Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. A.2.4


Initiated by:Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator
Approved by:MBL Director/CEO
Date:April 20, 1991
Revision:#4, January 18, 2008
Distribution:All MBL Employees

1.0 Introduction

Equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity are important components to the foundation of a forward-thinking, productive research community. While similar in theory, each of these three concepts addresses a specific factor in establishing a respectful workplace. This document represents the Marine Biological Laboratory’s commitment to upholding these concepts. It includes the Laboratory’s policies and plans for maintaining its status as an equal opportunity employer, for enhancing its affirmative action initiatives, and for supporting its goal to broaden the diversity of its community.

Equal opportunity focuses on the laws and government regulations that prohibit discrimination, especially Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It guarantees that no one will be denied access to employment or educational opportunities at the Laboratory based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic predisposition, retaliation,marital, parental, or veteran status.

Affirmative action is the proactive side of equal opportunity. It requires institutions like the Marine Biological Laboratory to take positive steps to develop policies, programs, and procedures that put equal opportunity laws into action. To do this, the Laboratory has prepared a written Affirmative Action Plan. The plan is updated and reviewed annually to assess the efforts made by the Laboratory to hire and promote minorities, females, qualified disabled individuals, qualified disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, Armed Forces Service Medal veterans, and other protected veterans. From this information goals are established for expanding these opportunities in the upcoming year.

Diversity, unlike equal opportunity and affirmative action, has no legislative basis. Rather it is a fundamental attitude that the Laboratory holds towards providing a workplace where differences are valued and respect and tolerance of others is practiced. Such a philosophy gives each of us the opportunity to learn from others with different experiences and backgrounds while examining our own values and assumptions. Through diversity we learn to better understand ourselves and those from other cultures and perspectives.

While the Marine Biological Laboratory stands firm in its commitment to the policies and philosophy described in this document, the programs defined here were developed with the expectation that they would be reviewed and updated regularly.

2.0Policy Statements

2.1Policy on Equal Opportunity
It is the policy of the Marine Biological Laboratory to provide equal opportunity employment to all employees and applicants for employment. No person working at the MBL is to be discriminated against in employment because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic predisposition, retaliation, marital, parental, or veteran status. Additionally, the MBL does not discriminate in admission to, access to, employment in, or treatment in, any of its educational programs or activities. This policy applies to all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment including, but not limited to, hiring, probation, training, placement and employee development, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, educational assistance, layoff and recall, social and recreation programs, employee facilities, termination, and retirement.

2.2Policy on Affirmative Action
It is the policy of the Marine Biological Laboratory to have a written affirmative action plan. The purpose of this plan is to achieve prompt and full utilization of minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans at all levels and in all segments of the work force. The results of this plan are reviewed annually, and the program is modified as necessary to achieve its stated objectives. Reasonable accommodation will be applied on a case-by-case basis for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans, and there will be no reduction in compensation for individuals with disabilities or veterans.

2.3Policy on Diversity
It is the policy of the Marine Biological Laboratory to promote a diverse population among its employees, visiting scientists, faculty members, and students. In so doing the MBL affirms its belief that the prominence and integrity of the Laboratory is best served by employing and educating individuals of diverse backgrounds and cultural heritages. It is the Laboratory’s objective to promote a community where individuals respect all differences and recognize the positive outcome of learning from one another.

2.4Policy Performance
It is the responsibility of the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator to formulate, implement, coordinate, and monitor all efforts in the area of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity. The EEO Coordinator is appointed by and reports directly to the Director/CEO of the MBL. The Director/CEO supports these policies and annually reviews the affirmative action plan with authority to make modifications as necessary. Inquiries regarding these policies or their implementation should be directed to Jane MacNeil, EEO Coordinator, ext. 7378, eeo@mbl.edu.

3.0Implementation of Program

3.1Responsibilities of the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator
The EEO Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, assisting management in collecting and analyzing employment data; developing policy statements, affirmative action plans, and recruitment techniques designed to comply with the equal employment opportunity policies of the MBL; complying with various statutory record-keeping and notice requirements in order to ensure full compliance with all employment-related statues and regulations; preparing an annual review of the MBL’s affirmative action plan and the results achieved for submission to the Director/CEO; assisting supervisory personnel in arriving at solutions to specific personnel problems; serving as liaison between the MBL and government agencies, minority and women’s organizations, and other community groups; and keeping management informed of the latest developments in the entire equal employment opportunity area.

3.2Responsibilities of Management and Supervisors
While the overall authority for implementing these policies is assigned to the EEO Coordinator by the Director/CEO of the MBL, an effective implementation of these policies cannot be achieved without the support of management/supervisory personnel and employees at all levels. Management and supervisory responsibilities include, but are not limited to, assisting in the identification of problem areas and establishment of goals within their respective departments; reviewing qualifications of all employees within their jurisdiction to insure minorities and women are given full opportunities for transfers and promotions; periodically reviewing procedures for hiring, training, and promoting to remove impediments to the attainment of goals and objectives; assuring that all minority and female employees are afforded full opportunity and are encouraged to participate in all MBL-sponsored educational, training, recreational, and social activities; and taking action to prevent harassment of employees placed through affirmative action efforts.

3.3Responsibilities of the Employees
For these policies to be effective, it is the responsibility of every employee to report any act of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation that they witness involving themselves or a fellow employee to their supervisor or to the EEO Coordinator, ext. 7378, eeo@mbl.edu.

3.4Communication of Policies and Programs
The Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity Policy is distributed to each new employee through the Human Resources Office and to visiting scientists, faculty members, and students through the Education Office. A copy of the Policy appears in Section A.2. of the MBL Policy Book, is posted on community bulletin boards, and can be obtained from the Human Resources Office. Additionally, a copy of the Affirmative Action Plan for Individuals with Disability and Veterans is available for review in the Human Resources Office.

4.0Complaint Procedure

Any member of the MBL community who believes he or she has been discriminated against based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic predisposition, retaliation, marital, parental, or veteran status is encouraged to report such conduct immediately. So that the individual making the report may feel comfortable enough to candidly disclose any discriminating conduct, the following persons are available to take reports: the individual’s supervisor, the supervisor’s supervisor, any member of Management, the Human Resources Director, or the EEO Coordinator. Regardless of which person the individual chooses, the EEO Coordinator is to be informed of every case of alleged discrimination.

Once a discrimination complaint has been disclosed, a prompt and thorough investigation will follow. The guidelines for confidentiality will be reviewed with the person making the complaint. The complaint will be put in writing, and the person making the complaint will be asked to verify its accuracy. Persons directly named in the complaint, as well as any possible witnesses, will be interviewed. All members of the MBL community are expected to cooperate during an investigation.

4.3Appropriate Action
Based on the information gathered during the investigation, the EEO Coordinator will recommend appropriate action to the MBL Director/CEO. Appropriate action in a discrimination complaint may include discussion, monitoring of the situation, counseling, mediation by a third party, formal discipline, ban from MBL property, or termination of employment. The Director/CEO will make the final decision as to the appropriate action to be taken. The person making the complaint and the person whom the complaint was made against will be advised of the Director/CEO’s decision as promptly as possible.

4.4Retaliation and False Allegations
Retaliation against anyone reporting a discrimination complaint or assisting in an investigation is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the MBL. Any attempt to retaliate so as to influence the investigation process, or to affect the persons involved in the process after appropriate action has been determined, is a serious offense and will be subject to disciplinary action. Similar serious disciplinary action will be taken against anyone making false accusations of discrimination.

5.0 Policy Clarification and Updates
Policy clarification and updates are available from the EEO Coordinator.