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Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy
This administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority as integrated effective July 1, 2015, including the legacy operations and staff of
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation.
Policy Title: Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination
Policy Number: 9.27
Effective Date: March 1, 2016
Chapter: Human Resources
UW Health’s policy and philosophy is to provide equal employment opportunity to applicants and
employees in all aspects of the employer/employee relationship. This policy will be communicated to
individuals attending New Employee Orientation and shall be available at all times on U-Connect.
A. Equal Employment Opportunity
1. All UW Health employment activities are conducted without regard to age, race, color,
creed or religion, disability, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, arrest or
conviction record, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, use or non-use of
lawful products off the employer's premises during non-working hours (i.e., tobacco,
alcohol) military obligations, or any other basis prohibited under federal, state or local
All employment decisions will be made in accordance with these principles. All
employment-related programs will be administered in a manner consistent with these
2. It is a violation of this policy, and may also be strictly prohibited by federal, state and
local laws, to discriminate in the provision of employment opportunities, benefits or
privileges, to create discriminatory work conditions, or to use discriminatory evaluative
standards in employment if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in
part, because of the person's age, race, color, creed or religion, disability, sex, marital
status, national origin, ancestry, arrest or conviction record, sexual orientation, gender
identity or expression, use or non-use of lawful products off the employer's premises
during non-working hours (i.e., tobacco, alcohol), military obligations, or any other basis
prohibited under federal, state or local laws.
Sex, age or religion will be employment determinants only in the case of a bona fide
occupational requirement. Discrimination in violation of this policy will be subject to
disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
B. Non- Discrimination/Harassment/Retaliation
1. It is UW Health’s policy to provide a work environment free from unlawful
discrimination and harassment for all persons. Discrimination and harassment are
unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Complaints of discrimination and harassment will
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be investigated and resolved in accordance with this policy and any applicable federal,
state and local laws.
2. Retaliation against an employee for bringing a discrimination or harassment concern or
complaint in good faith, or for participating in an investigation of such a concern or
complaint, is prohibited. Retaliation is serious offense and can lead to disciplinary action
independent of the merits of the underlying allegations and is prohibited by state and
federal law. Before initiating a review of the allegations or interviewing any witness or
accused employee, the department and/or the Employee Relations Department within
Human Resources will discuss this non-retaliation policy with the employee, witnesses,
and the accused.
3. This policy applies to all communications and transmissions, including telephone
conversations, voice mail, hard copy communications, face-to-face discussions,
communications through e-mail and any other technology
4. UW Health does not tolerate discourteous or disrespectful conduct by employees in the
workplace or at off-site organizationally sponsored events. This includes, but is not
limited to, disruptive, offensive, intimidating, disrespectful, or other behaviors that create
a risk to the health and safety of employees and patients. Complaints alleging such
conduct will be addressed in a prompt and appropriate manner. Confidentiality of those
involved will be kept to the extent possible and consistent with the need for a thorough
III. PERSONS AFFECTED
This policy applies to all persons performing work for University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
(UWHC) and the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation (UWMF), including regular employees,
physicians, temporary employees, students, employees of agencies doing business on UW Health
property, and third parties (i.e., vendors, contractors).
Any verbal, written, visual, physical or other conduct that creates a promise or implied promise of
preferential treatment or negative consequences regarding employment decision or status, unreasonably
interferes with an individual's work performance, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work
environment, or otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities because of that
individual’s age, race, creed, religion, color, disability, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, arrest
or conviction record, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, use or non-use of lawful products
off the employer's premises during non-working hours (i.e., tobacco or alcohol , or membership in the
National Guard, or any military reserve unit. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal and/or
physical abuse, unwanted sexual advances, vulgar or derogatory language, displaying of offensive
objects, gestures, pictures, cartoons or materials, use of demeaning language, and lewd or offensive
Any unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, unwelcome physical contact of a
sexual nature or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct that creates a
promise or implied promise of preferential treatment or negative consequences regarding employment
decision or status. Sexual harassment includes conduct directed by a person at another person of the same
or opposite gender. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature includes, but is not limited
to, the deliberate, repeated making of unsolicited gestures or comments of a sexual nature; the deliberate,
repeated display of offensive sexually graphic materials which is not necessary for business purposes; or
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deliberate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether or not repeated, that is sufficiently
severe to interfere substantially with an employee's work performance or to create an intimidating, hostile
or offensive work environment. No supervisory employee shall engage in a consensual sexual or romantic
relationship with a subordinate employee. [UW Health Code of Conduct]
Any unfavorable or unfair treatment because of an individual's age, race, color, creed or religion,
disability, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, arrest or conviction record, sexual orientation,
gender identity or expression, use or non-use of lawful products off the employer's premises during non-
working hours (i.e., tobacco, alcohol), or military obligations.
Any adverse action taken against an employee because the employee objected to conduct prohibited by
this policy and/or participated in a complaint process pursuant to this policy, regardless of the merits or
outcome of the underlying complaint.
A. Complaint Procedure
1. UW Health requires the reporting of all incidents related to this policy (harassment,
discrimination and/or retaliation) regardless of the alleged offender's identity or position.
2. Employees who believe they may have been subjected to behavior in violation of this
policy may address their concerns in one or more of the following ways:
a. Object to the behavior by specifically telling the offender the conduct is
inappropriate or offensive and ask that it stop. If this option is pursued, the
employee should also advise their manager or the Employee Relations (ER)
Team within Human Resources (HR) department.
b. Raise the complaint with their supervisor (unless the supervisor is the source of
the complaint) or any other member of management; or
c. Raise the complaint with ER directly by phone at 608.263.6500; in person (by
appointment whenever feasible) at 301 S. Westfield Road, Suite 350, Madison,
WI 53717 or via email HREmpRelations@uwhealth.org).
3. If an employee informs a supervisor that he/she is the subject of harassment,
discrimination or retaliation, the supervisor must promptly consult with their Manager
and/or their ER Team contact to resolve the matter.
4. Complaints received through any means will be acknowledged within five (5) calendar
days. Such acknowledgement may be verbal or in writing.
5. In consultation with the supervisor or manager, ER will conduct a review of the
allegations in order to clarify the nature of the complaint and understand the relief desired
by the employee. Translators, interpreters and/or readers will be provided as needed
during the complaint and investigation process. After the review of the complaint has
been completed, ER will notify the employee of UW Health's response to the complaint
within ninety (90) days of receipt of the complaint or upon completion of the
investigation. This notification may be verbal or in writing.
6. If a complaint involves conduct by a patient, the complaint should be referred to Patient
Relations, who will consult with the ER Team as needed.
1. The department and/or ER will consult with the appropriate department manager and/or
administrator in the resolution of the complaint. Corrective action will be taken when
evidence of discrimination, harassment or retaliation has been found.
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2. Any employee who engaged in discrimination, harassment, or retaliation or permitted
employees under his/her supervision to engage in such prohibited conduct may be
subjected to discipline or other corrective action, up to termination of employment, if an
investigation concludes harassment, discrimination or retaliation occurred.
3. Disciplinary action may include a verbal reprimand, written reprimand, a disciplinary
transfer to another job location, demotion or loss of merit pay, or other appropriate action
including termination of employment depending upon the severity and pervasiveness of
the misconduct. Other corrective action may be taken as appropriate.
4. Discrimination, harassment and retaliation will not be tolerated. Employees who commit
such acts may be subject to immediate termination of employment for a single offense.
5. In all cases, managers are obligated to take immediate action to eliminate harassment,
discrimination or retaliation from the workplace by responding to complaints in a serious
and timely manner. A manager's own conduct must demonstrate a commitment to
ensuring a work environment free from such conduct. Supervisors who knowingly allow
or tolerate behavior or conduct in violation of this policy may be subject to discipline, up
to and including termination of employment.
C. Other Appeal Options
In addition to this policy, employees may pursue recourse with any of the agencies listed below:
1. Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division
2. U.S. Department of Justice, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
3. U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
4. Other appropriate federal office for civil rights (depending on the source of federal funds)
5. Persons wishing to file a formal complaint should contact the appropriate agency or
website for instructions and forms. Complaints of discrimination, harassment and/or
retaliation must be filed within 300 days from the time of the alleged wrongful act. Filing
times may be extended if deemed necessary.
D. Confidentiality and Documentation Retention
1. All information obtained related to a complaint is to be held in strict confidence and only
disclosed on a need-to-know basis to investigate and resolve the matter, to the extent
provided by law. However, the identity of the complainant usually is revealed to the
accused and witnesses.
2. Documentation collected in connection with this type of investigation will be maintained
by the ER department within HR for a period of three (3) years after the complaint has
3. No record of a complaint is kept in the complainant's personnel file unless the
investigation concludes that the complaint was reckless or frivolous.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §621, et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq.
Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, Wis. Stat. §111.31 et seq.
Hospital Administrative Policy 1.29, Use of Internet Technology via Hospital Resources
Hospital Administrative Policy 9.04, Work Rules: UWHC Authority
Hospital Administrative Policy 9.54, Formal Appeals of Employee Discipline
UW Health Code of Conduct
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This Policy creates no rights, contractual or otherwise. Statements of policy obtained herein are not made
for the purpose of inducing any person to become or remain an employee of UWHC, and should not be
considered "promises" or as granting "property" rights. UWHC may add to, subtract from and/or modify
this Policy at any time. Nothing contained in this Policy impairs the right of an employee or UWHC to
terminate the employment relationship at-will
Sr. Management Sponsor: VP, Human Resources
Author: Director, Employee Relations
Approval Committee: UW Health Administrative Policy and Procedure Committee
President, University of Wisconsin Hospitals
Chief of Clinical Operations
Previous revision: 022013
Next revision: 032019