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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Non-Discrimination In Employment of Staff

Document Number: HR--103 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 08/17/2012
Primary Author: Executive VP Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 01/11/2012

General Description

Information about non-discrimination in employment relative to HR policy.


Delineation of policy.


All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

Responsibility: Administration
Executive VP
Human Resources

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
Federal statutes
Standard company policies

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general


Staff members who knowingly and blatantly violate this policy may be terminated.

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Policy Provisions

Non-Discrimination in Employment of Staff

Cumberland University recognizes that the University's present and future strength is based primarily on people – their skills, experience, and potential to develop – no matter what their race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.




Cumberland University is committed to the principles and practice of equal employment opportunity. Employment decisions and promotion decisions are based on these principles. The following is the University's policy on equal employment:

In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, the Tennessee Human Rights Act, and all other applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws, it is the policy and practice of the University to provide equal opportunity in employment and advancement for all qualified persons without regard to race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This policy applies to every aspect of the University's administration or educational policies, programs, and activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic and other University administered programs; and employment, advancement, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay, training opportunities, and other terms and conditions of employment.


Employment decisions will be based on the principles of equal employment opportunity.


The University officials will ensure that promotion decisions are in accord with the principles of equal employment opportunity. All employment-related terms and conditions, such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoff, return from layoff, University-sponsored training, education, tuition waiver, and social and recreational programs will be administered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.


Cumberland University Officials are responsible for monitoring and assisting with the application and interpretation of federal, state, and local laws that impose special obligation on the University, including, but not limited to:


Title VI and VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended

Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Equal Pay Act

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended

The Rehabilitation Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act

Title IX of the Education Amendments

The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Immigration Reform and Control Act

Tennessee Human Rights Act



Equal Opportunity in Education/Title IX Section 504 Statement

Cumberland University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion,  sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or veteran status in provision of education opportunities or employment opportunities and benefits, pursuant to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. 2000D; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Pub. L. 92-318: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-336; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (Pub. L. 90-202) (ADEA); and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 USC 6101, et. seq.  This policy extends to employment by and admission to the University as well as the terms and conditions of matriculation.  Inquiries or complaints involving alleged unlawful or prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or veteran status must be in writing and directed to Eddie Pawlawski, Designated University Coordinator, , Suite 116 Memorial Hall, Cumberland University, One Cumberland Square, Lebanon, TN 37087,  (with a copy to the Disability Coordinator if the complaint involves accommodation for a disability).    In the event that the conduct involves the Designated University Coordinator for any matter involving prohibited discrimination under this policy, the inquiry or complaint must be in writing and directed to the University's General Counsel Stacey Garrett, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, 511 Union Street, Suite 1600, Nashville, TN 37219, .  Inquiries or complaints to the University’s General Counsel shall involve an initial complaint against the listed individuals and not an appeal of one of their decisions.  The University's General Counsel does not hear appeals of any decision involving unlawful or prohibited discrimination.


In support of the University’s commitment to equal opportunity in educational services on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, the following procedures exists to promptly investigate and respond to complaints that this policy has been violated.  Any individual who wishes to complain about discrimination in educational opportunities or employment opportunities and benefits should follow the steps outlined below:


Step 1     An individual with a complaint should contact the Designated University Coordinator (Eddie Pawlawski) or Stacey Garrett (for a complaint against the aforementioned individual that does not involve an appeal) and obtain a complaint form by which the specifics of the individual’s complaint can be recorded and action initiated within seven business days of its receipt.  Complaint Forms can be obtained at or

Step 2     The Designated University Coordinator will investigate, collect data, interview witnesses and/or develop a response to the complaint, as appropriate, within 21 business days of Step One. 

Step 3     Following the investigation of the complaint, the Designated University Coordinator will speak with the individual in person or via telephone (in lieu of a more traditional face-to-face meeting) to discuss the outcome of the investigation and the response of the University to the complaint within 21 business days of Step Two. 

Step 4     A report of the Investigation, its outcome and recommendations will be forwarded to the Designated University Coordinator at the conclusion of the investigation within 21 business days of Step Three. 

Step 5     If the individual is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation, an appeal may be made to the Office of the President by the individual within 10 business days of the outcome of Step Four. In the event of an appeal, the President will review the complaint, the results of the investigation, the report and recommendations of the Designated University Coordinator and consult with the complaining individual in an attempt to resolve any remaining concerns within 21 business days of receipt of the appeal. The President represents the final appeal.




Domestic Partner Policy

Cumberland University seeks to promote a university-wide acceptance of diversity in all its dimensions, including sexual orientation. In light of this goal, certain benefits will be provided to domestic partners as if they were legal spouses of employees.


Effective May 30, 2008, Cumberland University Human Resources Policies adjusted this policy to reflect coverage of domestic partners under appropriate policies. Registration of a domestic partnership is not required in order to take advantage  of Human Resources Policy provisions, with the exception of benefits, including health, dental, supplemental life/AD&D, and tuition assistance.


I. Definition of Domestic Partner

Domestic partners are persons who:

A. Are at least 18 years of age and of the opposite or same gender.

B. Are competent to contract at the time the domestic partnership statement is completed.

C. Are not legally married to any other person, and not related in a way that would prohibit marriage in any State or Province of the United States.

D. Are each other's sole domestic partner.

E. Share permanent residence.

F. In addition, domestic partners must have either

1. One of the following:

a. Domestic Partnership Certificate or Registration

b. Proof of Commitment Ceremony (printed invitation, announcement, etc)

c. Marriage Certificate

d. A legal document issued by a governmental body equivalent to a marriage certificate.

2. Or any two of the following:

a. Revocable living trust or living trust agreement naming each other

b. Durable power of attorney or living will naming each other

c. Joint tenancy documents verifying partners have lived together for a period of time

d. Joint utility bills

e. Designation of each other as beneficiary for life insurance or retirement benefits

f. Joint bank account

g. Joint legal guardianship of children

h. Will, drawn up by an attorney, bequeathing personal belongings to one another

i. Joint ownership of a vehicle.


II. Registration of Domestic Partnership

Registration of domestic partnership will be required for coverage under group health, dental, dependent life and tuition benefits. Employees may register domestic partnerships with the Human Resources Office for health, life and dental benefits coverage. Additionally, registration is required for coverage under other benefits, such as tuition remission and FMLA.

A. An employee who wishes to register a domestic partnership should complete and submit the Statement of Domestic Partnership to Human Resources. Upon receiving the signed Statement, the Human Resources Department will consider the Partnership registered as of the date the form is received in Human Resources.

B. Children of domestic partners are eligible for benefits under the same conditions as the children of employees' legal spouses.

C. Enrollment of domestic partners and eligible dependent children is subject to the same rules as enrollment of other dependents. See contract guidelines.

D. An employee must notify Human Resources in writing of the termination of a domestic partnership within 30 days of its termination in order to protect COBRA rights. (The same guidelines apply to legally married couples who divorce.)

E. Domestic partners and their enrolled dependents will receive the same or equivalent benefits as spouses and their enrolled dependents receive for group continuation of health and dental coverage through COBRA and/or individual conversion of life insurance.

F. As noted above, an employee may terminate a domestic partnership by notifying Human Resources in writing of the termination of that domestic partnership within 30 days of its termination. The employee must then wait 6 months from the date of that notice before registering another domestic partnership, except in either of the following cases.

1. The employee is registering the same domestic partnership within 30 days of notification of the termination of that domestic partnership.

2. The employee's former domestic partnership was dissolved through the death of the employee's domestic partner.


III. Tax Consequences of Domestic Partnership Under the Internal Revenue Code, an employee is not taxed on the value of benefits provided by an employer to an employee's spouse or dependent. However, the IRS has ruled that a domestic partner does not qualify as a spouse.


The value of benefits provided to an employee's domestic partner (and the domestic partner's eligible children, if any) is considered part of the employee's taxable income, unless the employee's domestic partner qualifies as a dependent under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Cumberland University will treat the value of the benefits provided to an employee's domestic partner (and the domestic partner's eligible children, if any) as part of the employee's income and will withhold the taxes on the value of those benefits from the employee's paychecks.


If the employee's domestic partner qualifies as a dependent under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code, the employee may file the proper documentation with the IRS and seek a refund for taxes withheld.  Any tax consequences of domestic partnership are the responsibility of the employee, not Cumberland University.


IV. Legal Consequences of Domestic Partnership

Some courts have recognized non-marriage relationships as the equivalent of marriage for the purpose of establishing and dividing community property. A declaration of common welfare, such as the registration of Domestic Partnership, may therefore have legal implications.




In most instances Cumberland University will pursue a program of open staff recruitment to avoid the possible discriminatory effects of a closed system. There may be instances, however, when a current employee or regionally available individual may provide convenience and the best fit for a given position.



Employment of Relatives

Cumberland University prohibits employment of family members and/or persons involved in a primary relationship, where one has direct supervisory responsibility over the other.


For purposes of this policy, "primary relationship“ is defined as a personal relationship by kinship (i.e. children, parents, siblings, etc.), marriage/domestic partnership (i.e. spouse, in-laws, immediate family members of in-laws, etc.), as well as romantic or sexual relationships.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Job Termination
Loss of privileges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Director of Human Resources

Executive VP

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