Equal Opportunity

How to File a Complaint

How to File a Complaint
Contact
Dr. Pam Foster (photo)

Dr. Pam Foster, Morgan Hall 200k, 785-670-1509

pam.foster@washburn.edu

Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence

Washburn University is committed to providing an environment for individuals to pursue educational and employment opportunities free from discrimination and/or harassment.  The University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or marital or parental status (click on the tabs below for definitions).  Each unit within the University is charged with conducting its programs and activities in accordance with the University's commitment to equal opportunity for all.  The responsibility for maintaining a discrimination and harassment free campus environment rests with all employees and students, and others while on the University's campus or involved in University-sponsored activities.

Age

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees and job applicants who are 40 years old or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The ADEA does not protect workers under the age of 40 years. It is not illegal for an employer to favor an older worker over a younger worker.

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination based on age in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. The Age Discrimination Act is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights.

Ancestry

Discrimination based on ancestry involves treating someone less favorably based on his/her evolutionary or genetic line of descent (e.g., country, nation, tribe).

Color

Color discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favorably because of the color or his/her skin.

Disability

Disability discrimination occurs when an applicant, employee, faculty member, student, or visitor to campus is treated less favorably because of a physical or mental disability. Disability discrimination may occur if a person has a non-transitory physical or mental impairment, (2) has a history of a disability (e.g., cancer), or (3) is perceived to have non-transitory mental or physical impairment. The law also protects people from discrimination based on their relationship with an individual with a disability (e.g., a family member has a disability).

The law requires Washburn University to provide a reasonable accommodation for applicants, employees, faculty members, students, and visitors to campus with a disability, unless doing so would be cost prohibitive.

Gender Identity

Gender Identity discrimination is discrimination based on sex and involves treating an individual less favorably because of the person's sex.  Discrimination against someone because that person is transgender or does not conform to sex-stereotypes is considered discrimination because of sex.

Genetic Information

Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests, genetic tests of family members (e.g., family medical history).  Genetic information may never be used to make employment decisions because genetic information is not relevant to whether the individual can perform the duties of the job.  Employers may not request, require, or purchase genetic information related to applicants, employees, faculty members, or students.

Marital Status

Occurs when an individual is treated less favorably based on whether the person is married.

National Origin

Occurs when an individual is treated less favorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because the individual perception the individual is of a certain ethnic background.  National origin discrimination may also involve treating an individual less favorably they are married or associated with a person of a certain national origin or because of the individual's connection with a certain ethnic organization or group.

Parental Status

Occurs when an individual is treated less favorably because he/she is the parent of young children, caring for elderly parents, and/or sick significant others.  This also includes violations under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

Pregnancy

Occurs when a woman (applicant, employee, faculty member, or student) is treated less favorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

If a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, Washburn University must treat her in the same way it treats any other temporarily disabled employee.

Race

Race discrimination occurs when an applicant, employee, faculty member, student, or visitor to campus is treated less favorably because of personal characteristics associated with race (e.g., hair texture, skin color, facial features).  Race discrimination may also occur when an individual is treated less favorably because the individual is married to )or associated with) a person of a certain race/color, connection with a race-based group, or an organization or group that is associated with people of a certain race/color.

Religion

Occurs when an applicant, employee, faculty member, student, or visitor to campus is treated less favorably because of his/her religious beliefs.  The protection of the law extends to individuals who not only belong to traditional, organized religions (e.g., Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism), but also to individuals who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.  Religious discrimination may also occur because a person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of the individual's connection with a religious organization or group.

Sex

Sex discrimination occurs when an applicant, employee, faculty member, student, or visitor to campus is treated less favorably because of his/her sex.  Sex discrimination may also involve treating an individual less favorably because of his/her connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex.

Sex discrimination may also include sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Sex Discrimination Harassment

Sexual harassment may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

The law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, sexual harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work or educational environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision. Or the harassment is sufficiently serious that it affects a term or condition of the individual's employment, education, or on-campus living environment. Sexual harassment may also occur when an individual believes he/she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a school program or activity, or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation discrimination is discrimination because of sex and occurs when an individual is treated less favorably because of that person's  (1) sexual orientation (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender); (2) or is perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, (3) or is associated with persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the person's age, use of drugs or alcohol, or an intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent.  Sexual violence may include but is not limited to: rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.  Complaints of sexual violence may be investigated simultaneously by The Equal Opportunity Director and the Washburn University Police Department.

Retaliation

Retaliation is strictly prohibited and is defined as: any attempted or completed adverse action that is taken against an individual because that person (1) filed a complaint under the Equal Educational and Employment Policy (Policy), (2) opposed a policy or practice the individual believed was discriminatory under the policy, or (3) participated in the resolution of a complaint under the Policy. Individuals who engage in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

Discrimination

Discrimination is (1) treating an individual adversely in employment, education, or on-campus housing based on protected group status (e.g., race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or marital or parental status) without a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the treatment; or (2) a seemingly neutral policy or practice that has a disparate impact on a protected group in employment, educational programs, or activities if it is not related to the job, educational program or activity, or it is not necessary to the operation of the university,educational program, or activity.

Harassment

Harassment is unwelcome conduct directed based on race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or marital or parental status. Harassment violates the Equal Educational and Employment Opportunity policy when (1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, education, or on-campus housing, or (2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is conduct that is sexual in nature, is unwelcome, and denies or limits an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from a school's education program, on-campus housing, or employment. Sexual harassment may occur if submission or rejection of such conduct is made a term or condition of an individual's employment or education or if employment or academic decisions are made based on an individual's submission to or rejection of such conduct. Sexual harassment may also occur if the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or educational performance or it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, educational, or on-campus housing environment for the individual.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person in incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the individual's age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the individual from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.