1-2 Affirmative Action
1-3 Background Check
1-4 Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Other Unlawful Discrimination, Harrassment, and Retaliation
1-5 Policy on AIDS
1-6 Drugs and Alcohol Policy
1-8 Conflict of Interest
1-9 Workplace Violence
1-11 Policy for Access to Student Residence Halls
1-12 Domestic Violence Leave Act Policy
1-13 Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
This Handbook is designed to provide an overview of many of the employment policies, procedures and benefits for administrative employees at Wellesley College (hereinafter the "College"). The contents of this handbook and the policies and procedures described in it are presented as a matter of information and general guidance only.
This handbook is intended to provide guidelines for administrative employees of the College. Those employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement will reference their union contract with regard to their terms and conditions of employment. Members of the Faculty should refer to the Faculty Handbook.
The handbook does not create a contract between the College and any of its employees. No policies in the handbook or any oral interpretation of the policies and procedures create an express or implied contract of employment between the College and employees regarding length of service, wages, hours, procedures, policies, benefits, or any terms or conditions of employment. This handbook does not alter the employment at-will relationship between the College and its employees whose employment is not subject to a collective bargaining agreement. The College or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time.
The College may change any portion of this Handbook at any time, with or without notice.
The principle of affirmative action, as it is endorsed at Wellesley College, directs members of the College community--students, faculty, and staff--to make special efforts in all areas of life and work at the College. In each case, the principle requires that we eliminate patterns of discrimination and ignorance about one another that obscure our recognition of human dignity and individuality, and work towards achieving a more open, just and tolerant community. In addition, the principle requires that we make positive efforts to overcome the effects of earlier patterns of discrimination whether that discrimination occurred here or in the society at large.
Affirmative action at Wellesley encompasses three areas of responsibility. Under federal and state law, we are forbidden to discriminate against certain categories of persons in employment or admission. Beyond this, we have made a positive institutional commitment to recruit minority students and hire minority faculty and staff, in order to structure our community in accord with canons of equality and social justice. Finally, we want to ensure that this community respects diversity, learns from differences, and avoids intolerance. All these objectives mandate action. Neither the actors nor the audience is quite the same for each goal.
Wellesley College admits students without regard to race, color, religion or national origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation, in administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other college administered programs or in its employment policies.
Wellesley College, as an independent, undergraduate educational institution for women, does not discriminate on the basis of sex against its students in the educational programs or activities which it operates, and does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its employment policies, in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; nor does the College discriminate on the basis of handicap in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or on the basis of disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The commitment to recruiting minority students, faculty, and staff must be community-wide. For all categories of employment, especially those where minority persons are under-represented, we will make vigorous efforts to attract minority applicants and give their applications careful consideration. To ensure the success of these efforts in every department, we will monitor departmental search procedures closely. The implementation of this policy rests with the Board of Admission, the Dean of the College, the academic departments, and the Human Resources Office.
The College's commitment to affirmative action transcends legal requirements. No member of our community shall experience acts of discrimination in regard to educational policy or employment practices because of any factor which is not relevant to the issue at hand, such as ethnic background, age or sexual preference. A good education should promote understanding of difference and remove barriers of ignorance which divide us.
Responsibility for the quality of our community life rests with all of us. The Title IX Coordinator and Director of Title IX/Nondiscrimination Initiatives stands available to hear and act on complaints in any of these categories.
Affirmative action as a principle yields clear directives: to take active steps to remedy damaging imbalances, and to avoid caricature, slurs against members of any group, and the deadening effects of ignorance. It does not teach us how to reach our goals in every instance. Therefore, the same principle requires us to be tolerant of diversity of views about the best way to reach goals of justice and understanding, and to work together affirmatively in order to achieve these goals.
Affirmative Action for Handicapped Persons and Veterans
Wellesley College has adopted affirmative action programs with regard to employment opportunities for qualified individuals who are handicapped persons, disabled veterans and Vietnam-era veterans. These categories are defined as--
- Handicapped: a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of that person's major life activities (2) has a record of such impairment or (3) is regarded as having such impairment. A handicap is substantially limiting if it is likely to cause the person difficulty in securing, retaining, or advancing in employment.
- Disabled Veteran: any person entitled to disability compensation under laws administered by the Veterans Administration for a disability rated at 30 per centum or more or any person whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
- Vietnam-era Veteran: any person who was on active duty with any branch of the United States military service during any portion of the Vietnam era and who (1) served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days and was discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge or (2) was discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability. Federal regulations define the Vietnam era as the period between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975.
Effective July 1, 2010, Wellesley College will conduct background checks with the assistance of a third party agency. This process is being implemented to ensure the safety and protection of our employees and students, property, data, and to aid management in making optimum employment decisions. A background check may be used to retrieve information from an individual’s past employers, educational institutions, government agencies, companies, corporations, credit reporting agencies, and/or law enforcement agencies at the federal, state or county level to supply any and all information pertaining to an applicant’s or employee’s background.
All employees hired after July 1, 2010, will be subject to a background check.
Background checks will take place at the time an offer is made. The selected applicant will sign a release form authorizing the check. The employee may start pending the results of the background check.
In addition, Wellesley College reserves the right to conduct a new background check on any individual being considered for either a promotion or lateral opportunity, which could place the individual in a position of particular sensitivity, such as an administrative position going into a Res Life position or a position in the Controllers’ Office. Such individuals will be asked to sign a release document authorizing the college and the third party agency to conduct the check. Failure to sign the release will result in non-selection for employment or non-selection for a promotional opportunity.
Background summary reports will be obtained and reviewed by Human Resources. If potentially adverse information is found in the background check, Human Resources will review the matter with the Division Head or the Hiring Manager before finalizing a formal offer of employment or selection for promotion. Depending on the severity and relevance of the adverse information an offer may be rescinded. Background checks may include, but are not limited to:
- Review of County/State/Federal Criminal Records;
- Verification of Social Security Number;
- Verification of Educational records;
- Verification of Employment records;
- Sexual Offender Registry Search;
- Credit History (for those positions with financial responsibilities);
- Review of Department of Motor Vehicle records (for those positions which drive college vehicles).
Wellesley College will ensure that all background checks are held in compliance with all federal and state statutes. The college guarantees that all information obtained from the reference and background check process will only be used as part of the employment process, or for evaluation of existing employees, and will be kept separate from the personnel file and held strictly confidential.
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Human Resources.
Unlawful Discrimination And Sexual Harassment
No Retaliation For Filing A Complaint Of Sexual Harassment Or Unlawful Discrimination
Disability and Accommodation
Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodation
Employee, Faculty and Student Responsibilities
Procedures For Addressing Complaints Regarding Violations Of This Policy
EXPECTATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BETWEEN COLLEGE EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISEES OR BETWEEN EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS
Prohibited Conduct and Romantic Relationships between Students and Faculty
View the full Aids Policy.
All students, faculty, administrative and union staff are expected to recognize the potential for alcohol and drug abuse whenever illegal drugs or alcohol are sold, given, manufactured, and/or used and that such abuse is in conflict with the College's purpose. The College's drug and alcohol policy for staff and faculty is stated below.
Illegal or improper use of alcohol will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs by any person on the property of Wellesley College is prohibited. Such action shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Violations of the Wellesley College Drug Policy or of any Commonwealth of Massachusetts or Town of Wellesley laws are subject to disciplinary action. Acts in violation of the Wellesley College Drug Policy that occur on campus will be subject to disciplinary action. Additionally, acts in violation of the Wellesley College Drug Policy that occur off campus may be subject to disciplinary action.
Drug and Alcohol Programs:
Below is a list of some drug and alcohol prevention, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation, and re-entry programs. Additional programs may be listed in the local and other area telephone directories.
190 North Main Street
Natick, MA 01760
368 Congress Street
Boston MA 02210
Al-Anon/Adult Children of Alcoholics...781-843-5300
Al-Anon Family Groups of Mass., Inc.
639 Granite Street
Braintree, MA 02184
Solicitation by one College employee of another employee for any purpose is prohibited while either employee is on his or her working time ("working time" does not include meal periods, authorized rest breaks, or any period when employees are properly not engaged in the performance of their work tasks.)
Distribution by College employees of advertising materials, handbills, or printed or written literature of any kind to other employees during work time or in work areas is prohibited.
Solicitation of employees or distribution of advertising materials, handbills, or printed or written literature of any kind to employees on the premises of Wellesley College by persons who are not Wellesley College employees is prohibited at any time. This policy does not include Wellesley College authorized vendors.
View the full Business Conduct Policy.
Wellesley College seeks to maintain a safe, healthy and secure work environment. It is the College's goal to create a workplace free from violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior. Employees play a major role in the College's efforts by complying with this policy, contributing to a respectful atmosphere, treating all threats seriously, and reporting incidents immediately.
Wellesley College treats reports of threatening behavior or violence seriously and will take appropriate action in response. The College has the right to search any area or property, including personal property, in order to investigate reports of workplace violence. For information regarding the College's response to a workplace violence crisis, please refer to the Wellesley College Emergency Response Plan.
Prohibited Conduct and Behavior:
Wellesley College will not tolerate any workplace violence, whether carried out by coworkers, visitors, former employees, or other individuals. The College expressly prohibits violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior on its property. Violence or threatening behavior can include physical acts of violence, gestures, intimidating presence, oral or written statements, sexual assaults and weapons possession.
The College will initiate appropriate action in response to reports of such incidents, which may include, but is not limited to, immediate removal from Wellesley College property, suspension, termination and/or referral for criminal prosecution. All employees are required to cooperate in any investigations the College conducts in response to reports or acts of workplace violence.
All employees are responsible for reporting workplace violence and can do so without the fear of reprisal or criticism. Community members should not ignore violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating or other disruptive behavior.
Employees can follow this matrix to determine when and to whom to report incidents.
Situation Report to any act of violence or threat of violence, or any emergency situation--> Call Wellesley College Police (x5555)
Verbal abuse, perceived intimidation, or harassment, or any non-emergency situation--> Report incident to immediate supervisor or Office of Human Resources (x3202)
All other situations or not sure--> Call Office of Human Resources (x3202) or Wellesley College Police (x2121)
If you have any questions about this policy please contact the Director of Human Resources (x3202) or the Chief of Campus Police (x2121).
Wellesley College expressly prohibits the use, possession, or sale of any weapon, other than as expressly authorized by the College, by any person or employee while on College property and/or while conducting business on behalf of or for the benefit of, the College. This prohibition applies even if an individual has a legal permit to carry a weapon. Massachusetts General Laws (MGL, Chapter 269, section 10(j)) also prohibit carrying a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, or any other dangerous weapon, in any building or on the grounds of any college or university.
Persons who are on Wellesley College property and/or conducting business on behalf of, or for the benefit of, the College, are required to abide by this policy and are required to cooperate in any investigation the College deems necessary to enforce this policy.
Persons who do not comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from College property and/or termination from employment. This action is separate from any criminal penalties that may be pursued for violation of state laws.
Special Exemption for the Possession of Chemical Defensive Sprays:
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, chemical defensive sprays are considered regulated ammunition. This definition includes any device or instrument that contains or emits a liquid, gas, powder, or other substance designed to incapacitate.
Residents of Massachusetts must obtain the appropriate Firearms Identification Card (FID), or License to Carry (LTC) in order to possess chemical defensive sprays in public. The licensing authority for granting permission to possess any form of defensive chemical sprays is generally the chief of police in the town where the person resides. For example, the Chief of Police, Town of Wellesley, would be the licensing authority for a staff member who resides in the Town of Wellesley. Individuals residing in other cities, towns, or villages should apply for their FIDs or LTCs with their local police departments. Non-residents of Massachusetts should contact the applicable licensing authority for additional information regarding exemptions to this requirement. Refer to Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 140, section 129B and chapter 140, section 131, for additional information.
Only Student Life staff members, police, maintenance staff, and custodians who are on official College business are permitted in the private areas of the residence halls. All other College employees visiting the residence halls must restrict their presence to the common public areas. Maintenance staff and custodians working in the private areas should be wearing uniforms and all employees entering the residence halls must have Wellesley College identification. Anyone without an ID who claims to be an employee or privately contracted by the College must go to Campus Police and obtain proper ID and visitor’s pass.
The professional Residence Life staff has access to rooms for a variety of health and safety reasons.
Anyone in the building, employee or visitor, who is a guest of a student, needs to be escorted through the building by the resident. This is crucial to the safety of everyone in the building.
Wellesley College, in compliance with its obligations under Massachusetts state law and recognizing the importance of supporting victims of domestic violence hereby implements this Domestic Violence Leave policy to provide employees with the opportunity to directly address and respond to incidents of domestic violence and abuse.
An employee, who is not the perpetrator of Abusive Behavior, may take leave under this policy if the employee or a Family Member is a victim of Abusive Behavior. (All capitalized terms are defined below). Specifically, an employee may take up to 15 days of leave from work in any 12-month period for any of the following reasons:
- to seek or obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services or legal assistance;
- to secure housing;
- to obtain a protective order from a court;
- to appear in court or before a grand jury;
- to meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official; or
- to attend child custody proceedings or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against them or a family member of the employee.
For purposes of this policy, a “rolling” 12-month period will be used, measured backward from the date an employee uses any leave under this policy.
All leave under this policy is unpaid, except to the extent that an employee has accrued but unused vacation and/or personal time which he or she chooses to utilize.
Notification / Request for Leave
In general, an eligible employee is required to notify his or her immediate supervisor at least seven (7) business days in advance of their decision to take domestic violence leave under this policy.
No advance notice is required where there is a threat of imminent danger to the health or safety of the employee or the employee’s Family Member. Under such circumstances, an employee is required to notify his or her supervisor within three (3) business days that leave was taken or is being taken under this policy.
Notification may be made by telephone, in person, in writing or by any other reasonable means to communicate. Further, notification may be made either by the employee or by a Representative of the employee. For purposes of this policy, a Representative of the employee is “a family member of the employee or the employee’s counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate or other professional who has assisted the employee in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior on the employee or the employee’s family member.”
An employee taking leave under this policy is required to submit to his or her supervisor or to the Human Resources Department documentation supporting the need for the leave. This documentation shall be submitted within a reasonable period of time. For purposes of the policy, any one of the following documents will satisfy this requirement:
- A protective order, order of equitable relief or other documentation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction as a result of abusive behavior against the employee or employee’s family member.
- A document under the letterhead of the court, provider or public agency which the employee attended for the purposes of acquiring assistance as it relates to the abusive behavior against the employee or the employee’s family member.
- A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to police, including a police incident report, documenting the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or the employee’s family member.
- Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee has: admitted to sufficient facts to support a finding of guilt of abusive behavior; or has been convicted of, or has been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent by reason of, any offense constituting abusive behavior and which is related to the abusive behavior that necessitated the leave.
- Medical documentation of treatment as a result of the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or employee’s family member.
- A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, provided by a counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate or other professional who has assisted the employee or the employee’s family member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior.
- A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, from the employee attesting that the employee has been the victim of abusive behavior or is the family member of a victim of abusive behavior.
To respect an employee’s right to privacy, all documentation and other information related to an employee’s leave under this policy shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed by the College other than under the following circumstances: (1) as requested to, in writing, by the employee; (2) as ordered to by a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) as required by law; (4) as required in connection with an investigation authorized by law enforcement (including but not limited to an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office); or (5) as necessary to protect the safety of the employee or others employed at the workplace. Further, any documentation provided to the College to support the request for a leave under this policy shall be kept by the College only for so long as it is necessary for the College to make a determination that an employee is eligible for such leave.
Returning from Leave
Upon returning from leave under this policy, an employee will be returned to the same position that he or she held when leave began or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. The employee will be reinstated without loss of employment rights or benefits that the employee had earned or accrued prior to the beginning of the leave, except to the extent such benefits were used or paid during the leave.
An employee shall not be discharged or discriminated against for exercising his or her rights under this policy. Any concerns that this provision of the policy has been violated should be reported immediately to the College’s Assoc Director of Labor and Employee Relations and Title IX Coordinator.
For purposes of this policy, the following terms are defined as follows:
- “Abuse” is (i) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (ii) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; (iii) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress or engaging or threatening to engage in sexual activity with a dependent child; (iv) engaging in mental abuse, which includes threats, intimidation or acts designed to induce terror; (v) depriving another of medical care, housing, food or other necessities of life; or (vi) restraining the liberty of another.
- “Abusive Behavior” is defined, among other things, as any behavior constituting Domestic Violence, stalking, and kidnapping.
- “Domestic Violence” is Abuse against an employee or an employee’s Family Member by (i) a current or former spouse of the employee or the employee’s family member; (ii) a person with whom the employee or the employee’s family member shares a child in common; (iii) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the employee or the employee’s family member; (iv) a person who is related by blood or marriage to the employee; or (v) a person with whom the employee or employee’s family member has or had a dating or engagement relationship.
- “Family Member” includes (i) persons who are married to one another; (ii) persons in a substantive dating or engagement relationship and who reside together; (iii) persons having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or resided together; (iv) a parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild; or (v) persons in a guardianship relationship.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“the Act”) amends the current statute prohibiting discrimination in employment, G.L. c. 151B, §4, enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). The Act, effective on April 1, 2018, expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. It also describes employers’ obligations to employees that are pregnant or lactating and the protections these employees are entitled to receive. Generally, employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably than other employees based on pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions and have an obligation to accommodate pregnant workers.
Under the Act:
Upon request for an accommodation, the employer has an obligation to communicate with the employee in order to determine a reasonable accommodation for the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. This is called an “interactive process,” and it must be done in good faith. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows the employee or job applicant to perform the essential functions of the job while pregnant or experiencing a pregnancy-related condition, without undue hardship to the employer.
An employer must accommodate conditions related to pregnancy, including post-pregnancy conditions such as the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employer. “Undue hardship” means that providing the accommodation would cause the employer significant difficulty or expense
An employer cannot require a pregnant employee to accept a particular accommodation, or to begin disability or parental leave if another reasonable accommodation would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship to the employer.
An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant job applicant or applicant with a pregnancy-related condition, because of the pregnancy or the pregnancy-related condition, if an applicant is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with a reasonable accommodation.
An employer cannot deny an employment opportunity or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s request for or use of a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
An employer cannot require medical documentation about the need for an accommodation if the accommodation requested is for: (i) more frequent restroom, food or water breaks; (ii) seating; (iii) limits on lifting no more than 20 pounds; and (iv) private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. An employer, may, however, request medical documentation for other accommodations.
Employers must provide written notice to employees of the right to be free from discrimination due to pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, in a handbook, pamphlet, or other means of notice no later than April 1, 2018.
Employers must also provide written notice of employees’ rights under the Act: (1) to new employees at or prior to the start of employment; and (2) to an employee who notifies the employer of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, no more than 10 days after such notification.
The foregoing is a synopsis of the requirements under the Act, and both employees and employers are encouraged to read the full text of the law available on the General Court’s website.
If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, you may file a formal complaint with the MCAD. You may also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both agencies require the formal complaint to be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory act.