University of Michigan Graduate Employees Organization nondiscrimination

From Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions

Article IV: Anti-discrimination and Equal Opportunity Employment


Section A. Principles and Definitions


1. Statutory Compliance – It is agreed that there shall be no discrimination in the application of the provisions of this Agreement based on impermissible factors as defined below and as consistent with the state of Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976. Refer to Appendix C for the text of the act. The University agrees to abide by the protections afforded Employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Refer to Appendix A for a description of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


2. Impermissible Factors – “Impermissible factors” means an Employee’s race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or any other factor irrelevant to his or her employment status or function.


3. Definition of Discrimination – Any of the following constitute “discrimination”:


a. to discharge, or otherwise to act against an individual when the act arises from or is related to the Employee’s status or function as a GSI or GSSA, because of an impermissible factor.


b. to limit, segregate, or classify an Employee in a way that deprives or tends to deprive an Employee of an employment opportunity or otherwise adversely affects the status of an Employee because of an impermissible factor.


c. sexual harassment. “Sexual harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature under the following conditions:


i. submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by an Employee is used as a factor in decisions affecting his or her employment; or


ii. the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an Employee’s employment, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment environment.


d. harassment. “Harassment” means conduct by a University of Michigan employee directed toward a member of the bargaining unit that arises from or is related to the Employee’s status or function as a GSI or GSSA and that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact or repeated verbal abuse, threats, or intimidation that significantly interferes with the Employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties, that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose related to the individual’s employment, unless the timing or manner in which the activity or conduct is done would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the harassment grievant to suffer emotional distress.


Section B. Grievance Procedure


In the event an Employee has a grievance alleging a violation of this Article, the grievance may be initiated at Step One, Step Two, or Step Three of the grievance procedure, at the discretion of the Union, provided it is submitted in writing within forty (40) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance.


In the event the Union gives notification of intent to arbitrate as provided in Section D of Article XIV, the University and the Union will select an arbitrator as provided in Section D of Article XIV, provided, however, that a list of arbitrators familiar with discrimination allegations will be requested if the University and the Union are unable to select a mutually agreeable Arbitrator. In discrimination cases, the fees and expenses of the Arbitrator shall be paid by the Union if the grievant’s claim of discrimination is denied and by the University if the grievant’s claim of discrimination is upheld.


Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an Employee who alleges discrimination from exercising constitutional or statutory rights which might be available in addition to arbitration, provided however: (1) that if the Union gives notification of intent to arbitrate, the aggrieved Employee shall not attempt to avail him or herself of such additional rights until after receipt of the arbitration award, except for a case where the Employee might be foreclosed from exercising those rights because of the time involved in the arbitration proceedings, and (2) that if the Employee files for such rights prior to receipt of the arbitration award, the Employee will request any investigative agency to delay its investigation pending receipt of the arbitration award. In the event the Employee acts in a way inconsistent with (1) and/or (2), the grievance and arbitration process shall cease.


As an alternate to Step One of the grievance process (Section C of Article XIV), complaints or grievances by Employees alleging a violation of this Article can be brought directly to the Office of Institutional Equity. Time spent in active pursuit of such informal dispute resolution will not count towards the grievance clock for Step One.

Section C. Union Activities or Membership


Neither the University nor the Union shall discriminate against, intimidate, restrain, coerce, or interfere with any employee because of, or with respect to, his or her lawful union activities or membership or the right to refrain from such activities or membership. In addition, there shall be no discrimination against any Employee in the application of the terms of this Agreement because of membership or non-membership in the Union.


Section D. Changes


In the event the University adds any additional category or categories of protected classes to its current policies on non-discrimination, such category or categories will be added to this Agreement, unless upon written notice, within thirty (30) days of such adoption by the University, the Union informs the University that it does not wish to add the category or categories during the term of the Agreement.


Section E. Definitions


Gender Identity or Expression: “Gender identity or expression” means a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of an individual, whether actual or perceived, and regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.


Section F. Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities


The University will provide each qualified Employee with a known disability with such reasonable accommodation(s) as are necessary for the performance of his or her employment functions, unless the accommodation(s) would impose an undue hardship as provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Article XXII: Policies and Procedures for Employees with Disabilities


Section A. Americans with Disabilities Act


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The University of Michigan promotes the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities as part of its commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive community. It is the policy of the University of Michigan to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.


Additional information about the ADA can be found at the following websites:

http://hr.umich.edu/oie/ada/adainformation.html

http://hr.umich.edu/oie/ada/adaresources.html


Section B. University Organization


1. The provisions of this Article will be fully implemented no later than January 1, 2012.


2. The University will maintain a central fund for implementing reasonable accommodations for Employees with disabilities. Exhaustion of the fund shall not be used as a reason for denying accommodation requests.


3. The University will designate a central office (“designated central office”) for responding to requests for accommodations for Employees with disabilities. This designated central office shall have in its charge:

a. management of the accommodations fund specified in B.2;

b. receiving and maintaining Employee accommodation requests and supporting documentation;

c. advising employing schools or colleges, or appointing units as needed, in determining whether requested accommodations are “reasonable” as the term is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and other applicable federal and state regulations;

d. coordinating with the administrative designee of employing schools or colleges in implementing accommodations;

e. maintaining records of accommodations formally requested (according to C.4.a.i) either through the designated central office or the administrative designee of an employing school or college, and the disposition of those requests;

f. compiling an annual report containing a summary of accommodations formally requested (according to C.4.a.i), and the outcome of those requests, omitting information pertaining to specific individuals and provide to GEO and/or Academic Human Resources upon request;

g. advising Employees about the accommodations process; and

h. providing guidance and training to employing schools or colleges and/or appointing units as needed about ADA compliance and compliance with the provisions of this Article, and best practices for interacting with Employees with disabilities.


4. Each employing school or college will designate an administrative contact (“administrative designee”) who is responsible for communicating with necessary parties about accommodations requests made by Employees in that employing school or college.


5. The University will maintain standardized accommodation request forms, medical documentation forms, and accommodation approval forms. Employees will be able to access these forms through their employing school or college’s administrative designee, the designated central office, and the website of the designated central office.


6. As specified in Article IX, Section C.7, employing units will include in their initial offer letters to all Employees a statement that the University complies with the ADA, provide contact information for the administrative designee for the employing school or college, and contact information for the designated central office.


Section C. Accommodations Procedure


1. The accommodation process may require discussion and consultation with the Employee’s immediate faculty supervisor and/or other appropriate faculty or staff whose duties include the coordination and/or management of GSA appointments.


2. An Employee need not disclose their medical condition or impairment to their immediate supervisor or appointing unit administrators in order to request a reasonable accommodation. An Employee, however, will be required to disclose such an impairment and/or medical condition to the designated central office as necessary to process an accommodation request. The designated central office may disclose the impairment and/or medical condition to the immediate supervisor or appointing unit faculty and staff only to further the interactive process. In the event the designated central office decides it is necessary to disclose the impairment and/or medical condition to the immediate supervisor or appointing unit faculty and staff to further the interactive process, the designated central office will inform the Employee prior to the disclosure.


3. Documentation involving accommodations will be kept separate from departmental academic records and Employee personnel files. Documentation related to accommodation requests will be available only to employing school or college administrators and/or appointing unit faculty and staff who are involved with the implementation of a reasonable accommodation. An Employee need not provide documentation concerning medical information (e.g., physician statements) to appointing unit faculty and/or staff in order to request the accommodation An Employee, however, will be required to provide documentation concerning medical information to the designated central office as necessary to process an accommodation request. The designated central office may provide the documentation concerning medical information to the immediate supervisor or appointing unit faculty and staff only to further the interactive process. In the event the designated central office decides it is necessary to disclose documentation concerning medical information to the immediate supervisor or appointing unit faculty and staff to further the interactive process, the designated central office will inform the Employee prior to the disclosure.


4. Employee requests for accommodations will proceed according to the following steps:


a) Step One


i. The Employee seeking a disability accommodation may obtain an accommodations request form and medical documentation form through the administrative designee for the employing school or college the, designated central office, or the website of the designated central office. The Employee may submit the completed forms to the administrative designee or the designated central office physically or electronically. If the Employee submits the forms to the administrative designee, the administrative designee will submit the forms to the designated central office on a timely basis, recognizing Employees have limited term appointments. Accommodations requests may be made at any point during (or preceding) the term of employment.


ii. The parties recognize that an Employee may make informal requests directly to the Employee’s immediate faculty supervisor and/or appointing unit faculty and/or staff with responsibility for the Employee’s GSI/GSSA appointment (“appointing unit contacts”). Further, the parties acknowledge that in doing so Employees are not required to contact the administrative designee or the designated central office about their request(s). Further, it is possible that appointing unit contacts responding to an informal request could agree to and implement said request without consulting the administrative designee and/or designated central office. In this event, the provisions of Step One i. need not be followed (i.e., neither the administrative designee nor the designated central office need be involved). In the event an Employee makes a request to appointing unit contacts that is denied, the Employee may formally pursue a request for a disability accommodation through Step One i. outlined above.


b) Step Two


Following receipt of an Employee’s completed accommodation request forms, the designated central office will initiate an interactive process with the Employee and the employing school or college’s administrative designee. At the conclusion of that process, the designated central office will provide the Employee written notice as soon as possible (e.g., via email) whether the accommodation will be implemented, keeping in mind that the employee is on a limited term appointment. The designated central office will also notify the employing school or college’s administrative designee, who will notify the appropriate contacts in the appointing unit.


If the accommodation request is granted, the designated central office will facilitate, in consultation with the employing school or college’s administrative designee, the steps required to implement the accommodation.


If the accommodation request is denied, the designated central office will notify the Employee, and provide the Employee with the reason for the denial as soon as possible. If an accommodation request is denied due to the nature of the accommodation requested, the designated central office and the employing school or college administrative designee will make a reasonable effort, in cooperation with the Employee, to continue the interactive process in order to determine whether an equally effective reasonable accommodation is available.


5. The Employee may use a communication from the designated central office notifying the Employee that their accommodation request has been granted as supporting documentation for future accommodation requests. The fact that a previous accommodation request has been granted does not mean all future requests will be granted. The facts and circumstances of subsequent requests will be assessed at the time of the subsequent request.


6. Nothing in this Article shall be interpreted to preclude Employees’ use of the Grievance and Arbitration Procedure as described in Article XIV. A grievance alleging a violation of this Article must be initiated at Step Three of the grievance procedure, and must be submitted within forty (40) calendar days following reasonable knowledge of the facts giving rise to the grievance.


Section D. Administrative Training

The designated central office will provide professional training for the administrative designees concerning the processes outlined above, as well as best practices as stated in Section B.3.h. of this Article.