pay increase or other benefit
  • Denial of promotion, or
  • Reassignment, suspension, or separation from the university

Staff members who receive disciplinary penalties under this policy may consult Human Resources for information about the grievance process, which may be used to challenge alleged violations, misinterpretations, or inequitable application of policies or procedures.

If DEI finds that there has been a violation of this policy and if the dean or division head seeks advice as to the appropriate penalty, DEI may provide a recommendation as to the appropriate sanction. The dean or division head will then be responsible for deciding upon and imposing disciplinary action as soon as reasonably possible, but within no more than one month after receiving the final determination and advice of DEI. The dean or deciding official shall notify DEI of the penalty imposed, if any.

If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you have the right to file a complaint with an appropriate local, state, or federal agency, such as the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), within applicable time limits.

You should be aware that filing a complaint with the university's Department of Equity and Inclusion or other university resource does not extend or postpone the deadline for filing with external agencies. In the event that a complaint is filed with an external agency or court, the university reserves the right to determine, at its discretion, whether the university's internal complaint resolution procedure should be discontinued or continued separately.