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Policy Statement On Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination And Diversity




The Department of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ("DHE") is responsible for the overall governance of the public higher education system, which includes the nine State Colleges.  The DHE and the Boards of Trustees of the individual State Colleges maintain and promote a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status and veteran status. 

Copies of the Affirmative Action Plan (the "Policy") are available in every department, the Library, Affirmative Action Office and on the College's web site.  Information concerning the College's Affirmative Action Plan may be obtained from the Affirmative Action Office located in Mark Hopkins Hall.

The Policy prohibits all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all acts of discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation, which deny or have the effect of denying to any person their rights to equity and security on the basis of their membership in or association with a member(s) of any protected class.  The Policy reaffirms the values of civility, appreciation for racial/ethnic/cultural/religious pluralism and pre-eminence of individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community which recognizes and utilizes the resources of all people.

The policy incorporates by reference, and where applicable, the requirements of:  Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1968; Titles I and II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its regulations found at 34 C.F.R. part 106; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Section 402 of the Vietnam-era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended; the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Federal Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11375 of 1967; Federal Executive Order 12900 of 1994; Federal Executive Order 13145 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13160 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13166 of 2000; the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act; the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 151B, 151C, and 149; directives of the DHE, the Board of Trustees of the College and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and other applicable local, state and federal constitutions, statutes, regulations and executive orders.

Policy Against Sexual Harassment

The Policy prohibits any member of the MCLA community, male or female, from sexually harassing another employee, student or other person having dealings with the College.  MCLA is committed to providing a working, living and learning environment that is free from all forms of sexually abusive, harassing or coercive conduct.  This policy seeks to protect the rights of all members of the College community (faculty, librarians, administrators, staff, students) and other persons having dealings with the College, to be treated with respect and dignity.Sexual harassment is a form of behavior that fundamentally undermines the integrity of academic and employment relationships.  It is of particular concern within educational institutions where all members of the community, including students, faculty, librarians, staff and administrators, are connected by strong bonds of intellectual interdependence and trust.  Both the federal courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have ruled that sexual harassment constitutes sex discrimination as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment has also been judged to be prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 as amended, and under Chapters 151B and 151C of the Massachusetts General Laws.
  Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal and/or physical behavior of a sexual nature which has the effect of interfering with a person's academic, employment or other status, or of creating a sexually intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.  Sexual harassment incidents can involve a male harasser and a female victim, a female harasser and a male victim, and also same gender same sex harassment and harassment because of gender identity or orientation.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education;
  2. submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic or professional performance or creating a sexually intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, educational or living environment.

Consensual Relationships

Under the Policy, consenting romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and student, librarian and student, administrator and student, classified staff member and student or supervisor and employee are deemed unprofessional.  Because such relationships interfere with or impair required professional responsibilities and relationships, they are looked upon with disfavor and are strongly discouraged.

Policy Against Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment And Retaliation

The mission of the College is to educate and prepare our students to live and work in our increasingly global and diverse workforce.  It is our commitment to take all possible steps to provide an inclusive and diverse learning, living, and work environment that values diversity and cultural tolerance and will not allow intolerance and bigotry.  Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequences for the development of our Commonwealth and, ultimately, our Nation.

Policies For Reasonable Accommodations For Persons With Disabilities

The College is committed to providing equal access to employment and educational opportunities for qualified persons with disabilities.  The College recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit from educational programs, services, activities and employment
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that is designed to provide opportunity and access to employment, facilities, services and transportation for all persons who are otherwise qualified persons with disabilities as defined by the Act.  A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's "major life activities". This Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual with a disability.  A person who is disabled will be considered a "qualified individual" if he/she is able to perform the essential functions of the employment position either with or without a reasonable accommodation. An employer has a duty, if requested, to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified individual if it would not impose undue hardship on the employer's business.  In like fashion, state law also prohibits discrimination against disabled employees on the basis of their disability.


If you believe that you, or a member of your staff, may need a reasonable accommodation in order to perform your job, you should contact the Director of Human Resources, at extension 5598. You will be asked to request an accommodation in writing and to provide substantiation of your disability from your health care provider, along with that provider's recommendations regarding the need for accommodation. The Director of Human Resources will work with you on a continuing basis to attempt to develop an appropriate accommodation based on your needs.  All information that you or your health care provider give to us will be maintained in a separate file and will be held in the strictest of confidence.

Federal Immigration Law

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts employs only persons who are lawfully permitted to work in the United States. In compliance with Federal Law, the College does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's national origin, citizenship, or intent to become a U.S. citizen.

All new employees and rehires will be required to provide certain kinds of identification and proof of eligibility. Such employees will also be required to complete the employee portion of the Employment Eligibility Form (I-9) in ink.

All offers of employment will be conditional on providing proof of work eligibility and identification.

I-9 forms will be retained at least three years after the date of hire, or one year after an individual's employment is terminated, whichever is later. These files will be made available for inspection by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) upon written notice.


DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

The Policy establishes specific internal complaint procedures to help resolve claims and complaints of discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation.  The College Discrimination Complaint Procedures also serve as a system of review and resolution for both informal claims and formal complaints of discrimination in hiring.  These Procedures specifically address claims and complaints of failure to accommodate persons with disabilities as prescribed by the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151B.

Any complaints involving discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, marital or veteran status, should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action at extension 5598.  The Discrimination Complaint Procedures are available to both employees and students. Your name or inquiry will not be released to anyone without your permission. All allegations will be investigated thoroughly and, if necessary, appropriate corrective action will be taken.  See the MCLA web page for policies and complaint procedures at www.mcla.edu.

Other Resources

Any employee with questions, concerns or complaints with respect to any type of unlawful discrimination or harassment in the workplace also has the right to contact the following agencies for assistance:

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
One Ashburton Place
Room 601
Boston, MA 02108
617-994-6000

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
617-565-3200

Office for Civil Rights
United States Department of Education
33 Arch Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110-1491
617-289-0111

Employees can raise concerns and make reports of discrimination without fear of retaliation or reprisal.  Any employee found to have engaged in any type of unlawful discrimination or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.