Obligation of Supervisors and Faculty to Report Discrimination & Harassment

Under the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, all faculty, supervisors, and managers are considered "responsible employees" and required to report all incidents of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation of which they become aware.  Sexual misconduct is a form of harassment, but has special reporting obligations -- please visit W&M's sexual violence website to learn more.

The reporting duty relating to other forms of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation is triggered when you -- the supervisor, manager or faculty member -- become aware of a specific incident involving specific member(s) of the W&M community.  You may become aware of an incident in many ways, including:

  • a student or employee making a complaint to you, whether in writing or orally
  • witnessing a situation that you (or a reasonable person in the circumstances) would believe to be discrimination, harassment, or retaliation
  • someone telling you about an incident involving others (we call this a "third party" report).

Further information and examples are provided in Section III of the Policy.  

When you make a report, it must include all relevant information that you have.  This includes names (if you know them).  

The report should be made to the Chief Compliance Officer or, if the discrimination/harassment/retaliation involves a student, the Dean of Students.  Reports of sexual harassment/misconduct involving a student should be made using the online form.

This reporting obligation:

  • helps W&M fulfil its commitment to creating a discrimination and harassment-free environment for its faculty and staff
  • avoids reports or complaints being mishandled or ignored
  • helps W&M fulfil legal expectations that incidents brought to the attention of supervisors or other employees with certain authority will be addressed
  • helps prevent illegal retaliation 
  • does not mean that you, the person making the report, have validated or verified the incident - validation happens only through investigation and adjudication under established complaint procedures
  • does not mean that all concerns or issues will be formally investigated -- each report is assessed to determine the appropriate institutional response, with consideration given to many factors including the wishes of the person allegedly impacted by the incident.  

What is a "responsible employee"?  That is a term used by courts and regulators to indicate, basically, an employee whom a student or other employee might reasonably believe has the authority to respond to a complaint or report of discrimination or harassment, or an employee whom the school has requested to report complaints that are made to him or her.  At William & Mary, almost all faculty, supervisors, and managers are considered "responsible employees" and are required to report.  Under Virginia law, there are additional and broader reporting obligations relating to sexual harassment and misconduct matters.   

This page updated July 2016.