Sexual and Other Harassment
General: Sexual harassment is unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex and is a
form of misconduct which undermines the integrity of the employment and student relationship.
All students, faculty and staff must be allowed to work in an environment free from
unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional
compliments. It refers to behavior which is not welcome, which is personally offensive,
which weakens morale, and which, therefore, interferes with the academic or work effectiveness
of its victims as well as co-workers and students.
The College is committed to providing a safe, healthy environment for all students, employees and individuals associated with the College, one which promotes respect, dignity, and equality. It is the purpose of this policy to create and preserve an educational environment free from unlawful sexual harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of sex.
The following general policy statements apply:
- All sexual harassment complaints will be treated seriously. However, any frivolous or false complaint that is made in bad faith or is malicious in intent will also be treated seriously and individuals making such complaints will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. This policy applies to all persons in the College community. College community is defined as the Board, Administration, faculty, employees, students and/or third-parties (i.e. College visitors, vendors, contractors, consultants, agents, maintenance workers, etc.).
- The College strictly prohibits any form of sexual harassment on College grounds, in College vehicles, and/or at all College-sponsored activities, programs, and events, including those that take place at locations outside the College. The College also strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment against individuals associated with the College, whether or not the harassment occurs on College grounds.
- The College encourages and expects all victims of sexual harassment to report the harassment immediately. The College requires all employees with knowledge of sexual harassment to report the harassment immediately. All complainants have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.
- The College will investigate all formal, informal, verbal and/or written complaints of sexual harassment of which it becomes aware in a timely manner, and, if substantiated, take appropriate corrective action as necessary to end the harassment, up to and including termination of the person or persons guilty of harassment.
- Complaint and investigation procedures will be developed under the guidance of the President and his/her designees to ensure enforcement of this policy. The procedures developed will be published and made available to all individuals affected by these policies, as required by law.
- Definitions and Examples of Prohibited Conduct: Sexual harassment is any unwelcome
sexual advance , requests for sexual favors or other behavior of a sexual nature and
other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of conduct is used as a basis for a decision affecting an individual’s employment; or
- Conduct or communication which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work; or
- Conduct that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment encompasses any unwanted sexual attention. Examples of behavior encompassed by the above policy include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Quid Pro Quo or “something for something” harassment can occur when an individual’s behavior is such that a reasonable person would believe that the granting or withholding of tangible academic or job benefit will be based upon the granting of sexual favors.
- Hostile Work Environment may be created by unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including
but not limited to the following:
- Threats or insinuations which would cause a reasonable person to believe that sexual submission or rejection, will affect his/her reputation, employment, advancement or any condition which concerns the College;
- Direct propositions of a sexual nature;
- Subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be conduct such as unwelcome sexual leering, or repeated requests for dates;
- Conduct (not legitimately related to subject matter of work in which one is involved) intending to or having the effect of discomforting and/or humiliating a reasonable person at whom the conduct is directed. This may include, but is not limited to, comments of a sexual nature or sexually explicit statements, displaying sexually suggestive objects, or pictures, using crude or offensive language, questions, jokes or anecdotes, and unnecessary touching, patting, hugging or brushing against another person’s body.
- Physical assault, of a criminal sexual nature. Examples include forcible sexual abuse, or taking indecent liberties with another individual.
- Confidentiality: It is College policy to respect the privacy and anonymity of all parties and witnesses to complaints brought under this policy. However, because an individual’s need for confidentiality must be balanced with the College’s obligations to cooperate with police investigations or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation, or to take necessary action to resolve a complaint, the College retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know.
- Retaliation Prohibited: Any act of retaliation against any person who opposes sexually harassing behavior, or who has filed a complaint, is prohibited and illegal, and therefore subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, retaliation 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. For purposes of this policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to the following: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, and/or any other form of harassment. Any person who engages in retaliation is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Policy Awareness, Dissemination and Review: A summary of this Policy and procedures shall be posted in a prominent place in College facilities where employee information is ordinarily displayed.
The Policy will also be published in student registration materials and other appropriate College publications, as directed by the President.
All new employees will receive information about this policy at new employee orientation. All other employees must periodically be provided information regarding this policy, its related procedures and the College’s commitment to a harassment-free learning and working environment.
Supervisors and managers who have specific responsibilities for investigating and resolving complaints of sexual harassment are to receive periodic training on this Policy and related legal developments. Individuals acting in a supervisory role must avoid any apparent or actual conflict between their professional responsibilities and personal relationships with those they supervise or who are in their chain of command. Engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with persons reporting to a supervisor or in the supervisor’s chain of command constitutes unprofessional conduct subject to discipline, up to and including discharge, in accordance with the terms of an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Members of the College community are responsible for knowing and understanding the College’s Policy prohibiting sexual harassment. Faculty and staff who do not understand the Policy must contact their immediate supervisor. Supervisors and all others who need assistance in understanding, interpreting or applying the policy must contact the Office of Human Resources for clarification.
Each employee in a supervisory position has the responsibility to prevent illegal activity and must treat every complaint of sexual harassment seriously. Supervisors are required to immediately report incidences or complaints of sexual harassment to the Office of Human Resources. Any employee who is aware of sexually offensive behavior is also required to report this behavior to the Office of Human Resources.
LEGAL REF: 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., MCL 37.2101 et seq., as amendedReviewed: June 22, 2009
Reviewed: October 19, 2009
Approved: October 26, 2009
Reviewed: October 22, 2012
Revised: November 26, 2012
General: Discrimination and/or harassment based on an individual's gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or any other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.
Discrimination includes but is not limited to, harassment and treating an employee or student differently because of an individual’s legally protected characteristic.
Harassment includes but is not limited to, offensive language, words, jokes, or other verbal, graphic or physical conduct, whether overt or subtle, direct or indirect, deliberate or unintentional, that is known, or ought reasonably be known, to be offensive and/or unwelcome.
The following basic policy statements apply:
- The College encourages and expects all victims of discrimination and/or harassment to promptly report the matter to his or her supervisor or Human Resources. The College requires employees with knowledge of harassment to promptly report the matter to his or her supervisor or Human Resources. If the supervisor or Human Resources is unavailable, or the employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person, the employee should immediately contact another member of management. Employees and/or students who raise concerns and make reports consistent with this policy will do so without fear of reprisal.
- Any employee who becomes aware of possible harassment must promptly advise the College’s senior Human Resources manager or one of the College’s Vice Presidents who must handle the matter in a timely and confidential manner.
- The College will investigate and respond to reported complaints of discrimination and/or harassment in a timely manner, and will take corrective action as necessary and appropriate. Anyone engaging in harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
- Retaliation Prohibited: Retaliation against any person who has spoken up about illegal discriminatory and/or harassing behavior, submitted a complaint, or otherwise participated in an investigation, legal proceeding, or hearing related to a complaint is prohibited and will not be tolerated, even if the investigation concludes that no discrimination occurred. Such activity is unlawful and any person who retaliates is subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, exclusion, or termination. For purposes of this Policy, retaliation includes but is not limited to the following: verbal or physical threats, intimidation, ridicule, bribes, destruction of property, spreading rumors, stalking, harassing phone calls, and any other form of harassment.
- Confidentiality: It is College policy to respect the privacy and anonymity of all parties and witnesses to complaints brought under this Policy. However, because an individual’s need for confidentiality must be balanced with the College’s obligations to cooperate with police investigations or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation, or to take necessary action to resolve a complaint, the College retains the right to disclose the identity of parties and/or witnesses to complaints in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know.
LEGAL REF: 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., MCL 37.2101 et seq., as amendedReviewed: August 17, 2009
Reviewed: October 19, 2009
Approved: October 26, 2009
Reviewed: October 22, 2012
Revised: November 26, 2012