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What does the term “equal employment opportunity” mean?

The term “equal employment opportunity” means that all personnel activities are conducted to insure equal access in all phases of the employment process.  Employment decisions are based solely on the applicant or employee’s individual qualifications, without regard to issues such as race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or gender.

What does the term “affirmative action” mean?

Affirmative action includes actions, policies or procedures that are implemented to insure that an organization achieves equal employment opportunity.  It may include specific actions in recruitment, hiring, promotions, and in other areas designed to prevent discrimination against such groups as women, minorities, disability and veterans.

What does the term “diversity” mean?

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences and using them to make the workforce even better.  The concept of diversity encompasses not only areas such as race, sex, age and national origin, but also diversity of thought, approaches and ideas.  It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

What is an Affirmative Action Plan?

An affirmative action plan (AAP) is a comprehensive document that is required of all federal contractors who hold contracts of $50,000 or more and with 50 or more employees.  The AAP details the steps it will take, or has taken, to achieve EEO.  The AAP is designed to provide ways to measure yearly improvements in a variety of employment areas, including hiring, training and promotion of minorities and woman.  The plan is tailored to the employer’s workforce and the skills available in the labor force.  It identifies specific actions, goals, timetables, responsibilities and resources to meet identified needs.

What are the job functions of the Director, EEO/AA and Diversity?

  • Receiving, investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment.
  • Preparing the college’s annual affirmative action plan.
  • Partnering with the Division of Human Resources to insure that personnel transactions are processed consistent with federal and state regulations pertaining to equal opportunity and affirmative action.
  • Serving as a resource to the campus community to insure that The College is complying with laws and regulations relating to equal opportunity, affirmative action, nondiscrimination and harassment.
  • Providing training to faculty, staff and student workers.
  • Sponsoring diversity-related programming to deepen the college community’s understanding of equal employment opportunity and diversity.

What is the New Jersey State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in  the Workplace (“State Policy”)?

This is a policy that applies to all employees and applicants for employment in state departments, commissions, colleges or universities, agencies and authorities.  It exemplifies The College’s commitment to providing a workplace/educational environment that free from prohibited discrimination and harassment.

What is an EEO complaint?

An EEO complaint is a complaint that a person may file when they believe that they have been discriminated because of categories listed in the State Policy.

What categories are identified in the State Policy as potential basis for discrimination?

The State Policy identifies the following protected categories as potential basis for discrimination: race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex/gender (including pregnancy), marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, religion, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or disability.

What is an example of an issue raised in an EEO complaint?

An employee could file a complaint if they believe that they were denied a promotion because of their gender.  An employee may also file a complaint if they believe they have been the victim of sexual harassment.  These are just examples of the types of issues that may be filed as an EEO complaint.

Who can file a complaint?

Faculty, staff and student workers may file an EEO complaint with the Office of EEO/AA and Diversity.

What if I have been harassed but not based on any of the protected categories listed in the State Policy?

If believe that you have been the victim of harassment unrelated to a protected category, this office will work with you to assure that your concern is directed to the appropriate office.

What is the process after an employee files an EEO complaint?

After a person files an EEO complaint, the complaint is reviewed to determine the appropriate manner in which to address it.  Please refer to The College of New Jersey Procedures for Internal Complaints Alleging Discrimination in the Workplace/Educational Environment for specific guidelines on how a complaint is processed.

Will I lose my job if a complaint is filed against me?

Each EEO complaint is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  There are a range of penalties imposed when an EEO allegation is substantiated, ranging from counseling to termination.  If the EEO violation is severe, the penalty will be more severe.

How do I manage an environment when an EEO complaint has been filed against me?

It is very common to feel a level of stress and tension in the workplace when an EEO complaint has been filed against you.  However, you should continue to manage the same way you managed before the EEO complaint was filed.  If you behave differently than you did before the EEO complaint was filed, a retaliation complaint could be filed against you.  For additional advice on how to manage your workplace when this situation arises, please contact EEO/AA and Diversity at 771-3139.