The policies listed below are intended to be used as a quick reference. For additional information on each topic, consult the Faculty Staff Manual.

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

OBU is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is considered a Christian obligation to exercise a program of non-discrimination in compliance with all applicable Federal and State laws, including provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University does not illegally discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability,genetic information, or military service with respect to employment, recruitment, hiring, training, assignment, compensation, promotion, use of facilities, and privileges. Pursuant to the exemption granted by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the University may discriminate on the basis of religion in order to fulfill its mission.

Health Plan Notices of Privacy Practices

The Notice of Privacy Practices 2013 describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

Safe Workplace Environment

OBU is committed to provide a safe working and learning environment free from intimidation, threats, and acts of violence. OBU will not tolerate any threat or actual infliction of physical violence, from any source, whether the threatening or violent action is perpetuated by or against OBU employees, students, or visitors.

Campus safety concerns, whether actual or threatened, should be reported as soon as possible to the employee’s supervisor or to the Office of Safety and Emergency Management.  Certified officers will be on duty and will assist with the enforcement of all policies concerning the safety of the campus, including but not limited to buildings and grounds; traffic and parking; special events; weapons (open or concealed); and various hazards.

Emergencies involving potential danger to individuals on campus should be reported immediately by calling the emergency telephone number 911 to alert local law enforcement agencies.  These agencies work directly with the Office of Safety and Emergency Management.

Drug-Free Workplace

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited on the Ouachita Baptist University campus. The term “controlled substance” means any drug listed in 21 USC §812 and other federal regulations.  Generally, these are drugs that have a high potential for abuse.  Such drugs include, but are not limited to, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, “crack”, and “ice”.  Also included are legal drugs which are not prescribed by a licensed physician.

A violation of this prohibition by an employee will result in disciplinary action which may include termination of employment. An employee who is convicted of a violation in his or her workplace of any criminal drug statute must notify his or her immediate supervisor in writing no later than five days after such conviction. Failure to report shall be grounds for immediate termination. If reported, and depending upon the facts as they appear to the appropriate University officials, the convicted employee will be subject to personnel action up to and including termination. The employee may be required, as a condition of continued employment, to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency.

All new employees are required to acknowledge by their signature that they have read and understand the drug-free workplace policy. In addition, the Director of Compliance sends an email annually to all employees as a reminder of the policy, which includes a link to the written policy in the Faculty/Staff manual.

Policy on Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault

Ouachita is committed to provide all students, faculty, and staff with an educational and working environment that is free from sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature, including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact or other verbal,
nonverbal, or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature, when:

• submission to such conduct, either explicitly or implicitly, is made a condition of an individual’s employment or educational experience, or the individual’s submission or
rejection of such conduct is a basis for an employment, academic, or other educational decision (“quid pro quo” harassment); or

• such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially and unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or education, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or
offensive employment or educational environment (“hostile environment” harassment).

Sexual harassment in any form is contradictory to the Christian principles by which Ouachita is bound, and is deemed unacceptable behavior which will not be tolerated. All allegations of sexual
harassment should be reported consistent with the procedures identified in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. All allegations of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct as those terms are defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy will be processed in accordance with the procedures described in the Sexual Misconduct Policy at https://home.obu.edu/titleix/files/2018/09/OBUSexualMisconductPolicy_09-17-2018.pdf.

Problem Resolution

The University is aware of the fact that, in any employer/employee relationship, personnel problems and issues may occasionally arise. The University provides two avenues for the prompt resolution of these problems.

  • Informal Resolution – It is anticipated that most problems and/or concerns are capable of resolution through an informal process.  Informal resolution is always advised.
  • Formal Resolution –    Formal resolution is available in the event that the informal resolution process does not resolve the matter to the employee’s satisfaction.

Consult the Faculty Staff Manual for additional information regarding the steps to problem resolution.

Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act Annual Notice

The Ouachita Baptist University Group Health Plan, as required by the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, provides benefits for mastectomy-related services including all stages of reconstruction and surgery to achieve symmetry between the breasts, prostheses, and complications resulting from a mastectomy, including lymphedema.  Call Administrative Services at 870-245-5410 for more information.

Inclement Weather Policy

In light of the fact that Ouachita is a residential campus, the University rarely cancels classes due to inclement weather.

University personnel are expected to be at work when the university is open; however, weather conditions may make it difficult, dangerous, or impossible to report to work or make it necessary to leave work early. Each employee is expected to use their best judgment regarding travel safety during inclement weather. If the individual feels that travel to campus would pose an unreasonable safety risk, that individual is required to notify his or her supervisor immediately. At no point should employees be made to feel they are required to stay at work or come to work if they feel their safety is at risk.

If an employee is unable to report to work because of inclement weather when the university is open, he or she has several options: take the time without pay; use accrued vacation time available, or with the supervisor’s approval, make up the lost time during the same pay period. Sick time may not be used for absences due to weather.

The president will make a decision about any change in the normal university routine as inclement weather circumstances threaten or occur. Actions taken to address inclement weather will include consideration of the university’s mission and the well-being of faculty, staff, students, and property.

In the rare event it becomes necessary to close the university due to inclement weather; announcements will be posted on the OBU public website, email, and social media.

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