Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Statement of Policy and Grievance Procedures on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of Eastern Connecticut State University that unlawful discrimination be prohibited in education, employment and the provision of services by the University.  Consequently, it shall be a violation of University policy for any member of the University community to discriminate against any individual with respect to any terms, conditions, or privileges relating to employment or attendance at the University because of such individual’s race, color, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, disability or any other conditions established by law.

Sexual harassment is a type of discriminatory behavior.  It is the policy of Eastern Connecticut State University that no member of the academic community may sexually harass another.

It is also the policy of the University that no individual involved in a complaint process shall suffer retaliation for participation in the process.  Such retaliation shall not be tolerated at the University.

 

I.            DEFINITIONS

  1. Discrimination is defined as unequal treatment, or unlawful behavior that produces unequal treatment, as defined in the Connecticut General Statutes, U.S. EEOC Guidelines, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  Sexual harassment, defined below, is considered discriminatory behavior.
  2. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:  (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic performance or advancement; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.  Gender harassment, defined as discriminatory behavior towards an individual based on his or her gender, is a form of sexual harassment.  It may consist of the use of sexist language, illustrations, examples, and gestures that demonstrate discriminatory behavior.

II.          CONTACTS

  1. Anyone alleging discrimination and/or harassment by an Eastern employee may contact Dr Stacey Close, Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity., 254 Gelsi Young Hall.
  2. Discrimination and harassment complaints may also be filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or any other agency that enforces laws concerning discrimination.
  3. Claims of discrimination or harassment by students are investigated in accordance with the Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Handbook.  Contact Mr. Kenneth Bedini, Vice President of Student Affairs, 220 Gelsi Young Hall.

III.          COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

To file a complaint, please use the Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Complaint Form.

  1. Complaints against University Employees:Complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment may be filed with the Office of Equity and Diversity, Gelsi-Young Hall, Room 254. Complaints should be filed with the University as soon as possible after the incident(s) occurred, but generally no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the occurrence of the alleged act(s) or the complainant’s learning of the alleged act(s). Complaints submitted after the designated deadline may be accepted at the discretion of the Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity and with the approval of the President. For example, exceptions to the filing date may be made for students filing after the thirty day period as a result of a complaint against university professors from whom they are currently taking classes. Complaints may also be filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, and/or any other agency that enforces laws concerning discrimination in employment.  Individuals may also seek guidance from the Office of Equity and Diversity on problem-solving strategies that may lead to resolution without filing a complaint.

    Complaints may be pursued by the University on an informal or formal basis.  An informal resolution consists of mediation between the complainant and the respondent(s), and may not include a full investigation.  A formal complaint requires a complete and full investigation of the complainant’s allegations by the Office of Equity and Diversity and the filing of a written report, consisting of findings and recommendations, with the University President. A formal investigation may be commenced when the parties have failed to agree upon an informal resolution.  In determining whether to pursue a complaint formally or informally, the wishes of the complainant will be taken into consideration.

    Any investigation conducted by the Office of Equity and Diversity shall be initiated within fourteen (14) calendar days of the filing of a complaint.  The complainant and the respondent(s) will be notified by the Office of Equity and Diversity of the initiation of the investigation.  Upon completion of the investigation, the Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity or his or her designee shall prepare a report setting forth findings of fact, a determination as to whether discriminatory conduct has occurred, and, if applicable, recommendations for addressing the discriminatory conduct.  The complainant and the respondent(s) shall be advised of the completion of the report and shall have an opportunity to review the report prior to its submission to the President.  The President or his or her designee shall endeavor to respond to the report prepared by the Office of Equity and Diversity within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt.  It is the goal of the University that all discrimination complaints filed with the Office of Equity and Diversity be resolved within ninety (90) days of receipt. 

    The University shall endeavor, to an extent consistent with its obligations under this policy and the requirements of applicable law, to protect the privacy of persons by whom, or against whom, discrimination complaints have been made.

  2. Complaints against University Students:
    Claims of discrimination or harassment by students shall be the addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and Statement of Disciplinary Procedures, set forth in the Student Handbook.

III.         CONFLICT IN PROVISIONS
If any provision of this policy is determined to be inconsistent with a provision of an applicable collective bargaining agreement, the provision of the applicable collective bargaining agreement shall prevail.

IV.         POLICY REVIEW
This Statement of Policy on Discrimination shall be reviewed annually by the Office of Equity and Diversity, in collaboration with the Office of the President, and revised as necessary.

Revised 2012