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Institutional Policies

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Purpose

Lewis & Clark College prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment. This policy defines these terms and provides a complaint procedure for employees who have experienced or been affected by prohibited conduct.

Applicability

This policy applies to all matters related to hiring, firing, transfer, promotion, benefits, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Policy Statement

It is Lewis & Clark College policy to provide a work environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, age, expunged juvenile record, performance of duty in a uniformed service or physical or mental disability, or any other characteristic protected by local law, regulation, or ordinance (“Protected Class Status”). It is our policy that all employees are entitled to a respectful and productive work environment free from behavior, action, or language that constitutes workplace harassment or discrimination. The “workplace” includes when employees are on College premises, at a College-sponsored event, traveling on behalf of the College, or conducting College business, regardless of location.

Policy

Discrimination and harassment are prohibited in the workplace. This policy prohibits taking any employment action, including hiring, promotion, termination, and compensation decisions, based on the Protected Class Status of an individual or group. This policy also prohibits any form of retaliatory action toward an employee for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, or for participation in an investigation of a compliant.

Discrimination is the unequal treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on Protected Class Status.

Workplace harassment is conduct that a reasonable person in the individual’s circumstances would consider unwelcome, intimidating, hostile, threatening, violent, abusive, or offensive. Workplace harassment can be based on national origin, age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. It may also encompass other forms of unwelcome, hostile, intimidating, threatening, humiliating, or violent behavior that is not necessarily illegal, but still prohibited by this policy.

Sexual harassment is a form of workplace harassment and includes, but is not limited to, the following types of conduct:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct is directed toward an individual because of that individual’s sex and submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual.
  • Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive working environment.

In addition, the College prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, exploitation, intimate partner violence, stalking, and prohibited relationships by persons in authority, as provided in greater detail in our Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Penalties

The College does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Any employee found to have engaged in such conduct may face disciplinary action up to, and including, dismissal. The College may also subject managers and supervisors who fail to report known discrimination or harassment – or fail to take prompt, appropriate corrective action — to disciplinary action, including potential dismissal.

Retaliation Protections

The College prohibits retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint regarding conduct in violation of this policy. The College will not tolerate retaliation against any employee for raising a good faith concern, for providing information related to a concern, or for otherwise cooperating in an investigation of a reported violation of this policy. Any employee who retaliates against anyone involved in an investigation is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Reporting Procedure

Any employee aware of or experiencing discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct in the workplace should report that information immediately to a responsible College official. Specifically, an employee may make the report verbally or in writing to the employee’s immediate supervisor, to higher management, or to Human Resources. As an alternative, an employee may file a report by completing this form. Employees may report to any of the persons listed above, regardless of any particular chain of command. All employees are encouraged to document any incidents involving discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault as soon as possible.

Nondisclosure or Nondisparagement Agreements

Under this policy, a nondisclosure agreement is any agreement by which one or more parties agree not to discuss or disclose information regarding any complaint of work-related harassment, discrimination, or sexual assault.

A nondisparagement agreement is any agreement by which one or more parties agree not to discredit or make negative or disparaging written or oral statements about any other party or the College.

A no-rehire provision is an agreement that prohibits an employee from seeking reemployment with the College and allows a company to not rehire that individual in the future.

The College will not require an employee to enter into any agreement if the purpose or effect of the agreement prevents the employee from disclosing or discussing conduct constituting discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. An employee claiming to be aggrieved by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct may, however, voluntarily request to enter into a settlement, separation, or severance agreement which contains a nondisclosure, nondisparagement, or no-rehire provision and will have at least seven days to revoke any such agreement.

Time Limitations

Nothing in this policy precludes any person from filing a formal grievance in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Civil Rights Division or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Note that Oregon state law requires that any legal action taken on alleged discriminatory conduct (specifically that prohibited by ORS 659A.030, 659A.082 or 659A.112) commence no later than five years after the occurrence of the violation. Other applicable laws may have a shorter time limitation on filing.

Adopted by the Executive Council, September 30, 2020

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