Terms of Employment

Most staff employees of the University are hired on an “at-will” basis, which means that employees are free to resign from their employment at any time, with or without notice. Likewise, Iowa Wesleyan University has the right to terminate your employment at any time, with or without notice. Iowa is an “employment at-will state” and no supervisor has the authority to change this status.

Faculty are hired on a contractual basis and are subject to the terms of employment outlined in their contract and/or the Faculty Handbook. The President is also hired on a contractual basis.

Force Majeure

The Board recognizes that certain events or circumstances could occur that are beyond the control of the University and would make some, if not all, of the University’s contracts, policies, and procedures unfeasible or even impossible. The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees provide that the University may cancel any or all internal contracts or policies, including faculty and staff employment contracts, due to any of the following causes: acts of God, epidemic, pandemic, quarantine, plague, outbreaks of infectious disease or any other public health crisis, riots, strikes, accidents, explosions, rebellion, civil unrest, civil war, mob violence, terrorist acts, civil commotion, natural catastrophes, fires, storms, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzard, destruction by lightning or other storm, generalized lack of availability of raw materials or energy, or other sudden and extreme circumstances that are beyond the reasonable control of the University; significant changes in the organizational structure of the University, substantial changes in University programs or departments, unanticipated lack of budget funds, or financial exigency. Steps specific to the termination of faculty contracts are outlined in detail in University Faculty Handbook, as approved by the Board of Trustees.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Iowa Wesleyan University is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in private institutions of higher education. The University does not discriminate against any employee, applicant for employment, student, or applicant for admission because of: race, color, sex (including pregnancy), genetic information, national origin (including ancestry), gender, physical or mental disability, age, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Additionally, the University does not discriminate on the basis of hearing status, political affiliation, citizenship status, marital status, gender expression, or physical appearance.

All aspects of the employment relationship are covered by this policy, and all employees and applicants are protected from unlawful discrimination in recruiting, hiring, placement, training, evaluation, job assignments, pay, benefits, promotions, termination, layoffs, recall, transfer, leave of absence, compensation, or discharge. Any form of discrimination or retaliation is not allowed, and any violation should be promptly reported as set forth in this handbook. No form of retaliation or “getting even,” will be taken against any applicant or employee who reports a violation of this policy.

Employees with Disabilities

In compliance with state and federal law, it is the policy of Iowa Wesleyan University to make the hiring and application process, as well as the work environment, accessible to all. The applicable legal standards govern determinations regarding whether an individual is disabled. If you believe you are disabled and in need of an accommodation, you should notify the Director of Human Resources, who will review and respond to your request. In all cases, information regarding any disability will be kept in the strictest of confidence and will only be shared with individuals with a need to know the information. Additional information may be found under the Policies and Procedures section of this Handbook under the heading Americans with Disabilities Act.

Religious Accommodation

Employees and applicants for employment may make a request for an accommodation for their bona fide religious beliefs (as defined by applicable laws), and the process for this is generally:

  • Employee or applicant notifies Human Resources of the need for an accommodation.
  • The accommodation request will be discussed with the applicant or employee.
  • Iowa Wesleyan will consider the request.

Iowa Wesleyan reserves the right to offer its own effective reasonable accommodation for a bona fide religious belief, which may not be the specific accommodation requested by the applicant or employee. Accommodations that would impose an undue hardship on Iowa Wesleyan cannot be made. Employees with questions about this policy should contact Human Resources. Any violation of this policy should be promptly reported as set forth in this handbook.

Discrimination and Harassment

It is the policy of Iowa Wesleyan University to provide a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. We require that everyone comply with this policy. Iowa Wesleyan will not tolerate discrimination or harassment and considers harassment and discrimination misconduct that is subject to discipline up to and including termination. This policy applies to all employees and applicants for employment. In addition, this policy applies to outside vendors.

As used in this policy, harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on an individual’s race, color, sex (including pregnancy), genetic information, national origin (including ancestry), gender, physical or mental disability, age, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other status that is protected by state, federal, or local laws (throughout this policy these are referred to as “protected status”), and that (a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; or (b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or © otherwise adversely impacts an individual’s employment opportunities.

Iowa Wesleyan University reserves the right to address offensive conduct and/or harassment that 1) does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, or 2) that is of a generic nature and not based on a protected status. Addressing such conduct will not result in the imposition of discipline under University policy, but may be addressed through respectful conversation, remedial actions, education, and/or other informal resolution mechanisms.

Some examples of what may be considered harassment, which are illustrative and not exhaustive and may or may not fall under the jurisdiction of Title IX, include the following:

Verbal Harassment: repeated sexual innuendos; racial or sexual epithets; derogatory slurs; name calling; propositions; threats; certain suggestive or insulting sounds that are oriented to an employee’s protected status; or jokes and graphic comments about an employee’s protected status.

Visual/Non-Verbal Harassment: derogatory posters; cartoons or drawings; suggestive objects or pictures; unwanted letters or notes; leering; or obscene gestures.

Physical Harassment: unwanted physical contact including touching, interference with an individual’s normal work movement, pinching, patting, grabbing, or brushing against another employee; intimidation, hazing or bullying; or assaulting another employee.

Reporting Violations Relating to EEO, Employees with Disabilities, Religious Accommodations, Harassment, or Discrimination Policies

Questions relating to the Equal Employment Opportunity, Employees with Disabilities, Harassment, Religious Accommodations, or Discrimination policies should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources at 319-385-6209.

If at any time an employee feels that they have witnessed or been subjected to a violation of these policies, they should immediately report the violation to the Director of Human Resources. If the Director of Human Resources is not available, or if the employee feels that the Director of Human Resources has engaged in the violation being reported, the employee should immediately report the violation to the President of the University. Do not allow an inappropriate situation to continue by not reporting it, regardless of who is creating the situation. All employees are mandated reporters regarding Title IX allegations and are responsible to help assure that discrimination and harassment are not tolerated, and all employees should report any harassment that they know about.

Employees may also file an informal complaint or a formal grievance stating that these policies have been violated. The grievance procedures are outlined below.

To file a notice/formal complaint regarding misconduct covered by Title IX regulations (sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and/or stalking), contact the Title IX Coordinator at [email protected] or 319-385-6311 and procedures should be followed, as outlined in Appendix I at the end of this handbook and specifically addressed in detail at https://www.iw.edu/campus-safety/.

Any report of a violation of these policies will be investigated thoroughly and promptly. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent it is consistent with an effective investigation. If an investigation confirms a violation of these policies, corrective action will be taken by Iowa Wesleyan University as deemed appropriate under the circumstances, which may include discipline up to and including termination of the employee found to have engaged in the violation.

Non-Retaliation Policy

No form of retaliation (or “getting even”) will be taken against any employee who reports a violation of University policies. It is a violation of University policy to take any adverse action against any employee who reports a violation of University policies, cooperates in any way with an investigation of an alleged violation of these policies, or files a complaint with the EEOC or state or local commission. Any retaliatory conduct of this nature will not be tolerated. If an employee believes that they have experienced or witnessed any retaliation after making a report under these policies, they should immediately make a report as outlined above.

Grievance Procedures

A grievance is defined as an alleged misapplication or misinterpretation of any policy stated in this manual. Any other concern will be treated as a complaint.

In the event of a violation relating to sex discrimination, sexual assault, or sexual harassment, reporting procedures relating to Title IX should be followed, as outlined in Appendix I at the end of this handbook and specifically addressed in detail at https://www.iw.edu/campus-safety/.

Grievances relating to Equal Opportunity, Harassment, or Discrimination that do not fall under the jurisdiction of Title IX regulations may be addressed through informal resolution (Administrative Resolution) as outlined in Appendix I at the end of this handbook and specifically addressed in detail at https://www.iw.edu/campus-safety/.

Specific procedures for Faculty grievances may be found in the Faculty Handbook.

Formal Grievance Procedure

To initiate a formal grievance procedure the complainant shall submit a written statement to the Director of Human Resources who shall report the complaint to the President of the University. The grievance will be heard by the Committee on Professional Grievances and Complaints. The President, after such consultation as is deemed appropriate, will request the names of several persons from each party to the dispute, and the President shall choose one person’s name from each list to be added to the Committee on Professional Grievances and Complaints. Members of the Committee will then meet to discuss the complaint. Unless the Committee concludes that the complaint is without merit, the parties to the dispute will be invited to appear before the Committee and to confront any adverse witnesses. The Committee may conduct its own inquiry, call witnesses, and gather whatever information it deems necessary to assist in reaching a determination as to the merits of the accusation. The formal rules of evidence do not apply to this process. Once a determination has been reached, the Committee shall report its findings to the President of the University.

Possible outcomes of the investigation are (1) that the allegation of a violation of Iowa Wesleyan policy is not warranted and cannot be substantiated; (2) a negotiated settlement of the complaint; or (3) that the allegation of a violation of Iowa Wesleyan policy is substantiated requiring a recommendation to the President that disciplinary action or other appropriate actions be taken.

Faculty, staff, administration and students can appeal a final decision regarding a grievance to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

If the President of the University is the accused, the case is referred to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

If the chairperson of the Committee is the accused, the complaint shall be submitted to the President of the University. If any member of the Committee is the accused or for reason of prejudice must be recused, the President of the University shall appoint another member.

The right to confidentiality of all members of the University community will be respected in both formal and informal procedures insofar as possible.

Employees with questions regarding this policy should contact the Director of Human Resources.

Sexual Harassment/Title IX Policy

Below is a brief summary of the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment (Quid Pro Quo and/or Sexual Harassment-Hostile Environment), Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking (under the jurisdiction of the 2020 Title IX regulations). An outline of the policy is included as Appendix I at the end of this handbook. Full details about the policy and procedures can be found at https://www.iw.edu/campus-safety/.

Iowa Wesleyan’s sexual harassment policy serves as a guide for appropriate sexual communication and activity, and provides a way to determine, after the fact, whether behaviors infringe upon the rights of others and/or violate our standards of conduct.

It is the policy of Iowa Wesleyan University to provide a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. We require that everyone comply with this policy. Iowa Wesleyan will not tolerate sexual harassment or abuse and considers such misconduct subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Iowa Wesleyan University’s charge is to implement effective policies and procedures for members of the campus community to report sexual misconduct; to mandate and provide educational training on the subject of sexual harassment; to offer multiple reporting mechanisms; to create a culture free of barriers to encourage reporting; and to distinguish between confidential and non-confidential reporting options. The University believes by doing so, it will be executing “best practices” in accordance with the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, the 2020 Title IX regulations, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and numerous other legislative developments.

Child Abuse Policy

Below is a summary of the University’s Child Abuse Policy. The full policy is included as Appendix II at the end of this handbook.

Iowa Wesleyan University always seeks to protect the welfare of minors on its campus. This includes minors who are on the Iowa Wesleyan campus or participating in off-campus Iowa Wesleyan sponsored programs. This policy requires reporting as specifically set forth below. This policy is intended to be interpreted broadly, and any uncertainty about whether to report a potential violation or potential abuse should be resolved in favor of making a report.

Who Must Report Child Abuse

The Iowa Wesleyan Child Abuse Policy requires any employee who, in the scope of their employment responsibilities, examines, teaches, attends, counsels, or treats a child, to report suspected physical or sexual abuse of a child to the appropriate authorities. A report should be made to both the Director of Human Resources at Iowa Wesleyan University and to law enforcement within 24 hours. The report must also be sent to the President of the University.

All University employees, including but not limited to, faculty, staff, coaches, student employees, and administrators are required to report any suspected abuse. If you are not sure whether you are required to report, this policy encourages you to err on the side of caution and report the suspected abuse. You do not need to have proof that the abuse has occurred in order to report.

Relationships between Employees and Students

This policy applies to all full and part-time faculty, staff, administrators, those who teach (even if they do not have a faculty contract), guest lecturers, graduate students classified as employees (only with respect to the students they are currently directly teaching or supervising), athletic coaches, supervisors of student employees, residence hall advisors (only with respect to the students they are directly and currently advising), other advisors, and directors of student organizations (collectively referred to only for the purpose of this policy as “employees”).

The University is committed to creating and maintaining a positive educational environment where students can develop and flourish. Dating, romantic, or sexual relationships between employees and students can negatively impact a student’s learning environment. These relationships also raise questions as to bias and fairness for other students. In addition, relationships between employees and students have an inherent inequality of power and status, and students have a heightened vulnerability to actions by employees and are more easily subject to coercion by an employee. If an employee engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with a student, it can lead to an interference with a student’s learning environment at the University and subject the employee and the University to potential liability.

It is the policy of the University that employees shall not have any romantic or sexual relationship with any students enrolled in any capacity at the University, even if the romantic or sexual relationship is consensual. This policy applies even if there is no direct supervisory or evaluative relationship between the employee and the student. This policy applies whether classes are in session or not, and applies when employees or students are on leave of any nature.

This policy also prohibits any employee from cohabiting in any way with any students of the University. However, the University recognizes that there may be times when an employee may be in a position to lease or rent a room or housing to a student. Prior written approval from the University is necessary for these arrangements, and any employee seeking approval for such an arrangement must make a written disclosure and request for approval to the University Vice-President in the employee’s reporting structure. The University will use its sole discretion in deciding whether to approve such requests.

The University recognizes that prior to becoming an employee of the University, an employee may have a pre-existing relationship with an enrolled or prospective student of the University. If this situation occurs, the prospective University employee must disclose the relationship prior to accepting the job offer, and the University President will make the final decision as to whether the situation is a violation of this policy. If the situation is permitted, the University will create a management plan to avoid conflicts of interest. A prospective employee’s failure to disclose a pre-existing relationship will constitute a violation of this policy.

Accommodations under this policy for pre-existing relationships (i.e., a marriage) between an employee and a prospective student may be considered on a case by case basis by the University President, who will make the final decision on any accommodation requests. A failure to comply with the required notification under this policy for any such situations is a violation of this policy.

Violations of this policy will result in discipline up to and including termination of employment of the employee. Due to the nature of the conduct governed by this policy, there may not be direct evidence establishing a violation of this policy. Therefore, it is recognized that the University will review and rely upon the best available evidence to determine whether there has been a violation of this policy, which may include indirect evidence.

If the University determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, disciplinary action, including termination, will be taken in accordance with the disciplinary processes applicable to the situation potentially including handbooks, policies, and contracts.

Any violations of this policy should be immediately reported to The Director of Human Resources. If the Director of Human Resources is the person who is reported to have violated this policy, the report should be made to the President. Violation of this policy is a Human Resources matter and is not addressed under the Title IX grievance process unless the elements of the definition of sexual harassment are met as defined in the 2020 Title IX regulations.