Employee Relations . Mission Statement Equal Opportunity Statement Discrimination/Harassment Policy. Mission Statement.
Equal Opportunity Statement
The Office of Employee Relations provides a vast array of services to faculty, staff and students alike. These services include the administration of programs, assistance in the development of University policies and procedures, and the monitoring of university practices. The focal point of the University of Northern Colorado Equal Opportunity Program is to ensure equitable treatment to all students and employees. The Employee Relations also serves as a trustee for promoting an equitable work environment. The Employee Relations Offices receives, reviews and investigates all formal charges of unfair treatment, provides educational programming and monitors university hiring.
The University of Northern Colorado is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and complies with all federal and Colorado laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding affirmative action requirements in all program. The Office of Employee Relations is located in Human Resources, Carter Hall, Room 2002. To assist the University of Northern Colorado in meeting its affirmative action responsibilities, ethnic minorities, women and other protected class members are encouraged to apply and to so identify themselves.
I. Policy Statement
The University of Northern Colorado (“UNC” or “University”) complies with all applicable state and federal laws, rules, regulations and executive orders regarding affirmative action, equal opportunity and civil rights. It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of the University to maintain the University as a place of work, study, and residence, free of discrimination, sexual harassment and exploitation of its students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Discrimination in violation of this Policy is absolutely prohibited on the campus or in relationship to any University programs wherever located. Sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination for the purposes of this Policy. The University is committed to take appropriate action against those who violate the University’s policy prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment, including corrective and disciplinary action. In addition, the University will take all reasonable steps to prevent or eliminate discrimination and sexual harassment by non-employees including customers, clients, and suppliers who are likely to have contact with our student, faculty or employees.
It is the purpose of this Policy and the Discrimination Grievance Procedures adopted pursuant to this Policy to encourage the development of tools for the elimination of discrimination and sexual harassment through education, information and discussion, and to provide a means for redressing injuries to those subjected to acts of discrimination, sexual harassment and/or discriminatory policies and/or practices of the University. Both informal and formal routes for investigation and resolution of complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment shall exist.
Reprisal or retaliation of any kind against an individual who in good faith complains of discrimination or sexual harassment, or who participates in any procedure to address a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, is prohibited. The University is committed to protecting victims of discrimination or harassment from retaliation and any University employee, official or student who is in violation of this non-retaliation policy will be subject to discipline.
Other provisions of the Policy and the procedures implementing this Policy notwithstanding, the definitions of discrimination and sexual harassment shall not include conduct, discourse, materials or methodologies which serve legitimate educational purposes and are protected by the accepted tenets of academic freedom, the First Amendment, or are otherwise constitutionally protected.
II. Definitions and Clarifications
a) It is a violation of this Policy to discriminate in the provision of educational or employment opportunities, benefits or privileges; to create discriminatory work or academic conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment or educational settings if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or part, the person’s race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, military service, or political affiliation.
b) Discrimination of this kind may also be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state, and local laws, including the “Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act of 1957, as amended” C.R.S. § 24-34-101 et.seq. (1973); the Age Discrimination of Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C.§ 621-34; title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(d); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1681; Executive Order 11246 as amended; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, et.seq.; § 492 if the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1973; and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 19990. This Policy is intended to comply with the requirements of these anti-discrimination laws.
2. Sexual Harassment
B. Prohibition of Retaliation
This Policy seeks to encourage students, staff, and faculty to express freely, responsibly and in an orderly manner, their concerns about all instances of discrimination or sexual harassment. Any act of reprisal, e.g., interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, coercion, harassment—overt or covert— violates this Policy and will result in prompt and appropriate disciplinary action.
C. Prohibition of Frivolous or Malicious Charges
Accusations of discrimination or sexual harassment are of utmost seriousness and should never be made casually and without cause. This Policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious charges. Disciplinary action shall be taken under the appropriate University policy against any person bringing a charge of discrimination or sexual harassment in bad faith.
D. Amorous Relationships
Members of the University community, whether faculty members, students, supervisors, or supervisees put academic and professional trust and ethics at risk when they engage in an amorous romantic/sexual relationship with persons who they have a direct evaluative relationship. Because these relationships may give rise to the perception on the part of others that there is favoritism or bias in academic or employment decisions, such relationships are discouraged by the University. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias or favoritism has the potential to undermine the spirit of trust and mutual respect essential to a healthy work and academic environment. Even when the parties have initially consented to such relationships, they can render the parties and the institution vulnerable to possible later allegations of sexual harassment in light of the power differential that may exist. All members of the University Community are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias. When an amorous romantic/sexual relationship exists, effective steps should be taken to ensure unbiased evaluation or supervision of the student or employee.
E. Encouragement to Seek Information
a) Students, staff and faculty who desire information, have questions about procedures or believe that they may have been discriminated against or sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the AA/EEO.
b) The person inquiring shall be given information on discrimination and sexual harassment generally, on campus policy and procedures specifically, and on the availability for recourse to external agencies.
A. Role and Function of Employee Relations Director
1) The AA/EEO has the primary responsibility of implementing the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy. (“Policy”)
2) The AA/EEO is authorized to investigate all complaints of
sexual harassment and discrimination frivolous or malicious charges, and any retaliatory acts arising there from within the University community.
3) The AA/EEO will maintain records of complaints, as well as, their resolutions and will issue an annual report to the President of the University in a manner that will insure the confidentiality of all parties to the complaint(s).
B. Procedures for Reviewing Complaints of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
1) There are both informal and formal routes for investigation and resolution of complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment. Informal procedures offer opportunities for the resolution of complaints confidentially and expeditiously. The formal process always involves an investigation.
2) Nothing in the policy is intended to prevent the complainant or the respondent from pursuing formal legal remedies or resolution through local, state, or federal agencies or the courts. But if such is done, the complainant cannot pursue University-based dispute resolution although the University may conduct its own investigation.
3) Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against, harassed or retaliated against, should be aware that there may be court or agency filing deadlines even though internal University processes have not reached a conclusion. Information about time limitations or procedures in external forums can be obtained from the following external agencies:
Colorado Division of Civil Rights
800 Eighth Avenue
Greeley CO 80631
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
1845 Sherman, Columbine Building
Denver CO 80203
C. Informal Procedures
1) The purposes of informal procedures are to provide opportunities to resolve issues arising from alleged cases of discrimination or sexual harassment in an informal manner.
2) Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination or sexual harassment should contact the AA/EEO. It is encouraged that such contact be made within 90 days of the alleged incident(s). The individual is not required to give her/his name nor to give the name of the alleged offender. However, if the alleged offender is identified, the complainant may no longer remain anonymous.
3) The AA/EEO will assist the parties in resolving the issue in a timely manner.
4) It is expected that all parties shall maintain strict confidentiality. Notes regarding informal procedures shall be maintained in the Employee Relations Office files. Any notes regarding the matter shall not be placed in any other University file and shall not become a part of an employee’s personnel file or part of a student’s records.
5) Where appropriate, the use of alternative means of dispute resolution is encouraged to resolve disputes arising under this Policy.
D. Formal Complaint
1) Filing a Formal Complaint
a) Any member of the University community at the time of an alleged incident may file a formal complaint.
b) A formal complaint may be filed by a complainant dissatisfied by the results of the informal process.
c) A formal complaint shall be filed in writing with the AA/EOO. The complaint shall include the name of the complainant, the nature of the complaint, including such details as the name of the respondent(s) and the date(s) or approximate date(s) on which the alleged act(s) occurred, and any remedy sought by the complainant.
d) A formal complaint must be filed:
1) within 180 days of the date the alleged conduct occurred;
2) if the conduct is continuing, within 180 days of the most recent incident of discrimination or sexual harassment;
3) in the case of a prior informal complaint relating to the same problem, within 45 days of the conclusion of informal procedures.
2. Investigation Prior to Formal Action
a) The AA/EOO shall begin his/her investigation of the complaint expeditiously after receiving the formal complaint.
b) In conducting the investigation, the AA/EOO shall interview the complainant, the respondent, and any other persons believed to have pertinent factual information.
c) The AA/EOO shall promptly provide the respondent with a copy of the formal complaint. The investigation shall afford the respondent an opportunity to respond to the allegations of the complaint.
d) The AA/EOO shall be in communication with the complainant and respondent until the complaint is resolved. The parties shall be kept informed of the progress of the investigation.
e) It is the expectation that the investigations of formal complaints shall be completed expeditiously. If the AA/EOO report has not been completed within 90 days of the filing of the complaint, the President and the parties to the complaint will be notified in writing of the probable date of completion.
The investigation of a formal complaint may result in one of the following outcomes:
a) that the alleged behavior or actions did not constitute discrimination or sexual harassment and the complaint is dismissed. All parties involved shall be so notified in writing;
b) Corrective and disciplinary action pursuant to 2-2-201(1)(a) and (b) of the Board of Trustees Policy Manual.
E. Review Process
Disciplinary review procedures is set out at Board of Trustees Policy Manual 2-2-201, et.seq. which can be found on the University website under Board of Trustees.
IV INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
A. Responsibility of University Community
All members of the University Community must share the responsibility for understanding and preventing discrimination and sexual harassment. However, faculty, administrators and supervisors have a duty to act promptly to eliminate any discrimination or sexual harassment that exists in their area of responsibility. Persons exercising supervisory authority have a statutory responsibility to take prompt actions when they become aware of possible violation of these policies.
B. Provision for Information Dissemination, Training and Policy Review
The policy and procedures on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment shall be published regularly and shall be incorporated into appropriate student, faculty and staff handbooks. Members of the University community who desire additional information should contact the Director of AA/EO or any member of the Review Board at any time.
Information regarding rights and options for relief, in cases of discrimination and/or sexual harassment, shall be supplied to all students through written material and/or public forums.
Provisions will be made to provide all community members with information regarding discrimination and sexual harassment and the possible consequences of such conduct. Department chairs and administrative supervisors shall be informed of their responsibilities in the event formal complaints are filed against an employee within their span of control. Training in the proper and adequate handling of such cases shall be provided.
The AA/EO shall be responsible for the development and dissemination of this information.
There shall be a regular review of the Policy. This review shall occur no less frequently than every three years. After each review, the President will be provided a written report and recommendations for revisions