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Seton Hall University

Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

Purpose

Seton Hall University ("Seton Hall" or the "University") is committed to providing a working, learning and living environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation and strives to afford fair and equitable treatment to all members of the University community, regardless of their membership in any legally protected class. The purpose of this policy is to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on a person's protected class and to prohibit retaliation for bringing a claim alleging a violation of this policy or participating in a review of any such claim. This policy will be administered in accordance with our Catholic mission and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The University's prohibitions against sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and retaliation are detailed in another University policy, the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation.

Scope

University Policy

Definitions

This policy applies to all University students and to all Trustees, Regents, officers, faculty, administrators, staff members, employees, vendors and guests, on and off campus.  This policy does not abridge or supersede an individual’s rights and remedies under the law. 

A.  Discrimination.  Discrimination is unwelcome conduct or action based on a person's protected class status that may adversely and unreasonably interfere with someone’s education or work. It is determined based on the perspective of a reasonable person of the same protected class as the person experiencing the discrimination.  Examples of discrimination may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Adverse actions, based on a person’s protected class status, affecting the terms or conditions of the educational program and activity or employment.
  2. Unwelcome remarks, comments or innuendos about a person’s protected class. whether oral, written, or digital.
  3. Insults or threats based on protected class. 

B.  Protected Class.  A group of people with a common characteristic who are protected by federal, state and local laws from discrimination and harassment based on that characteristic. Protected classes include but are not limited to: age, gender, disability and/or handicap, race, color, religion, national origin, nationality or ancestry, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, pregnancy, veteran status or military service, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, status as a domestic violence victim, arrest status, AIDS and/or HIV status, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information or membership in any other class protected by state or federal laws, now or in the future.

C. Discriminatory Harassment. Discriminatory harassment is unwelcome conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her membership in a protected class.  Hostile environment discrimination is based on a person’s protected class and is conduct that a reasonable person would consider so offensive, severe, persistent, or pervasive as to interfere with a person’s ability to participate in educational or work activities or programs. Harassment can be verbal, written, graphic, physical or through digital, online, or social media communications.  Discriminatory harassment on the basis of protected class status may also occur when conduct is directed at a group because of their protected class. 

D.  Retaliation.  Retaliation is an act of intimidation, harassment, or reprisal against an individual for initiating a good faith complaint or participating in any proceeding under this policy or for otherwise exercising his/her rights under this policy or the law.  

E.  Preponderance of the Evidence.  Preponderance of the evidence is defined to mean more likely than not. It is the standard of proof applied in determining responsibility under this policy.

Policy

A.  As a Catholic institution of higher education, the University embraces Judeo-Christian values that proclaim the dignity and rights of all people. The University abides by all applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of protected class status in its education and work programs or activities. 

Under this policy, unlawful discrimination and harassment based on protected class status in all forms and retaliation are strictly prohibited.  A finding that a violation of University policy occurred is made by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard. 

B.  All members of the University community who learn of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation in violation of this policy (except those granted confidentiality in their role by law or policy) are required to report those allegations to the Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance, or in the case of students to the Dean of Students, or at the Law School, to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.  The University will provide appropriate assistance and accommodations and protective measures.  The University will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation under this policy, pursue effective and reliable procedures and remedies, and seek to protect the rights of those involved.  

C.  Retaliation is a separate, serious offense under this policy and will be considered independently from the merits of the underlying allegation.  Upon a finding that retaliation has occurred, the actor will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including, termination or expulsion from the University.

D.  All members of the University community have an obligation to cooperate in achieving the University’s goal of an environment free of discrimination based on protected class.  

E.  Anyone who knowingly makes a false accusation of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation will be subject to appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including, termination or expulsion from the University.

Reporting, Confidentiality, and Privacy

In an emergency, go to a safe place and call 911. The Department of Public Safety can also provide assistance and contact the police. Public Safety can be reached at: 

  • South Orange Campus (400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange), (973) 761-9300 
  • Law School (One Newark Center, 1109 Raymond Blvd., Newark), (973) 462-8725
  • Nursing Program at Georgian Court (900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood), (973) 761-9300 or (732) 987-2616 (GCU)
  • Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus (340 Kingsland Street, Nutley), (973) 542-6600

A. Reporting.  Anyone subjected to discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation is strongly encouraged to contact the University's Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance. Students should contact the Dean of Students, or at the Law School, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. They can provide information about the variety of available reporting options and support services, (including counseling and medical help), and can assist in contacting law enforcement. The best person to contact depends on whether the individual wishes to make a confidential report or is a student or employee, but any individual listed below can assist in accessing resources. The reporting options are listed below: 

1. Confidential Reporting for Students.  Communications made in confidence to a person with a legal privilege in the course of their professional work means that person cannot disclose the matter to anyone unless there is a risk of harm or permission is granted.  Confidential and legally privileged resources can be found at:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services, (973) 761-9500 or (973) 761-9300 after hours
  • Health Services, (973) 761-9175
  • Campus Ministry, (973) 761-9545
  • Law School Chaplain, (973) 642-8859

2. Confidential Reporting for Employees. A report can be made through Ethics Point, a confidential and anonymous reporting service via their website, or by phone at, 1 (888) 236-7522.

The Employee Assistance Program offers confidential counseling for employees.  More information is available at their website or by calling (877) 622-4327.

3. Private Reporting for Students and Employees.  While the privilege of confidentiality is limited to persons with a recognized legal privilege, the following individuals can provide information about reporting options and procedures and assist in facilitating support.

a. If the report involves actions by a student at the South Orange Campus or Nursing Program at Georgian Court, please contact:

Karen Van Norman
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
University Center, Rm. 237
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 761-9076
Email: karen.vannorman@shu.edu

b.  If the report involves actions by a student at the Law School, please contact:

Cara H. Foerst, J.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator
3rd Floor, Rm. 305
Seton Hall University School of Law, 1109 Raymond Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 642-8707
Email: cara.foerst@shu.edu

c.  If the report involves actions by a student at the Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus, please contact:

Lindsey Hresko
Director of Student Life

Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Room 1525
Seton Hall University, 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley, NJ 07110
Phone: (973) 542-6978
Email: lindsey.hresko@shu.edu

d.  If the report involves actions by an employee, a professor, or a vendor of the University at any location, please contact:

Lori A. Brown
Director of EEO Compliance, Title IX Coordinator

Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance
Presidents Hall, Rm. 4A
Phone: (973) 313-6132
Email: lori.brown@shu.edu

4.  Reporting to Law Enforcement.
The University strongly encourages individuals to make a report to law enforcement of all criminal acts of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, in addition to and/or separate from a report made to the University. Contact information for local law enforcement can be found below.

  • South Orange Police Department – (973) 763-3000
  • Newark Police Department – (973) 733-6000
  • Nutley Police Department – (973) 284-4940
  • Clifton Police Department – (973) 470-5900
  • Lakewood Police Department – (732) 363-0200
  • Essex County Rape Care Center - 1(877) 733-2273 (Hot Line); (973) 746-0800 ext. 301 (staff)

Responsive Action

A.  The University's procedures for responding to allegations of violations vary depending on whether the alleged actor is a student, employee, faculty member, or non-member of the community. 

B.  Review of complaints against employees, including faculty members, will be guided by: 

C.  Review of complaints against students will be guided by: The Code of Student Conduct or the Law School Honor Code. 

D.  The University reserves the right to take appropriate responsive action.  Responsive action may include discipline, up to and, including termination or expulsion from the University.  The University may also impose interim and/or protective measures prior to any finding or determination.  

E.  The University may refer non-members of the community to law enforcement or ban or limit their entrance or participation in University activities.

Resources and Support

Students can find assistance by contacting Counseling and Psychological Services at: (973) 761-9500 ((973) 761-9300 after hours).

Employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program to obtain confidential counseling. More information is available here or by calling 877-622-4327.

Related Documents 

Responsible Offices

Related Policies

Approval

Revised and approved by Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., Interim President, on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on August 23, 2018. 

Effective Date

August 23, 2018

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