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Policy Against Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination

Effective on: November 16, 2012
Revised on: September 25, 2012; April 28, 2015

Marymount Manhattan College (the College) strives to create a workplace and an academic environment that excludes all types of harassment and discrimination. As a matter of policy, the College specifically prohibits unlawful employment discrimination and sexual harassment by officers, senior administrators, managers, supervisors, faculty, staff employees, students, advisors, vendors and contractors. In addition, and as a matter of policy, the College considers retaliatory behavior unlawful. Therefore, the College will not tolerate retaliatory acts against individuals who have complained about sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, or against individuals who cooperate with the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination. Violators of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action that may include termination of employment, expulsion, and/or termination of an existing contractual relationship with the College.

For the College’s complete policy prohibiting sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence, please see Marymount Manhattan College’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence.  All other forms of harassment or discrimination will be governed by the policies and procedures outlined below.

I.  Definitions

A. Unlawful Discrimination
Differential treatment based upon race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected status that affects the terms or conditions of employment or education constitute unlawful discrimination. As a matter of policy, the College strictly prohibits, and will not tolerate, unlawful discrimination.

B. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, and is illegal under both Federal and New York State laws. The College will not tolerate sexual harassment, or any form of harassing behavior.  Conduct and complaints relating to such behavior are governed by the College’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence.

C. Retaliation
Retaliating directly or indirectly against a person who has filed, supported, or participated in an investigation of a complaint of any type of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct as defined above is prohibited. Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, or engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person’s educational, living, or work environment. Depending on the circumstance, retaliation may be unlawful, whether or not the complaint is ultimately found to have merit. Any act of retaliation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privileges, mandatory training or suspension and/or immediate termination of employment. 

II.  Conduct Which May Constitute Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment

Discrimination is differential treatment based upon race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected status that affects the terms or conditions of employment or education constitute unlawful discrimination. As a matter of policy, the College strictly prohibits, and will not tolerate, unlawful discrimination.

Harassment is verbal or physical conduct that degrades or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual because of his or her race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected status. For example, ethnic harassment includes harassment based on immutable characteristics associated with race (e.g., skin color or accent). Religious harassment may include demands to alter or renounce a religious belief in exchange for job benefits. As a matter of policy, the College prohibits behavior which:

  1. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or
  3. Otherwise unfairly and adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Legally actionable harassment based upon race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected status is often difficult to define. As a matter of policy, however, the College will not tolerate the following behavior, regardless of whether such behavior rises to the level of legally actionable harassment:

  1. Decisions about a person’s employment, compensation or education that are based upon race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status;
  2. Verbal abuse, offensive innuendo or derogatory words, concerning a person’s race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status;
  3. Any open display of objects or pictures designed to create a hostile working/learning environment based on a person’s race, color, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status;
  4. Jokes, pranks, or other forms of humor that are demeaning or hostile with regard to race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status.

III. Duty to Report

Every employee, faculty member, administrator and student of the College is personally responsible for ensuring that his or her conduct does not harass or unlawfully discriminate against anyone in the workplace or educational setting. Similarly, every employee, faculty member, administrator and student is responsible for cooperating in any investigation of alleged harassment or unlawful discrimination if requested to do so by the College officials or legal authorities authorized to conduct such investigation. Any person who observes an incident that may constitute harassment or unlawful discrimination or who otherwise becomes aware of such an incident should immediately notify one of the authorized investigators listed in Section IX of this document.

IV. Educational Setting

Within the College’s educational setting, there is latitude for a faculty member to exercise professional judgment in determining the appropriate content and presentation of academic material. Academic curriculum and pedagogical goals that serve legitimate and reasonable educational purposes do not, in and of themselves, constitute harassment or other unlawful discrimination. Faculty members who participate in the educational setting have a responsibility to balance their professional academic responsibilities and professional judgment in light of the reasonable sensitivities of other participants in the same educational setting.

Nothing contained in this policy should be construed to limit the legitimate and reasonable academic responsibilities and professional judgment of the College’s professional educators.

V. Procedures for Reporting Unlawful Discrimination and Complaints of Harassment

All members of the community are encouraged to make a formal report of incidents to an authorized investigator. Any complaints received by these individuals will be considered official notice to the College. Formal reports of harassment or unlawful discrimination will be taken seriously and all reports will be investigated and resolved through administrative procedures. Formal reporting means only people who need to be notified will be informed and information will only be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.

In the case of sexual misconduct, including complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence, please refer to the specific policies and procedures contained in the College’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence.

Any person, who receives a complaint of any other form of harassment or discrimination from an employee or a student, or who otherwise knows or has reason to believe that an employee or a student has been subject to harassment or discrimination, must report the incident promptly to an authorized investigator. See Section IX.

Student: If a student believes that s/he has been subject to discrimination or  harassment, whether by another student, co-worker, faculty member, vendor, contractor or any other person with whom s/he comes in contact with at the College, the individual should report the incident promptly to the Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Christine Gregory at 212-517-0562.

Employee: If an employee believes that s/he has been subject to discrimination or harassment, whether by another employee, vendor, contractor or any other person with whom s/he comes in contact with at the College, the individual should report the incident promptly to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Bree Bullingham at 212.517.0532.

VI. Procedures for Addressing Complaints of Harassment or Unlawful Discrimination

When the College receives a complaint alleging discrimination or harassment, it will promptly investigate the allegations in a fair and expeditious manner. The College will make every effort to conduct its investigation in a manner that maintains privacy to the extent practicable under the circumstances. If the College determines inappropriate conduct has in fact occurred, it will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate will also impose disciplinary action.  Following the completion of an appropriate review of the complaint, the complainant and/or the accused may appeal the disposition of the complaint in accordance with College grievance procedures.

For specific policies and procedures for addressing complaints of sexual misconduct, including complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence, please see Marymount Manhattan Marymount Manhattan College’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence.

VII.  Disciplinary Action

In the event that the investigation reveals that discrimination, harassment, or other inappropriate or unprofessional conduct (even if not unlawful) has occurred, further action will be taken, including disciplinary action, such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privileges, mandatory training or suspension, and/or immediate termination of employment.

VIII. Privacy

All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints through this procedure will be conducted with as much privacy and discretion as possible without compromising the thoroughness and fairness of the investigation. All persons involved in the investigation will treat the situation respectfully. In order to conduct a thorough investigation, the investigator(s) may discuss the complaint with witnesses, and those persons involved in or affected by the complaint, as well as those persons deemed necessary to assist in the investigation or to implement appropriate disciplinary action.

IX. Authorized Investigators of Complaints of Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination

The following College administrators are responsible for investigating complaints of harassment and unlawful discrimination under this policy. The College reserves the right to retain any outside party to investigate complaints of harassment and/or unlawful discrimination: