Nondiscrimination And Anti-Harassment Policy

The Smart Buildings Academy (SBA) is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination. In support of this commitment, SBA prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, based on a protected classification, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. SBA encourages anyone who believes they have been the subject of discrimination to report the matter immediately as described in the section below, “Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation.” All members of the SBA community are responsible for participating in creating a learning environment free from all forms of prohibited discrimination and for cooperating with SBA officials who investigate allegations of policy violations.

SBA Obligations

SBA will take prompt and appropriate action to (a) thoroughly investigate complaints of discrimination described in this policy; and
(b) prevent, correct and, if necessary, discipline individuals who engage in behavior that violates this policy in accordance with existing SBA policies.

Applicability and Enforcement of Policy

This policy applies to:

  • All SBA employees in all aspects of their employment relationship with the SBA;
  • All SBA students in all aspects of their participation in the SBA's educational programs and activities;
  • All SBA applicants, whether for employment or for admission to educational or SBA-sponsored programs, or activities;
  • All persons or groups participating in or accessing SBA-sponsored programs, or activities,; and
  • All vendors or contractors in all aspects of their relationship with the SBA.

Enforcement of this policy is subject to constitutional protections related to freedom of speech, association, and the press.

Prohibited Discrimination, Including Harassment and Retaliation


"Discrimination" occurs when an individual, or group of individuals, is treated adversely because they belong to a classification of individuals that is protected from discrimination by a federal or state statute or SBA policy as set forth above. The failure to provide reasonable accommodations required by law or SBA policy based on disability or religious practice may constitute discrimination.


"Harassment" is a specific form of discrimination. It is unwelcome behavior, based on a protected classification, that a reasonable person would perceive to be sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for academic pursuits, employment, or participation in SBA-sponsored activities.

Additionally, "Sexual Harassment," whether between individuals of the same or different sex, includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a condition of an individual’s education, employment, or participation in a SBA program or activity, and/or when the submission to or rejection of such conduct is a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education, employment, or participation in SBA-sponsored activities.

Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name calling, as well as nonverbal behavior, such as graphic, electronic, and written statements, or conduct that is physically offensive, harmful, or threatening.  

Title IX Sexual Harassment

“Title IX Sexual Harassment” is a subset of sexual harassment and is conduct, based on sex, that constitutes one or more of the following:
(a) unwelcome conduct, occurring in the United States, that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a SBA-sponsored education program or activity; (b) an employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the SBA on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or (c) any of the following specific acts of sexual harassment taking place within the United States and within a SBA-sponsored program or activity: sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.


"Retaliation" occurs when an adverse action is taken against an individual for engaging in protected activity. Protected activity consists of (a) opposing conduct reasonably believed to constitute discrimination, including harassment, which violates a nondiscrimination statute or which SBA policy prohibits; (b) filing a complaint about such practice; or (c) testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation or other proceeding related to a discrimination complaint. Adverse actions that are reasonably likely to deter a complaining individual or others from engaging in protected activity are prohibited.

Title IX Retaliation

“Title IX Retaliation” includes taking materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Supervisory Responsibilities to Prevent and Report Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Employees or agents of the SBA who (a) supervise other employees, graduate or undergraduate students, contractors, or agents; (b) teach or advise students or groups; or (c) have management authority related to a SBA-sponsored program or activity are required to:

  • Engage in appropriate measures to prevent violations of this policy; and
  • Upon receiving a report or having a reasonable basis to suspect that potential discrimination, harassment, or retaliation has occurred or is occurring, promptly notify and provide all available information and documentation to the Chief Executive Officer

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation 

An individual who believes that they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of this policy should report the matter immediately as set forth below to obtain information about resolving concerns, including complaint-filing options and procedures, and to enable the SBA to take prompt remedial action.


Phil Zito
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 674
Rochester, WI 53167

Good Faith Allegations

Because of the nature of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation complaints, allegations often cannot be substantiated by direct evidence other than the complaining individual’s own statement. Lack of corroborating evidence should not discourage individuals from seeking relief under this policy. No adverse action will be taken against an individual who makes a good faith allegation of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under this policy, even if an investigation fails to substantiate the allegation. However, individuals who make dishonest statements or make statements with willful disregard for the truth during an investigation or enforcement procedure under this policy may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with existing SBA policies.

Anonymous Inquiries and Complaints

Members of the SBA community may contact the Chief Executive Officer at any time to ask questions about discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or complaint-filing procedures and may provide information without disclosing their names. This provision does not relieve managers, supervisors, instructors, or advisors of their responsibility to promptly report under this policy.

Reporting Complaints to Outside Agencies

SBA employees and students have the right to file discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation complaints with outside agencies as well as with the SBA's Chief Executive Officer. If an individual files a complaint with an external agency, the filing will not affect the SBA's investigation concerning the same or similar events.

Consequences of Policy Violations

Members of the SBA community who violate this policy will be subject to corrective action that could include reprimand, demotion, denial of promotion, termination from employment or from educational programs, or other appropriate administrative action.

Affiliated Entities

SBA employees or students who work or study at a worksite or program of an institution with which the SBA has entered into an Affiliation Agreement (Affiliate) are subject to this policy while at such worksite or participating in such program. Similarly, Affiliates are obligated under agreements with the SBA to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes and regulations regarding equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination. If an SBA employee or student believes that they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation while working at or participating in a program of an Affiliate in violation of this policy, they should contact the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with the reporting provisions of this policy.


All responsible administrators who receive reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation shall maintain the confidentiality of the information they receive, except where disclosure is required by law or is necessary to facilitate legitimate SBA processes, including the investigation and resolution of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation allegations.