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Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure

The College is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, the College expects that all relationships among persons on the campus will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice, and harassment.

The College ensures equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran. The College prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

The College encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. The College promptly and thoroughly investigates such reports. The College prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or who participates in an investigation of such reports.

Definitions of Harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state, and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or c) 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.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling, or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends, or associates, and that a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the College's premises or circulated in the workplace, on College time, or using the College's equipment via e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, tweets, blogs, social networking sites, or other means.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all applicants and employees, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees or someone not directly connected to the College (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant, or customer).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings, and business-related social events.

Complaint Process

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy statement or who believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor or Human Resources.

When possible, the College encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. The College recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures.

The College encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, although no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be investigated promptly by Human Resources. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination, or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately.

If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the College President.

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Employees wishing to discuss their rights under Title IX of P.L. 504, or obtain help in filing a grievance, should contact Human Resources. Employees may also contact the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, 3315 West Truman Boulevard, Jefferson City, MO 65101 and the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C. Any complaint filed with the Office of Civil Rights must be filed in writing no later than 180 days after the occurrence of the possible discrimination.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, known as the ADAAA, are federal laws that prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and individuals with disabilities and that when needed provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential job duties of the position.

The College complies with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons with disabilities and acts in accordance with regulations and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Furthermore, the College does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

The College will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of a job unless doing so causes a direct threat to these individuals or others in the workplace and the threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation and/or if the accommodation creates an undue hardship to the College. Contact Human Resources with any questions or requests for accommodation.

Workplace Harassment Training. All new employees should complete workplace harassment training as soon as possible after employment begins. See Article Workplace Harassment Training.