4-9: Discrimination and Harassment – Policy

Policy Overview

This policy establishes Santa Fe Community College’s (SFCC or College) commitment to provide a learning and working environment free of discrimination and harassment.

Scope and Applicability

This policy addresses the prevention of discrimination and harassment and applies to all College employees.

Policy Statement

The College appreciates and values the diversity of its student body, its workforce, and the greater community. All employees are expected to treat their peers, subordinates, supervisors, students, administrators, Governing Board members and the members of the greater community in a manner that reflects equality and respect.


  1. Corrective Action A statement of acceptable behavior and a plan designed to assist employees to correct performance issues or conduct that do not meet the expected or required standards at the College. Corrective Action includes verbal coaching, formal verbal warnings and written warnings.
  2. Discrimination Unequal treatment of a person based on race, color, religion or creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, citizenship, and any other basis prohibited by law.
  3. Disciplinary Action Action taken to address situations where the employee has failed to address concerns outlined in earlier Corrective Action, there has been a serious violation of a policy or a law or there has been a serious performance issue. Disciplinary Action may include disciplinary probation, demotion, suspension without pay, or termination for cause.
  4. Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
  5. Employment Discrimination Aspects of employment include hiring and firing, compensation, assignment, or classification of employees, transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall, job advertisements, recruitment, testing, use of College facilities, training and apprenticeship programs, fringe benefits, pay, retirement plans, and disability leave, or other terms and conditions of employment.
  6. Harassment The act of systematic and/or unwanted and annoying action of one party or a group, including threats and demands.
  7. Protected Classes The basis (or bases) on which the College prohibits discrimination. These include race; religion; color; national origin; ancestry; gender; gender identity; age; physical or mental disability, or handicap; serious medical condition; veteran's status; spousal affiliation; and any other basis prohibited by law.
  8. Retaliation When an employer takes an adverse action against an employee for participating in a protected activity.
  9. Retaliation – Protection from Prohibiting retaliation, intervening early in sensitive areas where retaliation is a particular concern, promptly investigating claims of alleged retaliation, training managers and employees in expectations for not engaging in retaliation, pursuing discipline as needed if retaliation is confirmed.

Policy Process

A. Compliance with Federal and State Laws

The College complies with all federal and state laws that promote equality and prohibit discrimination, including, among others:

  1. The Equal Pay Act of 1963
  2. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  3. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  4. The New Mexico Human Rights Act of 1969
  5. Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972
  6. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and
  7. The Civil Rights Act of 1991.

B. Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination

  1. The College prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability or handicap, serious medical condition, veteran’s status, spousal affiliation, and any other basis prohibited by law.
  2. Collectively, these categories are referred to as “protected classes” within this policy.
  3. The College prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring and firing, compensation, assignment, or classification of employees, transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall; job advertisements and recruitment; testing; use of College facilities; training and apprenticeship programs; fringe benefits, pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or other terms and conditions of employment.
  4. Discriminatory practices under this policy also include harassment on the basis of membership in a protected class; retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices; employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities or performance of individuals who are members of a protected class; and denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to or association with a member of a protected class.

C. In cases of alleged harassment, the protections of the First Amendment must be considered if issues of speech or expression are involved. Free speech rights apply in the classroom and in all other education programs and activities. This policy is intended to protect students and employees from discrimination, not to regulate the content of speech.

A. Responsibilities of Supervisors

Supervisors have the following additional responsibilities:

  1. Know and follow policies on discrimination and harassment;
  2. Model behavior that complies with this policy;
  3. Be alert to potential instances of discrimination and harassment;
  4. Immediately notify the Office of Human Resources and the next higher-level manager if discrimination or harassment is observed or when it is reported; and
  5. Cooperate with the Office of Human Resources in any investigation and in implementing remedial measures if necessary.

B. Reporting Harassment or Discrimination

  1. An employee who believes they have been discriminated against or harassed must report it immediately to their supervisor or to the Office of Human Resources.
  2. Supervisors are required to report observed or suspected discrimination or harassment to the Office of Human Resources.
  3. If an employee believes that another member of the College community is being subjected to discrimination or harassment, or if an employee believes that a specific management decision or management action has violated this policy, that employee must notify the Office of Human Resources or a member of management immediately.
  4. The Equal Employment Opportunity officer is the Director of Human Resources; contact them a 505-428-1203,  SFCC, 6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508.

C. Retaliation Prohibited

Retaliation against an individual for reporting suspected discrimination, participating in an investigation of discrimination, or opposing discriminatory practices is strictly prohibited. Any employee who either retaliates against another for doing so may be subject to discipline (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).

D. Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action

  1. An employee who violates this policy may be subject to corrective action or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. The discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the situation.
  2. It is a violation of this policy for anyone to knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth make false accusations of discrimination or harassment. Failure to prove a claim of discrimination or harassment is not equivalent to a false allegation. Disciplinary action may be imposed on individuals who knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth make false accusations of discrimination or harassment.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Vice President for Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness, the Director of Human Resources and the Office of Human Resources, shall be responsible for enforcing human resources procedures and policies. The Office of Human Resources shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention, and remediation.


SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action

SFCC Governing Board approved: 5/22/2008
Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 4/21/2015

Associated Procedures