Anti-Harassment, Non-Discrimination & Anti-Retaliation FAQs


What is considered harassment or discrimination under VUMC's policy? 
An environment that allows implicit and explicit behavior used to control, influence, or affect the well-being of any member of our community.

Is harassment or discrimination illegal? 
Yes. Harassment or discrimination of any individual based on race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information is unacceptable and grounds for disciplinary action and also constitutes a violation of federal law. Equally unacceptable within VUMC is the harassment of or discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

What is sexual harassment? Sexual harassment under Title VII is defined as "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when 1) submission to such conduct was made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; or 2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual was used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals; or 3) such conduct had the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance; or 4) such conduct created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Is "harassment" based upon "sexual orientation considered discrimination under Title VII? 
No. However, VUMC, through its "sexual orientation nondiscrimination statement", applies the same principles of discrimination under Title VII to harassment on the basis of sexual orientation.

How do I report an incident that is believed to be harassment or discrimination. 
Any member of the VUMC community who believes they have experienced harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation should immediately seek assistance through Employee & Labor Relations.

Who is responsible for investigating complaints of alleged harassment? 
Employee & Labor Relations will document the details of the complaint and will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. Employee & Labor Relations will explain the process to all parties involved and notify them of the need for confidentiality to be maintained throughout. Where appropriate, Employee & Labor Relations will facilitate remedial action to protect the parties involved in the process. All pertinent documents will be reviewed and appropriate witnesses will be interviewed. Following an objective evaluation of the information gathered, Employee & Labor Relations will notify the parties of the outcome of the investigation. Where appropriate, Employee & Labor Relations will attempt to facilitate a resolution. VUMC prohibits retaliation against employees who utilize this process in good faith to make complaints of harassing or discriminatory conduct.

What is retaliation?
Retaliation includes any adverse employment action or act of revenge against an individual for filing or encouraging one to file a complaint of discrimination, participating in an investigation of discrimination, or opposing discrimination.

Are you protected from being retaliated against?
Yes, VUMC does not retaliate against individuals for; filing or encouraging one to file a complaint of unlawful discrimination; participating in an investigation of unlawful discrimination; or opposing unlawful discrimination.