Procedures for Responding to a Report of Sexual Misconduct
When New England Conservatory receives any complaint of misconduct it will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. New England Conservatory will make every effort to proceed in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred NEC will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate we will also impose disciplinary action.
Members of the NEC community are strongly encouraged to promptly report all incidents of sexual misconduct. Prompt reporting of such incidents makes investigation of the incident more effective and enhances the ability of NEC to take action. Any individual who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual misconduct by another NEC employee may initiate a complaint by speaking to his/her supervisor or Department Head, Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students or the Director of Human Resources at X1229, or to those listed in Section X of this policy.
In addition to filing a complaint within NEC, individuals may also file a criminal complaint with the Boston Police. The standards for finding a violation of law are different from the standards used by NEC in determining whether there has been a violation of NEC’s policy. The filing of a complaint of sexual misconduct with NEC is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding (although NEC’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) and NEC may not wait for the conclusion of any criminal proceeding to start its own investigation.
If the particular circumstances make a discussion with or a complaint to an employee’s own supervisor inappropriate (for example, the complaint involves the employee’s supervisor, or the employee fears retaliation by his/her supervisor), the employee should bring the matter immediately to his/her Department Head, the Director of Human Resources at X1229, or to those listed in Section X of this policy. Any person who receives a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination from an employee or student, or who otherwise knows or has reason to believe that an employee or student has been subjected to sexual misconduct or discrimination, is expected to report the incident promptly to the Director of Human Resources for investigation.
The following is an outline of the procedure generally followed once a complaint has been brought to the attention of the Conservatory:
A prompt and impartial investigation of the complaint is conducted by the Conservatory Investigators or by their designee. (For example, for a complaint against a student, this would be the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students.) This investigation will consist of (but will not necessarily be limited to) interviews of the individual who made the complaint, of the person or persons against whom the complaint was made and of other individuals who may have witnessed the reported incident or incidents.
Upon completion of the investigation, the person who conducted the investigation will meet individually with the individual who made the complaint and the individual or individuals against whom the complaint was made, to report the results of the investigation and, where a remedy is determined to be appropriate, to inform the parties of the steps that will be taken to remedy the situation.
In a sexual misconduct matter, the complainant and respondent can appeal a decision on the complaint. Such appeal must be in writing, filed promptly with the Human Resources Office, and state the reasons supporting the appeal.
Complaints by or against Students
This policy applies to a work-related complaint filed by a student against an employee (including a supervisor) if the issue arose in an NEC work setting. If a complaint is made against a student who is working at NEC, either the informal process outlined below or the informal processes of the Office of Student Services may be followed. However, a formal complaint against a student employed by NEC will usually be addressed through the Office of Student Services even if the issue arose in a work setting. See the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy: http://necmusic.edu/student-services/policies/sexual-misconduct
While an investigation or grievance proceeding is pending, NEC will take interim measures as appropriate under the circumstances to assist or protect persons who were or may have been subjected to sexual misconduct. Interim measures may include, for example, changing work schedule or working situations of the person who was subject of the alleged misconduct and/or the person alleged to have committed the misconduct, or similar action. Such measures may also include connecting the persons who were or may have been subjected to sexual misconduct with counseling, health care, academic support, or other resources. Support services for respondents are also available.
In the event that the investigation reveals that sexual misconduct, discrimination, or other inappropriate or unprofessional conduct (even if not unlawful) has occurred, further action will be taken, including disciplinary action, such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privileges, mandatory training or suspension and/or immediate termination.
All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints through this procedure shall be conducted with as much privacy, discretion and confidentiality as possible without compromising the thoroughness and fairness of the investigation. All persons involved are to treat the situation with respect. To conduct a thorough investigation, the Investigator(s) may discuss the complaint with witnesses and those persons involved in or affected by the complaint, and those persons necessary to assist in the investigation or to implement appropriate disciplinary actions. NEC respects an employee’s desire for confidentiality and will always strive to protect an employee’s right to privacy. However, confidentiality can limit the Conservatory’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate disciplinary action. Additionally, the Conservatory may be required to break confidentiality if the reported incident poses a credible threat to the safety of the NEC community or the public at large.
No Retaliation for Filing a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct or Unlawful Discrimination
Retaliation against any individual for making a complaint of sexual misconduct or of any unlawful discrimination or for assisting in the investigation of such a complaint is illegal and will not be tolerated. Any acts of retaliation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, and loss of privileges, mandatory training or suspension and/or immediate termination.