Equal Opportunity and Anti-Harassment Policy

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (the "Foundation") is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.  Each individual has the right to work in an environment that is free of discriminatory practices and behavior, including harassment.

Equal Opportunity

It is the policy of the Foundation to provide equal employment opportunities, and to administer its personnel practices and maintain an environment free of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran's status, citizenship status, domestic violence victim status, or any other unlawful criterion or circumstance.  The Foundation prohibits and will not tolerate any such discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Definitions of Harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state, and local laws.  Sexual harassment includes verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:  (i) there is an attempt, either implicit or explicit, to make submission to such conduct a term or condition of an individual's employment; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment-related decisions; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.  Sexual harassment is prohibited whether it's between members of the opposite sex or members of the same sex.

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited.  Such harassment can be defined as conduct that shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her protected characteristic.  This policy prohibits the use of offensive materials, whether in the form of comments, jokes, degrading or offensive language (including racial slurs or epithets), photographs, cartoons, drawings, gestures, posters, or emails.

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to or have observed harassment on the basis of any protected classification should report that behavior pursuant to the procedures described below.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to employees and interns, and prohibit harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace or in connection with work, whether engaged in by fellow employees, by a supervisor or manager, or by someone else connected with the Foundation, including grantees, vendors, or visitors.  Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related settings outside the workplace, such as during business trips, tours, and business-related social events.

Retaliation Is Prohibited

The Foundation prohibits retaliation against any individual who in good faith reports discrimination or harassment or participates in any investigation of such reports.  Retaliation includes any adverse action, including, but not limited to, the denial of a promotion or other job benefits, demotion, suspension, or discharge, because an employee made a complaint or participated in an investigation of a claim of discrimination or harassment.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.  Individuals who believe they have been subject to retaliatory treatment are urged to report the incident, as discussed below.

Complaint Procedure

  • Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation

The Foundation strongly urges the reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, regardless of the identity or position of the perceived offender.  Individuals who believe they have experienced, or who are aware of, conduct that they believe is contrary to this policy, or who have any concerns about such matters, should bring these concerns to the attention of the Foundation's Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary (Michele S. Warman).  If, for any reason, an individual believes that a complaint cannot or should not be raised through this channel, he or she should feel free to bring it to the attention of the Manager of Human Resources (Oscar De La Cruz).

The Foundation strongly urges the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken.  Employees who believe that they have experienced harassing or discriminatory conduct have an obligation to pursue this complaint procedure.

The availability of this complaint procedure does not preclude individuals who believe they are being subjected to harassing conduct from promptly advising the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and requesting that it be discontinued.

  • The Investigation

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be investigated promptly.  The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.  All employees are expected to cooperate fully in such investigations.

  • Responsive Action

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately.  Responsive actions will entail those actions that the Foundation believes to be appropriate under the circumstances.  This may include, for example, training, referral to counseling, and/or disciplinary action, such as a warning or reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, a temporary suspension without pay, or termination.

Anyone who has questions or concerns about this policy should contact the Foundation's Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary (Michele S. Warman).

As of December 5, 2014