Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaints

Effective Date:

April 4, 2017


Employee Relations


Vice President for Human Resources

Basis for Procedure

The Research Foundation for The State University of New York ("Research Foundation" or "RF") has established this procedure, consistent with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy, to provide individuals with methods for resolving Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation complaints as quickly and effectively as possible.

Procedure Summary

The Research Foundation is committed to promoting a work environment that supports diversity, inclusion, and respect for individual differences, and promotes and maintains a work environment free of Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation. This procedure outlines the steps an Employee must take when reporting a potential violation of the Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy.

Procedure for Employee Complaints

Research Foundation employees who believe they have been subjected to Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation or who are aware of Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation in violation of RF policy must report any such violations. Employees may choose from the following available avenues of resolution to the complaint:

1. Discuss concerns with the individual engaging in the objectionable conduct. Employees are encouraged to first attempt to resolve the situation independently by notifying the party engaged in the objectionable conduct that his/her actions are unwelcome and asking that it stop.

2. Report objectionable behavior to designated campus contact: If the employee does not feel comfortable discussing his or her concerns with the individual engaged in the objectionable conduct or has already done so and the Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation persists, the employee must promptly notify the Complaint Manager at their operating location. If the employee does not feel comfortable discussing his or her concerns with the Complaint Manager or has already done so and the Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation persists, the employee must contact the Corporate Employee Relations Department, the Vice President for Human Resources, or the Chief Compliance Officer.

The Research Foundation takes complaints about Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation very seriously and will ensure a prompt investigation of such complaints. Employees will be required to provide names of witnesses, substantiating documentation (notes, emails, etc.), and any other relevant information to facilitate the investigation. Employees are required to participate fully in investigations under this procedure and to provide truthful and complete information.

Where there is a Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation complaint against an individual who is not on the RF payroll or where there is more than one employer involved, the RF may, at its discretion, refer the complaint to the appropriate employer for review/investigation.

Statement on Confidentiality. Information gathered during any investigation into alleged instances of Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation will be handled discreetly. In some instances, however, it may be necessary to disclose information in order to conduct a thorough investigation. The Research Foundation will take steps to ensure that confidentiality is maintained, where practicable.


The following table outlines the responsibilities for compliance with this Procedure:

Responsible Party


Vice President for Human Resources

Creating, revising, and disseminating this Procedure to all Research Foundation operating locations. Advising campus representatives and employees regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation complaints.

Office of General Counsel

Supporting campus representatives in responding appropriately to Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation complaints as they arise;

Complaint Managers

Receiving complaints of Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation and conducting or overseeing internal investigations where appropriate.

Operations Managers

Promoting equal employment opportunities; and

Receiving and responding appropriately to Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation complaints as they arise.

Supervisors and Employees

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and retaliation in accordance with this procedure.


Complaint Manager - an individual or office designated by an operating location as the primary contact for complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation at that location. Contact information for the designated Complaint Manager can be found on the Research Foundation website.

Discrimination - treatment of an individual based on that individual's Protected Trait. Differences in treatment are not Discrimination under this policy where those differences are permitted or required by law.

Harassment - abuse, intimidation/threats/coercion, assault, and/or other unwelcomed conduct related to a Protected Trait, where the conduct has the purpose or effect of:

  1. unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work environment; or
  2. creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the employee.

    Such conduct includes verbal, visual, or physical conduct directed at an individual because of a Protected Trait, to include slurs, insults, insulting/derogatory pictures, assault, blocking ingress/egress, and other unwelcome behaviors.

    Protected Trait –sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, creed, disability, veteran status, marital status, familial status, military status, domestic violence victim status, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, predisposing genetic characteristics/genetic information, or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

    Qualified Person – an applicant or employee who meets the skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that s/he holds or seeks and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. 

    Retaliation - any adverse action or credible threat of an adverse action taken by the Research Foundation or any individual doing work for or on behalf the Research Foundation, in response to a complaint of Discrimination or Harassment, participation in an investigation under the Procedure for Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation Complaints, or engaging in lawfully protected activities.

    Sex Harassment – Harassment that is sexual in nature or based on an individual’s sex. Conduct that may violate RF policy includes but is not limited to:

Related Information

Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy

Employee Handbook

Solving Problems in the Workplace Procedure



Change History


Summary of Change

April 4, 2017

In Responsibilities Section, changed the Responsible Party "Corporate Manager of Employee Relation and Affirmative Action" to "Vice President for Human Resources".

February 2, 2017

Updated to streamline and make more efficient the process for employees to resolve discrimination, harassment, and retaliation complaints.

March 1, 2006

Completely revamped procedure and responsibilities.

June 17, 2004

Updated a link in the Cross References section.



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