The PADH specifically prohibits discrimination and harassment because of an individual or a group’s personal traits, characteristics, and/or beliefs, referred to in the Policy as protected status or protected class. What qualifies as a protected class is determined by applicable federal, state, and local laws. Protected statuses include age, color, disability, domestic violence status, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, familial status or an individual’s reproductive health decision making, military/veteran status, national origin, race (including hairstyle), religion/creed (including religious attire and facial hair), sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, criminal conviction status, or “any other status protected by law”. The PADH also specifically prohibits retaliation against anyone who complains of or opposes perceived discrimination or harassment as defined in the policy.
The PADH applies to faculty, staff, residents, fellows, postdoctoral appointees, student employees, interns (paid or unpaid), volunteers, and to all visitors (including patients, contractors, and vendors) to any University campus, facility, and/or property and to University-sponsored activities and events, whether on University premises or not. The PADH does not apply to complaints brought against students (with the exception of student employees) or to any complaint that otherwise meets the jurisdictional requirements of Title IX.
The PADH currently mirrors the legal definitions of discrimination and harassment in the workplace and academic environment. This does not mean that all conduct that falls short of meeting this legal standard is acceptable or appropriate. Conduct that may not violate this Policy may still fall short of the values expressed in our vision and values statement: Meliora, Equity, Leadership, Integrity, Openness, Respect, and Accountability. The University can and does take steps to address conduct that could, if continued, meet the legal definition of discrimination or harassment. The University also can and does take action to address misconduct that does not violate the PADH but is otherwise significant enough to merit disciplinary action.
In November 2020, President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf charged leaders of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Office of Human Resources, and Office of Counsel to revise the University’s PADH, particularly regarding several key issues. These offices have collaborated with stakeholders across the University to significantly revise the PADH including changes to the standard for harassment claims brought by students and an overhaul of the way in which determinations are made at the conclusion of the investigation process. This process began in November 2020 and involved weekly meetings of a small writing group and regular meetings of a larger advisory group comprised of students, faculty, and staff from all units of the University. Once a draft was completed, it was reviewed by leadership groups including the Senior Leadership Group, Dean’s Council, and Faculty Senate. The revised PADH now awaits Board approval. A January 1, 2022, effective date of the new policy is anticipated.
Contact the PADH Team to report incidents of discrimination and harassment on the basis of a protected class by filing an online written report. You can also contact the PADH Team by emailing PADH@rochester.edu.