Equal Opportunity


Equal Opportunity Compliance Programs (EOCP)

While each administrator of the University is responsible for ensuring that individuals are afforded equal opportunity, as promulgated by President Faust in her Reaffirmation, through its Equal Opportunity Compliance Programs (EOCP) function, the Office of the Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity and Equity has overall responsibility for the oversight, direction, and management of Harvard University’s Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination policies.  The Office is charged with ensuring that Harvard University selects and promotes staff and faculty without discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions, gender identity, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, military service, genetic information, or other protected status unrelated to job requirements. The Director of Equal Opportunity Programs/University Compliance Officer works with stakeholders across the University’s various Schools and administrative units to ensure that good-faith efforts are undertaken wherever and whenever there is underutilization in the University’s workforce, and monitors personnel activities for compliance with University policies and nondiscrimination laws.

Under the aegis of the University Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President, in compliance with federal law, the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs/University Compliance Officer directs the publishing of the University's Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs), oversees their implementation, and administers University policies concerning equal employment opportunity and affirmative action (EEO/AA). These federally required documents cover the EEO/AA efforts including specific policies and programs of Harvard's Schools and administrative units. The Office undertakes vigorous internal audit and monitoring procedures to assure the successful implementation of the AAPs, and serves as the University's liaison with the federal government in matters related to contract compliance and equal employment opportunity, including - but not limited to - recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, benefits, compensation, transfers, terminations, layoffs, return from layoffs, and grievance/problem solving procedures.

Compliance Best Practices and Tools

Compliant job descriptions

Harvard's FAS internal toolkit includes the basics of writing a compliant job description.

Job Accomodation Network is an organization which promotes the inclusion of individuals with disabilities.  Their job description process is more detailed and encourages the broadest practical job description which will allow the inclusion of all qualified candidates, including individuals with disabilities in the job interview process.  It focuses on the fact that a well-written job description can help identify the best candidates for a position's needs.

Internet applicants/applicant tracking and other recordkeeping requirements associated with hiring

OFCCP, a division of the Department of Labor and the office charged with enforcing Affirmative Action programs, has a helpful webpage which describes what makes a candidate an "internet applicant."  This link also contains other information about record retention about applicants, interviewees and hires.  Recordkeeping and record retention is important in tracking candidate dispositions at every stage of the application process to ensure fairness in the selection process.  Check out the Internet Applicant rule here.

Removing Barriers for Individuals with Disabilities

Launched by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), ePolicyWorks is a web-based approach to policymaking that engages citizens and stakeholders in new and innovative ways.  Featured topics are remote work via the Cloud, transportation options and networking with other individuals and organizations that promote employment among individuals with disabilities.

National Industry Liaison Group

Major U.S. employers have a trade group (NILG) that advises them on compliance issues.  This organization helps explain compliance requirements and changes to regulations, shares best practices and provides information on compliance trends.  Helpful articles on these topics can be found at NILG's website.

New England's regional chapter of NILG is the New England Industry Liaison Group (NEILG).  Additional information which is relevant to New England employers and to Massachusetts specifically can be found at NEILG's website..  Additional resources of interest to various segments of the workforce can be found there including LGBT, mature workers, veterans, minorities, individuals with disabilities and women.