Unlawful Workplace Harassment - SPA Employees
INCORPORATED IN POLICY 53
The policy of Western Carolina University is that no state employee subject to the
State Personnel Act (SPA) may engage in speech or conduct that is defined as unlawful
workplace harassment as indicated below. All current and former state SPA employees
are guaranteed the right to work in an environment free from unlawful workplace harassment
The State defines unlawful workplace harassment as unwelcomed or unsolicited speech
or conduct based upon race, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, color or handicapping
condition as defines by G.S. 168A-3 that creates a hostile work environment or circumstances
involving quid pro quo.
Any former SPA employee, full-time or part-time employee with either a permanent,
probationary, trainee, time-limited permanent or temporary appointment who feels that
he/she has been unlawfully harassed in the workplace must do the following:
(1) Submit a written complaint to the immediate supervisor and /or the Director of
Equal Opportunity Programs within 30 calendar days of the alleged harassing action.
After the complaint is filed, the employee has the right to bypass any step in the
grievance process that would involve a review of or decisions by the alleged harasser.
If this happens, the decision or review would be handled by another similarly qualified
(2) Western Carolina University shall respond with appropriate remedial action within
60 calendar days from receipt of written complaint unless the 60 day period has been
waived and the grievant has acknowledged such waiver. The waiver and acknowledgment
shall be in writing.
(3) Western Carolina University shall provide a written response to the grievant when
Western Carolina University has determined what action, if any, will result from the
grievant's written complaint.
(4) After Western Carolina University's 60 calendar day (or less, if waived) response
period has expired, the grievant may appeal directly to the Office of Administrative
Hearings and the State Personnel Commission within 30 calendar days if not satisfied
with Western Carolina University's response.
Note: An individual with a grievance concerning a denial or employment, promotion,
training, or transfer, or concerning a demotion, layoff, transfer or termination due
to discrimination based on age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed,
political affiliation or handicapping condition as defined by G.S. 168A-3, or a grievance
based on retaliation for opposition to alleged discrimination may still appeal directly
to the Office of Administrative Hearings and the State Personnel Commission.
Note: Grievants may file a simultaneous complaint under Title VII with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Note: Applicants, while not covered under the State statute (SB78), are covered under
other State and Federal Civil Rights Acts.
Note: Conduct towards an outside vendor or contractor that would constitute unlawful
workplace harassment toward an employee could constitute unacceptable personal conduct.
(5) A prompt and impartial investigation will be made of all cases alleging unlawful
workplace harassment based on presented facts surrounding the misconduct. In all cases,
any inquiry into alleged unlawful workplace harassment should consider the record
as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, taking into account the nature of
the speech or conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Any
interference, coercion, restraint or reprisal of any person complaining of unlawful
workplace harassment is prohibited. For more information contact your Director of
Equal Opportunity Programs at 227-7116 or Human Resources Office at 227-7218.
Disciplinary actions for speech or conduct determined to constitute unlawful workplace
harassment will be handled on a fair and impartial case by case basis. Procedures
will be reviewed on the basis of presented facts in accordance with the University
Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for SPA Employees. Disciplinary action, if appropriate,
can be up to and including dismissal.
Western Carolina University considers unlawful workplace harassment a very serious
issue. Charges found to have been frivolous, intentionally dishonest, or made in willful
disregard of the truth may subject the complainant to disciplinary action.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF WAIVER
Unlawful Workplace Harassment
I hereby acknowledge receiving a copy of the Final Agency Decision and the Notice
of Final Agency Decision and Waiver of the agency's right to make another or different
determination with regard to my unlawful workplace harassment complaint. I further
acknowledge that I have 30 calendar days from receipt of these documents to appeal
to the State Personnel Commission by filing a petition for a contested case hearing
at the Office of Administrative Hearings, pursuant to G.S. 150B-23.
(Instructions: Please complete the Acknowledgment of the Unlawful Workplace Harassment
Waiver and return to the agency.)
NOTICE OF FINAL AGENCY DECISION AND WAIVER
Unlawful Workplace Harassment
(person designated by agency to execute waiver)
The agency has made the final determination/decision required by G.S. 126-34 regarding
the unlawful workplace harassment complaint that you filed on ______________(date).
By law, this agency has until _______________(date) to make a determination with regard
to your complaint.
This memorandum is to inform you that this agency hereby waives its right to make
another or different determination with regard to your unlawful workplace harassment
complaint between now and _________________ (date).
In addition, because the agency has waived its right to make another or different
determination within this time period, you have 30 calendar days to file an appeal
of the final agency decision.
The 30-day period begins upon receipt of this notice and the attached Final Agency
Signature (person designated by agency to execute waiver)
Initially approved January 26, 2000
Revised February 26, 2001
Administering Office: Equal Opportunity Programs