Complaints and Concerns

Have You Experienced Discrimination or Harassment? We Can Help.

Duke University and Duke University Health System are committed to providing equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Gender or sex
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Veteran status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Genetic information

You have the right to raise a concern or submit a complaint regarding harassment or discrimination. You also don’t have to follow any “chain of command” to do so — you can speak to any supervisor or manager in your department, program, or office, or to anyone in our office, about your concern. Of course, at any time during the process, you have the right to consult people or agencies outside of Duke.

If you believe you’ve been treated in a negative way because of one or more of the above, we encourage you to reach out to the Office for Institutional Equity by calling 919-684-8222. We’re also happy to answer questions about Duke policies or talk to you about other concerns that aren’t covered here.

Complaint Types

Learn about the concerns that employees, students, and other members of the Duke community may have and how to file a complaint for each type.

Discrimination

Duke prohibits discrimination based on race, color, gender or sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, veteran status, or gender identity in its employment practices or educational programs and activities. If you feel you have been subjected to prohibited discrimination, you may file a complaint.

How to File a Complaint

If you’re an employee or an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student who believes you are being discriminated against, please contact OIE at 919-684-8222.

If you are a visitor, applicant or patient who believes you’re being discriminated against, please contact OIE at 919-684-8222.

Harassment

Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is serious enough to significantly interfere with an individual’s work, education, living conditions, or participation in university programs and activities. It includes harassment based on age, color, disability, national origin, gender or sex, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, veteran status, or sexual orientation. It also includes sexual harassment (see Sexual Misconduct, below). Harassment of any person for any reason is not acceptable at Duke.

How to File a Complaint (for All Types of Harassment Except Sexual Misconduct)

If you believe you’re being harassed by a co-worker or a supervisor, you may either:

  • Report it your manager
  • Report it within your department
  • Report it to Human Resources Staff and Labor Relations
  • Contact OIE at 919-684-8222

If you are a student and believe you’re being harassed by a professor or staff member, you may either:

  • Report it within the department, program, or office
  • Contact OIE at 919-684-8222

If you believe you’re being harassed by an undergraduate student, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.

If you believe you’re being harassed by a Duke graduate or professional student, you may either:

  • Report it to the graduate or professional student’s school or program
  • Contact OIE at 919-684-8222

If you are a visitor, applicant, or patient who believes you’re being discriminated against by a member of the Duke community, please contact OIE at 919-684-8222 or Duke Human Resources Staff and Labor Relations.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct refers to all forms of sexual- or gender-based harassment, sexual or gender violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence (domestic violence and dating violence), and sex- or gender-based stalking. All forms of sexual misconduct—whether committed by student, faculty, staff, or others—are prohibited at Duke.

How to File a Complaint

If you’re an employee (including faculty or staff) or an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student who believes you’ve been subjected to sexual misconduct by an employee, you may either:

  • Report it your manager
  • Report it within your department
  • Report it to Human Resources
  • Contact OIE at 919-684-8222

If you’re an employee (including faculty or staff) or an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student who believes you’ve been subjected to sexual misconduct by an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.

If you are a visitor, applicant, or patient who believes you have been subjected to sexual misconduct by a Duke employee, please contact OIE at 919-684-8222 or Duke Human Resources Staff and Labor Relations.

If you are a visitor, applicant, or patient who believes you have been subjected to sexual misconduct by a Duke student, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.

Accommodations (Disability and Religious)

Duke is committed to making reasonable disability accommodations for employees, students, and visitors, and reasonable religious accommodations for employees. The denial of reasonable accommodations is a type of discrimination and is not acceptable at Duke.

Employees, students, and visitors should contact the Duke Disability Management System to request disability accommodations. Employees may request reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs through their supervisors or managers. Questions about religious accommodations should be directed to Duke Human Resources Staff and Labor Relations.

View related materials:

The university has grievance procedures that provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints about the denial of requested disability or religious accommodations.

How to File a Complaint

If you believe you’re not getting the accommodations you need, please contact OIE at 919-684-8222.

Accommodations (Pregnancy)

Duke University provides a number of family-friendly benefits. These benefits are an important part of Duke’s efforts to attract and retain students and employees.  This includes creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students and employees.  To this end, Duke will provide reasonable academic and employment accommodations if requested and if medically necessary as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. 

Employees seeking pregnancy-related leave or other accommodations or parental leave can obtain additional information from Human Resources.  Students seeking accommodations should contact OIE’s Director for Title Compliance at 919-684-8222 for assistance.  Student Health Services provides pregnancy detection and counseling services, which may be covered by the Student Health Fee.  In addition, while a routine pregnancy is not a disability covered by Duke’s policies on disability accommodations, impairments arising from pregnancy might be; students and employees should contact the Disability Management System for assistance. 

As with disability and religious accommodations, the university has grievance procedures that provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints about the denial of requested pregnancy-related accommodations.

How to File a Complaint

If you believe you’re not getting the accommodations you need, please contact OIE at 919-684-8222.

Retaliation is Prohibited

Our policies prohibit retaliation against anyone for coming forward with a concern, submitting a complaint, participating in an investigation, or otherwise engaging in good faith opposition to what they reasonably believe is prohibited discrimination or harassment. If you believe you have experienced prohibited retaliation, you may contact OIE at 919-684-8222 or the Office of Student Conduct to address this concern, including through the filing of a complaint.

Special Notice for International Students

International students, whether complainants or respondents, should contact Duke Visa Services for assistance in determining how their actions will affect their visa statuses in the U.S. This office will provide regulatory guidance for any complainant or respondent considering a reduced course load, leave of absence, or change to a nonimmigrant status. Respondents will also receive guidance on how any disciplinary actions by the institution could affect their visa status and/or referral to a qualified immigration attorney.