Personnel -- Certified/Non-Certified
The Board of Education is committed to safeguarding the right of all employees within the school district to a work environment that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment does not only depend upon the offender's intention but also upon how the target perceives the behavior or is affected by it. The Board recognizes that sexual harassment can originate from a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and from peers as well as supervisors.
Therefore, the Board condemns all unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature which is either designed to extort sexual favors from an employee as a term or condition of employment, or which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. The Board also strongly opposes any retaliatory behavior against complainants or any witnesses.
Any employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment should report the alleged misconduct immediately so that appropriate corrective action, up to and including discharge of the offender, may be taken at once. In the absence of a victim's complaint, the Board upon learning of, or having reason to suspect, the occurrence of any sexual misconduct, will ensure that an investigation is promptly commenced by appropriate individuals.
The Superintendent of Schools is directed to develop and implement specific procedures on reporting, investigating and remedying allegations of sexual harassment. Such procedures are to be consistent with any applicable provisions contained in the district's collective bargaining agreements and the tenure laws.
A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations are to be distributed to all certified and non-certified personnel and posted in appropriate places.
Legal Reference: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000-e2(a). .-Equal-Employment Opportunity Commission
Policy Guidance (N-915.035) on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment, Effective - 10/15/88.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 CFR Section 106.
Meritor Savings Bank. FSB v. Vinson. 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Connecticut General Statutes
46a-60 Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.
Constitution of the State of Connecticut, Article I, Section 20.
Policy adopted: April 19, 2004
Personnel -- Certified/Non-Certified
“Employee” shall mean all teaching, administrative and support personnel.
“Immediate Supervisor” shall mean the person to whom the employee is directly responsible (e.g., supervisor, building principal).
“Sexual Harassment” is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal or physical, including, but not limited to, insulting or degrading sexual remarks or conduct; threats or suggestions that an employee's submission to or rejection of unwelcome conduct will in any way influence an employment decision regarding that employee, or conduct of a sexual nature which substantially interferes with an employee's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, such as the display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
Employees who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment are to report the incident to their immediate supervisor. Should the immediate supervisor be the alleged harasser, the report shall be made to the next level of management. Incidents of sexual harassment may be reported informally or through the filing of a formal complaint.
All reports of sexual harassment will be held in confidence subject to all applicable laws and any relevant provision found in the district's collective bargaining agreements.
Consistent with federal and state law, and all applicable provisions contained in the district's collective bargaining agreements, the following procedures shall be employed in handling any report, investigation and remedial action concerning allegations of sexual harassment.
Employees who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may request that an informal meeting be held between themselves and the appropriate supervisor. The purpose of such a meeting will be to discuss the allegations and remedial steps available. The supervisor will then promptly discuss the complaint with the alleged harasser. Should the harasser admit the allegations, the supervisor is to obtain a written assurance that the unwelcome behavior will stop. Depending on the severity of the charges, the supervisor may recommend that further disciplinary action be taken. Thereafter, the supervisor is to prepare a written report of the incident and inform the complainant of the resolution. The complainant is to indicate on the supervisor's report whether or not he/she is satisfied with the resolution.
If the complainant is satisfied with the resolution, the incident will be deemed closed. However, the complaint may be reopened for investigation if a recurrence of sexual harassment is reported. The supervisor is to inform the complainant to report any recurrence of the harassment or any retaliatory action that might occur.
Should the complainant be dissatisfied with the resolution, he/she is to file a formal written complaint.
If during the supervisor's informal attempt to resolve the complaint, the alleged harasser admits the allegations but refuses to give assurance that he/she will refrain from the unwelcome behavior, the supervisor is to file a report with the next appropriate level of management. The report is to indicate the nature of the complaint, a description of what occurred when the supervisor informed the alleged harasser of the allegations against him/her, the harasser's response to the allegations, and a recommendation that stronger corrective measures be taken- This report should be accompanied by a formal complaint.
Should the alleged harasser deny the allegations, the supervisor is to inform the complainant of the denial and state that a formal written complaint will required for further formal investigation. The supervisor will file a report with the next level of management on what has transpired to date. If the complainant submits a formal complaint, a copy of it should accompany the supervisor's report with a recommendation for further action.
Formal complaints may be submitted either to initially report any incidence of sexual harassment, or as a follow-up to an unsatisfactory resolution of an informal attempt to resolve a complaint. In the latter case, the formal written complaint is to be submitted to the supervisor originally consulted, who will then forward it to the next appropriate level of management, e.g., the administrative assistant or the Superintendent, for appropriate action.
The formal written complaint will consist of any appropriate forms and a copy of any applicable supervisor reports. The appropriate forms solicit the specifics of the complaint, e.g. date and place of incident, description-of sexual misconduct, names of any witnesses, and any previous action taken to resolve the matter.
Investigating a Complaint
Upon receipt of a formal or informal complaint, a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the allegations must follow. This investigation is to be conducted diligently. Complainants are to be notified of the outcome of the investigation.
If the investigation reveals that sexual harassment has occurred, appropriate sanctions will be imposed in a manner consistent with any applicable law. Depending on the gravity of the misconduct, these may range from a reprimand up to and including dismissal from employment.
Anyone subjecting complainants or witnesses to any form of retaliation will also be subject to disciplinary action in the manner prescribed by law and consistent with any applicable provisions in the district's collective bargaining agreements.
If the investigation reveals that no sexual harassment has occurred, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the remedial action taken after a finding of sexual harassment, the complainant may appeal to the next appropriate level of management, e.g., administrative assistant, the Superintendent, or the Board of Education. The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint, all relevant reports, the specific action being appealed, and an explanation of why the complainant, is appealing.
Post Remedial Action
Following a finding of sexual harassment, victims will be periodically interviewed by the appropriate supervisory personnel to ensure that the harassment has not resumed and that no retaliatory action has occurred. These follow-up interviews will continue for an appropriate period of time. A report will be made of any victim's response.
Complainants should receive a copy of any resolution reports filed by the supervisor concerning his/her complaint. Copies should also be filed with the employment records of both the complainant and the alleged harasser.
Investigation in the Absence of a Complainant
The Board will, in the absence of a victim's complaint, ensure that an investigation is commenced by the appropriate individuals, upon learning of, or having reason to suspect, the occurrence of any sexual misconduct.
Each year, or more frequently if the Board deems it appropriate, employees will receive training regarding sexual harassment and related matters pursuant to CGS 46a-54(15). Such training may include a review of this policy and regulation, discussion, films or other activities.
Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
46a-54 (15) Definitions. Posting requirement for employers having three or more employees. Where to post. When to post. Posting and training requirements for employers having fifty or more employees. Effect of prior training. Trainers. Recordkeeping.
Regulation approved: April 19, 2004