SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
It is the policy of these organizations, that all employees should be able to enjoy a work atmosphere free from all forms of discrimination including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated in any form. Sexual harassment infringes on the employee’s rights to a safe comfortable work environment, and is a form of misconduct, which undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. No employee, male or female, should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical. Sexual harassment refers to conduct which is offensive to the individual, which harms morale, and which interferes with the effectiveness of these organizations. Examples of sexual harassment are: Sexual flirtation, advances or propositions of a sexual nature, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, explicit or degrading verbal comments of a sexual nature, the display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects, any offensive or abusive physical conduct. Sexual harassment also includes the taking of, or the refusal to take any personnel action on the basis of an employee’s submission to or refusal of sexual overtures. No employee should suggest or imply that an individual’s cooperation will have any effect on the individual’s employment, assignment, compensation, advancement, career development or any other condition of employment. Sexual harassment in its most serious form may be considered gross misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The organizations will take immediate action against any employee engaging in sexual harassment.
For clarification it is to be noted that sexual harassment does not mean occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. Furthermore, while all complaints will be taken seriously, there is a wide degree of difference between some and others. Some complaints will be handled informally. For example, the supervisor may call in the person who has been complained about and reiterate the policy and make admonishments in such cases. However, in more serious cases, there may be no option to settle the matter informally. Supervisors should never pressure the person making the complaint into settling the matter informally.
If an employee feels he/she is the victim of sexual harassment, they should follow this procedure:
1. Sexual harassment complaints can be made verbally or in writing as soon as reasonably possible to either the supervisor or the President and CEO. (If complaint is made to the employee’s supervisor, the President and CEO must be made aware that a complaint has been made by the supervisor.)
2. Once a complaint has been made, the supervisor or President and CEO will conduct a prompt investigation and, if necessary, counseling and assistance will be provided to the employee making the complaint.
3. Once an investigation has been completed, the organization will take appropriate action when an employee has been found to have engaged in sexual harassment. Examples of appropriate action include oral reprimand, written reprimand, suspension or discharge.
4. Disciplinary actions will be noted in the employee’s personnel file.
5. Person making complaint will be informed of the results of the investigation.
6. Retaliatory action against any individual who makes a complaint of sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.