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UWEC 270.A, Employee Resource Group Guidelines

Last updated

Procedure #: UWEC 270.A

Intent

This procedure provides guidelines for the establishment, activities and operations of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). This procedure supports Practice Directive UWEC 270, Employee Resource Groups.

Scope

Members of ERGs must be current employees of UW-Eau Claire. Both temporary employees and ongoing employees are eligible to participate. Student employees and graduate assistants are not eligible to participate.

Definitions

Co-facilitators: two members of an ERG with responsibility for leading, maintaining, organizing and encouraging the group

Employee Resource Group (ERG): voluntary, employee-initiated groups of faculty and staff that share common interests, backgrounds, characteristics or pursuits

Procedures

  • Establishing an Employee Resource Group
  • Co-Facilitator Responsibilities
  • Activities of an Employee Resource Group
  • Operating Principles
  • Limitation of Liability Disclaimer

Establishing an Employee Resource Group

To become a recognized ERG, a group of two or more employees must agree to create an ERG.

StepAction
1.Email your request to humanresources@uwec.edu and include the following:
  • The title and key interest of your proposed ERG
  • An introductory message to be used on the Human Resources website to advertise your group
  • The names and contact information of two employees who will act as co-facilitators
2.ERG applications will be reviewed by the Executive Director for Finance & Administration and Assistant Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
3.
  • If the ERG is approved to move forward, the co-facilitators will be contacted by Human Resources.
  • If an ERG is not approved to move forward, you may request a review by the Chancellor.
4.Information about the ERG and its facilitators will be posted on the Human Resources website.
5.Interested employees will be able to contact facilitators directly (via contact information listed on the Human Resources website) in order to become members.
6.If an ERG will be disbanded, please contact Human Resources at humanresources@uwec.edu.

Co-Facilitator Responsibilities

Co-facilitators are responsible for:

  • Maintaining the ERG in a way that supports the values and mission of UW–Eau Claire;
  • Organizing regular meetings and events focused on the group’s key interest, as well as enhancing feelings of connectedness and providing opportunities for employees to seek and offer support to one another; and
  • Encouraging participation of UW-Eau Claire employees without discrimination.

Activities of an Employee Resource Group

ERG activities should be organized to assist and support the mission and values of UW–Eau Claire.

Activities that ERGs could host or participate in may include the following:

  • Community events or networking opportunities
  • Activities which promote professional, social and/or intellectual enrichment for the membership (i.e. book reads, speakers, etc.)
  • Educational and civic activities deemed to be advantageous to the membership of the ERG
  • Welcoming new employees to the University community
  • Promotion of a climate of inclusiveness and mutual respect
  • Providing unique cultural or group perspective to Leadership for consideration in the continuous development of an inclusive climate throughout the University

Operating Principles

  • Members of UW-Eau Claire ERGs must be current employees of UW-Eau Claire. Both temporary employees and ongoing employees are eligible to participate. Student employees and graduate assistants are not eligible to participate.
  • ERGs must be formed to assist the values and mission of UW-Eau Claire.
  • Membership in an ERG is entirely voluntary.
  • Programs, activities, or meetings of the ERGs will generally be self-supporting.
  • ERG activities which are purely social in nature may not be held on work time. If social activities are held during the workday, they must be conducted on the employees’ personal time (i.e. during their lunch break). For professional activities which directly benefit the University (connected to recruitment, retention, and/or professional development), employees may participate on work time with supervisor approval. If an ERG would like representation at a University-sponsored event during the work day (i.e. Wellbeing Fair, New Employee Orientation, etc.), those representatives can also participate on work time with supervisor approval.
  • Consistent with the UW-Eau Claire commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, ERGs are encouraged to collaborate in order to facilitate understanding between groups and to maximize resources for the benefit of all groups.
  • All ERGs must be inclusive, and may not limit participation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, genetic information, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status (including disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, other protected veteran, or Armed Forces service medal veteran status), age, or disability.
  • It is understood that ERGs may focus specifically on any of the above categories, and goals do not have to be inclusive of all topics listed above.
  • Use of the name or insignia of UW-Eau Claire is strictly prohibited unless approved by Integrated Marketing & Communications. Any questions concerning the use of the UW-Eau Claire name or insignia should be directed to the Director of Integrated Marketing & Communications.
  • ERGs do not provide a platform for general discussion or influence regarding personnel issues, including salary, hours, or any other individual condition of employment. The oversight of policies and procedures in these areas remains with UW System, UW-Eau Claire Leadership, and UW-Eau Claire Governance Groups. Any feedback regarding those topics for individual members can be discussed by the individual with their supervisor, Human Resources or with the employee’s respective governance group.

Limitation of Liability Disclaimer

The UW-Eau Claire reserves the right to deny recognition of any ERG at any time based on a failure to satisfy the operating principles at the time of application or at any time after recognition has been granted, should the group fail to abide by such principles. The UW-Eau Claire possesses the sole discretion to amend these principles at any time with or without notice to the ERGs.

Recognized groups, while comprised of employees of the UW-Eau Claire, are not agents or agencies of the UW-Eau Claire. To that end, any meetings, activities or events conducted by members of the ERG shall be deemed performed on personal time, exclusive to their employee, and as such UW-Eau Claire will not provide general liability protection or workers compensation coverage for injury or accident which may be incurred as a result of participation. All statements, opinions and views contained within the ERG website or social media accounts are representation solely of the ERG and its members and do not represent the opinions or positions of UW-Eau Claire. All publications, social media accounts, or other publicly disseminated materials from the ERG must abide by the Operating Principles stated above and other relevant guidelines.

Resources

Practice Directive UWEC 270, Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) webpage

Department of Human Resources website

Division of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion website

Procedure Administration

Version NumberV1.0
Approval AuthorityVice Chancellor for Finance & Administration
Approval DateSeptember 7, 2023
Next Review DateSeptember 7, 2024
DivisionFinance & Administration
DepartmentHuman Resources
ContactExecutive Director of Finance & Administration | humanresources@uwec.edu

Revision History

VersionRevision DateDescription of ChangeAuthor(s)
1.009/07/23Initial issuanceTracy Drier, Teresa O'Halloran
1.111/10/23Added link to ERGs webpageKyran Hamill