Generally, all Pitt employees are responsible employees unless their job requires professional confidentiality, as in the case of mental health counselors, physicians, nurses, and clergy. A “responsible employee” is a University employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, or who a community member could reasonably believe has this duty. When a survivor tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual misconduct, the survivor has the right to expect the University to take prompt and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.
With respect to confidentiality, a responsible employee must report to the Title IX coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the survivor and then the Title IX Office will need to determine what happened.
To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the University’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the survivor’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement, or if there is a health or safety emergency.
Before a survivor reveals any information to a responsible employee, to the extent possible, the employee should make sure that the survivor understands the employee’s reporting obligations—and, if the survivor wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the survivor to confidential resources. If you have any questions about confidentiality, do not hesitate to ask.
If the survivor wants to tell the responsible employee what happened but also wants to maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the survivor that the University will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the University will be able to honor it. In reporting details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Coordinator of the victim’s request for confidentiality.
Download A Guide for Responsible Employees (PDF) for additional information.