IV-61: Employee Sexual Harassment
North Sanpete School District
Board Policy with Guidelines
|Policy Number: IV-61
Effective Date: 02/10/1998
Subject: Employee Sexual Harassment
To preserve an employment environment free from unlawful sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex.
- 42 W.S.C. # 200 e, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. Prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex.
- 29 C.F.R. #1604.11, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Regulations Implementing Title VII. Provides guidelines on sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Utah Constitution, Art. IV, #1. Both male and female citizens of the State shall enjoy equally all civil, political and religious rights and privileges.
- Utah Code Ann. ## 76-5-401 through 76-5-407. Criminal Code provisions regarding unlawful sexual intercourse, rape, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, sodomy and forcible sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a child, and aggravated sexual assault.
The North Sanpete School District does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment at the workplace, including acts of non-employees such as volunteers. Disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment and referral for criminal prosecution, will be taken against any employee, supervisory or otherwise, if violations occur.
Definition: Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted conduct or communication of a sexual nature that adversely affects a person's employment opportunities, relationships, or environment.
Sexual harassment includes: any gender-related unwelcome written or verbal slurs; sex role stereotyping which is demeaning and involves unequal treatment of an individual on the basis of that person's gender vulgar; jokes; derogatory statements or actions; and visual or verbal statements about an individual which are sexual in nature.
Sexual harassment also includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment; or
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting him/her.
Employees affected by sexual harassment shall be afforded avenues for filing complaints which are free from bias, collusion, intimidation, or reprisal.
- Complainants first are encouraged to verbalize disapproval of the action(s) to the harasser. Complaints should document the occurrence(s), noting such information as time, date, place, what was said, witnesses, and other relevant circumstances surrounding the event.
- If the complainant's concern(s) are not resolved satisfactorily through a discussion with the harasser, or if the complainant feels that he/she cannot discuss the concern/s with the harasser, the complainant should directly inform the immediate supervisor regarding the complaint and should clearly indicate what action he/she wants taken to resolve the complaint. Complainants who decide to contact the immediate supervisor are strongly encouraged to submit the complaint in writing. However, they may convey the complaint verbally to the immediate supervisor. In situations where the immediate supervisor is the alleged harasser, the complainant should submit the complaint directly to the Principal, Assistant Superintendent or Superintendent. The complainant may request to submit the complaint to, or to have the complaint investigated by, a representative of the same gender.
- Confidentiality will be protected to the extent practical under the law and under the necessities of investigating the complaint and taking appropriate disciplinary action.
INITIAL INVESTIGATIONS PROCEDURES
- The school administrator or district supervisor has the responsibility to conduct a preliminary review when he/she receives an oral or written complaint, or observes sexual for harassment. The supervisor may be held liable in a sexual harassment case if he/she knew or should have known that sexual harassment behaviors were taking place and did not take prompt action. The administrator/supervisor should take the following steps:
- Interview the complainant and document the conversation. Instruct the complainant to have no contact or communication regarding the complaint with the alleged harasser. Ask the complainant specifically what action he/she wants taken in order to resolve the complaint.
- Interview the alleged harasser regarding the complaint and inform the alleged harasser that, if the objectionable behavior has occurred, it must cease. Document the conversation.
- Instruct the alleged harasser to have no contact or communication regarding the complaint with the complainant and to not take any retaliatory action against the complainant.
- If the alleged harasser admits all or part of the allegations, issue a written warning/reprimand to the harasser and submit a copy to the District Office for inclusion in the harasser's district personnel file. In addition, promptly contact the Assistant Superintendent or Superintendent for situations involving repeated violations and severe infractions such as criminal touching, quid pro quo (e.g., offering a job-related reward or punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), or acts which shock the conscience of a reasonable person.
- If the alleged harasser denies the allegations, promptly conduct a further investigation including interviewing witnesses, if any.
- Submit a copy of all investigation and interview documentation to the District Office.
- Report back to the complainant, notifying him/her in person and in writing regarding the action taken. Instruct the complainant to report immediately if the objectionable behavior occurs again or if the alleged harasser retaliates against him/her.
- Notify the complainant that if he/she desires further investigation and action, the complaint will be forwarded for a district level investigation. Also notify the complainant of his/her right to register a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
- The supervisor must sometimes exercise discretion as to the severity or pervasiveness of the conduct is determining whether a district level investigation is necessary regardless of the complainant's desires. If a blatant violation occurs involving criminal touching, quid pro quo (e.g., offering a job related reward or punishment as an inducement for sexual favors), or acts which shock the conscience of a reasonable person, the complaint should be referred promptly to the Assistant Superintendent or the Superintendent.
- Whenever a sexual harassment complaint is made, the supervisor must take action to investigate the complaint or to refer the complaint for investigation even if the employee does not request action.
- Investigations should commence as soon as possible, but not later than five (5) work days following receipt of the complaint.
- If the initial investigation results in a determination that sexual harassment did occur, and the harasser repeats the wrongful behavior or retaliates against the complainant, the supervisor will take prompt disciplinary action and will notify the Assistant Superintendent or Superintendent
DISTRICT LEVEL INVESTIGATION
Complainants who are not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation may request a district level investigation by submitting the written complaint to the Assistant Superintendent or the Superintendent.
- The district level investigation should commence as soon as possible but not later than seven (7) working days following receipt of the complaint by the district administrator.
- In conducting the district level investigation, the district may choose to use an investigative team that has received training in sexual harassment investigation or that has previous experience investigating harassment complaints.
- If this investigation results in a determination that sexual harassment did occur, corrective action ranging from a verbal or written warning up to a recommendation for dismissal from employment may be taken.
- Following the district investigation and determination, the district will notify the complainant regarding the action taken complaint.
- Right to Representation and Other Legal rights The complainant and the accused have the right to be represented by a person of their choice, at their own expense, during sexual harassment investigations and hearings. Complainants also have the right to register sexual harassment complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights or the Utah Anti Discrimination Division/EEOC. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the right of the complainant to file a lawsuit.
Any act of reprisal against any person who opposes sexually harassing behavior, or who has filed a complaint, is prohibited and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, reprisal against any person who has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing of a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited and therefore subject to disciplinary action.
False, malicious, or frivolous complaints of harassment will result in corrective or disciplinary action taken against the accuser.
Separate confidential records of all sexual harassment complaints and initial investigations shall be maintained in the supervisor's office. Records of district level investigations shall be maintained in the Personnel Office.
- Records of initial complaints and investigations shall be retained for at least one (1) year.
- Records of district level investigations shall be retained for at least three (3) years.
- Records of complaints and investigations of blatant violations involving criminal touching, quid pro quo, or acts which shock the conscience of a reasonable person shall be retained permanently.
- All new employees shall receive information about this policy at the time of employment. All other employees shall be provided information on a regular basis regarding this policy and the District's commitment to a harassment-free learning and working environment.
- Administrative employees who have specific responsibilities for investigation and resolving complaints of sexual harassment shall receive yearly training on this policy and related legal developments.
- Principals in each school and program directors shall be responsible for informing students and staff of the terms of this policy, including the procedures established for investigation and resolution of complaints.