Policy on Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment

Policy Title Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy (PDF)
Policy Category Ethics, Integrity and Legal Compliance Policies
Policy Approval Date November 4, 2016
Policies Superseded None
Responsible Office Vice President of Finance and Administration
Related Policies Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking
Procedure Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Procedures
Frequency of Review 3 Years
Date of Revision  

I. SCOPE

This Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy (“Policy”) applies to all employees of the University, and where indicated, to qualified applicants for employment with the University. Please see Section IV below for the definitions of capitalized terms contain in this Policy. 

II. POLICY STATEMENT

The purpose of this Policy is to educate members of the University community about discrimination and harassment.

This Policy is intended to be consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and other University policies. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for enforcing this Policy on behalf of the University and has Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment available to do so. In addition, all faculty and staff who are involved in recruiting, hiring, supervising, promoting, or terminating any University employee are responsible for upholding this Policy.

This Policy does not address sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, which are defined in and governed by the University’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking.

Non-Discrimination Statement

III. POLICY

The University is committed to providing a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment, including by providing equal opportunity for employment to all applicants and equitable conditions of employment for all employees.

A. Discrimination and Harassment Prohibited

The University does not tolerate discrimination or harassment in the workplace, academic setting, or in its programs or activities based on ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, race, color, religion, creed, sex/gender, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, age, gender identity, military or military veteran status, disability, family medical or genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic.

B. Retaliation Prohibited

The University prohibits retaliation against any individual who complains of a violation of this Policy or assists in providing information about a complaint of a violation of this Policy. Anyone who believes that he/she has been retaliated against for participating in this process in any capacity should report the matter promptly. Reports and complaints of retaliation will be investigated and dealt with as any other report and complaint under this Policy. 

C. Anti-Harassment Policies and Freedom of Speech/Expression

The University’s policies and procedures relating to harassment are not intended to inhibit or restrict free speech or the expression of ideas. The University’s Statement on Civility states:

The members of the Arcadia University Community encourage all individuals and groups to behave with civility. A community upholding civility respects the rights of individuals and groups. It is characterized by understanding and considerations of the differences among members of the community. The diversity of the University adds to the richness of campus life, and Arcadia University expects all members of the community to respect both differences and commonalities. The University acknowledges every community member's constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. Arcadia University also affirms every community member's right to an environment that is free from harassment of any kind. The University will not tolerate the subjection of another person, group or class of persons to inappropriate, abusive, threatening, or demeaning actions at any time.

D. Options for Addressing Discrimination and/or Harassment

The University encourages everyone to report all incidents of discrimination and/or harassment. When individuals feel that they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment of others, they have a number of options, including filing a formal complaint.

The University encourages prompt reporting of complaints because late reporting may limit the University’s ability to investigate and respond to conduct. However, the University will respond to late reports in accordance with this policy.

IV. DEFINITIONS

A. Complainant(s)

Complainants are the alleged victim(s) who has/have experienced a possible instance of discrimination or harassment in violation of this Policy.

B. Discrimination

Adverse treatment and/or any unlawful distinction, preference, or detriment of/to a person in the terms or conditions of his/her employment based on that person’s Protected Characteristics. Examples of conduct that can constitute discrimination if based on an individual’s protected characteristic include but are not limited to:

  • Singling out or targeting an individual for different or less favorable treatment (e.g., more severe discipline, lower salary increase) because of their protected characteristic
  • Failing or refusing to hire or admit an individual because of their protected characteristic
  • Terminating an individual from employment based on their protected characteristic.

C. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex, color, religion, national origin, disability and age. Federal and state fair employment laws guarantee EEO rights.

D. Harassment

Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct directed toward a person based on one or more of that person’s Protected Characteristics, which conduct is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with that person’s employment, academic performance or participation in University programs or activities, or that otherwise creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive.  Examples of conduct that can constitute harassment if based on an individual’s protected characteristic include but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome jokes or comments about a legally protected characteristic (e.g., racial or ethnic jokes);
  • Disparaging remarks to a person about a legally protected characteristic (e.g., negative or offensive remarks or jokes about a person’s religion or religious garments);
  • Displaying negative or offensive posters or pictures about a legally protected characteristic;
  • Electronic communications, such as email, text messaging and internet use, that violate this policy.

E. Minorities

Those groups of people who have been denied equality of opportunity to achieve wealth or power in our society. Women constitute another principal category of persons sometimes excluded or under-utilized in past employment patterns of society.

F. Non-discrimination

Requires that any illegal discriminatory conditions pertaining to employment practices, whether intended or inadvertent, be eliminated. Non-discrimination applies to all persons, whether or not the individual is a member of a conventionally defined minority group. Therefore, no person may be denied employment or related benefits on grounds of ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, race, color, religion, creed, sex/gender, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, age, gender identity, military or military veteran status, disability, family medical or genetic information, or any other legally Protected Characteristic.

G. Protected Characteristic

Protected characteristics are those personal traits, characteristics and/or beliefs that are defined by applicable law as protected from discrimination and/or harassment. They include age, color, creed, disability, gender identity or expression, marital or domestic partnership status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.

H. Respondent(s)

The employee(s) who has/have been accused of violating this Policy.

I. Retaliation

Act(s) or attempt(s) to act out or seek retribution against the Complainant, Respondent, or any other individual or group of individuals involved in the investigation and/or resolution of an allegation of discrimination or harassment. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a Respondent or Complainant, can commit retaliation. Retaliation can take many forms, including continued discrimination or harassment, abuse or violence, threats and intimidation. 

J. Supervisor

Any person who has authority to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions affecting an employee or academic decisions affecting a student; or to direct an employee’s work activities or a student’s academic activities. Examples include faculty members to whom work-study students report and team lead workers who, from time to time, monitor other employees’ performance or direct their work.

V. RELATED PROCEDURES

The Vice President and Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Office of Human Resources is responsible for enforcing this Policy on behalf of the University. In addition, all faculty and staff who are involved in recruiting, hiring, supervising, promoting, or terminating any University employee are responsible for upholding this Policy.

Members of the Arcadia University community who feel they have experienced discrimination, disciplinary action, or harassment based upon ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, race, color, religion, creed, sex/gender, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, age, gender identity, military or military veteran status, or disability are referred to the University’s Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment.

For University policy related to job searches, see Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and corresponding Guidelines.

VI. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Policy shall be effective November 4, 2016.