Equal Opportunity Policy Statement (2.1.2)
This statement establishes a policy framework for the implementation of equal opportunity and affirmative action principles within the Community College system. The purpose is to set forth an appropriate and consistent standard for each college and the system office. The statement constitutes the policy statement required by section 46a-68-63 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies.
The chancellor is authorized to promulgate a supplement to this statement in order to achieve compliance with paragraphs 3 and 8 of the subject regulation, which supplement shall be an integral part of this policy statement. The chancellor is further authorized to establish system-wide standards for the implementation of affirmative action and equal opportunity consistent with the requirements of applicable law, regulation, and executive orders.
The Role and Purpose of Affirmative Action
The Board of Trustees recognizes that historically certain groups have been excluded from full participation in educational and employment opportunities and that if they are to overcome the present effects of this past exclusion affirmative steps beyond simple neutrality are required. Without such affirmative action, society runs the risk of the perpetuation of the status quo ante.
Affirmative action in employment involves taking additional steps to recruit, employ, and promote members of protected groups. More particularly, the board endorses and expects full compliance with the requirements of law, including but not limited to positive action designed to identify and remove practices, policies, or other job related requirements which act as barriers to equal employment opportunity for women, blacks, hispanics, and other protected groups found to be underutilized in the work force or affected by policies or practices having an adverse impact.
Similarly, the board endorses and expects that there will be efforts made to reach out to groups within our society which have historically been excluded from or are disproportionately represented in postsecondary education. The mission of the Community Colleges is particularly well suited to include and provide an environment of success for members of such historically underrepresented groups.
Need for Immediate Action
Both the executive and legislative branches of government have identified the need for positive and effective affirmative action in employment and services offered to the public through the agencies of the state of Connecticut. The board recognizes, adopts, and pledges its support for such affirmative action as a necessary and immediate objective for all the Community Colleges and the system office of the Board of Trustees.
In considering the need for affirmative action, it is useful to distinguish between affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. The latter implies an absence of discrimination. In contrast, affirmative action recognizes that a simple stance of neutrality is not sufficient to surmount existing patterns of underrepresentation and underutilization both in employment and education.
While it is understood that affirmative action relates to societal groups based on such characteristics as race and sex, the Board of Trustees also recognizes the special problems of the aged and people with disabilities as requiring particular attention and sensitivity in the implementation of equal opportunity and affirmative action. To this end, each college and the system office shall identify problem areas, if any, and where appropriate establish program goals to achieve full and fair utilization of such individuals in the workplace.
The Community College system of the state of Connecticut will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, genetic information, marital status, mental retardation, sexual orientation, learning disability, or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness, or prior conviction of a crime, unless the provisions of sections 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b), or 46a-81(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes are controlling or there is a bona fide occupational qualification excluding persons in one of the above protected groups. With respect to the foregoing, discrimination on the basis of sex shall include sexual harassment as defined in section 46a-60(8) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Although it is recognized that there are bona fide occupational qualifications which provide for exception from employment prohibitions, it is understood these exceptions are to be applied pursuant to section 46a-68-33 of the administrative regulations.
Further, the system will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of political beliefs or veteran status.
Affirmative Action in Employment
The employment process consists of recruitment, selection, placement, promotion, transfer, tenure consideration, salary and fringe benefit determination, separation and termination, and job training. The role of affirmative action is to provide an environment for the application of equal opportunity principles and to monitor the employment process to prevent instances of illegal discrimination from arising or existing.
The affirmative action influence on the employment process seeks to assure that
- recruitment and hiring of protected group members reflect their availability in the job market;
- selection, tenure, placement, and related activities are based upon job-related factors, and criteria and practices which have an illegal discriminatory impact have been identified and eliminated;
- salary and fringe benefits, including opportunities for training and education, are administered in an equitable manner;
- transfer, reassignment, separation, and termination decisions are nondiscriminatory and do not result in an illegal adverse impact upon members of protected groups, and, where there is a negative impact upon protected groups, alternative approaches to separation and termination are explored.
(Adopted October 10, 1975; amended May 17, 1982, July 19, 1982, April 15, 1985, November 17, 1986, February 26, 1990 and March 22, 1993; technical amendment May 1, 2002 in compliance with Public Acts 98-180 and 01-28; technical amendment in compliance with Public Act 11-55 eff. October 1, 2011)