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5120 Sexual Harassment Policy

It is the policy of the Governing Board of the Hartnell Community College District to provide an educational and business environment free of unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, as defined by Education Code Section 212.5 and otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes.

It is unlawful and a violation of this policy for anyone who is authorized to recommend or make personnel or educational decisions affecting an employee or student or who is otherwise authorized to transact business or perform other acts or services on behalf of the District to engage in sexual harassment.

Allegations of sexual harassment shall be thoroughly investigated in accordance with the Districtís sexual harassment/discrimination complaint procedures.

It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against a sexual harassment complainant or witness. The initiation of a complaint or participation as a witness in a sexual harassment investigation shall not affect the complainantís or witnessís future business dealings with the District, his or her employment, compensation, work assignments, his or her grades, class standing, or other matters pertaining to his or her status as an employee or student in any District program.

A complaint and the results of the investigation shall be confidential to the extent maintenance of confidentiality is consistent with a thorough investigation and appropriate disposition of the matter.

Rules and procedures for reporting charges of sexual harassment and pursuing available remedies may be obtained from the Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity or any employee in the Office of Human Resources and Staff Diversity.

A. Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature is:

1. Made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individualís employment, academic status, or progress;

2. Used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual;

3. Has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon an individualís work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment; or

4. Is used as a basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the educational institution. (Ed. Code, 212.5)

B. Specific Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment includes but is not limited to:

1. Suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations, derogatory comments, slurs, jokes, epithets, assaults, touching, impeding or blocking movement, leering, gestures, display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters.

2. Continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome. (Reciprocal attraction is not considered sexual harassment.)

3. Coercive sexual behavior used to control, influence, or affect the career, salary, and/or work environment of another employee, such as threats of reprisal; implying or withholding support for an appointment, promotion, transfer, or change of assignment; suggesting a poor performance report will be prepared; or suggesting probation will be failed.

4. Coercive sexual behavior used to control, influence, or affect the educational opportunities, grades, and/or learning environment of a student, including promises or threats regarding grades, course admission, performance evaluations, or recommendations; enhancement or limitation of student benefits or services (e.g. scholarships, financial aid, work study job.)

5. The deliberate or careless creation of an atmosphere of sexual harassment or intimidation, or a hostile or offensive working environment.

6. Offering favors or benefits, such as promotion, favorable performance evaluation, favorable grades, assignments, duties or shifts, recommendations or reclassification, in exchange for sexual favors.

7. Any other conduct which, at the time of the conduct, constitutes sexual harassment under any state or federal law or implementing regulation.

C. Responsible District Officer
1. The Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity, shall be the District officer responsible for the overall implementation of all policies and regulations prohibiting sexual harassment. Copies of all documents related to sexual harassment complaints shall be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity to ensure uniform application of this policy and coordinated efforts to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment.

2. The Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity shall assist in the processing of all complaints, and shall ensure that this policy and its implementing procedures are appropriately distributed to students and employees.

3. The Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity, with the authorization of the Superintendent, may initiate training and education programs to enable all employees and students to better understand the problems and consequences of sexual harassment.

D. Duty to Report Known or Suspected Incidents of Sexual Harassment
1. A District employee who routinely works with students in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observes a student whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been, or is, the victim of sexual harassment, shall report the known or suspected incident of sexual harassment to the Dean/Managing Supervisor or the Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity within 36 hours of receiving information concerning the incident. If the Dean/Managing Supervisor is the alleged perpetrator of the incident, the complainant shall report the incident to the Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity.

2. If the Superintendent/President is the alleged perpetrator of the incident, the complainant shall report the incident to the Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity. A supervisor who observes or is given information of sexual harassment of an employee shall report the known or suspected incident to his or her Managing Supervisor, if any, or Dean within 36 hours of observing or receiving information about the incident. If either the Managing Supervisor or Dean is the alleged perpetrator, the incident shall be reported to the Director of Human Resources and Staff Diversity.

3. Failure to report an incident of known or suspected sexual harassment of a student or employee shall be considered a violation of a district regulation and may result in disciplinary action.

Also see Governing Board Policy 5105, Non-Harassment Policy.

Reference:
Federal Employment and Housing Act
Government Code ßß 12900 - 12996
DFEH Administrative Regulations, 2 CCR Section 7287.6
Title 7, Section 703: 42 USC Section 2000(e) et seq.
EEOC Guidelines: 29 CFR 1604.11
Education Code Sections 200-262.3
Title 5, Code of Admin. Regulations, Sections 59300-59340
Adopted: 5-4-99

Revised and Adopted: 9-16-02 , 4-1-03