Emory Report

June 26, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 36

Focus: Human Resources

Q & A: Workplace discrimination issues

Wynell Lauver is communications specialist for Human Resources.

Emory University is committed to a climate that values, respects and celebrates diversity. To this end, it has a zero tolerance policy against discrimination and encourages its employees to be aware of their rights. Following are some common questions associated with job-related harassment and discrimination issues.

What constitutes discriminatory harassment?

Discriminatory harassment is defined as any behavior that has the specific purpose or a reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating or hostile environment for a person based on his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or military status.

Is joking about sex considered sexual harassment?

Any behavior that is of a sexual nature and unwelcome is considered sexual harassment. This includes, but is not limited to, humor or jokes about sex, sexist remarks about a person's clothing, body or sexual activities, verbal harassment or abuse of a sexual nature, leering at a person's body, or displaying sexually suggestive or pornographic materials.

What should I do if I think I've been discriminated against?

Any person having a grievance related to pre-employment, employment or post-employment matters at Emory may initially inform the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) and discuss the grievance procedure. Should the grievant decide to resolve the complaint informally, she or he should discuss the matter with her or his supervisor or department head. If this does not resolve the problem, the grievant is free to discuss the matter with an advisor in Human Resources' Employee Relations or EOP who will attempt to mediate a resolution.

What do I do if no resolution is reached during the informal process?

The grievant may at any time during the informal procedure move into the formal procedure without prejudice to his or her rights. The grievant should inform EOP of the facts constituting the basis of the complaint. The complaint may be oral or written and must be made within 180 days of the occurrence; otherwise, the complaint will not be received. Upon receipt of the complaint EOP will investigate the allegations and will attempt to mediate in an attempt to achieve a satisfactory solution.

Where can I get more information about Equal Opportunity Programs and/or the Affirmative Action Plan?

Please visit the EOP website at www.emory.edu/EEO.

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