Tompkins Cortland Community College

Departments

Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

Unlawful discrimination or harassment based on including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status is strictly prohibited by Tompkins Cortland Community College. The College is committed to maintaining an educational and work environment that is free of any discrimination or harassment and to fostering positive business and personal conduct so that everyone, including students, employees, and invitees, is treated with respect and dignity in a non-discriminatory environment. The educational environment shall be considered to include all academic and nonacademic programs and activities.

The College fully complies with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended, the New York Human Rights Law and all other applicable laws or regulations which prohibit discrimination. Discrimination or harassment of individuals for reasons of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status is a form of unlawful discrimination.

It also is unlawful to retaliate against a person because he or she has opposed any illegal discriminatory practices or because he or she has complained of, or testified or assisted in the investigation of any complaint of discrimination or a proceeding conducted in connection with any such complaint.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of misconduct which undermines an individual’s integrity and human dignity. It can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from co-workers, supervisors, instructors, students, or even non-employees of the College (i.e., vendors or invitees). It is offensive treatment or behavior which, to a reasonable person, creates an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or educational environment.

All acts of sexual violence shall be considered to be forms of sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion and physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to intellectual or other disability or to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol.

Generally, this harassment falls into either of two categories: (i) “quid pro quo”, or (ii) causing or allowing a sexually hostile environment to exist within the work place, classroom, or other College-sponsored program, service or activity.

“Quid pro quo” harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s educational success (i.e., grades) or employment (i.e., a raise, promotion or assignment); or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational or personnel decisions affecting the individual.

Examples of this form of sexual harassment would include but are not limited to:

  • Any uninvited or unwelcome physical contact, including touching, petting, pinching, persistent and purposeful brushing up against another individual’s body, etc.
  • Any suggestion to an individual that sexual favors or relationships will result in a favorable grade, promotion, or other education or employment opportunity.
  • Any suggestion or implication to an individual that his/her refusal to provide sexual favors or relationships will result in a poor grade, demotion, discipline, discharge, or will have an adverse impact on employment or educational results.

A sexually hostile environment exists when an individual’s conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another individual’s education or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or working environment which interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s programs.

Examples of this type of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual innuendos, sexually suggestive comments, offensive language, sexually oriented kidding or teasing, gestures, practical jokes, etc.
  • Offensive displays of sexually suggestive pictures, magazines, or other objects (e.g., sexually explicit calendars, posters, cartoons, photographs, or graffiti).
  • Touching, pinching, holding, grabbing, hugging, kissing or intentionally and persistently brushing against another person’s body.
  • Inappropriate social conduct such as pressuring a student, employee or colleague to date or socialize and/or take some adverse action against that person for refusing to do so.
  • Any other conduct that ridicules or humiliates an individual because of his/her gender.

Other Unlawful Discrimination/Harassment

These same guidelines also apply to unlawful discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status.

Examples of such hostile environment, discrimination, or harassment include but are not limited to:

  • Transfer, demotion or termination of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status.
  • Interference in or denial of opportunities for educational success on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status.
  • Unwelcome, offensive, or demeaning comments, slurs, language, jokes or gestures related to or referring to an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status.
  • The presence of books, magazines, pictures or other objects that may be reasonably construed as offensive or demeaning based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status.
  • Creating or contributing to an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship status, military status, including Vietnam era or special disabled veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected status.

Individuals who believe that they have been harassed or otherwise discriminated against in violation of this policy should follow the College’s Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Procedure which designates staff of the College to whom such occurrences may be reported so that they can be promptly and thoroughly considered, investigated and appropriately resolved.

Retaliation in any manner (i.e., coercion, intimidation, retributive acts) against any individual for making or filing in good faith a discrimination or harassment complaint, or for assisting or participating in the investigation of such a complaint is illegal and will not be tolerated.  Such retaliation will be treated like any other form of discrimination and the party found to have retaliated shall be subject to appropriate discipline, including dismissal.

Retaliation in any manner (i.e., coercion, intimidation, retributive acts) against any individual for making or filing in good faith a discrimination or harassment complaint, or for assisting or participating in the investigation of such a complaint is illegal and will not be tolerated. Such retaliation will be treated like any other form of discrimination and the party found to have retaliated shall be subject to appropriate discipline, including dismissal.

Questions regarding this policy and its enforcement should be directed to Sharon Dovi, Affirmative Action Officer and Senior Title IX Coordinator, Office of Human Resources, Room 219, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4440, dovis@tompkinscortland.edu.