Responsible Employees

When someone comes to you with a concern related to sexual violence and sexual harassment, it’s crucial that you listen, support, and offer resources. You are also expected to share what you learned with the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD).

To avoid retraumatization, please do not attempt to investigate or intervene. The following table offers tips on responding as a Responsible Employee.

Responding to disclosures of sexual violence and sexual harassment

The Responsible Employee obligation is more than just reporting to OPHD. When someone comes to you with a concern that may be related to sexual violence and sexual harassment, it’s crucial that you listen, support and offer resources, in addition to sharing what you learned with OPHD. You should not investigate the report, and should not try to intervene or resolve the issue. The following table offers tips on responding as a Responsible Employee.

Tips for how to respondExample of what you could say or do
Remind the person that you are not a confidential resource. “Before we continue, it’s important you know that as a campus employee, if I learn of any incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment, I am required to share that information with OPHD. Sexual violence and sexual harassment include sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, invasions of sexual privacy, and retaliation. I’m letting you know this so that you can choose how much you want to share with me. I also want to let you know there are confidential resources available to you.”
Create a comfortable and private environment. Appreciate the person for connecting with you. “Thank you for trusting me, I imagine it can be difficult to share. Do you feel comfortable talking here or is there somewhere else you would prefer?” 
Listen actively and respond without blame, doubt, or judgment, and without attempting to investigate. “I want to support you, whatever you decide to do.”

Offer a warm referral to the PATH to Care Center and provide the Notice of Rights and Options for Survivors of SVSH.

“I want to help you get the support you deserve and information about your options and rights. There are trained, confidential advocates at the PATH to Care Center who can help, whatever you decide. Let’s call an advocate together and then you can decide if you want to make an appointment.” Call the 24/7 Urgent Support Care Line: 510-643-2005 for confidential support.

A warm person-to-person interaction and referral from someone familiar can make a huge difference for the impacted person.

Share what you learned with OPHD.

Contact OPHD by completing their online reporting webform, emailing ask_ophd@berkeley.edu, or calling 510-643-7985. For information, visit ophd.berkeley.edu

If you are a Campus Security Authority and also need to file a Clery crime report, please complete the Clery Act Crime Report Form.

Take care of yourself. Learning that someone you know experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment can be difficult. It is common to feel angry, sad, anxious, overwhelmed, and to experience symptoms of vicarious trauma or a reactivation of your own traumatic experiences. Remember that there are resources available to support you as well. Consider calling the PATH to Care Center 24/7 Urgent Support Care Line at 510-643-2005,or calling Employee Assistance at 510-643-7754, for confidential support.

About Responsible Employees

*A Responsible Employee is “any University employee who is not a Confidential Resource.” This applies to student employees (e.g. resident assistants and GSIs), when disclosures are made to them in their capacities as employees.

Responsible Employees are always encouraged to report all Prohibited Conduct to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). In addition, according to the University of California Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (UC SVSH Policy), Responsible Employees have certain reporting obligations. If they learn of conduct prohibited under the UC Policy on SVSH during the course of their work (“Prohibited Conduct”), they must promptly notify OPHD.

Reporting obligations for any employee who is not confidential:

You should promptly notify OPHD when:

  • In the course of your work, you become aware that a student has experienced Prohibited Conduct.

Reporting obligations for faculty, supervisors, managers, HR and academic personnel, campus police:

You have an additional responsibility and should promptly notify OPHD when: 

  • In the course of your work, you become aware that anyone affiliated with the University has experienced Prohibited Conduct.

Your report enables the University to promptly address reports of harassment and violence, by informing the individuals charged with taking action under University policy, thus helping foster a safer learning and working environment.

Have questions about being a Responsible Employee? Contact Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) by emailing ask_ophd@berkeley.edu or calling 510-643-7985.

Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) have additional responsibilities under the Clery Act

Please provide the Notice of Rights and Options for Survivors of SVSH to any reporting parties of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

If you are a Campus Security Authority (CSA) and need to file a Clery crime report, please complete the Clery Act Crime Report Form. For more information on CSA reporting obligations, please contact clery@berkeley.edu.

Prohibited Conduct includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, invasions of sexual privacy, and retaliation.

Find the definitions of these and other terms in the UC SVSH Policy.

Disclaimer: This page is not a formal part of the University of California Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy. This page should be considered as a resource for anyone seeking information about Responsible Employee obligations. Where differences occur between these pages and University policy, University policy and procedure govern.