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Unlawful Workplace Harassment Policy

POLICY 05.30.01

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • First Issued: March 1, 1999.
  • Last Revised: January 22, 2013.

Related Policies:

Additional References:

Contact Info: Office of Human Resources (910.521.6279)


1.1 The purpose of this policy is to establish that The University of North Carolina at Pembroke prohibits in any form unlawful workplace harassment or retaliation of State employees.


2.1 This policy covers all full-time, part-time, permanent, probationary, trainee, time-limited permanent, former employees or temporary employees of UNC Pembroke.


3.1 It is the policy of UNC Pembroke that no State employee may engage in conduct that falls under the definition of unlawful workplace harassment indicated below. All employees are guaranteed the right to work in an environment free from unlawful workplace harassment and retaliation.


4.1 Unlawful workplace harassment is unwelcomed or unsolicited speech or conduct based upon race, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, color, or handicapping condition as defined by N.C.G.S. §168A-3 that creates a hostile work environment or circumstances involving quid pro quo.

4.2 Hostile work environment is one that both a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive and one that the particular person who is the object of the harassment perceives to be hostile or abusive.  Hostile work environment is determined by looking at all of the circumstances, including the frequency of the allegedly harassing conduct, its severity, whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, and whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance.

4.3 Quid pro quo harassment consists of unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for any employment decisions affecting such individual.

4.4 Retaliation is adverse treatment taken because of opposition to unlawful workplace harassment.


5.1 The procedure for filing a complaint of an alleged violation of this policy is available to any former employee, full-time or part-time employee with either a permanent, probationary, trainee, time-limited permanent or temporary appointment who feels that he/she has been unlawfully harassed in the workplace and is outlined below.

5.1.1 Submit a written complaint to the immediate supervisor and/or the UNC Pembroke Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days of the alleged harassing action.

5.1.2 UNC Pembroke shall respond with appropriate remedial action within 60 calendar days from receipt of written complaint unless the 60 calendar day period has been waived and the complainant has acknowledged such waiver. Waiver and acknowledgement shall be in writing.

5.1.3 UNC Pembroke, through the Human Resources Office, shall provide a written response to the complainant when the university has determined what action, if any, will result from the complainant’s written complaint.

5.1.4 If the university fails to provide a response within the 60 calendar day period, the complainant may appeal to the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings within 30 calendar days after the 60 day response period.  If the response of the university is unsatisfactory to the complainant, the complainant may appeal to the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings within 30 calendar days of receiving the university’s written response in accordance with N.C.G.S. §126.34.


6.1 It is the intention of UNC Pembroke to create a work environment that is free of any conduct that falls under the definition of unlawful workplace harassment by:

6.1.a. developing and disseminating to all employees an unlawful workplace harassment policy statement for the agency;
6.1.b. sensitizing employees to the subject through training, orientation, and literature;
6.1.c. developing disciplinary actions addressing unlawful workplace harassment; and

6.1.d. establishing a procedure to review and resolve allegations of violations of this policy.

6.2 Components for implementing this policy

6.2.1 UNC Pembroke will distribute the workplace harassment policy statement to new employees during orientation.

6.2.2 The annual training schedule will include unlawful workplace harassment training for supervisors and employees.


7.1 Office of Human Resources’ Responsibilities

7.1.1 Communicate the policy to new and existing employees.

7.1.2 Schedule workshops on unlawful workplace harassment.

7.1.3 Develop methods to evaluate program activities.

7.1.4 Coordinate related activities.

7.1.5 Investigate and obtain any additional information of cases alleging unlawful workplace harassment needed to complete documentation of the file.

7.1.6 Advise as appropriate and necessary all parties involved in cases alleging unlawful workplace harassment to include supervisor, complainant, and alleged harasser.

7.1.7 Monitor procedures and disciplinary action in all alleged cases.

7.1.8 Serve as resource to all supervisors and employees.

7.2 Supervisor's Responsibilities

7.2.1 Administer the university's policy.

7.2.2 Prevent and correct any identifiable discrimination and/or unlawful workplace harassment.

7.2.3 Counsel employees when appropriate to prevent and correct unlawful workplace harassment.

7.2.4 Create and maintain a work environment free of unlawful workplace harassment.

7.3 Employee's Responsibilities

7.3.1 Adhere to the policy of the university.

7.3.2 Report illegal discrimination and unlawful workplace harassment.

7.3.3 Maintain a work environment free of unlawful workplace harassment and retaliation.

7.4 Training

7.4.1 The Human Resources Office will provide training for all supervisors and staff to sensitize them to workplace harassment issues.  Training for supervisors and staff will be conducted as recommended by the North Carolina Office of State Personnel's Equal Opportunity Services Division.

7.4.2 Training for supervisors will include:
7.4.2.a. the State's policy;
7.4.2.b. unlawful workplace harassment;
7.4.2.c. unlawful workplace harassment complaint procedures;
7.4.2.d. illegal discrimination and unlawful workplace harassment;
7.4.2.e. corrective steps;
7.4.2.f. State and Federal laws; and
7.4.2.g. appropriate disciplinary actions.

7.4.3 Training for employees will include:
7.4.3.a. discrimination and unlawful workplace harassment;
7.4.3.b. the State's policy;
7.4.3.c. employee rights;
7.4.3.d. complaint procedures;

7.4.3.e. State and Federal laws; and
7.4.3.f. disciplinary actions.

7.5 Counseling

7.5.1 Employees who claim unlawful workplace harassment will be referred to the Employee Assistance Program.

7.6 Disciplinary Action for Violation of this Policy

7.6.1 Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee found to have engaged in unlawful workplace harassment.

7.6.2 All cases alleging unlawful workplace harassment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

7.6.3 UNC Pembroke prohibits against interference, coercion, restraint, or reprisal against any person complaining of unlawful workplace harassment.

7.6.4 For the purposes of the disciplinary policy, a violation of the Unlawful Workplace Prevention Harassment Policy shall be considered unacceptable personal conduct for which discipline up to and including dismissal may be imposed without prior warning.


8.1 All complaints and proceedings related to discrimination, harassment or retaliation will be subject to the university's legal obligations to assure resolution and normally will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.  However, information about discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints may be shared where necessary to investigate, prevent or remedy the prohibited conduct.


9.1 The unlawful workplace harassment policy shall be disseminated to all employees. New employees shall receive the policy during orientation. Existing employees will receive the policy through scheduled training sessions. The policy statement will be posted on the Human Resources bulletin board, the Human Resources website and the Policies and Regulations (PR) website.


10.1 The Unlawful Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy will be evaluated annually to review progress toward stated goals.  All unlawful workplace harassment claims will be reported annually to the Office of State Personnel.