Staff Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy

Brown University is committed to creating a work environment for its staff free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. The University prohibits unlawful discrimination or harassment by or toward employees. The University also prohibits retaliation against employees and others who report instances of discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment.  The University has a process to provide prompt and equitable resolution of employee complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment. Staff and other members of the university community who have relevant information are required to cooperate with the university’s investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment.

Brown University recognizes that discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment need not be intentional. The intent of the person who is alleged to have behaved improperly is not relevant to determining whether a violation of Brown's Policy has occurred. The relevant determination is whether a reasonable person could have interpreted the alleged behavior to be discrimination, harassment, or sexual in nature.  Failure to comply with this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Unlawful Discrimination
Unlawful Discrimination under federal and/or state law includes unfavorable or unfair treatment of a person or class of persons because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Unlawful Harassment
Unlawful Harassment under federal and/or state law includes conduct that is sufficiently serious that it interferes with a staff member’s ability to perform her/his job or denies him/her the benefits of their employment.

Unlawful Sexual Harassment
Unlawful workplace sexual harassment under federal and/or state law is commonly categorized as quid pro quo or hostile environment sexual harassment, defined as follows:

1. Quid Pro Quo - unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly  a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic success, or
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individuals

2. Hostile Environment - unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct when:

  • the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic  performance, or
  • creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment

The factors to be considered in determining to what extent a hostile work environment has been created include, but are not limited to:

  • Frequency of the conduct
  • Severity of the conduct
  • Pervasiveness of the conduct
  • Physically threatening conduct
  • Degree to which the conduct interfered with the staff’s work performance
  • Degree to which the conduct interfered with the staff’s full enjoyment of the university
  • Relationship between the alleged harasser and person or persons subjected to harassment
  • Perception of the degree of conduct as welcomed or unwelcomed

WHERE TO GO FOR HELP

Brown has designated an employee who is responsible for accepting and coordinating complaints by staff of unlawful discrimination or harassment:

Wendy McRae-Owoeye  
Director of Staff Diversity and University Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer (EEO/AA)
401-863-1787     
Brown Office Building, Box 1879 Campus

A staff member with a complaint may also contact his/her supervisor (who is required to report the complaint to the Director of Staff Diversity) or the Department of Public Safety at 401-863-1787 after 5:00 p.m. ((TDD telephone line at: 401-863-1740)

Brown’s Complaint Handling Process
Brown University has a process for investigating complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. The university is committed to the prompt and equitable resolution of employee complaints.  A staff member who believes that s/he is subject to unlawful discrimination or harassment should report the allegations to the Director of Staff Diversity. 

The status of the alleged harasser-- staff, faculty, student, postdoctoral, or guest-- will determine the office designated to initiate and lead the investigation of the complaint. The Director of Staff Diversity will serve as a liaison between the complainant and the investigating office.

ALLEGED HARASSER

INVESTIGATING OFFICE

CONTACT NAME

TELEPHONE NUMBER

Student

Office of Student Life

Dean J. Allen Ward
Dean on Call (24 hrs)
Police and Security

(401) 863-3145

(401) 863-3411

(401) 863-3411

Faculty

Associate Provost for Academic Development and Diversity

Liza Cariaga-Lo

(401) 863-2216

Staff

Office of Staff Diversity and University EEO/AA

Wendy McRae-Owoeye

(401) 863-1787

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR RELATED INFORMATION