.5th Circuit has found any race based preferences where there is no showing
of specific discrimination violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S.
.Diversity and general societal discrimination cannot be used as a rationale for race based preferences.
.Scholarships given by private foundations may use race preferences if wholly separate from government involvement.
.Texas v. Lesage - U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1999 found that a student challenging any race-based admissions process must show that the process actually prevented his/her admission.
.The upcoming presidential election may have a significant effect on this issue. Next President will likely appoint judges to the Supreme Court, affecting the close split.
What are the rules:.The ADA prohibits discrimination against a qualified
individual who can perform the essential functions of the job or academic
requirements with or without a reasonable accommodation.
.The employee or student should make the initial request for accommodation.
.The University can require the employee or student to obtain a physician's statement at the employee or student's expense as proof of a disability and the University can obtain a second opinion from a doctor at its expense.
.Accommodations need not be retroactive, that is an employee or student cannot claim that had an accommodation been previously made, the employee or student would have been able to perform the job or academic assignment when no accommodation was ever requested by the employee or student.
.The University need not make the specific accommodation requested by the employee or student as long as the accommodation provided by the University is reasonable.
.The employee or student need not be able to perform non-essential functions of a job or class.
.Temporary disabilities are normally not covered by the Act and no accommodation need be made.Examples of reasonable accommodations:
.Instructors need to turn on the captioning for videos or films.
.Additional time to take test or change in format of test.
.Pad and special keyboard for typing.
.Alternative test site.
.Modified work schedule where does not affect essential functions of job.
.Providing auxiliary aids such as note-takers, typist, sign language/oral interpreters, taped texts, computers, accessible telephones, etc. to assist academic endeavors.
.Accessible seating for employees, students and visitors.
Three types of Sexual Harassment:1.Quid pro quo - submission to or rejection
of unwelcome sexual conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting
an individual (change in employment status). This is usually in the context
of a supervisor and subordinate.
2.Hostile environment - unwelcome sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
3.Sexual favoritism - employees who have not submitted to a supervisor's sexual advances are not provided the same benefits or opportunities as an employee that has a relationship with the supervisor.Examples of sexual harassment under university policy and/or the law:.Same sex sexual harassment
.Offensive flirtations, advances, propositions for dates or sex, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual's body, sexual objects or pictures
.Job evaluations based on submitting to, or refusal to submit to, sexual advances
.Unwelcome touching or other physical contact
.Leering at a person's body
.Demeaning, sexual or lewd comments or jokes
.Preference in promotion or salary given to one employee based on sexual favors
.Criminal violation - Intentional sexual harassment by a public employee is a class A misdemeanor.Consensual Relationship Policy: policy prohibits establishing or attempting to establish an intimate or sexual relationship between a supervisor and subordinate or a faculty member and a student they teach or supervise. Such a policy may exist at some institutions.
Sexual harassment policy requires managers and supervisors to report sexual harassment to Human Resources or other appropriate office.
.Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) - Such policies tend to cover the
named insured from accidents relating to the owned premises (except for accidents
to employees). A homeowner might have a general liability endorsement which
covers the liability of the homeowner's dependents. Added to the CGL policies
are many different types of endorsements which can be purchased for more
specific coverage, such as: automobile liability, water craft liability,
liquor liability, personal injury liability, etc.
.Directors' and Officers' Liability (D&O) - This insurance protects directors and officers, and often covers most supervisory employees, from liability relating to errors in judgment, breaches of duty, or wrongful acts relating to their jobs.
.Professional Liability Insurance - Most professions and professional organizations offer such insurance to cover individuals for claims relating to their professional employment.
.Automobile Liability Insurance - State law requires all drivers to maintain basic auto liability insurance. Universities will also buy coverage for their fleet vehicles.
.Collision Damage Waiver - One of the optional insurances provided for car rental. It covers damage to the rented car and is reimbursable under state employee travel.
.Participant Accident Insurance - This type of coverage is most often used in athletic, recreational, and summer camp type programs. It provides benefits for medical expenses occurring while involved in the covered program within a maximum dollar amount specified.
.Workers' Compensation - Provides coverage for employees injured on the job and precludes alternative legal action against the employer.
.Personal Homeowner's Insurance - Most homeowners maintain insurance on their home and for liability associated with the premises. Many such policies include some general liability coverage for the homeowner which might extend to personal liability created at work.
As a general rule, you can be personally liable only when you step out of
your specific job functions and your actions are outside the course and scope
of employment.Examples:.Going drinking with the students
.Retaliating against a person based on a protected activity such as free speechThe State will normally indemnify an employee up to $100,000 per person/$300,000 per occurrence, and defend the employee against lawsuits as long as the employee is acting in the course and scope of their employment, and not grossly negligent or acting in bad faith. Directors and Officers insurance may also apply in certain cases.