University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Anti-discrimination and Anti-harassment Policy

Prohibition. The Law School promotes a productive work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Federal and state law, and UNH Law policy prohibit discrimination or harassment of employees based on their race, color, sex, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, disability, sexual orientation or marital status. Any employee found to be engaged in any form of discrimination or harassment, sexual or other, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Applicability. This policy applies not only to employee interactions with each other and with students, but also to illegal harassment of employees or students by vendors, contractors, or other third parties having agreements or contacts with UNH Law. If you believe a third party is discriminating against you in violation of this policy, please follow the Complaint Resolution Procedure below.

Definitions of discrimination and harassment. Sexual harassment may be defined as occurring among members of the same or opposite sex. It may include but is not limited to:

  1. Conditioning employment upon an employee’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
  2. Basing an employment decision upon an employee’s submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; or
  3. Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment or atmosphere through one’s use of language, including calling employees by terms of endearment or using vulgar, joking or demeaning language as well as through physical actions which may offend or interfere with an employee's work performance.

Examples of conduct prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome sexual flirtation, advances, or propositions;
  • Verbal comments related to an individual’s age, race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation;
  • Explicit or degrading verbal comments about another individual or his/her appearance;
  • The display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects in any workplace location including transmission or display via computer;
  • Any sexually offensive or abusive physical conduct;
  • The taking of or the refusal to take any personnel action based on an employee’s submission to or rejection of sexual overtures;
  • Displaying cartoons or telling jokes which relate to one’s gender, sexual orientation, race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic;
  • Unwanted and unwelcome physical contact, including touching, pinching, brushing against the body, coerced sexual intercourse, or assault;
  • Display of welcome or voluntary conduct toward one employee, student, or group in a manner that communicates favoritism or exclusion of others based on impermissible categories;
  • Conduct by an employee that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a employee activity or academic, co-curricular, or extracurricular activity; and
  • Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for protected categories of employees or students.

Some types of conduct may constitute crimes that UNH Law employees have a statutory duty to report promptly to appropriate law enforcement officials. The filing of such a complaint does not bar UNH Law from also investigating allegations of sexual harassment.

UNH Law encourages healthy fraternization among employees; however, employees must be sensitive to acts or conduct which may be considered offensive by other employees. Employees must refrain from engaging in, or permitting, such conduct particularly when another person has indicated that the behavior is not welcome.

This policy does not limit in any way any other policy UNH Law may have regarding unacceptable behavior, including unacceptable sexual behavior, which may not legally constitute sexual harassment or discrimination. For example, any sexual advances or sexual activities, even if welcomed, are unacceptable and will result in disciplinary proceedings including termination.

Complaint Resolution Procedure: If you feel you have been harassed and/or discriminated against, you should promptly write down, for possible future reference, a description of the incident, including details about who, where, when, what occurred, any witnesses present, and your emotions as a result of the incident, as well as any efforts made to protest or stop the behavior.

If you feel comfortable telling the offender to stop his/her behavior, you should do so. If you believe that you, or any other employees, have been the victim of illegal discrimination or harassment, you are expected to report it immediately to your supervisor or to any other member of management, or to the HR Director. If your immediate supervisor is involved in the incident, then you should report it to the HR Director. It is imperative that you promptly report the incident so that any investigation can occur while memories are fresh.

Any supervisor who becomes aware of possible harassment or discrimination is responsible to report the behavior to the HR Director within two (2) business days.

Retaliation is expressly prohibited against an employee who makes a complaint or who assists in an investigation under this policy. No employee will be discriminated against or discharged for initiating or assisting in the investigation of a discrimination or harassment complaint.

Investigation Process: Allegations will be promptly and impartially addressed by the HR Director or other appropriate personnel.

All complaints of harassment and/or discrimination will be investigated and kept confidential to the utmost extent possible. However, any individual who brings a complaint must understand that in order for an adequate resolution to be reached, certain information about the complaint may be shared with those individuals involved in and necessary to the investigation/resolution. Such individuals will be warned that breach of confidentiality associated with the claim, the School’s investigation, and resolution of the complaint is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Potential courses of action may include investigation, consultation with UNH Law’s attorney, meetings with the parties separately or together, counseling, mediation, disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, or any other appropriate measures.

Non-Retaliation: UNH Law will not retaliate against any individual who makes a good faith complaint of harassment and/or discrimination or who assists in investigating a complaint.  Nor will UNH Law tolerate retaliation by any other person, including anyone accused.  Any employee acting in good faith in bringing a harassment complaint, or assisting in bringing or investigating a complaint, will not be adversely affected in terms and condition of employment or association with the School. Nor will the employee be discriminated against or dismissed for filing or participating in the internal investigation of the complaint.

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