President's Policy Statement
Florida Institute of Technology is an equal opportunity employer. As evidence of its commitment to the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action, the following policy has been established:
The university is committed to compliance with all applicable laws regarding nondiscrimination. Furthermore, it shall strive to build a diverse community in which opportunity is equal to all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, disability, Vietnam-era veteran status or sexual orientation. It shall exert its leadership for the achievement of this goal by all parties, students or employees of the university.
Further, the university, through its employment practices and procedures, seeks and employs qualified staff for all its diverse activities and at all of its facilities. It further believes that employment decisions should be based on an individual’s abilities and qualifications and should not be based on irrelevant factors or personal characteristics that have no connection with job performance. Therefore, the university provides equal opportunities during employment by administering each and every phase of its personnel program without regard to race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, disability, Vietnam-era veteran status or sexual orientation. Except with respect to sexual orientation, the university agrees to take affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunity.
It is the policy of the university that all employees should enjoy a working environment free from all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment. No employee, either male or female, should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical.
Sexual harassment lowers morale and is damaging to the work environment. Therefore, the university will treat sexual harassment like any other form of employee misconduct—it will not be tolerated.
Specifically, it is illegal and against the policies of this university for any employee, male or female, to sexually harass another employee by: (1) making unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature a condition of an employee’s continued employment; (2) making submission to or rejections of such conduct the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee; or (3) creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment by such conduct.
The university will enforce disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, against any person who threatens or insinuates, either explicitly or implicitly, that an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the employee’s employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts or any condition of employment or career development.
The university recognizes that the question of whether a particular action or incident is a purely personal, social relationship without a discriminatory employment effect requires a factual determination based on all facts in each case. Therefore, the university will act positively to investigate alleged sexual harassment claims and take steps to effectively remedy them when an allegation is determined to be valid.
Given the nature of this type of discrimination, the university also recognizes that false accusations of sexual harassment can have serious effects on innocent men and women. Therefore, false accusations will result in the same severe disciplinary action applicable to one found guilty of sexual harassment.
Any employee who has a complaint of sexual harassment at work by anyone, including supervisors, coworkers or visitors, must bring the problem to the attention of responsible university officials. Employees may bring their complaint to their supervisor or the Office of Human Resources. If the complaint involves someone in the employee’s direct line of supervision, then the employee may go to another supervisor with the complaint.
Anthony J. Catanese, Ph.D., FAICP
Florida Institute of Technology