policy on discrimination in the workplace

Canadian University Dubai protected its employees and staff members from any type of discrimination in the workplace, for this reason I developed a Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy which has the purpose of giving employees and staff members of the University the steps to follow in case of presenting any type of discrimination against themselves or someone they know who belongs to the University.

CUD strives to maintain a supportive, civil workplace, one in which employees treat each other with respect and dignity. In keeping with its values, CUD prohibits and does not tolerate workplace discrimination, harassment or bullying against or by anyone in our community - faculty, staff, students, or anyone else who is working on campus or visiting. Workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying are prohibited on campus and at any CUD-sponsored event whether on- or off-campus. If CUD determines that discrimination, harassment or bullying has occurred, the person found to have engaged such conduct may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

CUD is committed to principles of free speech and upholding the principles of academic freedom. This policy is not intended to restrict reaching methods or freedom of expression, nor will it be permitted to do so. Harassment or discrimination prohibited by this policy is not a proper exercise of academic freedom.

What is workplace discrimination or harassment?

Workplace discrimination occurs when someone in a legally protected class is treated adversely with respect to their participation in the workplace. Workplace harassment is conduct that relates to an individual’s membership in a legally protected class and that is so offensive, severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s participation in the workplace. Such conduct is illegal under federal and state laws, and violates this policy.

Sexual harassment is a type of illegal workplace discrimination and harassment and is addressed in a separate Sexual Harassment Policy.

There are some important terms in the definition of workplace discrimination and harassment, which are important to understand:

    • A protected class means a personal characteristic that is protected by law. This includes race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, age, citizenship status, disability, genetics, military or veteran status, choice of health insurance, or any other characteristic protected by law.

    • Participation in the workplace includes all aspects of being an employee at CUD. This includes recruitment, hiring, performance reviews, training, development, promotion, demotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, educational assistance, layoff and recall, participation in social and recreational programs, termination, and/or retirement.

Examples of conduct that might be considered workplace harassment include ethnic slurs, racist comments or jokes, displays of offensive pictures, or any other verbal, visual or physical conduct based on one of those protected characteristics. These are only a few examples of workplace harassment; other behavior that relates to an individual’s membership in a protected class may also be considered workplace harassment.

What is bullying?

Bullying also violates CUD’s values of respect and community and is also prohibited. Like workplace harassment, bullying is conduct that is so offensive, severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s participation in the workplace. However, bullying can occur to anyone and is not based on someone’s membership in a legally protected class. Examples of bullying include verbal abuse, use of denigrating language, or physical intimidation. Bullying can occur face-to-face, in a group setting, through social media or email, or through gossip.

What to do if workplace discrimination, harassment or bullying occurs to you?

If you believe that you have been subjected to workplace discrimination, harassment or bullying, let someone know! If someone at CUD in a position to help is not aware of the problem, we can’t make sure the behavior stops and does not recur. There are several ways discrimination, harassment and bullying can be addressed.

    • Talk to someone, such as your supervisor, division head, HR Business Partner or the Canadian University Dubai. These individuals can provide guidance and coaching on how to approach the person engaging in the unwanted behavior, or they can counsel you on how to proceed in other ways. These people may have additional information and may be a source of support.

    • Talk to the person engaging in the behavior, only if you are comfortable doing so. Explain that their behavior makes you uncomfortable or is offensive and that you want it to stop. In some cases, the person is not aware that their behavior is inappropriate or causing offense. However, not everyone is comfortable having such conversations, so don’t worry if you would prefer not to go this route.

    • File a report of discrimination, harassment or bullying by following the procedure set forth in How to Report Sexual Harassment or Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, or Bullying. When you file a report, you can either request informal assistance or a formal investigation, as explained in that document. Reports of bullying will be addressed by Human Resources.

    • File an external complaint (for unlawful workplace discrimination or harassment). While employees are encouraged to report and resolve workplace discrimination and harassment complaints internally, employees may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies listed below within their mandated timeframes.

Read more

To develop the Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy, the university relied on the labor laws of the UAE. CUD supports government laws and promotes them at the university to improve the working lives of its employees.

To promote tolerance, the UAE established a Ministry for Tolerance and Co-existence, launched the National Tolerance Programme, passed the Anti-discrimination/Anti-hatred law and set up centres to counter extremism. With more than 200 nationalities living peacefully and successfully in the UAE, the UAE society has been an example of being a tolerant and inclusive country. In July 2015, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa issued Federal Decree Law No. 02 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred.

The law aims to protect everyone in the UAE, via a solid legislative ground for the environment of tolerance, co-existence and acceptance. The law fights discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin. In 2016, the UAE Cabinet introduced the first post of the Minister of State for Tolerance, (Renamed as Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence on 5 July 2020). In the same year, the UAE Cabinet launched the National Tolerance Programme, to boost the values of tolerance and co-existence and to reject attitudes of discrimination and hatred.

The UAE also established various centres to counter extremism, including the International Institute for Tolerance, the Hedayah centre and the Sawab centre. The country was also recognised for its initiatives and programmes to advance tolerance and to counter terrorism and extremism in global indices.

Anti-discrimination laws and policies

The UAE has several laws in place that aim to prohibit discrimination and hatred on the basis of caste, race, religion or ethnic origin. Further, there are laws to protect the rights of people of determination (those with special needs) and laws for equal pay to women.

Anti-discrimination/Anti-hatred law

In July 2015, H. H Sheikh Khalifa has issued Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 (PDF, 450 KB) on Combating Discrimination and Hatred, which aims to protect everyone in the UAE and thus bring the concept of social security to a new level. The law aims to fight discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.

Laws on equal wages for women and men

In 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved a law on equal wages and salaries for women and men. Article 32 of the UAE Labour Law 1980 already provides that the female worker shall be granted a wage equal to that as the man is earning if she were performing the same work.

Federal Law No. 29 of 2006

Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 (PDF, 250 KB) protects the rights of people of determination. Article 12 of the law provides: the country guarantees people with special needs equal opportunities in education within all educational, vocational training, adult education and continuing education institutions in regular classes or special classes with the availability of curriculum in sign language or Braille and or any other methods as appropriate.

No discrimination against people of determination in public and private sectors

Resolution No. 43 of 2018 in support of the ‘people of determination’ aims to support the rights of ‘people of determination’ in the field of employment by enabling access to opportunities in the labour market.

The resolution requires concerned government entities to protect the rights of ‘people of determination’ and to ensure their right to work on an equal basis with others and not to be discriminated against.

The resolution stressed the need to provide working and health conditions for ‘people of determination,’ and not to terminate their services or refer them to retirement due to disability or its occurrence after appointment, unless retirement age is reached or a competent medical committee decision states they are not fit to work.

Further, it stipulates that the private sector should be encouraged to integrate ‘people of determination’ into their institutions and grant them exemptions and privileges.

People of Determination protection from abuse policy

The UAE's People of Determination Protection from Abuse Policy condemns all forms of abuse and neglect of people of determination. Abuse and neglect involves depriving people of determination of their basic right to care, rehabilitation, medical care, recreation or community integration. It also condemns using such people to get material profits and not spend on them.

Law on Domestic Workers

The Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers prohibits discrimination among domestic workers on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion, political opinion and national origin or social origin.

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

The UAE is a signatory to the Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. The convention requires signatories to pursue a national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in respect thereof.

Read more

  • Fostering tolerance and co-existence

To promote tolerance, the UAE established a Ministry for Tolerance and Co-existence, launched the National Tolerance Programme, passed the Anti-discrimination/Anti-hatred law and set up centres to counter extremism.

With more than 200 nationalities living peacefully and successfully in the UAE, the UAE society has been an example of being a tolerant and inclusive country. In July 2015, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa issued Federal Decree Law No. 02 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred. The law aims to protect everyone in the UAE, via a solid legislative ground for the environment of tolerance, co-existence and acceptance. The law fights discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin. In 2016, the UAE Cabinet introduced the first post of the Minister of State for Tolerance, (Renamed as Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence on 5 July 2020).

In the same year, the UAE Cabinet launched the National Tolerance Programme, to boost the values of tolerance and co-existence and to reject attitudes of discrimination and hatred. The UAE also established various centres to counter extremism, including the International Institute for Tolerance, the Hedayah centre and the Sawab centre. The country was also recognised for its initiatives and programmes to advance tolerance and to counter terrorism and extremism in global indices.

  • Year of Tolerance

On 15 December 2018, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. The announcement aims to highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance and its approach, since its establishment, to be a bridge of communication between peoples of different cultures in a respectful environment that rejects extremism and emphasises on the acceptance of the other.

The Year of Tolerance will focus on five main pillars:

      • to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures by teaching the youth the values of tolerance

      • to solidify the UAE as the global capital for tolerance through a series of initiatives, projects and dialogues between various cultures and civilizations

      • to implement multiple cultural programmes and make contributions to build tolerant communities

      • to focus on legislative and policy-oriented objectives that contribute to mandating cultural and religious tolerance via dialogue

      • to promote tolerance through targeted media initiatives and projects.

Read the Year of Tolerance brand guidelines (PDF, 11.8 MB)

Tolerance Bridge

In November 2017, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid named the pedestrian bridge over the Dubai Canal as the Tolerance Bridge. The announcement was made on the 22nd International Day of Tolerance. The naming reflects tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE community where people from over 200 nationalities live in harmony without racism, discrimination or intolerance.

Mariam Umm Eisa Mosque

Tolerance is a virtue and an intrinsic part of the Islamic culture. It is observed at all levels: individual, organisational and national. With more than 200 nationalities living peacefully and successfully in the UAE, the UAE society has been an undisputed example of being a tolerant and inclusive country. Now, the Federal Government is keen to promote acceptance and understanding as core values of the society.

As a practical application of the principle of tolerance, H. H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, ordered renaming the Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Mosque in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, to 'Mariam, Umm Eisa’ — Arabic for ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’.

Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence

The post of the Minister of State for Tolerance was first introduced in 2016 when H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced structural changes to the 12th Cabinet, reinforcing the UAE's commitment to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in the society. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was the first the Minister of State for Tolerance.

In the Cabinet reshuffle of 2017, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was appointed as Cabinet member and the Minister of Tolerance in the UAE.

  • Anti-discrimination laws and policies

The UAE has several laws in place that aim to prohibit discrimination and hatred on the basis of caste, race, religion or ethnic origin. Further, there are laws to protect the rights of people of determination (those with special needs) and laws for equal pay to women.

Anti-discrimination/Anti-hatred law

In July 2015, H. H Sheikh Khalifa has issued Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 (PDF, 450 KB) on Combating Discrimination and Hatred, which aims to protect everyone in the UAE and thus bring the concept of social security to a new level. The law aims to fight discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.

Laws on equal wages for women and men

In 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved a law on equal wages and salaries for women and men. Article 32 of the UAE Labour Law 1980 already provides that the female worker shall be granted a wage equal to that as the man is earning if she were performing the same work.

Federal Law No. 29 of 2006

Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 (PDF, 250 KB) protects the rights of people of determination. Article 12 of the law provides: the country guarantees people with special needs equal opportunities in education within all educational, vocational training, adult education and continuing education institutions in regular classes or special classes with the availability of curriculum in sign language or Braille and or any other methods as appropriate.

No discrimination against people of determination in public and private sectors

Resolution No. 43 of 2018 in support of the ‘people of determination’ aims to support the rights of ‘people of determination’ in the field of employment by enabling access to opportunities in the labour market.

The resolution requires concerned government entities to protect the rights of ‘people of determination’ and to ensure their right to work on an equal basis with others and not to be discriminated against.

The resolution stressed the need to provide working and health conditions for ‘people of determination,’ and not to terminate their services or refer them to retirement due to disability or its occurrence after appointment, unless retirement age is reached or a competent medical committee decision states they are not fit to work.

Further, it stipulates that the private sector should be encouraged to integrate ‘people of determination’ into their institutions and grant them exemptions and privileges.

People of Determination protection from abuse policy

The UAE's People of Determination Protection from Abuse Policy condemns all forms of abuse and neglect of people of determination. Abuse and neglect involves depriving people of determination of their basic right to care, rehabilitation, medical care, recreation or community integration. It also condemns using such people to get material profits and not spend on them.

Law on Domestic Workers

The Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers prohibits discrimination among domestic workers on the basis of race, colour, gender, religion, political opinion and national origin or social origin.

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

The UAE is a signatory to the Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. The convention requires signatories to pursue a national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in respect thereof.