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APA Ombudsperson Concerning Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
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The APA's current ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment is Ruth Chang, who can be reached at [email protected].

The ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment is the primary resource and point of contact for APA members regarding concerns about discrimination, including sexual harassment. The position was created by the board of officers in 1999.

For more information on discrimination and sexual harassment and how the APA can help, see our Discrimination & Sexual Harassment FAQ and our Ombudsperson Flier. We also have templates available (color or black and white) that can be customized for your own institute or department's resources on sexual misconduct and discrimination.

Position Description

The ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment shall receive complaints of discrimination and, where possible, serve as a resource to members regarding such complaints. The ombudsperson shall serve as a resource by, among other things, (i) educating the complainant on the APA’s statement on nondiscrimination; (ii) advising the complainant of publicly available anti-discrimination resources; and (iii) assisting the complainant in gathering the employer’s (or prospective employer’s) relevant policies and procedures.

The ombudsperson shall communicate and coordinate with the Committee on the Defense of Professional Rights of Philosophers (CDPRP) where appropriate, particularly if there is a prima facie violation of a professional right.

The ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment, in consultation with the relevant diversity committee, may deem a complaint not to merit further pursuit by the APA.

The ombudsperson shall make clear to any complainants that the ombudsperson is not providing legal advice and that the availability of an APA ombudsperson is not intended to substitute for a complainant’s either making use of internal institutional mechanisms for addressing complaints of discrimination or for consulting expert legal advice. Moreover, it is not the role of the APA ombudsperson to assist individuals through their institution’s internal mechanism for pursuing a complaint of discrimination.

The ombudsperson is responsible for informing/educating APA membership about the APA’s policy on nondiscrimination.

The ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment is expected to apprise relevant diversity committees of instances of discrimination and, where appropriate, to consult with the committee (or committees).

The ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment should, if necessary, be able to consult with a complainant rapidly, within a 24-hour period.

The ombudsperson prepares two annual reports. The first report, containing very general information about the number and types of complaints received, is provided to the board of officers and is available to APA members as an addendum to the minutes of the board meeting at which it was submitted. The second report describes each complaint received and action taken, with all identifying information removed. This report is held as a confidential record in the APA’s national office and may be consulted only by officers of the APA in the course of their duties.

The description of the role of the ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment as well as his/her contact information will appear on the APA website. Contact information for the ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment will appear on the "Contact Us” webpage.

The ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment will be nominated by the executive director and appointed by the board of officers, for a term of three years. The committee on inclusiveness in the profession will provide a list of potential candidates, to which the executive director and board of officers may add.

Discrimination Complaints and Violations of the Nondiscrimination Statement

APA members concerned about violations of the APA's nondiscrimination policy, including members wishing to lodge a formal or informal discrimination complaint, should refer to the Discrimination Complaint Procedure.

To report an advertisement in PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers that may not comply with the nondiscrimination statement, use the PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers contact form.

Reports of the Ombudsperson Concerning Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

2014-2015 report 

2013-2014 report

2012-2013 report

2011-2012 report

2010-2011 report

2009-2010 report

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