due process

Due process considerations in sexual harassment complaints

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Due Process is a fundamental right in the United States just as the right to be innocent until proven guilty.  So how is it that when it comes to sexual harassment complaints in American educational institutions right to due process has gone out the window for the accused.

due process

So what is due process.  It can be defined as ” a judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual”.  Generally, courts have rules governing the porcess by which the court runs, the method attorney utilize, the way jurors are selected, etc.  But somewhere during the Obama Administration, due process for those accused of sexual harassment in higher education got lost.  Specifically it was with a Dear Colleague letter issued to higher educations under Title IX requiring schools to investigate and take actions on sexual misconduct and removing the ability of the accused to have representation or cross-examine the one bringing charges/complaints.

due process

We have due process in IEP’s (indivdual education plans), employment actions (think Skelly Hearings) and much more.  So, why would Obama remove due process for the accused?  Most likely falsified statistics and an agenda to appease leftist agendas.

What does a denial of due process mean

Removing due process is great for skewering the accused in the education setting; but it doesn’t solve the problem.  The accused simply sues the school after the determination for abuse of process, etc.  And that means huge legal bills for the educational institution.  Betsy DeVos and even Susan Collins (looking into the Kavanaugh case) are calling for re-establishment of due process for accusers.  If Susan Collins sways Congress to all Kavanaugh the ability to cross examine Ford, then the scene with be ripe for re-establishment of due process rights.  A good thing for everyone.

What should you do

What should you do if you are in charge of managing sexual harassment compliants?  Number one is to follow your policies.  Number two is to ensure that due process is given.  Number three, don’t make rash decisions.  Take the time to process the issue.  Finally, I highly recommend using a firm like ours who has an entire committee to handle these issues on your behalf.

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