University of Houston-Victoria

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Affirmative Action Program

5. Definitions

Discrimination, within the context used in the AAP, refers to treating an individual or members of a Protected Class less favorably because of their membership in that class or having a policy or practice that has a disproportionately adverse impact on Protected Class members.

The concept of equal employment opportunity proclaims the right of each person to apply and be evaluated for employment opportunities without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law.

The principles of affirmative action requires that good-faith efforts be utilized to employ and advance women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans in areas where they are employed in fewer numbers than is consistent with their availability in the relevant labor market. Such efforts may include specialized advertising efforts, recruitment funds, mentoring programs or other programs designed to promote the achievement of affirmative action placement goals. Placement goals are not quotas. Rather, they provide direction in attaining the objectives of the AAP. They are looked upon as benchmarks in evaluating the System’s progress and to provide guidance in the job areas where women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans are underutilized. They do not require the hiring of female or minority applicants who are less qualified nor do they require the hiring of a specific number of people. UHS’ objective is always to employ and promote the most qualified person for the job.

When evaluating minority participation in the workforce at UHS the term minority refers to employees who have self identified themselves as a member of one of the following racial and ethnic categories. Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Native Americans or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander . To better understand the distinctions of UHS’ race and ethnicity categories, please review the following: Asian refers to Asians or Asian Americans who are not Hispanic or Latino and have origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, including for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. Black refers to African Americans or Blacks, who are not Hispanic and includes persons having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Hispanic or Latino individuals include persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. Native Americans or Alaskan Natives includes persons having origins in the original peoples of North American and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) is a person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. White refers to persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. Two or More Races (not Hispanic or Latino) refers to persons who identify with more than one of the above seven races.

The following definitions are applicable to individuals with a disability in accordance with 41 C.F.R. § 60-741.2

  1. ADA Coordinator – The individual who has been appointed by the component institution as the ADA coordinator who is responsible for ensuring that the component institution is in compliance with the provisions of this Plan.
  2. Person with a Disability – An employee with a physical or mental impairment who, as a result of such impairment, is substantially limited in performing one or more major life activities. This includes employees who not only have the impairment, but also employees who have a “record of” such an impairment. This also includes employees who have been “regarded as” having such an impairment.
  3. Qualified Person with a Disability – An employee who meets the definition of a Person with a Disability and who also possesses the skills, experience, knowledge, and educational, licensing and other job requirements of a position s/he presently holds or will hold and who, with or without a reasonable workplace accommodation, can perform the essential functions of that position.
  4. Essential functions – Job tasks that are fundamental, not marginal, to the performance of the position.
  5. Genetic information – An individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member; or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.
  6. Reasonable accommodation – A reasonable adjustment or modification in the work environment or in the manner a job or position held is customarily performed, that enables a qualified person with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position, so long as it does not create an undue hardship to the component institution. An individual who is considered a person with a disability solely on the basis of being regarded as having a disability is not entitled to a reasonable accommodation.
  7. Major life activity – An activity that is considered important for living and that the average individual can perform with little or no difficulty. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, the following: walking, speaking, eating, sleeping, seeing, hearing, breathing, learning, working, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, caring for oneself, or the operation of a major bodily function (including, but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions).
  8. Substantial limitation – An impairment or restriction whereby an individual cannot perform one or more major life activity(ies), or is hindered as to the condition, manner, or duration under which an individual can perform one or more major life activity(ies), as compared to the average individual in the general performance of the affected activity or activities.
  9. Licensed Health Care Practitioner – An individual who has successfully completed a prescribed program of study in a health field and who has obtained a license or certificate indicating his or her competence to practice in that field.

The following definitions are applicable to protected veterans in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 4212 and 41 C.F.R. § 60-250.

  1. Special Disabled Veteran means:
    1. A veteran who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a disability that is: (a) rated at 30 percent or more; or, (b) rated at 10 or 20 percent in the case of a veteran who has been determined under 38 USC 3106 to have a serious employment handicap; or
    2. A person who is discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  2. Other Protected Veteran means a person who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  3. Recently Separated Veteran means any veteran during the one-year period beginning on the date of such veteran’s discharge or release from active duty.
  4. Veteran of the Vietnam Era means a person who: (1) served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, and was discharged or released therefrom with other than a dishonorable discharge, if any part of such active duty occurred; (i) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975; or (ii) between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, in all other cases; or (2) was discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed; (i) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975; or (ii) between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, in all other cases.
  5. Protected Veteran(s) means a veteran who is a “Special Disabled Veteran,” a “Veteran of the Vietnam Era,” an “Other Protected Veteran” and/or a “Recently Separated Veteran.”