This Title IX Policy is intended to make HCN students, employees, and others aware of the various reporting and confidentiality policies available to them to make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of a Title IX Offense and how to report problems relating to any subsequent retaliation related thereto.
Any combination of the following options may be used by any individual to report a Title IX Offense:
- Criminal Complaint – A complaint filed with local law enforcement officials and with which HCN is not involved.
- Report to Responsible Employee – Reports made to any “responsible employee” (as that term is defined in Exhibit A) must be relayed by the responsible employee to the Title IX Coordinator and will initiate an investigation by HCN in accordance with this Policy.
- Institutional Complaint – A complaint filed with the Title IX Coordinator and upon the receipt of which HCN will initiate an investigation in accordance with this Policy. In the case of alleged sexual harassment, a “formal complaint” (as that term is defined in Exhibit A) must be signed and filed by the complainant or, in some cases, the Title IX Coordinator.
- Privileged and Confidential Reporting - Individuals may make privileged and confidential reports of Title IX Offenses to certain health or mental health providers or pastoral counselors. While criminal complaints, institutional complaints, and reports to responsible employees will generally result in the initiation of an investigation, whether by law enforcement or HCN (unless the complainant requests otherwise of HCN, and HCN is able to honor such request consistent with its Title IX obligations), reports to certain health or mental health providers or pastoral counselors may be privileged and may remain confidential so long as the individual does not represent a threat to himself or herself or to others. Note, however, that not all communications with health or mental health providers or pastoral counselors may be privileged.
Responsible Employee Reporting Requirements
- Before an individual reveals information to a responsible employee that the individual wishes to keep confidential, the responsible employee should make every effort to ensure that the individual understands: (a) the responsible employee’s obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator the names of the respondent (if known), complainant, and other parties (if any) involved in the alleged Title IX Offense, as well as relevant facts regarding the alleged incident; (b) the complainant’s option to request that HCN maintain the complainant’s confidentiality, which request HCN will consider consistent with HCN’s responsibilities under Title IX; (c) the complainant’s ability to share the information with counseling, advocacy, health, mental health, and sexual-assault-related service providers who may be able to maintain the complainant’s confidentiality; and (d) the complainant’s right to file an institutional complaint with the Title IX Coordinator and a criminal complaint with local law enforcement.
- Upon receipt of a report of an alleged Title IX Offense, the responsible employee shall promptly report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about the alleged Title IX Offense that the individual has shared and that HCN needs to determine what occurred and how to resolve the situation, including the names of the respondent (if known), the complainant, and other parties (if any) involved, as well as the date, time and location of the alleged Title IX Offense.
- The responsible employee does not need to (and should not) determine whether the alleged Title IX Offense actually occurred before reporting the alleged Title IX Offense to the Title IX Coordinator.
Requests for Confidentiality
- Upon receipt of an institutional complaint or report from a responsible employee, HCN will act promptly. The Title IX Coordinator and other appropriate HCN personnel (if any) shall determine in cooperation with the complainant whether appropriate law enforcement or other authorities should be notified.
- HCN shall keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the FERPA statute, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, or FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99, or as required by law, or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR part 106, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising thereunder. HCN shall maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair HCN’s ability to provide the supportive measures.
- The Title IX Coordinator shall evaluate and determine whether to honor any requests for confidentiality, or requests that an investigation not be pursued. Such requests shall be evaluated based on HCN’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, employees, and others.
- HCN employees shall only disclose information regarding alleged Title IX Offenses on a “need to know” basis to individuals who are responsible for handling HCN’s response. In the event HCN determines that it can respect a request for confidentiality, HCN shall take all reasonable steps to respond to the institutional complaint or responsible employee report consistent with the request and to determine what interim measures are appropriate or necessary. In the event HCN determines it must disclose the complainant’s identity to a respondent or other party, HCN shall inform the complainant prior to making the disclosure.