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Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: What to do when you’re being investigated or called in to discuss a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation

If you are asked to answer questions about allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and connected conduct that you or someone else is accused of, ask CFA for help right away. 

You have the right to schedule the investigatory meeting at a time that works for both you and your union advocate. Contact your chapter’s faculty rights chair or CFA staff person.

Executive Orders 1096 and 1097 are usually the policies at play, as they explain (and demonstrate compliance with) federal and state civil rights laws that protect employees and students. 

In short, these policies prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation of colleagues, students, subordinates, and others in the CSU community.  While such rules are not new, the CSU’s issuance of the policies, monitoring of training compliance, and investigations have increased in the last few years. Other higher education institutions are increasing their enforcement and monitoring as well.

Executive Order 1096 is the CSU’s “Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking against Employees and Third Parties and Systemwide Procedure for Addressing Such Complaints by Employees and Third Parties.” 

Executive Order 1097 is the CSU’s “Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Addressing Such Complaints by Students.” 

Again, if you are accused of violating one of these policies, you have the right to have an advocate come with you to investigatory meeting, and you can ask for CFA help if you are dismissed, suspended, or demoted. See also Article 19 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Next week, we’ll address what to do if you are subject to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

  • If you have questions about a faculty rights tip or would like to suggest a tip, please write us at cfa@calfac.org with the subject line “Faculty Rights Tip.”

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