TAP No. 30: Equal Educational and Employment Opportunity and Human Relations in the Workplace and Classroom 


This Policy applies to faculty, students, staff, and administrators; all individuals doing business with or providing services to the University; and all other persons who participate in the University's educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus. This Policy applies to all employment and educational practices and actions.  


This Policy demonstrates the University's commitment to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all qualified persons. It establishes the University's policy prohibiting unlawful discrimination in the classroom and workplace for all qualified persons, and provides guidance on the University's response to reported violations of this Policy.

I. Policy

It is the policy of Duquesne University to provide an educational, employment, and business environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination, consistent with its mission and federal, state, and local law, and as set forth in this Policy.

  1. Overview:

    The University is committed to nondiscriminatory human relations in the classroom and workplace, without regard to the person's race, color, gender, sex (including orientation or stereotypes), pregnancy, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, genetic history, Veteran status, disability, and/or any other category or characteristic otherwise protected by state or federal law (“Protected Classes”). Discrimination on these bases, and any other forms of unlawful discrimination, are antithetical to the policy and mission of the University. This Policy applies to all University activities, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, examination and testing, training, grading, disciplinary actions, rates of pay or other compensation, advancement, classification, transfer and reassignment, discharge, and all other terms and conditions of employment, educational status, and access to University programs and activities.
  2. Equal Educational Opportunity:

    No person seeking to pursue study at the University shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination in their educational pursuits or be denied access to any program or activity of the University if they have the required academic and technical qualifications.
  3. Equal Employment Opportunity:

    No qualified person seeking employment with, employed by, or seeking advancement within, the University shall be subject to unlawful discrimination and/or excluded from the recruiting process on the basis of their Protected Class(es).  The University is committed to the practice of hiring and promoting diverse individuals in all position classifications. To ensure compliance with this Policy, Human Resources may monitor and report on applicant demographics for those who voluntarily provide this information, using the University’s electronic applicant tracking system.
  4. Religiously-Affiliated Organization:

    Duquesne University is an educational institution operated in affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Nothing in this Policy should be construed as a waiver either of the Constitutional or statutory rights that Duquesne University enjoys as a religiously-affiliated organization. In particular, Duquesne University reserves the right to specify as a qualification for employment the ability and willingness to support the values of Catholicism as set forth in the University's Mission Statement.
  5. Retaliation:

    Retaliation means any adverse action or threat taken or made against an individual for making a report alleging a violation of this Policy or for participating in any investigation or proceeding related to this Policy. The University prohibits retaliation against an individual who complains of or reports an alleged violation of this Policy and/or who participates in the investigation or resolution of such a complaint.

II. Key Terms

  1. The Complaint Resolution Process is the process, set forth in Appendix A, for addressing alleged violations of this Policy.
  2. A University email account is the official method of communication during the Complaint Resolution Process. Communication from any person participating in the Complaint Resolution Process should be generated from that person’s Duquesne University email account.
  3. A finding of a Policy violation is made using a preponderance of the evidence standard, meaning it is more likely than not that a violation occurred.
  4. A Complainant is an individual who reports that they have experienced, have witnessed, or have knowledge of an alleged violation of this Policy, or have received a report about an alleged violation of this Policy. 
  5. A Respondent is an individual who allegedly violated this Policy.
  6. A Formal Complaint is a report accompanied by a request to initiate the Complaint Resolution Process.
  7. Business days are Monday through Friday and exclude recognized University holidays/holy days of obligation. In exceptional circumstances, time frames may be extended with written approval by the Vice President of Legal Affairs.

III. Complaint Resolution

Any student, faculty, staff member, or administrator who believes that they have experienced a violation of this Policy is encouraged to raise the concern to the Director of Employee and Labor Relations, or their designee. Alleged violations of this Policy will be addressed following the Complaint Resolution Process set forth in Appendix A. 

The Complaint Resolution Process is confidential to the extent possible. It may, however, be necessary to share the report of the alleged Policy violation and the identity of Parties and participants on a need-to-know basis with University employees in order to respond to a reported Policy violation.  It may further be necessary to share this information in order to ensure compliance with this Policy and/or as required by law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

A Complainant may choose not to file a Formal Complaint under the Complaint Resolution Process and/or may choose to withdraw their Formal Complaint at any point in the Complaint Resolution Process. In some situations, however, the University may be required to address the reported Policy violation even though the Complainant does not wish to proceed. This may occur when the University believes there is a need to prevent ongoing or recurring unlawful discrimination or when the University has a legal obligation to pursue an investigation related to a reported Policy violation. In such cases, the University is not obligated to follow the Complaint Resolution Process.

Complainants are encouraged to use the University's Complaint Resolution Process. However, the University acknowledges the rights of Complainants to seek redress from any external enforcement agency, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, or the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. The Complaint Resolution Process will stop upon the University receiving notice (orally or in writing, from any person, including the Complainant) that the Complainant has filed an external complaint, but the University, in its discretion, may continue to investigate and/or address reported violations of this Policy.

Allegations of violations of this Policy which are made against a student(s) will be referred to the Director of Student Conduct and addressed in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Student Handbook.

IV. Related Information 

TAP No. 56, Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and Requests for Reasonable Accommodation
The Faculty Handbook
The Student Handbook
Appendix A: Anti-Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process
Religious Accommodations Operating Guidelines
TAP 30 Complaint Form

V. Violations

Violations of this Policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. See also, Appendix A, which sets forth the process for making findings and sanctions.

VI. History

Date of most recent revision: July 2023.

VII. Ownership of Policy

The Office of Human Resources.