ANTI-HARASSMENT/ DISCRIMINATION POLICY & COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
STATEMENT OF POLICY
Long Island University is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free of bias, prejudice, discrimination and harassment and an environment that supports, nurtures, and rewards career and educational advancement purely on the basis of ability and performance. Discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability or any other legally protected basis is prohibited by law and undermines the character and purpose of the University. Such discrimination or harassment is illegal, against University policy, and will not be tolerated.
This policy covers all members of the University community – students, faculty and staff – as well as those who interact with members of the University community such as vendors or visitors. The University encourages everyone to report all incidents of discrimination or harassment, regardless of who the offender may be.
DEFINITION OF PROHIBITED CONDUCT
Discrimination is adverse treatment of any employee or student based on the protected class or category of persons which he/she belongs, rather than on the basis of his/her individual merit, with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment or education including, but not limited to hiring, firing, promoting, disciplining, scheduling, training, grading, class or work assignment, compensation, or participation in any academic or University program.
Harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct prohibited by law directed toward, or differential treatment of, an employee or student because of his/her membership in any protected group or on any other prohibited basis (e.g., race, color, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability), where such conduct interferes with the employee's work performance, student's education, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment. The harasser can be the employee or student's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, the student's teacher, coach, a fellow student or someone who is not an employee of the University, such as a client or customer.
Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:
- Offensive or degrading remarks, verbal abuse, or other hostile behavior such as insulting, teasing, mocking, degrading or ridiculing another person or group, racial slurs, derogatory remarks about a person's accent, or the display of racially offensive symbols.
- Unwelcome or inappropriate physical contact, comments, questions, advances, jokes, epithets or demands.
- Physical assault or stalking.
- Displays or electronic transmission of derogatory, demeaning or hostile materials.
- Unwillingness to train, evaluate, assist, or work with an employee or student.
Sexual harassment is a form of behavior that consists of making unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or engaging in other verbal or physical acts of a sexual or sex-based nature where such conduct interferes with the employee or student's performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment. Conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any individual's employment, academic standing or participation in any University program, activity or benefit.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual.
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or academic environment.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Requesting or demanding favors in exchange for employment or academic opportunities (such as hiring, promotions, class assignments, grades or recommendations).
- Submitting unfair or inaccurate job or academic evaluations or grades, or denying training or academic opportunities, because advances have been rejected.
- Sexual comments, teasing or jokes.
- Sexual slurs, demeaning epithets, derogatory statements or other verbal abuse.
- Graphic or suggestive comments about an individual's attire or body.
- Inquiries or discussions about sexual activities.
- Pressure to accept social invitations, to meet privately, to date or have sexual relations.
- Displaying suggestive notes, drawings, emails or other written materials.
- Touching, brushing up against another in a sexual manner, graphic or suggestive gestures, cornering, pinching, grabbing, kissing, or fondling.
- Coerced sexual intercourse or sexual assault.
All forms of harassment or discrimination are unacceptable in the workplace, classroom, student and faculty housing, sports, University facilities, and in other University‐related settings, such as study abroad programs and University‐sponsored social functions and events. This behavior violates University policy even when it may not be sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute a violation of law.
Sexual behavior that is welcome or consensual does not constitute sexual harassment under the law. However, amorous, dating or sexual relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between: i) co-workers, ii) a faculty, staff, student or community member or iii) any person for whom an employee has a professional or academic responsibility. These dangers can include:
- That a student or employee may feel coerced into an unwanted relationship because he or she fears the refusal to enter into the relationship will adversely affect his or her education or employment;
- That conflicts of interest may arise when a faculty member, supervisor, or other member of the University community is required to evaluate the work or make personnel or academic decisions about a person with whom he or she is having a romantic relationship;
- That students or employees may perceive that a fellow student or co-worker involved in a romantic relationship will receive an unfair advantage, or
- That if the relationship ends in a way that is not amicable, either or both of the parties may wish to take action to injure the other party.
Faculty, supervisors and other members of the University community who are professionally responsible for other individuals, must remain aware that any romantic or sexual involvement with a student or employee for whom they have any academic or professional responsibility will raise questions about their integrity, the mutuality of the relationship and may lead to charges of sexual harassment.
For the reasons stated above, such relationships are not permitted.
DUTY TO REPORT
In order to ensure the University is free of prohibited harassment or discrimination, University officers, deans, department heads, faculty members, directors, supervisors, and all other employees are required to report all incidents of harassment or discrimination that they may have witnessed or been informed about.
The most appropriate recipients of reports are:
- The University Title IX Coordinator, Ron Edwards, Ronald.Edwards@liu.edu, or appropriate designee, 516-299-4236 (LIU University Center).
- The Dean of the appropriate School or College.
- The Dean of Students/Campus Title IX Coordinators, 516-299-3085 (LIU Post Campus) and 718-780-6545 (LIU Brooklyn Campus).
- The employee's immediate supervisor.
- The University has retained EthicsPoint/NAVEX Global pre-dispute solutions to be available to accept anonymous harassment or discrimination complaints 24 hours a day, seven days a week by an online complaint process which also has a toll free number. Employees and students can access EthicsPoint/NAVEX Global by clicking here (click box "file a report" and then enter "Long Island University" in the box that asks for the name of the institution) or by calling 1-866-295-3143.
It is not always easy to interpret words or actions that may be ambiguous and one may think are inappropriate. Therefore, the persons noted above are available to discuss the circumstances and address any matter before they become severe or pervasive.
If a report is made to any of these offices or individuals, and that is not the appropriate recipient of the report, it becomes the responsibility of the recipient to forward the report to the appropriate office. If staff at any of these offices is implicated in the harassment or discrimination, the report should be made to University Center Human Resources.
REPORTING A DISCRIMINATION OR HARASSMENT COMPLAINT
All individuals who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed should file a complaint with the appropriate individuals or offices listed above. Verbal complaints should be reduced to writing by the complaint recipient, in order to preserve an accurate record.
The written complaint should identify the parties involved; describe the discriminatory or harassing behavior; detail when and where the incident(s) occurred and any prior history between the parties and identify by name or description any witnesses.
Any conduct that may be in violation of this policy will be investigated, regardless of whether a written complaint is filed, and appropriate remedial action will be initiated. Effort shall be made to complete the investigation of a complaint within thirty (30) days of the report of the discrimination or harassment. Extensions of the time frame may be necessary in some circumstances. The complainant and the accused will be notified of any extension.
The University will maintain the confidentiality of the complaint to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the law and the University's goal of conducting a thorough and complete investigation. Efforts will be made to safeguard the privacy and rights of all persons involved.
INVESTIGATION/DISPOSITION OF COMPLAINT
The investigator will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the complaint in the manner he or she deems necessary. For student complaints of sexual discrimination or sexual harassment, the investigator shall determine whether it is more likely than not the alleged conduct has occurred.
During the investigation, the parties to the complaint will each have an equal opportunity to be heard and to present relevant witnesses and evidence. The parties will also be informed of the status of the investigation as deemed appropriate. Depending on the circumstances, interim measures that the University may provide include, but are not limited to, suspension, 'no contact' orders, health and counseling services, room, class, or work reassignments, and so forth.
Absent unusual circumstances, a final recommendation should be issued within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the complaint.
If it is determined that no violation of this policy has occurred, such findings shall be communicated in writing to each party.
If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, such findings shall be communicated in writing to each party and sanctions shall be imposed. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, mandated training, written reprimand, suspension or termination of employment, or expulsion. Sanctions imposed may be appealed through the appropriate appeals process depending on the status of the accused. The University will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any discrimination or harassment, and to remedy its effects.
If the results of an investigation show that the complainant knowingly filed false accusations of discrimination or harassment, or that a witness knowingly gave false statements, such individuals will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action.
The investigation, remedial action and appeal processes are strictly internal to the University, so the presence of legal counsel or third parties is not permitted at any stage of the process, unless otherwise explicitly required by law or collective bargaining agreement.
The University will take every step necessary to protect the complainant and any witnesses against retaliation for reporting the discrimination and/or harassment or for participating in the investigation of a complaint.
Any employee, faculty member, or student who retaliates against or harasses an individual who complains of discrimination and/or harassment, witnesses harassment, or participates in the investigation of a harassment complaint violates University policy and may be subject to sanctions. Complaints of retaliation should be reported as violations of this policy.
Sexual assault is a sexual act against the will and without the consent of the victim or where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Since the medical, emotional, and legal needs of a sexual assault complainant may differ from those of other harassment complaints, sexual assault victims should consider, in addition to filing a University complaint, reporting the assault to the police and/or pursuing counseling and other services available through the University.
The University supports a complete program for the education of its community with respect to the meaning and implementation of this policy. Staff training will be scheduled accordingly.
Questions or concerns may be addressed to the Office of Human Resources at (516) 299-2504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.