CHRO: Sexual Harassement Prevention Policy and Complaint Procedure

Sexual Harassement Prevention Policy and Complaint Procedure

PURPOSE
    It is Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities’ (hereinafter "CHRO") policy that all employees, volunteers, parties to a complaint and visitors have a right to work and fully participate in CHRO proceedings in an environment free of discrimination, which encompasses freedom from sexual harassment.

LAW AND SCOPE
   
Sexual Harassment is illegal and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 US Code Section 2OOOe et seq., as amended, as well as Connecticut General Statutes § 46a-60(8).

    CHRO prohibits sexual harassment, in any form, by or against its employees, volunteers, parties to a complaint or visitors to an our offices.

    Any employee or volunteer who violates this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. Any party or visitor who violates this policy will be counseled and any person who was subjected to a harassment will be apprised of her/his rights.

DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
   
Sexual Harassment is defined by Federal law as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

2. Submission to, or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual’s employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts or career development; or

Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

    A partial list of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment, includes:

  • Repeated offensive, sexual advances, propositions, or comments,Sexual flirtation, 
  • Discussing sexual activities,
  • Commenting about an individual's body or physical appearance;
  • Displaying sexually suggestive pictures, cartoons or drawings,
  • Using unseemly gestures,
  • Using crude and offensive language, sexually explicit jokes,
  • Unnecessary touching; and
  • Retaliation against an employee for reporting sexual harassment

    When interacting with others in the workplace, it is important to be sensitive to the way in which words and actions may be perceived by others. If they could reasonably be perceived as offensive and unwelcome, they could constitute unlawful harassment. Normal, courteous, respectful, pleasant and non-coercive interaction between individuals, which is acceptable to all, is not considered to be sexual harassment.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

    Any employee, volunteer, party or visitor who believes s/he has experienced sexual harassment, or has witnessed sexual harassment by any employee, prospective employee, vendor, or any other person in connection with his/her employment or participation with CHRO, should bring the matter to the immediate attention of CHRO’s Affirmative Action Designee, Marla Shiller, Department of Labor, Office of Diversity and Equity, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109, marla.shiller@ct.gov or by phone 860-263-6520. If the complainant prefers, s/he may report the matter directly to her/his supervisor. If the complainant feels uncomfortable reporting the harassment to her/his supervisor, s/he should immediately report the matter to any other member of management. CHRO will not tolerate violations of this policy and strongly encourages victims of sexual harassment to report such harassment as soon as it occurs.

    Sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the employment relationship.

    Each manager is responsible to maintain a work environment free of sexual harassment and to ensure mutual dignity and respect.

    Further, all managers and supervisory staff share responsibility for the implementation of this policy. Any supervisor or manager found to be in violation of any part of this policy, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from employment.

INVESTIGATION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS 

    The Affirmative Action Designee will investigate all reported incidents of sexual harassment for the purpose of determining whether the incident took place, whether it constituted sexual harassment, and to determine what remedial actions, if any, are needed. The investigation of a reported incident will be initiated within five (5) business days of the receipt of a report and conducted in a timely fashion.

  • All investigations will be conducted in as confidential a manner as possible,
  • The complaint will be reduced to writing and signed by the complainant,
  • Both the complainant and the alleged harasser will be interviewed as part of the investigation and both will be informed of the non-retaliation provisions of this policy.
  • The complainant will be asked for corroborating evidence, and corroborating witnesses identified will also be interviewed,
  • The investigator's notes will be kept confidential and not included in any personnel file,
  • The investigator will report to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will make the final decision on what appropriate action should be taken to stop the offending conduct, to preclude further offending conduct, and to restore good workplace relations. Such actions may include reprimands, sensitivity training or sexual harassment awareness training, requiring apologies, written warnings, transfer, demotion, and even termination.
  • The complainant will be informed of what action, if any, CHRO has taken on her/his complaint.
  • The timeframe for filing, processing and resolving the complaint will be in accordance with affirmative action regulations.

RETALIATION FOR REPORTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS PROHIBITED

    Retaliation against employees, volunteers, parties or visitors who report sexual harassment, who object to sexual harassment or assist in a sexual harassment investigation, is prohibited by law and by CHRO. There will be no adverse consequences in the terms and conditions of employment and receipt of services of such an employee, volunteer, party or visitor.

AMENDMENT/TERMINATION

    Although the CHRO expects to continue this policy/procedure indefinitely, it reserves the right to interpret, amend or terminate it at any time.

This complaint procedure is specific to sexual harassment complaints and may be initiated in lieu of the agency’s internal Human Rights Complaint Procedure found in its Employee Handbook. CHRO’s Affirmative Action Grievance Process can be found in its entirety under Section No. 46a-68-46 of the agency’s affirmative action plan.

State Regulations for Sexual Harassment Posting and Training Requirements



 






Content Last Modified on 4/21/2014 11:49:33 AM