4.10 Discrimination and Harassment Policy

I. Definitions

A. Discrimination

Any adverse action taken or impact imposed on any employee or student, based upon any classification protected in Policy 1.00 The Equal Opportunity Program, including race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, political affiliation, or any other legally protected classification. Discrimination includes access by employees and students to any applicable facilities, benefits, and programs or services offered by the College. Discrimination also includes any actions deemed to violate Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991; Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972; the Age Discrimination Act of 1967; the Vocational and Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities of 1990; the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, all as amended, or any other federal, state or local law or ordinance.

B. Hostile Environment

Any unwelcomed conduct which is severe or pervasive enough to create a work or educational environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive, when such conduct is unwelcomed. Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets, name calling, unwanted touching, physical assaults, threats, intimidation, ridicule, mockery, insults, offensive objects or pictures, or interference with work or education. Petty slights, annoyances, or environments created by something other than illegal discrimination shall not rise to the level of a hostile environment.

C. Harassment

Any behavior by an individual that improperly singles out, stigmatizes, or victimizes an employee or student to the employee's or student's detriment because of any protected classification under Policy 1.00 Equal Opportunity Program. Harassment may include any of the following:

  1. Actions by any employee, including a supervisor, which result in the creation of a hostile or offensive working environment;
  2. Certain improper actions between an employee and a student at any time;
  3. Certain improper actions between students while such students are on college property or participating in college-sponsored activities. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual and verbal harassment. Similar conduct that is directed toward a student shall also violate this policy.

The definition of harassment incorporated herein is not intended to and does not limit employees and students from reasonably and legally speaking to, discussing, presenting, teaching, assigning, and/or testing upon any material and subject that may or may not be considered controversial, including but not limited to, racism, evolution, and humanism, and it does not proscribe reasonable and relevant criticism pertaining to the performance of employees or students.

D. Sexual Harassment

A deliberate, unsolicited, and unwelcomed sexual advance, request for sexual favors, and other unwelcomed verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by an employee or student, when:

  1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, academic standing, instruction, or education;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for evaluation in making employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; and/or,
  3. Such conduct is sufficiently severe and pervasive to a reasonable person that it interferes with an individual's employment, academic performance, or living conditions by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment.

Verbal expression constitutes harassment when it:

  1. Is intended to insult or stigmatize an individual or a small number of individuals on the basis of any protected classification;
  2. Is addressed directly to the individual or individuals whom it insults or stigmatizes;
  3. Makes use of fighting words, which are commonly understood to convey direct and visceral hatred or contempt for human beings on the basis of any protected classification; and,
  4. Conveys a threat of violence, or is likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation.

II. Policy

It is the policy of Central Piedmont Community College to establish, promote, and maintain an environment in which employees may work and students can fully reap the benefits of education, training, and support, free from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or hostility. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes to such an environment. No form of discrimination, sexual, or other harassment or hostility will be tolerated. Given the College’s zero tolerance policy, employees and students are encouraged to bring forth claims of such acts of misconduct, without fear of retaliation or retribution, in a manner consistent with reporting procedures.

This policy shall be fully applied in the settings, activities, and circumstances, as follows:

a. On any campus or property controlled by the college;

b. During any college-sponsored program or activity, including those programs or activities which occur on property owned or controlled by the college;

c. When the effects of the conduct could have a discriminatory effect on the college, its faculty, staff, employees, sub-contractors, vendors, or visitors;

d. In incidents when both the complainant and alleged violator are identified in one of the above roles, regardless of the location of the incident giving rise to a complaint; and/or,

e. For conduct that is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on, pose a threat to, or cause a detriment in the work or learning environment.

III. Disciplinary Action

Central Piedmont Community College will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, nor hostility, nor will it tolerate any form of retaliation against any employee or student who has brought legitimate concerns to management, to regulatory agencies, or to individuals who participated in the investigation or resolution of such concerns.

Disciplinary action will be taken according to the College's disciplinary procedures. While disciplinary action taken against an employee subject to a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or hostility may be the subject of a grievance under Policy 1.30 Conflict Resolution and Grievance Process Policy, the results of the Executive Director’s investigatory conclusions, or lack of conclusions, shall not be subject to the grievance process.

Related Procedures


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on March 4, 2015; May 6, 2020

Changes approved by Cabinet on January 24, 2005; June 5, 2006; August 30, 2010