Complaint Process

Complaints under the Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedure are restricted to complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation as outlined in UW-Stout Non-Discrimination Policy No. 90-61, the UWS Regents anti-discrimination and equal opportunity policies, Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, applicable state and/or federal anti-discrimination statutes. This complaint process is internal to the University and applies to incidents that take place at the University and its affiliated off-site locations and/or during University-related events or activities; or affect or impact an employee’s working conditions or workplace environment. The complaint may be handled through an informal complaint process and resolution or filed as a formal complaint as stated herein below.

Informal Resolution

In some cases, a complaint can be resolved informally, for example through direct contact with the complainant and the accused, or through the intervention of the complainant or accused's supervisor. The purpose of informal resolution is to address the alleged behavior, discuss the impact of the alleged behavior on the complainant and reach a voluntary and mutually-acceptable resolution to the concern. The informal process is not intended as a process for investigating allegations of wrongdoing, determining whether a violation of policy occurred, or imposing disciplinary action. It is an informal step toward reaching a reasonable and effective resolution between the parties. While informal resolution may result in some mutually agreeable action, such as an apology or a behavior contract, no record of a complaint resolved informally will be placed in the accused official personnel file.

Formal Complaint

If an informal resolution is not reached, or if the offense is so serious or persistent as to warrant an investigation into the allegations, then a formal complaint should be filed in accordance with Sec. 2 below. The purpose of a formal complaint is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to find that a violation of the Non-Discrimination Policy has occurred, and if so, what remedial action is required in order to properly respond to the violation. A record of the formal complaint, investigative findings and final disposition of the matter shall be made a part of the accused’s official personnel file if found guilty. If the accused is found not guilty, the complaint will be removed from the official personnel file.

Reporting through the Formal Complaint Process

In order to facilitate the efficient and effective investigation and resolution of complaints, a complaint should contain a clear and concise factual description (either verbal or written) of the alleged incident or violation, the date or period of time during which the situation took place, the issue involved (including the reasons the complainant believes the alleged discrimination violates university rules or policies or adversely affects the complainant’s work performance, work environment or obligation to the university), the name of the victim, the name of the accused, names of any witnesses, and the relief sought.

  • Employees or Applicants for Employment: An employee or applicant for employment who believes that he or she has been the victim or witness of discrimination or retaliation against him or herself or others should promptly report this belief and the basis thereof to either his or her direct supervisor, the supervisor of the accused, the Office of Human Resources and/or the Office of the Chancellor.
  • Other Complainants: Any University vendor, contractor, subcontractor, program participant, visitor or user of UW-Stout services who believes that he or she has been the victim or witness of discrimination or retaliation against him or herself or others should promptly report this belief and the basis thereof to the Human Resources Office. The same investigative and finding process shall be initiated in regard to the complaint.

Proper Complainants

Individuals who may utilize this complaint filing process are limited to individuals applying for employment at the University of Wisconsin-Stout,
UW-Stout employees, vendors, contractors, subcontractors, program participants and visitors or users of UW-Stout services.

Duty to File in Good Faith/No False Reports

Any person who files a complaint, submits allegations of discrimination or harassment, or provides information during the investigation of a complaint is presumed to have participated in the investigatory process in good faith. It is a violation of this policy for persons to knowingly make a false allegation or complaint, or knowingly provide false information at any stage of a complaint process, including but not limited to the investigative process.