Responsible Employee Supports

Acronym "RE"Harvard University faculty, staff, and postdocs may receive disclosures regarding concerns of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct from students or fellow postdocs, staff, or faculty members. Unless identified by the University as a confidential resource, faculty, staff, and postdocs are considered Responsible Employees and must promptly notify a Title IX Resource Coordinator about possible sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct. Please review the information below for details and how to seek support around the role of the Responsible Employee.

Why is the Responsible Employee role important?

  • Ensures that individuals consistently receive accurate information about the resources and options available from a trained person in a position to assist them.
  • Provides individuals with access to supportive measures to address any emerging or ongoing challenges.
  • Enables the University to proactively address any community safety concerns, including patterns of possible sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on sexual orientation or gender identity, that satisfies one or more of the following:

  • quid pro quo harassment: an employee of the University either explicitly or implicitly conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or services of the University, such as an individual’s employment or academic standing on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
  • unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education or work programs or activities
  • sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking as defined by federal law

What is Other Sexual Misconduct?

Other sexual misconduct is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Other sexual misconduct includes unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on sexual orientation or gender identity, that satisfies one or both of the following:

  • quid pro quo harassment: an employee of the University either explicitly or implicitly conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or services of the University, such as an individual’s employment or academic standing on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
  • unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it effectively denies a person access to the University’s education or work programs or activities
When in doubt, contact a Title IX Resource Coordinator or the Office for Gender Equity. Even partial information may be helpful as we work to ensure that people have access to resources and to keep our community safe.

What should you do if someone approaches you with a concern about sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct?

Remember, Title IX Resource Coordinators are available to assist you in navigating a disclosure.

Step 1: Support the individual.

  • Ask if there are safety concerns. If so, provide the individual with resources that offer immediate assistance:
    • Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) — (617) 495-1212
    • SHARE 24-hour confidential hotline — (617) 495-9100
    • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) 24-hour hotline — (800) 841-8371
    • International SOS 24-hour global emergency response program — +1 (617) 998-0000 (for concerns abroad)
  • Inform the individual of your responsibility to share the information with a Title IX Resource Coordinator.
    • Emphasize that Title IX Resource Coordinators protect privacy and only share information on a strictly needto-know basis, for example to implement supportive measures and/or to address an immediate or ongoing threat to the individual and/or the campus community.
    • Provide the individual with contact information for their local Title IX Resource Coordinator and the Office for Gender Equity.
  • Ask for the individual’s preferred email address and phone number where it is safe for the Title IX Resource Coordinator to contact them. You may also offer to accompany them to a meeting with the Title IX Resource Coordinator (or, if they prefer, with the Office for Gender Equity), or make the initial phone call together.
  • Affirm that Harvard takes these issues very seriously, and that retaliation against anyone who raises an allegation under the Policy is prohibited.

Step 2: Connect the individual with resources

  • A good place to start: oge.harvard.edu/options
  • Note that there are confidential resources available both on and off campus.

Step 3: Contact a Title IX Resource Coordinator.

  • Visit oge.harvard.edu/specialized-local-supports for the full list of Title IX Resource Coordinators. You should call, email, or meet in person with a Title IX Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to share the information (which includes whatever has been shared with you, such as the name(s) of the individuals involved, the details of the incident(s), and the disclosing individual’s goals for next steps).
    • If the individual is more comfortable connecting with the Office for Gender Equity, have them contact us at (617) 496-0200.
  • Do not otherwise share any of the disclosed information (such as with your friends, colleagues, or peers).
What happens next? A Title IX Resource Coordinator will assess the information you have provided and will take appropriate action. You do not need to take further action, except: if you learn of new and/ or related information, please follow up with the Title IX Resource Coordinator.

 

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