Harassment and Discrimination Policy

  • Affirmative Action
  • Employment
Responsible Unit Affirmative Action
Responsible Cabinet Member VP for Administration and Finance
Adoption Date Unavailable
Last Revision Date 2018-11-02
Last Review Date

Policy Statement

SUNY Brockport is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, SUNY Brockport expects that all decisions and relationships among employees will be free of unlawful bias, prejudice and harassment.

SUNY Brockport is committed to compliance with all provisions of state and federal human rights and equal opportunity laws which prohibit discrimination in employment, educational programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, national origin, or any other characteristic protected by law.

SUNY Brockport will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any type, from any source. It is the responsibility of all University administrators, supervisors, employees, and students to create and maintain a workplace and academic environment free from discrimination and harassment.

We believe that most members of our campus community do not wish to offend or create offensive working or academic environments. In fact, most interactions are courteous, mutually respectful, comfortable, appropriate, pleasant, and non-coercive.

It is the policy of SUNY Brockport to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, national origin, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Any and all forms of such discrimination or harassment which involve or affect SUNY Brockport (“the University”) or which occur on Brockport’s campus or its satellites (currently the REOC and MetroCenter), off-site facilities, or in any off-campus location that could be considered an extension of the workplace, i.e., official travel (collectively referred to as “the campus”) are prohibited by this policy.


There is no purpose/scope provided for this policy at this time


This policy applies to all applicants, employees, visitors, third party vendors, consultants, and all persons involved in the operation of the university.

Please see the SUNY Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention Statement.

The following Harassment and Discrimination Policy addresses all other forms of unlawful harassment and discrimination.


Other Forms of Unlawful Harassment

Also expressly prohibited by this policy is unwelcome conduct concerning a person’s race, color, religion, sex*, sexual orientation*, age, disability, marital status, national origin, or any other characteristic protected by law that is sufficiently severe, persistent, and/or pervasive so as to substantially and unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or academic environment or performance, or unreasonably creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive working or learning environment.

Normal, courteous, mutually respectful, comfortable, appropriate, pleasant, non-coercive interactions between employees and students, employees and employees, and students and students that are acceptable to both parties are not considered to be unlawful harassment. “Harassment” does not include any speech or expressive activity, including without limitation, speech conducted in class, on campus, or in extracurricular activities, which is protected by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of New York. However, unlawful harassing behavior, as described herein and/or as defined by federal and New York State law, shall not be immunized from disciplinary or other action simply because it is accompanied by protected speech.

*SUNY and the University address sexual harassment, harassment based upon sexual orientation, and sex discrimination in the SUNY Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention Statement.

Examples of Unlawful Harassment

  • Sabotaging or destroying the work of the harassed employee or student as part of the harassment or in retaliation for reporting harassment
  • Physically attacking or threatening to attack a person because of that person’s race or national origin
  • Racist or anti-gay graffiti on campus grounds
  • Repeatedly targeting a student with racist epithets so as to interfere with their education

Policy Procedures

Retaliation is Prohibited

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

The University’s Response

The University will actively work to prevent and eliminate discrimination and harassment on campus. The University will respond promptly, positively, and aggressively to deal with discrimination and harassment. This response may include, for example, training, referral to counseling and/or disciplinary action such as warning, reprimand, withholding a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination, as the University believes appropriate under the circumstances. Law enforcement agencies will be notified when appropriate. The University’s response may also include removal of third party vendors from campus or termination of contracts with such vendors.

Supervisors play a critical role in prevention and correction. Supervisors must respond to inappropriate and/or offensive behaviors that they observe or otherwise become aware of – even if an employee does not file a complaint. All formal or informal complaints of harassment or discrimination should be reported to the Affirmative Action Officer or the Director of Human Resources. The obligation applies even if:

  • The employee asks that the complaint be kept confidential
  • The employee does not use the words “harassment” or “discrimination”
  • The complaint appears to lack merit

Employee Misconduct

Discrimination and harassment have been and are considered a serious form of employee misconduct.

False Allegations

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation as opposed to complaints, which even if erroneous, are made in good faith, shall be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

Informal Procedure

If for any reason an individual does not wish to address the offender directly, or if such action does not successfully end the offensive conduct, the individual should notify his/her immediate supervisor, the Director of Human Resources, the Affirmative Action Officer, who may, if the individual so requests, talk to the alleged offender on the individual’s behalf.

The University encourages individuals who believe they are subjected to harassing or discriminatory conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. The University recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through informal or formal complaint procedures.

An individual reporting harassment, discrimination or retaliation should be aware that the University might decide it is necessary to take action to address such conduct beyond an informal discussion. This decision will be discussed with the individual. The best course of action in any case will depend on many factors and, therefore, the informal procedure will remain flexible. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

The informal procedure is not a required first step for the reporting individual.

Formal Procedure

As noted above, individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy statement or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with the Director of Human Resources, the Affirmative Action Officer, or their supervisor.

The University encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Employee Guidelines

  • Each employee of the University should report all incidents of discrimination and harassment. If an employee, student, or visitor believes he/she or others are in immediate danger, University Police should be contacted immediately (x2222).
  • All supervisory personnel (administrators, deans, directors, department chairs, supervisors, and resident directors) are responsible for:
    • Properly responding to discrimination and harassment complaints
    • Promptly reporting all such complaints to the Affirmative Action Officer or the Director of Human Resources
    • Obtaining education and training in the area of discrimination and harassment prevention
    • Discouraging discrimination and harassment in their responsibility areas
    • Ensuring compliance with this policy in their responsibility area
  • Each employee of the University who believes he/she is being discriminated against or harassed should consider taking one or more of the following actions:
    • Say No! Say it firmly, without smiling or apologizing. Do not ignore the situation.
    • Keep a record of what occurred. Include direct quotes, witnesses, and patterns to the harassing behavior. Save any relevant cards, letters, or e-mail messages sent however harmless they may seem.
    • Talk to the person involved if you feel you can. You might explain why you were offended by what occurred. Sometimes a clearing of the air is all that is necessary.
      • Write a letter to the person, especially if you feel that direct confrontation might not work or is not possible. If the person does not stop his/her actions, you have a copy of your letter for further use. The letter should include:
        • Statements of the situation as you see it
        • A description of your feelings and damage you think has been done
        • A short statement of what you would like to happen next
    • Take action. Discuss the situation with your supervisor, the Director of Human Resources, or the Affirmative Action Officer. You can talk to any of these people as your first step or after you have tried to resolve the issue yourself. Anyone you speak to will maintain your confidence to the extent possible.

Links to Related Procedures and Information


Contact Information

There is no contact information for this policy at this time.

History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2019-12-01 Five-year review
Revision Date 2018-11-02 Added SUNY Mandated Statement/Language
Adoption Date Unavailable Policy Adopted


There are no approvals for this policy at this time.