Baylor University requires its employees and contractors to comply with state and federal law as well as Baylor internal policies and procedures. In order to achieve that goal, Baylor encourages its faculty, staff, students, contractors and volunteers to report any known or suspected violations of law or policy. Baylor's Whistleblower Policy, BU-PP 037, provides a means for these reports to be made through appropriate channels as well as an assurance that such report will not result in adverse action to the reporter. The policy provides several means of making a report, including an anonymous report through the EthicsPoint system should the whistleblower not wish to be identified.
State and Federal law and Baylor policy provide protection from retaliation against persons reporting alleged unlawful or unethical practices, so long as the report is made in good faith and with a reasonable belief that improper conduct has occurred. Such reports are known as "protected activity" in the law, and persons making a report may not suffer any adverse action as a result of notifying proper authorities. Adverse actions include termination from employment, demotion, reduction in salary or benefits, or other differential treatment flowing from the act of making a report. However, knowingly false reports may result in corrective or disciplinary action being taken against the reporting party.
If you are aware of conduct which might violate law or Baylor policy, please review the Whistleblower policy and determine what, if any, action you believe you need to take. Should you have any questions related to the Whistleblower policy, or any other policy, please contact Human Resources or the Office of General Counsel.
Baylor University, as a recipient of federal contract grant dollars, is subject to the affirmative action hiring requirements imposed by Executive Order 11246. This order prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and requires affirmative action to ensure equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, protects qualified individuals from discrimination on the basis of disability in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment. Disability discrimination includes not making reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, barring undue hardship. Section 503 also requires that Federal contractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities at all levels of employment, including the executive level.
The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 4212, prohibits job discrimination and requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment disabled veterans, recently separated veterans (within three years of discharge or release from active duty), other protected veterans (veterans who served during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized), and Armed Forces service medal veterans (veterans who, while on active duty, participated in a U.S. military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded).
Retaliation is prohibited against a person who files a complaint of discrimination, participates in an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) proceeding, or otherwise opposes discrimination under these Federal laws.
So what is meant by affirmative action? While many mistakenly believe the phrase means a quota system where the employer must set aside a certain number of positions for certain demographic categories, such is not the case. Rather, affirmative action means that federal contractors must implement plans to increase participation of minorities, women, veterans and those with disabilities in the workplace for under-represented minorities. For hiring departments, this means that each available position must be advertised in places such that the position announcement attracts both a large audience and an audience likely to contain qualified classifications. This process is coordinated through Baylor Human Resources Talent Management department.
In fact, an affirmative action plan may not engage in set-asides or quotas. If someone is hired because of their race, color, religion, sex or national origin, that hire actually violates the law because it is based on a discriminatory factor. The purpose of affirmative action is to set goals of increasing underrepresented minority participation in the workplace.
You may also be asking how Baylor complies with the religious discrimination aspect of this order when it exercises a religious hiring preference for Christians. The answer is that Baylor, as a religiously-affiliated organization may lawfully hire "co-religionists" to the exclusion of other faith traditions because the order, as well as Title VII, Title IX, Texas Labor Code Chapter 21, and other non-discrimination laws exempt religiously-affiliated organizations from the non-discrimination provisions on religious grounds. In other words, under the law, Baylor may permissibly use religion as selection criteria in hiring and still remain eligible to receive federal dollars and call itself an "Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer."
If you are planning on a hire in your department, you will need to coordinate with Human Resources to determine the appropriate advertising media as well as to understand which religious faiths may be permissibly hired at Baylor. If you have additional questions, please contact Human Resources, Department of Talent Management or the Office of General Counsel.
Any person who believes Baylor University has violated its nondiscrimination or affirmative action obligations under the authorities above should contact immediately:
Amy Williamson, SPHR
Director of Talent Management
One Bear Place, #97053
Waco, TX 76798
Doug Welch, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel
One Bear Place, #97034
Waco, TX 76798
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution AvenueN.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
(202) 693-1337 (TTY)