Discrimination, whether through intentional acts, or systematic procedures, that unfairly denies “compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment” because of one’s race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, disability or perceived disability is illegal under federal law. Michigan law also prohibits employment discrimination based on height, weight, and marital status. In addition, the WSU/AAUP-AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement provides protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and political beliefs and affiliations. University policy also provides similar protections.
Harassment and discrimination is considered illegal discrimination under Civil Rights Law when severe or pervasive actions are taken against someone in one of the protected classes listed above and create a “hostile environment.”
Protections from discrimination and harassment are also afforded to students through law and University policy.
It is the legal duty of the Administration to provide an environment free from illegal discrimination and harassment. They are required to investigate complaints and take “prompt corrective actions.” If you feel you are a victim of illegal harassment, you can file a complaint with the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity . You can also contact the Union office since a grievance can be filed against the Administration if they fail to adequately address prohibited discrimination and harassment.
Union members accused of illegal discrimination and harassment are entitled to fair treatment and due process. If you are asked to attend an investigatory meeting, you have the right to have a Union Representative accompany you. It is extremely important to contact the Union office if you are ever accused of prohibited discrimination or harassment.