The University of Memphis

Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Discrimination and Nepotism



POLICIES

Issued: July 14, 2004
Responsible Official: President
Responsible Office: Affirmative Action Office

Policy Statement


Policy Statement

The University of Memphis hereby reaffirms the policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents that the University will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability, age or because of his/her status as a qualified veteran with a disability,  veteran of the Vietnam era, or other protected veteran.

It is the intent of the University of Memphis to fully comply with the 2001 Geier Consent Decree; Executive Order 11246, as amended; Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Pregnancy Discrimination Act; applicable state statutes and all regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.  The University will promote and ensure equal opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, age or status as a qualified veteran with a disability or veteran of the Vietnam era.

Similarly, the U of M shall not, on the basis of a protected status, subject any student to discrimination under any educational program.  No student shall be discriminatorily excluded from participation or denied the benefits of any educational program on the basis of a protected status.

It is the intent of the University of Memphis that each campus of the University shall be free of harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age or any other protected status and shall fully comply with the anti-harassment provisions of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, the federal and state constitutions, and all other applicable federal and state statutes.

The University specifically finds that diversity of students, faculty, administrators and staff is a crucial element of the educational process and reaffirms its commitment to enhancing education through affirmative action to increase diversity at all levels.



Purpose


 

The University of Memphis assures fair and prompt consideration shall be given to all complaints of illegal discrimination in accordance with the procedure set forth below.



Contents

Definitions
Procedures
Related Forms
    FAQs
    Links

    Definitions


    Affirmative Action Program

    A written results-orientated program, meeting the requirements of 41 CFR Part 60-2, 60-250.5 and 60-741.5, which details the steps taken to ensure equal employment opportunity, including, where appropriate, remedying discrimination against an affected class, etc.


    Applicant Flow DataA statistical compilation of employment applicants showing the specific numbers of each racial, ethnic, and sex group who applied for each job title (or group of job titles requiring similar qualifications) during a specified time period.

    Applicant for Employment

    A person who files a formal application, as defined by the open job vacancy notification indicating a specific desire to be considered for employment.


    AvailabilityThe percentage of minorities or women who have the skills required for entry into a specific group, or who are capable of acquiring them.

    Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) Employment in particular jobs may not be limited to persons of a particular sex, religion, or national origin unless the employer can show that sex, religion, or national origin is an actual qualification of performing the job. 

    ComplaintA complaint, as defined in TBR policy, is a concern which a current or former employee or applicant for employment wants to discuss in an effort to resolve a matter.  Personnel action such as performance evaluation, rates of pay, position reclassification, or position termination due to reduction in force do not fall under the definition of complaint.  A hearing before a President's Panel is not available for a complaint.

    Disabled VeteranA person entitled to compensation under laws administered by the Veterans Administration for disability or a person whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

    DiscriminationIllegal treatment of a person or group (either intentional or unintentional) based on race, age, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or veteran status.  The term also includes the failure to remedy the effects of past discrimination.

    Executive Order 11246

    Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin by federal contractors, subcontractors, and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors.  Executive Order 11246 also requires Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants and employees are treated without regard to race, color, religion, and national origin. 


    Executive Order 11375Amended Executive Order 11246 to add sex as a basis for non-discrimination and Affirmative Action.

    Geier Consent Decree

    Consent decree is an approved and mandated U.S. government plan for public education in the State of Tennessee to remedy past wrongs and ensure equal access in higher education for African-Americans.  Consent decree approved by the courts in January of 2001 will re-evaluate the state's progress at the end of five years.


    Good Faith EffortsThose actions required by 41 CFR Chapter 60, and those the contractor may voluntarily develop, to achieve compliance with the contract's equal opportunity and affirmative action clauses.

    GrievanceAvailable to current regular full-time and regular part-time employees.  Grievable issues are defined in UM Policy 1564.  Only matters of illegal discrimination will be pursued under this policy.

    Individual with a disabilityAny person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his or her major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.  A disability is "substantially limiting" if it prevents or significantly restricts the person from securing, retaining, or advancing in employment. 

    Other Protected VeteranIncludes veterans who served in a "war" and those who served in a campaign or an expedition for which a campaign badge has been awarded.  The criteria for identifying other protected veteran status is subject to change, as periods of service end and new campaign badges are added.

    Qualified Disabled IndividualA person with a disability as defined by federal law who is capable of performing a particular job with reasonable accommodation to his or her handicap.

    Qualified Disabled VeteranA disabled veteran as defined by federal law who is capable of performing a particular job with reasonable accommodation to his or her disability.

    Reasonable Accommodation (402/503)Alterations, adjustments or changes in the job, the workplace and/or term or condition of employment which are not essential to the job but which will enable an otherwise qualified disabled individual or disabled veteran to perform a particular job successfully, as determined on a case by case basis depending on the individual circumstances.

    Regarded as having a disabilityAn individual who has no physical or mental impairment, or whose impairment does not substantially limit major life activities, but who is treated as having such a limitation.

    UnderutilizationEmployment of members of a race, ethnic, or sex group in a job or job group at a rate below their availability.  The concept of underutilization includes any numerical disparity, and is not limited by the 80% rule applicable to concepts such as adverse impact.

    Validation in accordance with OFCCP regulations entitled Uniform Testing and Selection GuidelinesThe process that a contractor carries out under 41 CRF Part 60-3 to establish that an employee selection device such as a test or an education requirement is an unbiased predictor of performance on the job.

    Veteran of the Vietnam eraA person:  (A) who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred:  between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released therefrom with other than a dishonorable discharge; or (B) who was discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975; and who was so discharged or released within 48 months preceding an alleged violation of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the affirmative action clause, or the regulations issued pursuant to the Act.


    Procedures


    Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Obligations

    The University of Memphis will take affirmative action to ensure that all individuals are treated during the employment process without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability, age or because of their status as a veteran with a disability, veteran of the Vietnam era or other protected veteran.  Such action shall include, but not be limited to, actions to:

    Recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles, without regard to any of the foregoing prohibited factors;

    Base decisions on employment so as to further the principles of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity;

    Ensure that promotion decisions are in accord with principles of equal employment opportunity by imposing only valid requirements for promotional opportunities; and

    Ensure that all personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoff, and institution or school sponsored training, education, tuition assistance, and social and recreation programs, will be administered without regard to any of the foregoing prohibited factors.


    Harassment Based on Illegal Factors

    It is and has been the policy of the University to maintain the campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students, free of sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age or other protected status.  Harassment is a form of discrimination and harassment in the workplace or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated.


    Administrative Responsibility

    The President of the University of Memphis shall be responsible for the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program.

    In exercising this responsibility, the President shall provide positive leadership in the implementation of an affirmative action program on the campus, and ensure that appropriate attention is devoted to the program in her staff and faculty meetings.  This will include informing all management officials and supervisors that their performance evaluation will be partially determined by the effectiveness of their participation in the equal employment opportunity program as written.


    Role of the President of the University

    The President of the University of Memphis shall be responsible for the development and implementation of the University's equal employment opportunity and affirmative action program, as well as assuring that illegal discrimination and harassment is investigated and educational efforts regarding discrimination and harassment take place.  In carrying out this responsibility, the President or her designee shall comply with the following:

    Appoint an EEO/AA Officer who will be responsible for promoting and assuring compliance with this policy and with all applicable laws and regulations, receiving and investigating complaints, reviewing the effectiveness of the program and recommending improvements to the President.

    Ensure that affirmative action plans are developed annually and implemented as a means of aggressively pursuing the principles of equal employment opportunity.

    Develop affirmative action goals and timetables directed toward correcting situations contributing to the underutilization or inequitable treatment of minority or women employees in the institution or school.

    Provide positive leadership in the implementation of the affirmative action program on the campus and ensure that appropriate attention is devoted to the program in staff and faculty meetings.

    Inform all management officials and supervisors that their performance evaluation will be partially determined by the effectiveness of their participation in the equal employment opportunity program and their progress toward the goals of the Geier Consent Decree.

    Designate a person on the campus to be responsible for gathering and reporting data related to the equal employment opportunity program and to the Geier Consent Decree.

    Assure policies and procedures are instituted to deal with all forms of discrimination and harassment, including a procedure for the EEO/AA Officer to receive and investigate complaints and recommend necessary action to the President.


    Role of the Equal Employment/ Affirmative Action Officer

    The President has designated the EEO/AA Officer as the staff person responsible for the development and implementation of educational efforts regarding all types of illegal harassment, affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and discrimination.

    The University EEO/AA Officer will receive, review and investigate equal employment opportunity complaints and appeals and make recommendations to the President regarding their disposition.

    Equal employment opportunity or affirmative action complaints made to external agencies, i.e. EEOC or THRC, will be investigated by the University EEO/AA Officer under the direction of the University and TBR Offices of Legal Counsel.  All complaints will be forwarded to the Office of Legal Counsel and any reports to any external agency will be prepared by the University and submitted to the Office of Legal Counsel for approval and forwarding to the agency.  The attorney/client relationship will apply to the investigation and preparation of those reports.

    The EEO/AA Officer will develop and maintain an EEO/AA program which shall include:  1)  develop or reaffirm the University's equal employment opportunity policy in all personnel actions; 2)  formal internal and external dissemination of the policy; 3)  establish responsibilities for implementation of the program; 4)  identify problem areas by organizational units and job classifications; 5)  establish goals and objectives by organizational units and job classifications, with timetables for completion; 6)  develop and execute action-oriented programs designed to attain established goals and objectives; 7)  assure compliance of personnel policies with the sex discrimination guidelines; 8)  active support of local and national community action and community services programs designed to improve the employment opportunities of minorities and women; 9)  internal audit and reporting systems designed to ensure compliance and to permit monitoring of the program; and 10)  internal complaint procedures designed to expeditiously process and resolve complaints and grievances by employees or applicants for employment.

    The EEO/AA plan shall be updated annually, and progress toward meeting the established goals and objectives shall be reported at least annually to the Chancellor as directed by the System EEO/AA Officer.  The University EEO/AA Officer shall discuss the success of the EEO/AA program with the President and make recommendations regarding desirable changes.


    Communication:

    Bulletin Boards

    Official equal employment opportunity signs shall be posted on bulletin boards at appropriate locations in buildings throughout the campus.  The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources shall be responsible for keeping current signs posted.


     

    Tagline

    The tag line, "An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University," has been adopted and will be placed on all general written communication devices used by the University.  In addition, an equal employment and equal education opportunity statement shall be included in all contracts and purchase orders.


     

    Advertisements

    The following statement has been adopted for inclusion on all The University of Memphis vacancy announcements:  "The University of Memphis, a TBR institution, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University.  Appointments will be based on merit as it relates to position requirements without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, handicap or veteran status."  Paid advertisements must contain the statement "The University of Memphis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University."


    Review of AA Plan

    A copy of the more comprehensive Affirmative Action Plan which is available in the Affirmative Action Office may be reviewed by any employee or any interested person upon reasonable request during normal business hours.


    Recruitment

    Recruitment literature and vacancy announcements shall carry clear statements that the University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university.

    Recruitment literature and vacancy announcements shall be sent to recognized sources of candidates according to the type of position and in ways designed to solicit and encourage applications from qualified minority and female applicants.


    Community Outreach

    Recruitment sources and advertising media utilized shall include minority and women's organizations, community agencies, and leaders whose clientele is composed of minority and female membership.  Each applicant's qualifications shall be evaluated by comparing them with realistic job standards developed on the basis of work requirements.


    Temporary Appointments

    The University of Memphis does not require the announcement of temporary positions prior to employment.  Temporary hourly positions and temporary administrative appointments are those expected not to exceed six (6) months.  Temporary faculty appointments are those expected not to exceed twelve (12) months.  Announcement of positions will be made before the position is filled on a permanent basis.


    Assignment, Transfer and Promotion

    Position announcements shall be made available to eligible staff with applications accepted and evaluated from all interested employees.  The announcements shall indicate the duties, responsibilities, and authorities of the positions and the minimum qualifications needed by the applicant, together with a filing date, the method of filing an application, and the person to whom the application is to be made.

    Applicant qualifications shall be evaluated against position requirements.  Consideration shall be given to past performance and recommendations of colleagues and others in a position to evaluate potential performance.

    If the use of any tests other than skills tests administered by the Department of Human Resources is contemplated in evaluating applicants or employees, they must be validated by a professional psychometrist prior to use as a screening device.

    Training

    When appropriate, training shall be provided to enable University personnel to increase their skill levels for more responsible positions.

    Opportunities for training are available through the Office of Professional Development/Training in the Department of Human Resources.


    Complaint Procedure

    The following outlines the complaint/grievance process procedures available for claims of illegal discrimination (i.e., on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, or status as a qualified veteran with a disability, veteran of the Vietnam era, or other protected veteran shall use one of the following processes for filing a complaint/grievance).

    Complaints must be made within 365 days of the last incident of discrimination.  Complaints brought after that period will not be pursued absent extraordinary circumstances.  The determination of whether the complaint/grievance was timely or whether extraordinary circumstances exist to extend the complaint period will be made in conjunction with Legal Counsel.

    Category 1 - University full-time regular or part-time regular clerical/support staff:

    1. Grievance Process with Presidential Panel - Please refer to UM Policy 1564, Grievance Policy and Conflict Resolution for procedures to file under this option.
    2. Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (TUAPA) Hearing - Please refer to UM Policy 1564, Grievance Policy and Conflict Resolution for procedures to file under this option.  Such a hearing is only available if the employee has been terminated, suspended without pay or demoted.
    3. Equal Employment/Affirmative Action investigation with report submitted to President.

    Category 2 - Other University Employees - excludes student workers, graduate assistants, adjunct faculty, temporary employees, and students.

    1. Grievance Process with Presidential Panel - Please refer to UM Policy 1564, Grievance Policy and Conflict Resolution for procedure to file under this option.
    2. Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act Hearing - Please refer to UM Policy 1564, Grievance Policy and Conflict Resolution for procedures to file under this option.  Such a hearing is only available if the employee has been suspended without pay.
    3. Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Investigation with report submitted to President.

    Catetory 3 - Other groups of individuals - includes student workers, graduate assistants, adjunct faculty, temporary employees, students (except for claims of discrimination based on a grade appeal), former employees, applicants for employment, or community persons.

      1. Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Investigation with report submitted to President.

    Procedures for filing a complaint under TUAPA Hearing - Refer to UM Policy 1564, Grievance Process and Conflict Resolution.  

    Procedures for filing a complaint under Presidential Panel - Refer to UM Policy 1564, Grievance Process and Conflict Resolution.

    Procedures for filing a complaint under Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Investigation option:

    The complaint/grievance shall be submitted to the Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Compliance Officer in writing.  The complaint shall be signed and dated by the complainant.  The complaint shall state the date of the illegal discrimination allegation and the specifics related to the claim of discrimination, including:  name of person(s) responsible for the alleged discrimination, harm suffered, facts indicative of discrimination, relief sought, names of witnesses to support claim, and comparatives of other persons treated differently with same circumstances.

    The EEO/AA Compliance Officer will meet, if feasible, with the complainant to review and discuss the complaint.  If the complainant indicates an interest in an informal resolution of the matter, the EEO/AA Compliance Officer will meet with both parties individually for the purpose of resolving the complaint/grievance.  A report of the informal resolution will be submitted to the President.

    If the complainant does not desire to informally resolve the matter, the complaint will be investigated and processed in a manner that will ensure fairness and objectivity to all parties.  Additionally the complainant may be given assurances that measures will be taken against the respondent should there be any retaliation against him or her.  Retaliation is prohibited and should be reported immediately.

    The EEO/AA Compliance Officer will conduct the investigation, when feasible, and present the findings with recommendations in writing to the President.

    The President will notify the complainant and the respondent of the decision.  If the complainant is not satisfied with the President's decision, the complainant may use the appeals process.

    Appeals Process:

    The final decision of the President may be appealed to the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents as outlined in Tennessee Board of Regents Policy, Appeals and Appearances Before the Board (1:02:11:00).


    Records and ReportsRecords of personnel decisions and reasons for them are to be kept for a minimum of three (3) years.  Records shall be established which will permit the identification and evaluation of all persons considered for placement in any vacancy.  The reasons for favorable or unfavorable action shall be documented, and the records must be signed and dated by responsible officials.

    Reports of progress in meeting established affirmative action goals shall be made annually by the Affirmative Action Officer in accordance with instructions from the Equal Employment Officer of the State University and Community College System.  Success must be based on actual results in terms of the employment and utilization of women and minorities and the treatment of employees without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability or veteran status.

    Personnel Policies and Practices

    The University will establish reasonable detail and make available upon request the standards and procedures which govern all employment practices in the operation of the institution.  Included in these standards and procedures shall be procedures relating to the following:

    -        testing and criteria by which qualifications are established,

    -        evaluation and criteria for such,

    -        professional qualifications (degrees, experience, etc.),

    -        criteria for promotion and retention, and

    -        criteria for appointment of tenure.

     


     

    Harassment


    Harassment Program

    The University EEO/AA Officer will be responsible for implementing TBR Guideline P-080 and UOM policy/procedure (Harassment - Sexual or Racial, reference number UM1391), on sexual and racial harassment. 

    The EEO/AA Officer will assure the development of an educational program alerting students and employees to the non-harassment policy and guideline.

    Under the direction and guidance of the University Counsel, the University EEO/AA Officer will investigate all illegal harassment complaints.  The University EEO/AA Officer will receive, review, and investigate all complaints of harassment based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, or other protected status.

    The EEO/AA Officer will ensure that complaints involving discrimination or harassment between students are investigated and resolved by the Office of Judicial and Ethical Programs which resolves all student disciplinary problems.

     


     

    Nepotism Policy


    Nepotism PolicyPursuant to the Tennessee State Employees Uniform Nepotism Policy Act of 1980 (Tennessee Code Annotated 8-31-101, et. Seq.) the following shall be the nepotism policy for The University of Memphis and the Tennessee Board of Regents System: 

    No employees of the University who are relatives shall be placed within the same direct line of supervision whereby one relative is responsible for supervising the job performance or work activities of another relative; provided, however, that to the extent possible, this policy shall not be construed to prohibit two or more such relatives from working for the University.  For the purposes of this policy, a "relative" means a parent, foster parent, parent-in-law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member who resides in the same household.

    When employees of the University become in violation of the Nepotism policy as a result of marriage, the violation shall be resolved by means of transfer within the University, transfer to another institution or school, or resignation as may be necessary to remove the violation.  If transfer alternatives are available, the employees shall be given the opportunity to select among the available alternatives; provided that if the employees are unable to agree upon any such alternative within sixty days, the appointing authority shall take appropriate action to remove the violation. 

    In the case of employment relationships which could otherwise violate the Nepotism policy but which were in effect prior to July 1, 1980, the employment of the employees shall not be affected by this policy, provided that the University takes appropriate action to ensure that employees neither initiate nor participate in University decisions involving a direct benefit (retention, promotion, salary, leave, etc.) to a relative.

    The University shall apply the foregoing in a nondiscriminating manner, and shall ensure that the implementation of this policy does not adversely affect employees of one sex over those of the opposite sex.



    Related Forms


     


    FAQs


    Whom do I contact with further questions?

    EEO/Affirmative Action Office  (901) 678-2713



    Links


    TBR - Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Discrimination and Nepotismhttp://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1448

    TBR - Nepotism

    http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=5881

     

    Grievance Process and Conflict Resolutionhttp://policies.memphis.edu/UM1564.htm

    TBR - Appeals and Appearances Before the Boardhttp://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=4834

    Harassment - Sexual or Racialhttp://policies.memphis.edu/UM1391.htm


    Revision Dates


     UM1381 - Issued: July 14, 2004 supercedes policy number 1:2A:11:01


    Subject Areas:

    AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyStudent Affairs
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