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Pittsburg State University.  Jamie Brooksher  PSU Director of Equal Opportunity  Associate General Counsel  Russ Hall, room 218 

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Presentation on theme: "Pittsburg State University.  Jamie Brooksher  PSU Director of Equal Opportunity  Associate General Counsel  Russ Hall, room 218 "— Presentation transcript:

1 Pittsburg State University

2  Jamie Brooksher  PSU Director of Equal Opportunity  Associate General Counsel  Russ Hall, room 218   620-235-4189  Investigate sexual harassment and discrimination claims, and do trainings, provide accommodations for students and employees with disabilities


4  What do you think of when someone talks about discrimination?  Do you think discrimination is common?

5  Pittsburg State University is committed to a policy of educational equity. Accordingly, the University admits students, grants financial aid and scholarships, conducts all educational programs, activities, and employment practices without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, ancestry or disabilities.

6  Federal Laws  Title VII  U.S. Constitution  Federal Executive Orders  Equal Pay Act  Americans with Disabilities Act  Pregnancy Discrimination Act  Title IX  Age Discrimination in Employment Act  Plus Others…

7  State Law  Kansas Act Against Discrimination  Kansas Age Discrimination In Employment Act  Kansas Human Rights Commission

8  People discriminate every day, but not all discrimination is illegal.  What is illegal discrimination?  Protected classes.  Race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, ancestry or disabilities.  Sexual orientation.

9  The employee must show that an adverse employment action was motivated by the individual’s protected class, rather than by a neutral reason, unrelated to the protected class. OR  Harassment on the basis of the protected class that is so severe and pervasive that it changes the nature of the environment.

10 Examples:  A less qualified white employee is promoted over a more qualified black employee, because of his race.  Several factory workers get together and hang a noose to insult a black worker.  Black workers with dark skin who start a fight at work are punished but black workers with lighter skin who start a fight at work are not, because the supervisor prefers lighter skin.  A black employee’s coworkers make daily racial jokes and use racist language when talking to the employee.

11 Examples:  A supervisor finds out one of her employees is Jewish and she doesn’t like Jews, so she doesn’t give the employee a good evaluation, even th0ugh the employee did a good job.  A LDS worker’s co-workers repeatedly make derogatory comments about Mormon’s all being polygamists.  A Muslim worker asks to take a vacation day for a Holy day and is denied by his supervisor because the supervisor doesn’t think Muslims should be allowed to practice in the US.

12 Examples*:  The employer requires female workers to wear an uncomfortable uniform, but male workers can wear normal office attire.  A female employee applies for a promotion and a less qualified male employee is promoted instead.  A supervisor doesn’t offer plum work assignments that require traveling to married women with children.  The women in the company are paid less than the men, even though they have the same qualifications and job duties.  *These are examples of sex discrimination only, not sexual harassment, which we will discuss later.

13  Treating someone less favorably because he or she comes from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic background. Examples:  An Arab-American’s coworkers regularly call him names like "camel jockey“ and "the local terrorist," and intentionally embarrass him in front of customers by claiming that he is incompetent.  A Hispanic man with a few years of experience as a waiter, is hired at a restaurant and states a preference for a server position. Believing that Hispanic employees would be better suited for positions with limited public contact the manager offers Carlos a position in food preparation even though he is as well qualified to be a server.

14  Persons who are over the age of 40 are in this protected class. Examples:  A 60 year old employee is fired and replaced with a 25 year old because the company wants young thinkers.  A 49 year old woman is fired for something insignificant after working 9.5 of the 10 years needed to earn her pension.  A well qualified 50 year old is overlooked for a promotion in favor of a 25 year old, less qualified individual because it is cheaper to promote the 25 year old.

15  Not a federally protected class, but PSU has designated it as such. Examples:  A gay employee is repeatedly sent emails from co-workers with jokes about “fags.”  A lesbian employee is fired from her job for surfing the internet while at work. Other non-homosexual employees surfed the internet and did not get fired. Her supervisor fired her because she doesn’t want to work with a lesbian.  A homosexual supervisor does not give a raise to the heterosexual employee in his division, but does give one to the other homosexual employee. Both employees had the same work performance.

16 Examples:  A supervisor does not provide an accommodation* when the employee requests it.  Co-workers make rude comments about an employee’s disability at work.  A disabled employee is not offered an assignment that he is qualified for because the supervisor does not want to provide the necessary accommodation it would take for the employee to do the job.  *We’ll discuss accommodations later in the presentation.

17 If you are a supervisor: You have a duty to report it ASAP. You have a duty to stop harassment. Document everything. If you are a victim or a co-worker of a victim: Report the discrimination/harassment. If it is harassment, make it known it is not welcome. Document everything.

18 A person with a disability: 1. has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities. 2. has a record of such an impairment; or 3. is regarded as having such an impairment. "Major life activities" includes functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. The Equal Opportunity Office provides accommodations and makes the analysis of whether or not there is a disability.

19 If you are a supervisor: Be cautious any time an employee mentions any kind of sickness or medical issue, even if you don’t think it is a disability. Contact me at the Equal Opportunity office right away. If an employee requests any type of accommodation, direct them to the Equal Opportunity office.

20 If you have a disability or think you might have a disability:  Contact the EO office by phone, email or stopping by.  All inquiries can remain confidential initially.  See our webpage about disability accommodation:  I’ll meet with the employee/student to discuss what the disability is, then have the employee/student get documentation from their doctor.


22  What do you think of when you hear “sexual harassment”?

23  A supervisor implies to an employee that the employee must sleep with him to keep a job  An office clerk makes demeaning comments about female customers to his coworkers  A manager is made uncomfortable by an employee who tells sexually explicit jokes  A secretary’s coworkers refer to her by sexist terms, like “Hey baby.”  An employee send out a joke email with sexually explicit language.

24  Complicated definition.  Two different kinds of sexual harassment.  Basically…  Sexual harassment is UNWANTED, UNWELCOME attention directed toward a person’s sexuality or sexual identity

25  Federal Law  State Law  PSU policy  Kansas Board of Regents Policy

26  “Sexual discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, defined as the use of one's authority or power to coerce another into unwanted sexual relations or to punish another for his/her refusal, or the creation by a member of the University community of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working education environment through repetitive verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, shall be a violation of Pittsburg State University's Affirmative Action Policy.”

27  In other words…  Using your authority to ▪ Coerce someone into UNWANTED sexual relations; or ▪ Punishing them for refusing to participate OR  Creating with your repetitive actions an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

28  Federal and State Law:  Ordered to pay damages in a lawsuit that is public record.  PSU:  Terminated from job at the worst, severe sanctions at the least.

29  Quid Pro Quo  Use of one’s authority or power to coerce another into unwanted sexual relations or to punish another for his/her refusal.  Hostile Work Environment  Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or education environment through repetitive verbal or physical conduct- of a sexual nature.

30  Often seen on movies, like Disclosure with Demi Moore.  A threat that an educational or employment decision may be affected by an unwillingness to tolerate or accept sexual attentions; OR  Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for educational or employment decisions.  Illegal whether the victim resists or submits

31  Sexual Bribery- soliciting sexual favor by promise of reward  Promotions, raises, preferential use of equipment, valued assignment, favorable recommendation  Threatened termination.  Threatened or given:  Negative recommendations or references  Negative performance evaluations  Withholding promotions  Disciplinary action

32  “If you don’t go out on a date with me, I won’t let you go to that conference you want to go to this year.”  If you don’t flirt with me I won’t tell you about important meetings that you need to be at to succeed here.  If you let me touch you inappropriately I will give you an “A” in this class.

33  Classic example in movie, North Country with Charlize Theron  Conduct so pervasive it changes the nature of the environment  Usually more than one occasion, but if severe enough, one occasion is sufficient

34  Seductive Behavior-unwanted, inappropriate and offensive sexual advances  Repeated unwanted sexual invitations, insistent requests for dinner, drinks or dates, persistent letters, giving personal gifts, phone calls  Gender Harassment- generalized sexist statements and behavior about women  Insulting remarks, offensive graffiti, whistling at someone, cat calls, obscene jokes or humor about sex or women in general

35  Sexual Comments or Gestures- have sexual content or implications  Remarks or questions about sexual life, simulating sexual acts, talking about one’s own sex life, staring, elevator eyes, sexual teasing, sexual jokes  Sexual Imposition- unwanted touching  Including grabbing, hugging, feeling, kissing, patting, stroking, neck massage or sexual assault

36  “Hey baby, you look good in that skirt.”  “You got a boyfriend? Does he satisfy you?”  “Women are all bitches when they are on diets.”  “You need a real man.”  “When is the last time you got laid?”  Giving a co-worker an unwanted, offensive shoulder rub when you walk by.  Showing co-workers pornography.

37  First, tell the harasser to stop.  Explain that the conduct or conversation is not welcome.  Second, document the behavior.  Write down who, what, where, when and how.  Report the behavior to someone you feel comfortable telling, like your supervisor or the director of equal opportunity.  DO NOT WORRY ABOUT RETALIATION!

38  Retaliation against persons who file a sexual harassment complaint is a violation of PSU’s policy and the law  If your supervisor does not address the problem, or if your supervisor is the harasser, report the incidents directly to the Director of Equal Opportunity.

39  A conscientious effort will be made to redress through this process and resolve difficulties at the lowest level possible.  Whenever possible, however, students, employees and supervisors are encouraged to discuss freely any potential problems or misunderstandings with concerned parties as they arise in an effort to avoid the necessity of activating this Grievance Procedure.

40  Step A:  Contact the Director of Equal Opportunity to air your grievance. This discussion should include the specific alleged act(s) of discrimination and related incidents and the names of persons involved.  If possible, the Director will then supply information concerning policies, procedures which will resolve the complaint or bring about a satisfactory understanding, such that further action is not required.

41  Step B:  If further investigation is in order, the grievant will be informed, and the Director of Equal Opportunity will conduct an informal investigation, discussing the problem with the involved parties.  The grievant may be called upon during this process to meet with the Director of Equal Opportunity and and the individual(s) against whom the grievance is charged.  Attempts will be made at this point to satisfactorily resolve the complaint.

42  Step C:  Failing resolution through Steps A and B, the Director of Equal Opportunity shall notify the grievant of investigation results.  The grievant has the option of accepting said results or proceeding to the next step.

43  Step D:  The grievant then has 10 class days to submit to the Director of Equal Opportunity a written Request for Hearing giving full details of the alleged act(s) of discrimination.  The Director of Equal Opportunity will offer assistance if needed in preparation of the Request, which will be presented to the Discrimination Grievance Committee.  Every effort will be made to conduct a hearing at the earliest time, no more than 15 class days from the time of the request.

44  Step E:  The grievant and the individual(s) charged will be notified of the time and date of said hearing and will be given ample time to prepare a presentation, if they so choose.  Either party may seek advice concerning the hearing from any person such as a faculty member, parent, department chairperson, and they may also be accompanied to the hearing by an advisor of their choice. The advisor(s) may speak if so desired.  Either party may request removal of any one voting member of the committee by showing evidence of bias, in writing, to the Chairperson, two days prior to the time of the hearing. The consideration of the alleged biased member will be upheld if a majority of the committee supports the claim.  The Director of Equal Opportunity will be present at all hearings, but will vote only in case of a deadlock.

45  Step F:  The Discrimination Grievance Committee will conduct an appropriate hearing to gather additional evidence pertaining to the issue. The Director of Equal Opportunity shall present background information, citing investigation findings and results. No other member of the committee shall be involved in the investigation of the incident.  During the hearing, all parties shall have the opportunity to testify. Hearings are evaluations by members of the college community and are not legal courts. Cross examination is the prerogative of the grievant, the charged party, and the committee.  The actual proceedings of the committee after these presentations, however, shall be closed and confidential. The Director of Equal Opportunity will give recommendations for solutions and will advise the committee of applicable laws and federal regulations.

46  Step G:  Within five (5) class days of the conclusion of the hearing, the committee will render a written decision concerning its findings, will make recommendations to the President for redress, if necessary, and will inform all involved parties of the same.

47  Step H:  If the recommendation(s) reached is acceptable, the grievant will notify the Director of Equal Opportunity of same, and the matter will be considered resolved.

48  Step I:  The grievant has the right to appeal the recommendation(s) of the Discrimination Grievance Committee to the President. Notification of this intent should be made to the Director of Equal Opportunity within five (5) class days of the committee’s option. The President shall receive the appealed case and will make the final ruling on campus. This decision will be communicated to all interested parties within five (5) class days.  Provided the decision of the President is unacceptable to the grievant, he/she may appeal to the appropriate federal/state reviewing agencies and/or to the courts.

49  Jamie Brooksher  PSU Director of Equal Opportunity  Associate General Counsel  Russ Hall, room 218   620-235-4189 

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