What is the different between a formal and an informal complaint?

What is the different between a formal and an informal complaint?

UT Dallas recognizes both informal and formal reports as methods to officially file a complaint; however, there are some key differences on how the two types of complaints are handled.

Informal Resolution Process: The goal of this process is to give notice of a perceived wrong, which is informally addressed by the Office of Institutional Equity (IE). UT Dallas does not make a determination as to whether a Respondent(s) has violated University policy. Instead, IE staff will use conflict resolution techniques to attempt to resolve the concern(s) brought forward. Moreover, the staff members will only speak to those people whose involvement is necessary to facilitate a resolution to a complaint. At times, this might include only the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s.) IE attempts to reach a resolution to an Informal Complaint within thirty (30) days of the filing of the complaint. This process is not a fact-finding endeavor. No investigation is conducted and there is no discipline as part of this process.

Formal Resolution Process: The goal of this process is to reach an official determination as to whether a Respondent(s) has violated one of the University’s policies, including, but not limited to, the Sexual Harassment Policy and/or Nondiscrimination Policy. As part of the Formal Resolution Process, Institutional Equity (IE) will investigate formal complaints of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation and determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing the alleged violations of the policy have occurred. The investigation may include oral interviews and/or written statements from the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses who may be able to provide pertinent information about the facts of the case. In the course of the investigation, the respondent will be informed of the allegation and the facts surrounding the allegations and will be afforded a full opportunity to respond to the allegations. At the conclusion of the investigation, the complainant and respondent will be notified by the University whether any policy was violated by the complained of act(s.) Based on the investigation findings, there may be discipline and/or other measures deemed appropriate to resolve the complaint.

The complaining party selects whether to pursue an informal or formal complaint. A complainant may choose to first file an informal complaint. If, however, the parties are unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the informal complaint, a complainant may then file a formal complaint, provided that the complaint is within the time limitations set out in the applicable policy.

Incidents should be reported as soon as possible after the time of their occurrence, in most cases within thirty (30) calendar days. No person is required to report discrimination or harassment to the alleged offender.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 30075-1016
  • Date Created: 01/06/2015
  • Last Modified Since: 03/24/2015
  • Viewed: 4238