Legal Issues

1) What protection does the University provide to employees for taking action in a situation within their role and in the course of their jobs?

The University provides general insurance coverage for actions taken within the scope of employment. When a chair acts for the University, assuming the actions are lawful, reasonable, and within the purview of the chair’s role, the University’s General Counsel’s Office will provide assistance.

Chairs who become aware that faculty and/or staff are engaging in illegal or prohibited conduct, financial mismanagement, or other violations of UF policies and procedures, may be held personally liable for failure to report that information to the appropriate office.

2) What is the University’s stance on discrimination?

The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

3) What procedures are available for those who feel their “safe and comfortable workplace” has been violated?

It is the policy of the University that each employee and student be allowed to work and study in an environment free from any form of discrimination or harassment as defined in the University Regulations or in law.

The University has published guidelines for the prevention of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and harassment:  http://hr.ufl.edu/manager-resources/recruitment-staffing/institutional-equity-diversity/ 

4) What are the procedures for filing a claim of discrimination?

Discrimination claims are governed by UF Regulation 1.0063: http://regulations.ufl.edu/chapter1/10063.pdf or appropriate collective bargaining agreements. In general, staff and faculty may file a complaint of discrimination with the Office of the Vice President for HRS.

5) What are the University's policies regarding sexual harassment?

University policies on sexual harassment aim to provide an educational and working environment for students, faculty, and staff that is free from this form of sex discrimination.

Individuals who engage in sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action. 

6) What must chairs do to protect all parties in a sexual harassment charge?

Guidelines for the prevention of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and harassment: http://hr.ufl.edu/manager-resources/recruitment-staffing/institutional-equity-diversity/ 

In particular, faculty members who become aware of instances of sexual harassment must report the behavior to their chair; and chairs must report information to the college office.  Faculty members, staff, or students also may report instances of sexual harassment directly to the college or to HRS.

Information on UF’s Sexual Harassment policy:  http://www.hr.ufl.edu/eeo/sexharassment.htm

7) What are the chair’s or faculty’s responsibilities related to child endangerment?

All persons in Florida have an individual obligation to report known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment to the Department for Children and Families (DCF) Hotline at (800)962-2873 or via http://www.myflfamilies.com. The abuser can be anyone, not just a parent or caretaker, including another child if the abuse is sexual in nature. (The state defines “child” as someone under age 18.) Knowing and willful failure to report constitutes a third-degree felony. In addition, high level administrators at UF must report known or suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment committed on university property (whether or not in a UF activity) or at a university sponsored event or become liable for a $1,000,000 fine.

If you become aware of any behaviors at University facilities or at University-sponsored events that appear to endanger the welfare of a child, you should report that information to DCF and to the designated contact in the college office. Information on UF policies: http://www.hr.ufl.edu/policies/policies.asp#abuse . There are special procedures for ensuring safety for children involved in University events during the summer or at off-campus facilities. The Office of Youth Conference Services provides training, information, and compliance registration for such activities. Information is available at https://oycs.ufsa.ufl.edu/