Policies and Procedures
  • Section VI - 1.20(A) UMB POLICY ON SEX-BASED DISCRIMINATION OF EMPLOYEES
  • (Approved by the President August 17, 1993; revised April 9, 1998; revised May 15, 2009.)

    I. Policy

    The University of Maryland, Baltimore (“UMB”) prohibits sex-based discrimination against and/or by employees (faculty or staff). Sex-based discrimination includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment. Employment decisions will not be based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals on the basis of sex. Furthermore, both intentional discrimination and neutral procedures that disproportionately exclude individuals on the basis of sex that are not job related are prohibited. Sexual harassment is an infringement of an individual's right to work in an environment free from unwanted sexual attention and sexual pressure of any kind. Any employee found to have sexually harassed any individual will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Sex-based discrimination including sexual harassment can result in a significant human resource drain for UMB, can hinder the service and efforts of faculty, administrators, staff and students, and may violate the law of Maryland and the United States.

    This policy against sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment is not limited to UMB employment relationships. In addition, many UMB employees work with, supervise, or are under supervision of, employees of UMB's affiliates and teaching sites (e.g., University of Maryland Medical System, University Physicians, faculty professional associations, Veterans' Administration Medical Center). It is UMB's policy that its employees in all situations are entitled to a work environment free of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment and are prohibited from discriminating or harassing subordinates or peers working for any employer. It is UMB's policy also that students of the institution may not be discriminated against or sexually harassed by UMB employees or affiliates' employees. Employees of UMB who interact with students (especially faculty) should be aware of the UMB Policy on Sex-based Discrimination of Students.

    II. Definitions

    UMB has adopted the standards of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Education.

    1. Sex-based Discrimination: Unlawful discrimination against an employee because of his/her sex in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.
    2. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;

    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or

    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

    III. Examples of Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment can include any or all of the following behaviors, as well as others which are not listed:

    • Harassment through public or private insult, sexually suggestive comments concerning a person's body or behavior, and sexual demands.
    • Subtle or overt pressure to comply with sexual demands.
    • Remarks about another person's clothing, body, sexual activities, sexual preferences, or sexual orientation; flirting, teasing, jokes, or gestures which are sexual in nature.
    • Unnecessary touching, pinching, patting, or exposure of another person's body.
    • Unwarranted staring at another person's body.
    • Unwanted communications of a sexual nature in writing, by telephone, or by other means.
    • Requests or demands for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats about the workplace, including assignments, promotions, discipline, references, etc.
    • Repetition of unwanted invitations for dates.
    • Physical assault of a sexual nature, up to and including attempted or actual rape.

    IV. Complaints and Investigations

    UMB Employee complaints of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment by a UMB employee or by an affiliate's employee may be processed internally (a) by exempt and non-exempt staff and faculty, by reporting the matter to the campus Manager of EEO/AA and Diversity (“EEO Manager”) for mediation, and/or investigation and referral for supervisory action; and (b) by exempt and non-exempt staff, by filing with Employee/Labor Relations, Human Resource Services (“ELR/HRS”), through the campus personnel grievance process; and (c) by faculty, by filing with their dean’s office through their school’s faculty grievance process.

    Timely reporting of allegations of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment is crucial. It permits effective UMB intervention to investigate promptly and thoroughly all complaints, protect employees and students, and educate and discipline offenders. Complaints should be filed within thirty (30) days of an incident perceived as discrimination or sexual harassment. Reporting an incident more than thirty (30) days after it occurs can hinder the ability of UMB to investigate the matter. Prompt filing of complaints in many cases will enable UMB to investigate and attempt to resolve problems in an expeditious manner. Nevertheless, UMB will investigate any and all complaints filed.

    V. Filing a Complaint and Investigation Proceedings

    Employees should refer to the procedures below to file a complaint so, if necessary, an investigation can begin as soon as practicable. UMB is committed to working with a complaining student and the respondent throughout the investigation. Good faith departure from standard practices, in order to better serve the needs of the employee, the respondent, or UMB, will not invalidate the policy or procedures.

    1. Employee Complaints against UMB Employees

      1. Confronting the Harasser

    In some cases, informing an alleged harasser that the behavior is unwelcome or offensive and needs to stop immediately may be enough. However, if an employee feels uncomfortable confronting the offender, or if the employee’s attempts to solve the problem are unsuccessful, the employee should contact the (a) EEO Manager, (b) ELR/HRS [if exempt or non-exempt staff], or (c) the dean’s office of their school [if faculty].

    2. Who to Contact

    An employee who believes he or she has been subjected to sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment by a UMB employee (faculty member or staff member) is encouraged to file a written complaint with the EEO Manager at UMB’s Human Resource Services located at 620 W. Lexington St., 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201-1508. Questions and concerns should be directed to (410) 706–7302. In the alternative, a staff employee may file a written grievance with ELR/HRS at UMB’s Human Resource Services located at 620 W. Lexington St., 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201-1508. In the alternative, a faculty employee may file a written grievance with their school’s dean’s office.

    3. Investigation Proceedings

    The EEO Manager will interview the complainant, within a reasonable time period, to gather preliminary evidence, identify witnesses, and to establish whether there is enough evidence to proceed with further investigation.

    Before an investigation begins, the employee must complete the standard UMB Intake Form for proper documentation of the complaint. If the respondent is a part of the employee’s work site, the employee’s department head will be notified and the employee may be reassigned to another area, if appropriate, while the investigation is pending.

    The EEO Manager will interview the respondent and other relevant persons or witnesses regarding their factual knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the complaint. Upon the timely completion of the investigation conducted in an impartial manner, the EEO Manager shall generate a full Investigative Report with written recommendations to the appropriate UMB dean or vice president (or designee), ordinarily within thirty (30) days from receipt of the employee’s UMB Intake Form. An Investigative Summary will be given promptly to the employee and the respondent at separate meetings with the EEO Manager.

    If the complaining employee wishes to appeal/contest the recommendations within the Investigative Summary, the employee must (within three days of his/her final meeting with the EEO Manager) make a written request to the appropriate dean or vice president (or their designee) for an opportunity to meet and be heard in an impartial manner.

    The dean, vice president (or a designee) will review the Investigative Report, the written recommendations, and any timely comments shared by the complaining employee after issuance of the Investigative Report, before making a decision. The parties will be notified of the dean’s or vice president’s decision within ten (10) days from receipt of the report. Should the decision result in taking formal action against an employee, the appropriate University System of Maryland(“USM”)/UMB policy or procedure or nonexempt employee bargaining unit Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) article will be utilized.

    4. Grievance Proceedings

    All matters concerning exempt and non-exempt staff or faculty termination, demotion, suspension, reprimand, re-assignment or related administrative/disciplinary actions are subject to the appropriate USM/UMB policy or article in the MOU. Depending on the recommendations of the Investigative Report, the employee may be subject to sanction according to these policies. For more information on grievance and separation procedures, an employee should refer to the respondent’s employing school for faculty or ELR/ HRS for staff, as proceedings vary depending on the employee’s position within UMB.

    1. Complaints Involving UMB Employees with UMB Affiliates

      1. Confronting the Harasser

    In some cases, informing an alleged harasser that the behavior is unwelcome or offensive and needs to stop immediately may be enough. However, if an employee feels uncomfortable confronting the offender, or if the employee’s attempts to solve the problem are unsuccessful, the employee should contact the (a) EEO Manager, (b) ELR/HRS [if exempt or non-exempt staff], or (c) the dean’s office of their school [if faculty].

    2. Who to Contact

    UMB's affiliates will be informed of UMB's commitment to its employees to provide a workplace free of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment and will be asked to work with UMB to eliminate discrimination or harassment throughout the campus through education and, if need be, employee sanctions. UMB employees, affiliates, and affiliates' employees are encouraged to report to UMB, through the UMB EEO Manager, ELR/HRS or the appropriate dean’s office, any allegations of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment involving UMB employees. UMB cannot discipline employees of its affiliates, but UMB will cooperate with its affiliates to resolve such complaints promptly. UMB will attempt to resolve the issue, as soon as practicable, and may reassign the employee to another area or supervisor, if a resolution is not feasible. If necessary, UMB may also work with the affiliate to co-investigate the complaint under the affiliate’s process. UMB's own employees are subject to discipline for sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment directed toward employees of affiliates.

    Failure to file a complaint with one's own employer may jeopardize legal remedies. Therefore, employees of affiliates should be aware that their complaints involving UMB employees should be filed with their own employer as well as with UMB. Likewise, UMB employees should file complaints involving affiliates' employees with UMB as well as with the affiliate.

    1. Employee Complaint against a third party not affiliated with UMB

    An employee, who believes that, in the course of work, he or she has been subjected to sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment by a third party not affiliated with UMB, should contact either the EEO Manager, ELR/HRS, or their dean’s office. After discussion with the employee and a review of the circumstances, ELR/HRS, the EEO Manager, or the appropriate dean’s office may contact the UMB President’s Office as soon as possible to request a formal letter to the third party denying access to UMB buildings or grounds for acting in a manner that disrupts or disturbs the normal educational functions of the institution. The President is authorized to deny campus access to a third party engaged in behaviors under Maryland State law (see Sections 26-101 and 26-102, Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland).

    1. External Complaints

    Employees have the right to file sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment complaints with external government agencies if institutional resolutions of complaints are unsatisfactory or if it is preferred to file externally in the first instance. Institutional investigations offer the potential of more timely resolutions of complaints. Complaints of employees are processed externally by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, and/or the Office of the Statewide EEO Coordinator (OSEEOC), Maryland State Department of Budget and Management.

    To protect legal rights and remedies available through UMB, the Federal courts and/or the State courts, certain time deadlines must be met in connection with UMB or external filings. These deadlines are: non-exempt and exempt staff grievance policy, 30 calendar days; U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 180 calendar days; Maryland Commission on Human Relations, six months. Failure to meet these deadlines can result in a loss of all rights to seek a legal remedy for one's complaint.

    VI. Confidentiality

    UMB recognizes that sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment and allegations thereof are a sensitive subject matter, for all parties involved. Administrators, faculty, and staff acting in an official capacity will respect the privacy of the employee reporting an alleged incident as well as the respondent to the fullest extent possible; however, UMB is obligated to investigate all allegations that might be severe enough to constitute discrimination or sexual harassment and thus confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

    Investigations of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment allegations often require the complainant's identity to be known by the party or parties whose conduct is being reviewed. However, the investigation shall be kept confidential to the maximum extent possible with the allegations made available only to those who need to know.

    VII. Retaliation

    UMB will not tolerate or condone any form of retaliation against an employee complainant. Allegations of sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment are extremely serious, with potential for great harm to all persons if ill-conceived or without foundation. UMB is committed to protecting the rights of the respondent as well as those of the complaining employee. Similarly, UMB will not tolerate or condone the deliberate filing of false accusations. An individual found to have filed a false accusation is in violation of this Policy and may be subject to disciplinary action.

    VIII. Counseling

    The Employee Assistance Program or personal counselors can be useful in helping employees cope with the stress resulting from sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment or participation in campus proceedings to investigate charges. Please call (410) 328-5860 for information about employee counseling services. More information can also be found at www.umb-eap.org/index.html.

    IX. Education and Consultations

    Through the Office of Human Resource Services, educational programs and preventive consultations with employees can be arranged. Contact the EEO Manager at 410-706-7302.