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College Policies (Section 3)

Human Resources

BP3.1: Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action

The College is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities to all persons without regard to race, color, ancestry, citizenship status, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, religion, age, disability (physical or mental), gender identity, genetic information or characteristics, domestic violence victim status, service in the military, or any other protected classification under federal, state, or local law.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022
Amended: Feb. 18, 2015

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action

BP3.2: Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which is unlawful in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited. Sexual harassment also is prohibited in the provision of educational services and protects students and employees from sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated at SUNY Orange.

SUNY Orange does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational program or activity, and it is required by Title IX not to discriminate in such a manner.  The requirement not to discriminate in the education program or activity extends to admissions and employment.  Inquiries about the application of Title IX may be referred to the College’s designated Title IX Coordinator, to the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Education, or both. 

The College has implemented measures to address and prevent sexual harassment and is taking additional affirmative steps to increase awareness of, and sensitivity to, all forms of sexual harassment in order to maintain a workplace and learning environment free of its harmful effects.

Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination and employee misconduct, as well as a form of discrimination in the academic setting, and all employees and students are entitled to work and learn in a campus environment that prevents sexual harassment. All employees and students have a legal right to a workplace and a campus free from sexual harassment, and employees and students can enforce this right by filing a complaint internally with the College, or with a government agency, or in court under federal or state anti-discrimination laws, as detailed in the College's Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure.

Sexual harassment is defined similarly, but differently under the various applicable state and federal laws.   Generally, sexual harassment is described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic benefit; or
  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision affecting the person rejecting or submitting to the conduct; or
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an affected person's work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

Sexual harassment can include physical touching, verbal comments, non-verbal conduct such as leering or inappropriate written or electronic communications, or a combination of these things. Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Seeking sexual favors or a sexual relationship in return for the promise of a favorable grade or academic opportunity;
  • Conditioning an employment-related action (such as hiring, promotion, salary increase, or performance appraisal) on a sexual favor or relationship; or
  • Intentional and undesired physical contact, sexually explicit language or writing, lewd pictures or notes, and other forms of sexually offensive conduct by individuals in positions of authority, co-workers or student peers, that unreasonably interferes with the ability of a person to perform their employment or academic responsibilities.
  • Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:
    • Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against, or poking another person's body;
    • Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
  • Unwanted sexual advances or propositions whether they involve physical touching or not, such as:
    • Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning a target's job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments, or an educational benefit or detriment;
    • Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
    • Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile environment.
  • Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, comments about an individual’s body, comments about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess.
  • Discussion of one’s sexual activities.
  • Sex stereotyping occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people's ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.
  • Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications, such as:
    • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace or classroom.
  • Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual's sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, and the status of being transgender, such as:
    • Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person's workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual's ability to perform employment or academic duties;
    • Sabotaging an individual's work;
    • Bullying, yelling, name-calling

Such behavior can constitute sexual harassment regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, status of being transgender, or gender identity of any of the persons involved. Sexual harassment is considered a form of employee and student misconduct, which may lead to disciplinary action. All employees who have actual knowledge of such behavior are required to report it to the Title IX Coordinator. Further, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue. Employees and students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may refer to the College’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure for more details on how to have their allegations reviewed, which includes a link to the College’s complaint form.

Retaliation against a person who files a complaint, serves as a witness, or assists or participates in any manner in this procedure, is unlawful, is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action. Retaliation is an adverse action taken against an individual as a result of complaining about or providing information regarding unlawful discrimination or harassment, exercising a legal right, and/or participating in a complaint investigation as a third-party witness. Adverse action includes being discharged, disciplined, discriminated against, or otherwise subject to adverse action because the individual reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. Participants who experience retaliation should contact the College’s Civil Rights Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator and may file a complaint pursuant to the procedures outlined in the College's Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure.

The Board directs the President to develop procedures consistent with this policy, Title IX and its regulations, and other applicable laws pertaining to sexual harassment and/or discrimination.

Amended: March 13, 2024
Amended: March 16, 2022
Amended: Nov. 20, 2019

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

BP3.3: Harassment and Discrimination

SUNY Orange is committed to fostering a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, ancestry, citizenship status, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, marital status, familial status, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction or other characteristics protected by state or federal law. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic.

This policy is in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and harassment. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, and the New York State Human Rights Law. These laws prohibit discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Officials and supervisors must take immediate and appropriate corrective action when instances of prohibited discrimination and/or harassment come to their attention to assure compliance with this policy. Each employee and student is assured that retaliation against an individual who makes a complaint or report under this policy is absolutely prohibited and constitutes, in and of itself, a violation of this policy. Any questions regarding the scope or application of this policy by employees should be directed to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. Students can contact the office of the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Completion. Sexual harassment complaints will be addressed under Policy BP3.2 and Procedure BP3.2.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 13, 2024
Amended: March 16, 2022
Amended: Oct. 16, 2019

Harassment and Discrimination

BP3.4: Disability Accommodations

As part of its commitment to maintaining a highly qualified and diverse student population and work force, and in keeping with its obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the College offers qualified individuals with disabilities equal opportunity, participation, and access to College programs, services, and activities. Discrimination on the basis of disability as defined in Section 504 or under the ADA will not exist in any activity, area, or operation of the College, and retaliation against an individual for asserting rights under Section 504 or the ADA will not be tolerated.

The College will make reasonable accommodations for any known disability of an otherwise qualified individual, unless it would result in undue hardship on the College’s operations. Employees seeking disability accommodations should consult with the Human Resources office while students should contact the Office of Accessibility Services.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Disability Accommodations

BP3.5: Drug-Free Workplace

Orange County Community College is committed to maintaining a drug free environment and will comply with “The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Amendments Of 1989” as mandated by Section 22 of Public Law 101-226, and the “Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.”

From a safety perspective, those who use or possess drugs or alcohol may impair the well-being of students and employees, interfere with the College’s educational and workplace environment, or cause damage to College property.

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of narcotics, drugs, other controlled substances or alcohol is prohibited in any College building or on any College premises; in any College-owned vehicle or in any other College-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from the College or College activities; and off-campus property at any College-sponsored or College-approved activity, event or function (such as a field trip or athletic event where students are under the jurisdiction of the College).

“Controlled substance” means any drug listed in Title 21 of the United States Code and other federal regulations, as well as those listed in Chapter 90 of the New York General Statutes.

Standards of Conduct for Employees and Visitors

The College has a vital interest in ensuring safe, healthful and efficient working conditions for employees and learning conditions for students. The College is also committed to offering visitors a safe environment in which to enjoy the College premises, programs and offerings. The unlawful presence of controlled substances on College premises conflicts with these vital interests and constitutes a violation of the public trust. For these reasons, the College has established, as a condition of employment and continued employment, the following:

  • The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of narcotics, drugs, other controlled substances or alcohol at any College work location or premises is prohibited
  • Employees who unlawfully manufacture, distribute, possess or use a controlled substance will be subject to disciplinary procedures consistent with applicable and collective sanctions
  • Employees must notify the Human Resources Office of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace, or at a work site, no later than five (5) days after such a conviction
  • All employees are hereby advised that full compliance with the foregoing policies shall be a condition of employment at the College
  • Advance written approval and authorization is required from the President of the College for the consumption of alcohol at College-sponsored functions

For the purposes of this policy, students are governed by the College’s Student Code of Conduct.

Disciplinary Sanctions of the College

Local, state and federal laws stipulate mandatory fines and imprisonment of individuals convicted of possessing, using or distributing illicit drugs or alcohol on campus and at all College-sponsored events. The College will strictly enforce the Student Code of Conduct which specifies the disciplinary measures for students who have been found to have possessed, used or distributed drugs or alcohol on College property and at all College-sponsored events. Please refer to the Student Code of Conduct for disciplinary procedures and possible sanctions specified for students.

The disciplinary measures specified for employees include:

  • Completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program
  • Disciplinary sanctions will be applied pursuant to applicable law or, where appropriate, the individual's collective bargaining agreement. These sanctions may include a reprimand, a fine, and suspension without pay, demotion and dismissal

In addition to disciplinary action or College sanctions, students and employees found possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs and alcohol on College property may be referred to local authorities for prosecution.

In the case of a student, charges for violation of any of these rules shall be presented and shall be heard and a recommendation to the chief administrative officer shall be made under the “Code of Student Conduct” for the disposition of charges.

In the case of a faculty member, charges of misconduct in violation of these rules shall be made by the chief administrative officer, or designee, and thereafter heard and determined by the Board of Trustees of Orange County Community College within 30 days.

In the case of a staff member, charges of misconduct in violation of these rules shall be made by the chief administrative officer, or designee, and thereafter heard and determined by the Board of Trustees of Orange County Community College within 30 days.

Drug-Free Awareness Program

In order to maintain a drug-free workplace, the College has established a drug-free awareness program to educate employees on the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace, its drug-free workplace policy, the availability of any drug-free counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance programs, and the penalties that may be imposed for violations of our drug-free workplace policy. Such education may include:

  • Distribution of the College’s drug-free workplace policy at the employment interview
  • Discussion of the policy at the new employee orientation session
  • Distribution of a list of approved drug assistance agencies, organizations and clinics
  • Distribution of published educational materials regarding the dangers of drug abuse
  • Re-orientation of all involved employees in cases in which a drug-related accident or incident occurs
  • Inclusion of the policy in employee handbooks and any other personnel policy publications
  • Lectures or training by local drug abuse assistance experts
  • Discussion by the College’s safety experts on the hazards associated with drug abuse
  • Video presentations on the hazards of drug abuse

The Board directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022
Amended: Oct. 21, 2020

Drug-Free CWorkplace

BP3.6: Tobacco Use in the Workplace

Orange County Community College bans the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapor devices, on the College’s campuses, except in those outdoor areas designated by the College President. Pursuant to the New York State Indoor Clean Air Act (Public Health Law, Article 13-E), smoking is prohibited inside all buildings owned and/or operated by SUNY Orange. In addition, the indoor use of all tobacco products is strictly prohibited.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: Dec. 16, 2015

Tobacco Use in the Workplace

BP3.7: Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)

The College prohibits the employment of close relatives in the same department or administrative unit (or anywhere within the College) where the relatives participate in making recommendations or decisions affecting the appointment, evaluation, retention, work assignments, promotion, demotion or salary of other relatives.

All members of the Board of Trustees, at the outset of their appointed term and at each date of subsequent term renewals, will sign a Conflict of Interest form that requires the Trustee to disclose whenever a close relative is subject to any hiring, promotion or other College personnel action. The Trustee will be required to recuse himself/herself/themselves from any Board vote or action involving the Trustee’s close relative.

“Close relative” refers to persons related consanguineously ("blood relatives") within the third degree of relationship (e.g., second cousin) and to persons related by affinity (“relatives by marriage") within the second degree of relationship (e.g., first cousin-in-law).

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)

BP3.8: Personal Relationships in the Workplace

Orange County Community College employees, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation, are prohibited from entering into romantic, intimate, and/or sexual relationships with another member of the College community (student or employee) over whom they hold a position of direct, indirect or implied power. This includes, but is not limited to, persons whom one teaches, advises, coaches, counsels, mentors, evaluates or supervises in any way.

Faculty, staff, and students with pre-existing relationships with subordinates must also disclose such relationships in accordance with College procedures so that appropriate arrangements can be made, where necessary, to terminate the supervision, evaluation, or instruction power imbalance.

Entering into or continuing in a romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship with a student or subordinate absent appropriate disclosure and adherence to College procedures can subject the employee to discipline up to and including termination and a student to discipline in accord with the Student Code of Conduct.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Personal Relationships in the Workplace

BP3.9: Domestic Violence

The College will enforce the Orange County Government domestic violence employee awareness and assistance policy, which puts forth the following requirements1:

• Orange County will provide upon request information concerning referrals to any employee who is a victim of domestic violence. Such referrals may include, but are not limited to: Orange County Employees Assistance Program, Orange County Crime Victims Program, Safe Homes, Inc., New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.
• Orange County will not tolerate domestic violence that includes harassment by any employee while in County Offices, facilities, worksites, vehicles, or while conducting County business. Any employee who is found to have threatened, harassed or abused a current or former partner at the workplace or from the workplace using any workplace resources such as work time, work vehicles, workplace phones, FAX machines, mail, e-mail, or other means, may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action in accordance with existing collective bargaining unit agreements.
• employees who are perpetrators of domestic violence are also encouraged to seek assistance and contact their supervisor, EAP office or a batterer’s intervention program.
• Orange County will make available and post in locations of high visibility, such as bulletin boards, break/restrooms a list of resources for victims and perpetrators of Domestic Violence, including, but not limited to: Orange County Assistance Program (EAP), Orange County Crime Victims Program, Safe Homes, Inc., New York State Domestic Violence Hotline Numbers (Spanish and English), Orange County Batterers Intervention Course.

1 The provisions of this executive order/policy are not intended to alter collective bargaining unit agreements existing at the time of its adoption.

For the purpose of this policy, the following terms will be defined as:

• Domestic violence: actions or a pattern of coercive behavior, which can include stalking; harassment; physical or sexual violence or the threat of violence; psychological, economic, and emotional abuse, used against an intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over an intimate partner.
• Abuser: the person who directs his/her coercive and violent acts against a victim.
• Victim: the person against whom an abuser directs his/her coercive and violent acts.
• Intimate Partner: includes persons who are legally married to one another; were formerly married to one another; have a child in common regardless of whether they were ever married or lived together at any time; are unrelated but who have had intimate or continuous social contact with one another and who have access to one another's household; or who have or have had a dating or sexual relationship, including same sex couples.
• Domestic Violence Service Provider: agency or a staff member of an agency, that primarily or exclusively provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence.

Amended: Nov. 20, 2019

Domestic Violence

BP3.10: Notification of Certain Convictions

An employee of the College who has been convicted of a reportable crime during the course of the employee’s employment is required to notify the College’s Human Resources Office, in writing, on the first College work day following such conviction. For purposes of this policy reportable crimes include drug offenses as outlined in Policy BP3.5 and any offense that directly impedes or prevents the employee from completing the requirements and duties of his/her/their job. The College is not required to accommodate an employee’s limitations if those limitations are created because of a criminal conviction.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Notification of Arrests and Convictions

BP3.11: Notice of Privacy Practices

The College is committed to protecting the privacy and security of the health and other personal and confidential information of employees and student employees. In general, the College will ensure that such personal and confidential information will not be used, disclosed or confirmed to anyone who is not specifically authorized to receive or have access to the information under applicable law or the applicable policies and procedures of the College.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Notice of Privacy Practices

BP3.12: Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention

Pursuant to the Workplace Violence Protection Act, the College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, violence-free community for  toward any member of or visitors to the College.

The College prohibits violent acts and threats of violence. Students, employees and visitors to the campus who commit or threaten to commit acts of violence are subject to disciplinary action and/or civil or criminal prosecution as appropriate. For purposes of this policy, violence and threats of violence include, but are not limited to: any physical assault, any physical or verbal threat, or behavior or action which is interpreted by a reasonable person to carry the potential:

  • To harm or endanger the safety of others
  • To result in an act of aggression
  • To willfully destroy or damage property

If an individual is subject to violent acts or threats of violence, or believes that a serious violation of the College’s violence prevention policy exists, a supervisor or any member of College administration should be contacted. No retaliation shall be taken against any employee who reports an alleged serious violation of the College’s workplace violence policy.

This policy is applicable to all College employees, students, vendors and their employees, campus visitors, volunteers and College-affiliated individuals.

Amended: March 16, 2022
Amended: Nov. 20, 2019 

Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention

BP3.13: Immigration Law and Compliance

The College complies with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and is committed to employing only persons who are legally authorized to work in the United States. The College does not unlawfully discriminate because of a person’s citizenship or national origin.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Immigration Law and Compliance

BP3.14: Appointment of Non-Classified Staff

The Board of Trustees shall approve changes in the appointment status of members of the professional staff upon recommendation of the President and in accordance with the salary and benefit guideline package.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Appointment of Non-Classified Staff

BP3.15: Personnel Records

The College shall maintain employee personnel records for a period of at least three years in order to document employment related decisions, evaluate and assess policies and operations, and comply with government requirements for recordkeeping, reporting requirements, and employee information.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Personnel Records

BP3.16: Payroll Deductions

The College’s policy and practice is to accurately compensate employees and to do so in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws. The College does not make any deductions from the salaries of employees except for those:

  1. that are made in accordance with the provisions of any law or any rule or regulation issued by any governmental agency; or
  2. that are expressly authorized in writing by the employee and are for the benefit of the employee. Such authorized deductions are limited to payments for

(a) insurance premiums,
(b) pension or health and welfare benefits,
(c) contributions to charitable organizations,
(d) payments for United States bonds,
(e) payments for dues or assessments to a labor organization, and
(f) similar payments for the benefit of the employee.

If an employee believes that an improper deduction has been taken from a paycheck, the employee should immediately report the mistakes to a direct supervisor or the Payroll Department.  The report will be promptly investigated and if it is found that an improper deduction has been made, the College will reimburse the employee for the improper deduction. The College will not allow any form of retaliation against individuals who report alleged violations of this policy or who cooperate in the College’s investigation of such reports.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures as to fairly implement this policy.

Amended: March 16, 2022

Payroll Deductions

BP3.17: Affirmative Consent

In accordance with the State University of New York, Orange County Community College adopts the following definition of affirmative consent: “Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.  Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

Amended: March 16, 2022
Amended: Sept. 23, 2015

Affirmative Consent