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Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy

Hampshire College is committed to maintaining a learning, living, and working environment that is free of discrimination, including harassment. Discrimination is unlawful and will not be tolerated.  Hampshire College will comply with state and federal laws such as M.G.L.c. 151B, Title IX and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and other similar laws that prohibit discrimination.

Hampshire College prohibits discrimination against and harassment of any student, employee, applicant for employment, third party or community member on the basis age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital or familial status, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, veteran or military status, and genetic information, herein referred to as protected categories.

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or a group because the individual or group made a good faith report concerning a violation of this Policy, was the subject of a report, or otherwise participated in the College’s investigation of such a report. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this policy.  Any individual who believes they have been the subject of retaliation should immediately report their concerns to the Chief Diversity Officer.  The College will take immediate and appropriate action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate.

 

Harassment, Other Forms of Discrimination, and Retaliation

Discrimination
Discrimination is adverse treatment of any individual based on the protected class or category to whom they belong, rather than on the basis of their individual merit. The protected categories include race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and gender expression, transgender identity, genetic information, religion, national origin, disability, veteran/military status or any other characteristic under applicable federal or state law.

In employment, discrimination or harassment may begin with adverse actions that may include using different standards of evaluation for employment, promotion or job performance on the basis of protected categories; denying an employee’s request for reasonable accommodations; denying employment opportunity or terminating on the basis of protected categories; retaliation against an employee participating in an investigation of discrimination and harassment.

For students discrimination and harassment may begin with differential treatment in their education program or activity on the basis of their protected category. This may include using different standards to evaluate academic performance on the basis of the protected category; denying academic, social, recreational, health services and housing on the basis of the protected category; retaliation against a student participating in an investigation of discrimination and harassment.

Harassment is unwelcome conduct directed toward a person based on one or more protected categories or statuses of that person, when either of these conditions are met:

(1) Submission to or rejection of such conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or
condition of an individual’s academic standing, evaluation of academic
work or advancement in an academic program, or employment, is used as the basis for College
decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” or “this for that”
harassment—this type of harassment is governed by the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking policy).

(2) The conduct is severe, persistent or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s academic performance, participation in College programs or activities, employment and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive.

Examples of such conduct include:

  • Offensive or degrading remarks, verbal abuse, or other hostile behavior such as insulting, teasing, mocking, degrading or ridiculing another person or group;
  • Racial slurs, derogatory remarks about a person’s accent, or display of racially offensive symbols;
  • Unwelcome or inappropriate physical contact, comments, questions, advances, jokes, epithets or demands;
  • Physical assault or stalking;
  • Displays or electronic transmission of derogatory, demeaning or hostile materials; and
  • Unwillingness to train, evaluate, assist, or work with an employee.

Retaliation
It is a violation of College policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or a group because the individual or group made a good faith report concerning a violation of this Policy, was the subject of a report, or otherwise participated in the College’s investigation of such a report. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this policy.  Any individual who believes they have been the subject of retaliation should immediately report their concerns to the Chief Diversity Officer.  The College will take immediate and appropriate action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate.

Please refer to the Grievance Policy in this handbook for guidance on how to report allegations of discrimination or harassment.  Please note that the Grievance Policy in this manual does not address sexual assault, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, stalking, or sexual or gender-based harassment. Those categories of prohibited conduct are governed by the College’s Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy, which also establishes separate procedures that outline how the College assesses, investigates and resolves reports of such prohibited conduct against student respondents (Appendix A) and employee respondents (Appendix B).  See https://www.hampshire.edu/offices/title-ix

State and Federal Remedies
In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subject to discrimination or harassment, you may file a formal complaint with the government agencies set forth below. Availing yourself of the College’s grievance process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies.  Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC - 300 days; MCAD - 300 days).

  1. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, (800) 669-4000.

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

  2. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD")
    Springfield Office:  436 Dwight Street, Rm. 220, Springfield, MA 01103, (413) 739-2145. Boston Office:  One Ashburton Place, Rm. 601, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 994-6000.

    The MCAD was established in 1946 as the state’s chief civil rights agency charged with the authority to investigate, prosecute, adjudicate and resolve cases of discrimination. Led by three Commissioners, one who serves as chair, the MCAD enforces the state’s anti-discrimination laws in these areas: employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and access to education.

    The MCAD protects individuals in numerous protected categories including race, color, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

    MCAD is an independent agency of the Commonwealth, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other earned revenue.

  3. The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR), 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921, 617.289.0111 , OCR.Boston@ed.gov

    The Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.

    A complaint of discrimination can be filed by anyone who believes that an education institution that receives Federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination, but may complain on behalf of another person or group.