University of Minnesota  FAQ

Reporting

How do I report discrimination and related retaliation (“prohibited conduct”)?

  1. How do I report prohibited conduct?

    Reports of potential prohibited conduct can be made to the University’s campus Equal Opportunity offices listed in the chart below.  In addition, reports of potential prohibited conduct, including anonymous reports, may be submitted 24 hours a day through the University’s UReport reporting system at https://compliance.umn.edu/report.  However, reporting about prohibited conduct through UReport does not satisfy the obligation of University supervisors and human resources professionals to report incidents of prohibited conduct to the campus Equal Opportunity office as set forth in the Discrimination policy. 

    University programs and offices that are not located on a campus can report to their affiliated campus or to the Twin Cities campus.

What are the requirements related to reporting prohibited conduct?

  1. Who is required to report prohibited conduct?

    Supervisors and human resources professionals have the following reporting obligations related to potential prohibited conduct, except as noted in Question 3 below. 

    1. Supervisors and human resources professionals must promptly contact the campus Equal Opportunity office when, in the course of performing their respective supervisory or human resources employment duties, they learn about any form of potential prohibited conduct directed at University students, employees or third parties that may have:
      • occurred on University property;
      • occurred during a University employment or education program or activity; or
      • been committed by a current University member at the time they were a University member.
    2. Supervisors and human resources professionals must report the following information to the campus Equal Opportunity office:
      • the names of the complainant(s), respondent(s), and possible witnesses;
      • the date, time, and location of the possible prohibited conduct; and
      • other relevant details about the possible prohibited conduct.

      Other University members are encouraged, but not required, to report prohibited conduct that they learn about to the campus Equal Opportunity office. 

  2. When are supervisors and human resources professionals exempt from this reporting requirement?

    University supervisors and human resources professionals are exempted from the requirement to report potential prohibited conduct when such reporting is prohibited by HIPAA or other laws, or by a professional license requiring confidentiality.  For example, a supervisor who learns about potential discrimination of a patient from a medical professional supervisee who learned this information during a medical examination of the patient would be prohibited by HIPAA from sharing this information, and therefore is exempted from the reporting requirement.  University supervisors and human resources professionals are also not required to report potential prohibited conduct that they themselves have experienced.

  3. Do supervisors and human resources professionals need to report lower-level biased comments or microaggressions that are not severe, persistent or pervasive?

    No.  Supervisors and human resources professionals are not required to report isolated or infrequent microaggressions or biased comments that are not severe, persistent or pervasive and therefore would not rise to the level of prohibited conduct under the Discrimination policy.  We encourage supervisors and human resources to reach out to EOAA if they have questions about whether a particular concern must be reported. 

    Even when a concern of isolated or infrequent microaggressions or biased comments does not require reporting, it is recommended that supervisors and human resources professionals appropriately address the concern so as to prevent similar concerns and harms from arising in the future.  The campus Equal Opportunity office is available to assist in addressing these types of concerns where useful and appropriate.

  4. Do supervisors and human resources professionals need to report potential prohibited conduct that may be protected by free speech or academic freedom?

    Yes.  Upon receiving a report of potential prohibited conduct, the campus Equal Opportunity office will assess whether the reported conduct may be covered by free speech or academic freedom protections, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel as needed.

  5. What will happen if a supervisor or human resources professional fails to report prohibited conduct as required by the Discrimination policy?

    If required information is not reported to the campus Title IX office, the impacted person may not receive important information about the resources available for personal support and investigation. 

    In addition, when a supervisor or human resources professional fails to report prohibited conduct to the campus Equal Opportunity office, the campus Equal Opportunity office may share their failure to report with the appropriate unit or department leadership so that appropriate responsive action can be taken.  In most cases, the appropriate responsive action will be to require the supervisor or human resources professional to take additional training on their prohibited conduct reporting requirements, although disciplinary action may be appropriate in cases where an individual deliberately fails to fulfill this reporting requirement.

What happens when the campus Equal Opportunity office receives a report of prohibited conduct? 

  1. What happens when a report is made to the campus Equal Opportunity office?

    When a campus Equal Opportunity office learns about potential prohibited conduct, it will contact the complainant where appropriate to provide information about the process for initiating an investigation or informal problem-solving process.  The campus Equal Opportunity office may also provide a complainant with information about available supportive measures.

    Upon learning of potential prohibited conduct, the campus Equal Opportunity office will take one of the following three actions. 

    1. Initiate an informal problem-solving process.

      The campus Equal Opportunity office may initiate an informal problem-solving process to address the alleged conduct and prevent prohibited conduct.  For example, an informal problem-solving process may be appropriate in cases: 1) with an anonymous complainant; 2) where the alleged conduct does not rise to the level of prohibited conduct; 3) where the complainant does not want to initiate an investigation and an informal problem-solving process may effectively address the alleged prohibited conduct; 4) where the alleged conduct is likely covered by academic freedom or free speech protections; or 5) where an informal problem-solving process is otherwise deemed to be the most appropriate and effective response. 

    2. Initiate an investigation.

      The campus Equal Opportunity office may initiate an investigation when the alleged conduct, if substantiated, would constitute prohibited conduct under the Discrimination policy.  In particular, the Equal Opportunity office will initiate an investigation where it is necessary to comply with legal anti-discrimination requirements, or where an investigation is otherwise deemed to be the most appropriate and effective response.

    3. Take no further action.

      In certain cases, including, for example, where a complainant does not want an investigation or informal problem-solving process, or when the campus Equal Opportunity office does not have sufficient information to effectively initiate such a process, the campus Equal Opportunity office may decide not to take any action.

      In some cases, the campus Equal Opportunity office will first conduct an initial inquiry to determine which of these three actions will most effectively address the potential prohibited conduct.

Other questions

  1. If I report prohibited conduct to the campus Equal Opportunity office, will my identity be disclosed to anyone?

    The campus Equal Opportunity office typically shares the identity of the person who reported the concerns (the “reporter”) with a complainant when it initially contacts the complainant with information about resources and options.  This enables the complainant to understand how the campus Equal Opportunity office learned that the complainant may have experienced prohibited conduct. 

    The campus Equal Opportunity office cannot promise to keep a reporter’s identity confidential in all situations.  However, in certain circumstances where the reporter has a legitimate need to remain confidential, the campus Equal Opportunity office may have the discretion not to share the reporter’s identity with the complainant.  In such cases, the campus Equal Opportunity office will work with the reporter to address the situation in the most sensitive manner possible.

  2. Does the University offer training related to employee reporting obligations?

    Yes.  Please contact the campus Equal Opportunity office for more information about training.