Frequently Asked Questions

I want to get a situation "on record" and talk to someone for advice, but I do not want anyone to know I've come to speak with you. Will my information be kept confidential?

If you would like to discuss an issue but not proceed with an investigation, EDI will maintain a confidential record of the conversation.  If your information indicates that there may be a situation of unlawful harassment, however, it is possible that we will be obligated to take action regardless of your willingness to proceed.  In this event, you will be advised that we must go forward with an investigation, and we will identify steps to protect you against retaliation and to ensure your working or learning environment is an acceptable one.  EDI's Confidentiality and Reporting Protocol clarifies when situations rise to the level where we must respond.

Can anyone report discrimination?

Yes.  EDI will investigate reports from students, staff, faculty, and even contractors and guests.

Do I have to meet face-to-face with the person I'm concerned about?

No.  EDI will meet with each party and witness separately to obtain the information needed to investigate the report.

What if I feel that a false complaint has been filed against me?

You should provide EDI with any relevant information concerning why you believe the complaint is false.  If you can present evidence that the complaint is false and malicious, the matter may be referred for disciplinary action.

I believe my supervisor is harassing me, but won't things just get worse for me if I report it?

Unfortunately, harassing behavior rarely ends on its own.  Reporting the situation is often the most effective way to make sure that your work environment is an appropriate one.  Your supervisor will be provided with clear and specific information as to how he or she should – and should not – respond to your concerns.  Normally, individuals who are accused of harassment are concerned about the accusation and do not want further complaints against them.  On some occasions, they also have not been aware that their behavior was problematic.  You always have a right to contact us if you experience negative treatment following the complaint, and we will investigate your concern.

I don't have any witnesses to what my coworker said to me. Won't it be just my word against the coworker's? Why should I bother filing a discrimination report?

In order to refer an issue for disciplinary action, there must be sufficient evidence that wrongdoing occurred.  It is true that third-party witness testimony can be important in establishing proof.  Remember, however, that even if there is not sufficient evidence to establish your claim, action can still be taken to ensure that what happened to you is not repeated.  Even talking to your coworker about a situation can help clarify the conduct that is expected by the University.

Do I have to report discrimination through your office, or can I proceed directly to an outside agency or lawsuit? Don’t you just represent the University?

Anyone can proceed directly to an outside enforcement agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights, or U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.  It is not necessary to report discrimination to EDI prior to exercising your right to complain externally.  External agencies have their own timeframes for the filing of complaints, which may or may not be extended if you choose to report the situation to EDI.  While EDI is a UB office, EDI conducts a neutral investigation into reports of discrimination.  We believe that the best way to serve UB is to correct problems when they occur.

What is the timeframe for filing a discrimination report?

Complaints should be filed within one year of the last act of discrimination or harassment.  For students who are complaining about behavior by a faculty member that occurred when there was a supervisory or evaluative relationship (for example, teaching, advising, thesis or dissertation supervision, coaching, clinical medical supervision), the time period may be extended until one year after the student is no longer under the faculty member's academic or clinical medical supervision or three years from the date the most recent alleged discrimination occurred, whichever is earlier.

How long will it take to investigate my report?

The normal timeframe for completing investigations is sixty (60) days.  This timeframe may be shorter for issues that are less complex, or may be extended if there is good cause.