To Home Page To Home Page
General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Free from Discriminatory Practice

Document Number: HR--104 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 08/17/2012
Primary Author: Director of Human Resources Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 01/11/2012

General Description

Information about freedom from discriminatory practice relative to HR policy.


Delineation of policy.


All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

Responsibility: Administration
Executive VP
Human Resources
Legal Counsel

Back to Top

Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
Federal statutes
Standards of good practice
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.

Back to Top

Policy Provisions

Free from Discriminatory Practice

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.




Free from Harassment, Threats, and/or Violence, and Hostile Environment

The purpose of this policy is to create and maintain a working environment where all employees can maximize productivity in their jobs without exposure to offensive or threatening conduct. There are several types of antisocial behavior that can interfere with this goal, including (1) sexual harassment; (2) racial, religious and other forms of harassment, (3) violence and threats of violence; and (4) creating a generally hostile environment. All of these types of behavior can distract employees from their job-related duties, and it is the policy of Cumberland University to prohibit and eliminate these types of behavior.


2.12.1a Definitions

A. Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment can include:

1. Physical assaults or physical conduct that is sexual in nature (touching, pinching, or brushing against another's body).

2. Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, comments, "kidding,“ "teasing,“ or request for sexual favors.

3. Sexual displays or publications such as calendars, cartoons, graffiti, or computer pornography.

4. Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that would interfere with an individual's work performance, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

5. Retaliation for complaints of harassment.


B. Racial, Religious, National Origin, Disability, or Age Harassment

These types of harassment can include:

1. Any conduct based on race, religion, national origin, disability, or age that makes an employee uncomfortable at work or which interferes with an employee's ability to perform the job.

2. Jokes that refer to race, religion, national origin, or disability or which portray age in a negative light.

3. The posting or distribution of cartoons, drawings, or any other material which adversely reflects on a person's race, religion, national origin, disability, or age.

4. The use of "slurs“ or other offensive language.

5. Practical jokes, horseplay, or teasing which tends to make fun of a person's race, religion, national origin, or disability or which reflects negatively on a person's age.

6. Retaliation for complaints of harassment.


C. Violence and Threats of Violence

This type of antisocial behavior can include:

1. Any conduct which involves the offensive touching of another employee.

2. Intimidating or threatening gestures or body posture that reflects possible violence or a threat of violence.

3. Verbal threats to "get even“ or "go postal“ or similar statements that cause an employee to fear possible harm by another employee.


D. Hostile Work Environment

Hostile Work Environment harassment generally occurs in Supervisor/

subordinate, or peer/co-workers situations. Report such action to the next level

supervisor or the Director of Human Resources. Individuals experiencing

harassment shall make it clear that such behavior is offensive and unwanted. If

this does not resolve the problem, notify the appropriate supervisor. Expect

supervisors to resolve this situation by: 1) referencing this policy or 2) more

direct disciplinary actions if necessary.


Cumberland University does not tolerate Hostile Work Environment harassment.

Disciplinary action can and will be taken against any employee who engages in

such harassment. An individual making a false accusation will also be subject to

disciplinary action.



What to do if you experience harassment, threats of violence, violent behavior, or a hostile work environment

These types of antisocial behaviors can be blatant or they can be subtle. Despite the definitions given above, it is sometimes difficult to recognize whether particular conduct falls within these types of antisocial behaviors. Any employee who feels that he or she is the victim of any of these types of antisocial behaviors should report the conduct immediately. Further, any employee who observes conduct that could be a violation of this policy should report that conduct promptly.


Reports should be made to Director of Human Resources or the President of the University. While verbal reports will be accepted, in most cases an employee reporting these types of behaviors will be asked to make a written report providing as much detail as possible concerning who has engaged in the behavior, when, where, and exactly what was done or said.



How reports will be handled

Reports of antisocial behavior will be promptly investigated by the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Director of Human Resources. In most cases, the investigator(s) will meet with the person making the report to get a complete and accurate statement concerning the nature of the problem. The investigator(s) usually will then meet with the accused employees and other potential witnesses. Once the facts have been gathered, Cumberland University will address and eliminate any problems through one or more of the following actions: (1) verbal counseling sessions with those committing possible antisocial behavior; (2) group meetings or training sessions; (3) referrals to formal counseling, at the expense of the employee; (4) written disciplinary action or suspension; or (5) termination of employment.


In most cases, the employee reporting the antisocial behavior will be informed of the results of the investigation and the remedial action taken.  While all reports of antisocial behavior will be treated as confidentially as possible, the requirement to conduct an impartial investigation means that complete confidentiality cannot be assured.



Your role and responsibility

First and foremost, each of us is responsible for our own conduct and should avoid the types of behaviors addressed in this policy.


Second, each of us has a responsibility to report antisocial behavior that we experience or observe. With your help in enforcing this policy, we can make Cumberland University a better and more productive place to work for all employees.



Right to Advance a Grievance

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.



Rights and Responsibilities Relative to Relationships with Students

Employees of Cumberland University are expected to maintain professional relationships with Cumberland University students. Employees of Cumberland University must avoid any conduct with students that may present a conflict of interest, that may contribute to any violation of the Student Conduct Codes (printed in the Student Handbook) and/or raise concerns over ethics or professionalism. Such relationships with students, including but not limited to, romantic relationships, sharing living quarters, inappropriate electronic communication, and/or socializing with students, who may or may not have their academic career influenced by the faculty and/or staff member, are prohibited. Employees must bear the burden for establishing the appropriateness of any relationship with students if called into question.


Failure to exercise one's professional judgment in avoiding such relationships will result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment.



Additional Employment Outside Staff Members Job Description



Adjunct Appointment within the University

Non-exempt staff members are not allowed to teach any class(es). There is no exception to this policy. Violation of this policy would put the University at risk in violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Exempt Employees may be requested and or required to teach an occasional class as part of their normal work week. No additional payment will be made for the class(es) taught during normal working hours. In addition, Exempt employees will not be paid for any class(es) taught after working hours and are required to notify their supervisor before accepting any class assignment. The President of the University has the sole responsibility for any exceptions made to this policy.



Outside Employment Policy

Full-time Cumberland University Staff Members should be aware at all times that their primary place of employment is the University. Additional work should be of the nature to enhance, not detract from their full-time Cumberland assignment. Staff members are required to notify their department head before acquiring outside employment. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Department Heads who feel that outside employment is detracting from the role and/or not in the best interest of the University may require the staff member to take whatever action needed to maintain the department and/or University's interest, even if this means discontinuing outside employment or curtailing such activity. If a staff member feels they are being treated unfairly due to a protected class, the staff member has the right to advance a Grievance.


The use of Cumberland University offices, equipment, personnel, or supplies to conduct private business or outside employment at another institution or agency is expressly prohibited, unless an exception is based on the recommendation of the Vice President of the affiliated department.



Administrators and Outside Employment

Full-time administrative employees, such as program directors, Deans, and Vice Presidents are not permitted to make commitments requiring them to render their services to another employer on a regular or extended basis without first having the approval of their immediate supervisor, and in all cases such employees shall avoid all conflict of interest between Cumberland and any outside institution.


Back to Top

Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure
Compliance with federal mandate

Consequences: Further training
Job Termination
Loss of privileges

Back to Top

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

Back to Top

This page created 10/30/2014 using Zavanta® version 6.0