Printed on: 03/08/2021. Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Appendix

Filing an Internal Discrimination Complaint*

Appendix to Policy

Employees who believe they have been discriminated against and wish to file a complaint within the University can either file a petition with the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR) or file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) except that petitions may not be filed with OCR alleging violation of the Administrative Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence. A petition alleging discrimination in the employment relationship, may be submitted to the Office for Conflict Resolution or submitted to the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA), but not both. The comparisons below will help employees decide where to file an internal complaint.

Conflict ResolutionEOAA
Scope extends to all employment-related matters that allegedly violate a University policy/practice with the exception of alleged violation of the Administrative Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence. Scope is limited to reports of:
  • sexual misconduct committed by students, staff, faculty and third parties who are engaged in any University activity or program, or who are otherwise interacting with the University, including, but not limited to, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and guests.
  • discrimination, or discriminatory harassment that is based on, a protected characteristic (race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, familial status, disability, public assistance status, membership or activity in a local commission created for the purpose of dealing with discrimination, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression) and that is committed by staff, faculty and third parties who are engaged in any University activity or program, or who are otherwise interacting with the University, including, but not limited to, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and guests.
  • related retaliation.
  • Accepts complaints from non-labor represented unit faculty, staff, and student employees.
  • Services are not available to labor represented employees.
Accepts complaints from both non-labor represented employees and labor represented faculty, staff, students, and third parties who are engaged in any University activity or program, or who are otherwise interacting with the University, including, but not limited to, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and guests.
OCR uses a hearing process. The petitioner and the respondent themselves collect and present their information to a peer panel. The petitioner must prove to the panel that discrimination occurred. If the panel finds that discrimination occurred, it recommends actions to remedy the discrimination. The panel does not decide whether the employee who engaged in discrimination will be disciplined. EOAA responds to reports through either 1) an informal problem-solving process or 2) a formal investigation to determine whether University policy has been violated. After gathering information through either of these processes, EOAA may make recommendations to the unit for rehabilitative, restorative, and/or monitoring measures. EOAA may additionally recommend disciplinary measures if a formal investigation is conducted and a policy violation is found.
A peer panel relies on the information presented to them in a panel hearing, which normally takes one day. EOAA determines whether University policy was violated.
A peer panel makes the initial determination of whether a University policy/practice was violated. EOAA determines whether University policy was violated.
The panel determination goes to the executive vice president and provost who may accept or reject it and decides what action to take. EOAA sends its policy violation determinations and recommendations for responsive action, if any, to the appropriate University authority (dean or supervisor, and HR representative). The University authority determines which responsive actions to implement.
The petition process often takes from 4-8 months. The EOAA process generally takes from 2 to 7 months.
If the petitioner disagrees with the decision of the panel or the executive vice president and provost, the petitioner can proceed to binding arbitration, or seek judicial review in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. There is no internal appeal of an EOAA finding of whether a policy violation occurred. However, employees may be able to grieve discipline that is imposed on them as a result of an EOAA investigation through processes based on their employee classification. P&A and civil service employees may be able to grieve their discipline through the OCR petition process. Labor-represented employees may be able to grieve their discipline through their collective bargaining agreements. Faculty may be able to grieve their discipline under the Faculty Tenure Code or through the OCR petition process. An employee may also have opportunities to pursue a complaint with outside agencies or the court.

*Employees may file complaints with city, state, or federal agencies or the courts.

Document Feedback

Human Resources