Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Complaints

Effective Date:

November 1, 2019 (supersedes April 22, 2019 version)


Human Resources


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 to a supervisor, manager, RF campus human resources office ("RF Campus HR"), campus diversity office, RF Operations Manager or Deputy Operations Manager, the RF Central Human Resources Office ("RF Central HR"), the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Internal Audit, the Office of Compliance Services, or anonymously through the RF’s Ethics Hotline.

All RF supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about any alleged violation of this Policy or who observe or suspect conduct that may violate this Policy are required to report such conduct to their Operations Manager or designee, RF Central HR, RF Office of the General Counsel, or RF Campus HR. The RF will enforce disciplinary actions against supervisory and managerial personnel who fail to report or who knowingly allow Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation to continue.

OM’s, Deputy OM’s, managers, or supervisors who become aware of suspected or improper conduct must NOT:


Discrimination - disparate treatment of an individual based on that individual's Protected Trait. Discrimination includes, but is not limited to disparate treatment in hiring, firing, compensation, training/development, or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of an 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;
  2. subjecting an employee to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment; or
  3. 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 treatment or action or credible threat of an adverse treatment or 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, such as participating in an external investigation or proceeding.

    Sexual Harassment – A form of unlawful sex discrimination which includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct that is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:

Related Information

Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy



Change History


Summary of Change

January 7, 2020

Updated to reflect 2019 amendments to New York State Human Rights Law and for consistency with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination and the Sexual Harassment Prevention policies

April 22, 2019

Update for consistency with changes in the EEO Policy.

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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