Frequently Asked Questions

How much personal information do I have to give during an interview?
Interview questions should always be related to essential job functions.  You must respond honestly to questions related to  your ability or inability to do the work.  It is not necessary for you to disclose personal information not related to your ability to do the work.   It is necessary for an employee to disclose at the time of an offer of employment if they have a condition that requires any modification of the work, work schedule or work space.  This disclosure can not be held against you.  However, it must be determined by the DEOO and the manager if reasonable accommodation can be made.

Can someone ask me not to speak in a certain language when I'm on break or working with someone else who speaks that language?
You can be asked not to speak in another language when you are doing the work of the organization even if you are working with someone who speaks your primary language.  You may use your primary language at lunch and on breaks.

If an employee is being harassed, should they go to the DEOO or to their manager?  If reported to a manager, does he/she need to report this to the DEOO?  How long does an employee/ manager have to file a complaint?
If an employee believes he/she is being harassed, they can report it to either their manager or the DEOO.  If it is reported to the manager, they must work with the employees involved to investigate the situation.  If it is determined that there is harassment, the manager must take appropriate action to stop the behavior.  The manager must document the situation and follow-up as appropriate.  If the situation is egregious, is persistent (happened previously) or involves threat or harm, it must be reported to the DEOO. Employees should report a complaint of harassment as soon as possible as the information is current and not as likely to be forgotten.  However, legally employees have 180 days from the last incident to file a complaint.

Do the Medical School's DEOO policies apply to everyone who is a Medical School employee regardless of where they are located?
Yes, all University of Massachusetts Medical School policies administered by DEOO apply to all Medical School employees regardless of where they are located.

If I contact the DEOO about a situation, is it confidential?
Information shared with the DEOO is confidential, to the extent possible. Because of the nature of some of the complaints and concerns that come to this office, safety is the first priority.  If there is ever concern for an individual or group's safety, the DEOO staff has a responsibility to work with the internal support system.  In addition, in an effort to do thorough investigations of complaints, we must talk to everyone who has information or who can assist us in getting all of the facts.    We always request that those involved in an investigation not discuss it with anyone.  However, regrettably sometimes people do share information.

Do DEOO policies cover people who are not in a protected class?
The Medical School's DEOO policies protect all who apply to work, are currently employed and are enrolled in an academic program. However, most people belong to at least one protected class (race/ethnicity, color, ancestry, gender, age, disability, veterans, sexual orientation, national origin and religion).

I need an accommodation for my disability. My manager told me the department budget does not allow it at this time; do I have any recourse?
An employee who has a disability that may be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the DEOO to complete the accommodation request form.  The employee will be asked to have the clinician appropriate to diagnose their disability submit documentation of the disability and the types of assistance needed to accommodate the employee in their job.  If employee is a qualified individual with a disability, DEOO will coordinate  with employee and manager to determine appropriate accommodations.  If employee is a qualified individual with a disability, DEOO will coordinate  with employee and manager to determine appropriate accommodations.

One of my department's vendors has been asking me out on dates; I have made it clear that I'm not interested; however he/she continues to ask me out; is this harassment? I just want him/her to leave me alone.
If a vendor persists in asking a Medical School employee out and the employee has made it clear that they are not interested, the situation should be reported to the employees manager or to the DEOO. The behavior is unwelcome and unwanted which is against Medical School policy and against both federal and state law. All vendors who do business with the Medical School complete an agreement that holds them responsible for the behavior of any person whom they employ with regard to behaviors that are prohibited.

My co-worker views pornographic material on the internet during their lunch time. I have made repeated requests for him/her to not view these sites because I find it highly offensive. The response I get is that it's "my lunch time." What recourse do I have?
The Medical School web policy administered by the Information Services department strictly prohibits the posting, displaying or printing of pornographic and/or obscene materials. If a co-worker persists in viewing and/or displaying this material, it should be reported to your manager or the DEOO so that appropriate action can be taken. The IS department has the capability to monitor inappropriate use of technology if it is necessary to stop the behavior.

What behaviors are covered under the Appropriate Treatment of Students Policy (ATS)?
The ATS policy has been in place since November 2003 to address inappropriate treatment of students in all three schools as well as residents. The treatment or behaviors covered under this policy are already covered by other Medical School policies.  Examples of inappropriate behaviors include but are not limited to:

Disrespect for students dignity
Intentional neglect or lack of communication
Verbal attack, abuse, or inappropriate anger
Unjustifiably harsh language in speaking to or about a student
Belittling or humiliating, either verbally or by requiring performance of tasks intended to belittle or humiliate
Threats of physical harm or actual physical attacks
Requiring personal services
Conduct intended to insult or stigmatize a student
Disregard for student safety