Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

23rd Edition, 2013 Version


Chapter VII: UWS and UWRF Policies

7.1 General Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is committed to a policy of providing equal employment opportunity for all qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, creed, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, membership in the National Guard, state defense force or any other reserve component of the military forces of the United States or the state of Wisconsin.

Equal employment opportunity applies to all faculty, academic staff, classified, limited term and project positions, and to all employment practices including, but not limited to: recruitment, hiring, certification, testing, transfer, promotion, tenure, training, compensation, benefits, layoff, contract non-renewal, termination, retention and committee assignments. UW-River Falls is committed to making every good faith effort to achieve the goal of equal employment opportunity.

Affirmative action goes beyond the concept of equal employment opportunity.

Affirmative action means that the University is required to do more than ensure employment neutrality for women, racial/ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities. Affirmative action policies and programs are tools whereby additional efforts are made to recruit, employ and promote qualified members of these formerly excluded groups, even if that exclusion cannot be traced to particular discriminatory actions on the part of this University. Unless affirmative action is undertaken to overcome the effects of systematic institutional forms of exclusion and discrimination, nondiscriminatory employment practices will perpetuate the present imbalanced situation. Through specific and result-oriented activities the University's goals are to ensure that every person is given full consideration through equal employment policies and practices and to achieve a representative workforce through its affirmative action programs.

Further, UW-River Falls ensures physical accessibility to work environments for persons with disabilities and provides reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to employment and all benefits associated with employment. When requested, reasonable accommodations for religious observances and practices will be provided.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls examines periodically all employment policies for discrimination (See Board of Regents Policy 17-4link) and if discrimination is found, takes remedial action to correct the problem. All management personnel share in the responsibility for monitoring affirmative action policies. Evaluation of management includes an assessment of performance effectiveness in assisting the University to achieve its affirmative action goals. The Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity, Compliance, and Affirmative Action is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of equal opportunity and, where necessary, the implementation of affirmative action programs. Persons seeking to file a complaint of harassment or discrimination may bypass their immediate supervisor and enlist the assistance of the Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity, Compliance, and Affirmative Action.

Harassment by supervisors and/or co-workers on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other discriminatory bases are unlawful employment practices prohibited by state statutes and the Office of State Employment Relations (OSERlink) and will not be tolerated. Harassment in any form will be prevented and addressed in a way that eliminates its occurrence. Retaliation against an employee who files a discrimination or harassment complaint, or against anyone who assists in the preparation of, or testifies on behalf of an employee is itself considered a form of discrimination and will be treated as such.