Discrimination & Harassment Prevention
Defining Your Rights
Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on an individual’s “protected status”, which includes race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition; and,
- Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis or threatened to be used as the basis for employment or assessments affecting an individual.
Harassment can be written (in print or electronically), verbal, visual, or physical.
Sexual Harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct: (1) affects a person’s employment or education; (2) unreasonably interferes with or disrupts a person’s work or educational performance; or (3) creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
Hostile Environment whether work, learning or on-campus living environment is when, among other things, such conduct is so severe or pervasive that its effect is reasonably considered by the individual to be intimidating, hostile, or offensive.
Retaliation is a violation of federal and state law, and of University policy.
If you feel you are being subjected to acts of discrimination or harassment, please:
- Respond by–
- Telling the person that the comments or behavior are unwelcome/unwanted and offensive.
- Asking the individual to stop. While each individual must decide how to respond, talking with the person can be very effective.
- Writing a detailed description of what happened specifying how you find the individual’s behavior offensive including dates, places, times and witnesses.
- Contacting campus personnel such as the Human Resources Director, Associate Vice President of Academic Personnel Services, or Dean of Students, if uncomfortable with directly confronting the individual or if the harassment/ discrimination has continued.
- Referring to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as applicable.
- Bringing along another individual for support, if needed.
- Contacting the Employee Assistance Program (for faculty & staff) or University Health & Psychological Services (for students), if you believe you need counseling or psychological support.
If you are confronted with allegations of acts of discrimination or harassment, please:
- Respond by–
- Remaining calm if contacted by a campus administrator as you may be a respondent to allegations.
- Examining your own conduct to determine if the allegations may be founded or unfounded.
- Cooperating if and/or when the independent investigators or fact-finders contact you by making yourself available for meetings.
- Being open and honest when questioned and providing details and context about the allegations.
- Recognizing that you have the right to bring another individual for support when being questioned during an investigative meeting.
- Understanding that an individual has the right to make allegations and file a complaint, even if you believe they are unfounded or not valid.
- Refraining from engaging in acts of retaliation or acts that may be perceived as retaliation.
If you are in a position of authority (Manager/Chairperson/Dean or Director), please:
- Respond by–
- Taking every complaint seriously and ensuring others do as well.
- Contacting Human Resources immediately to present the concern/complaint and to seek advice.
- Creating an environment that encourages faculty, staff and students to forward questions, concerns and complaints.
- Familiarizing yourself with the current campus policy, CSU policy, and Executive Order Nos. 927 & 928 by visiting the relevant websites ( www.fresnostate.edu/hr/).
- Recognizing that you have a special responsibility to address an individual who forwards complaints or concerns of discrimination and harassment.
- Remembering that by receiving the concern or complaint the university is placed on notice. Such knowledge requires the university to investigate the matter; determine whether prohibited conduct has occurred; and to ensure the conduct stops if the allegations are founded.