Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention Policy

Clinton Community College is committed to a policy of protecting and safeguarding the rights and opportunities of all people to seek, obtain and hold employment and/or educational opportunities without being subject to sexual harassment of any kind in the workplace or educational environment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination and employee misconduct, as well as a form of discrimination in the academic setting, and all employees and students are entitled to work and learn in a campus environment that prevents sexual harassment. All employees and students have a legal right to a workplace and a campus free from sexual harassment, and employees and students can enforce this right by filing a complaint internally with the College, or with a government agency, or in court under federal or state anti-discrimination laws, as detailed in the College's Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is unlawful in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, sexual harassment also is prohibited in the provision of educational services and protects students and employees from sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated at Clinton Community College. The College has implemented measures to address and prevent sexual harassment and is taking additional affirmative steps to increase awareness of, and sensitivity to, all forms of sexual harassment in order to maintain a workplace and learning environment free of its harmful effects.

All employees/students, including but not limited to, Clinton Community College officials and supervisory personnel, are responsible for ensuring an environment free from sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. All employees and students will be held responsible and accountable for avoiding or eliminating inappropriate conduct that may give rise to a claim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Employees and students are encouraged to report violations to the Title IX Coordinator, in accordance with the Complaint Procedure set forth in this Policy. Officials and supervisors must take immediate and appropriate corrective action when instances of sexual harassment and/or sex misconduct come to their attention to assure compliance with this Policy.

Each employee and student is assured pursuant to Section 9 of this Policy, that retaliation against an individual who makes a complaint or report under this Policy is absolutely prohibited and constitutes, in and of itself, a violation of this Policy.

Scope of Policy: This Policy applies to all Clinton Community College students, employees and all personnel in a contractual or other business relationship with Clinton Community College including, for example, applicants, temporary or leased employees, independent contractors, vendors, consultants, volunteers and visitors. Depending on the extent of Clinton Community College's exercise of control, this Policy may be applied to the conduct of non-employees with respect to sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination of Clinton Community College employees in the workplace and students in the educational environment. This Policy applies with equal force on College property as it does at College-sponsored events, programs, and activities, which take place at off- campus premises.

Definitions:

In accordance with applicable law, sexual harassment is generally described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or 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 employment or academic benefit; or
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision affecting the person rejecting or submitting to the conduct; or
  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an affected person's work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

Sexual harassment can include physical touching, verbal comments, non-verbal conduct such as leering or inappropriate written or electronic communications, or a combination of these things. Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Seeking sexual favors or a sexual relationship in return for the promise of a favorable grade or academic opportunity;
  • Conditioning an employment-related action (such as hiring, promotion, salary increase, or performance appraisal) on a sexual favor or relationship; or
  • Intentional and undesired physical contact, sexually explicit language or writing, lewd pictures or notes, and other forms of sexually offensive conduct by individuals in positions of authority, co-workers or student peers, that unreasonably interferes with the ability of a person to perform his or her employment or academic responsibilities.

Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:

  • Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against, or poking another person's body;
  • Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:
  • Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning a target's job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments, or an educational benefit or detriment;
  • Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
  • Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile environment.
  • Sex stereotyping occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people's ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.
  • Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications, such as:
  • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning and this includes such sexual displays on computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace or classroom.
  • Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual's sex, sexual orientation, self- identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, and the status of being transgender, such as:
  • Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person's workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual's ability to perform his or her employment or academic duties;
  • Sabotaging an individual's work;
  • Bullying, yelling, name-calling.

Such behavior can constitute sexual harassment regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, status of being transgender, or gender identity of any of the persons involved. Sexual harassment is considered a form of employee and student misconduct which may lead to disciplinary action. Further, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue. Employees and students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may use the College's Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure for more details on how to have their allegations reviewed, including a link to a complaint form.

Prohibition against Retaliation

Retaliation against a person who files a complaint, serves as a witness, or assists or participates in any manner in this procedure, is unlawful, is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.  Retaliation is an adverse action taken against an individual as a result of complaining about or provides information regarding unlawful discrimination or harassment, exercising a legal right, and/or participating in a complaint investigation as a third- party witness. Adverse action includes being discharged, disciplined, discriminated against, or otherwise subject to adverse action because the individual reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. Participants who experience retaliation should contact the campus Title IX Coordinator or Director of Human Resources, and may file a complaint pursuant to these procedures.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

Preventing sexual harassment is everyone's responsibility! Clinton Community College cannot remedy sexual harassment unless we know about it. Any employee, student, intern or non-employee who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute sexual harassment is encouraged to report such behavior to a supervisor, manager, the Director of Human Resources or the Dean of Student Affairs. Students may report such behavior to a faculty or staff member, the Dean of Student Affairs or the Title IX Coordinator.

Reports of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing.  A form for submission of a written complaint is attached to this Policy, and all employees are encouraged to use this complaint form. Employees who are reporting sexual harassment on behalf of other employees should use the complaint form and note that it is on another employee's behalf.

Supervisory Responsibilities

All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to the Director of Human Resources.

In addition to being subject to discipline if they engage in sexually harassing conduct themselves, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue. In addition, supervisors and managers must engage in unlawful retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify and assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment.

Complaint and Investigation of Sexual Harassment

To file a complaint, contact Mary Blaine, Interim Director of Human Resources.

Email:                   Mary.Blaine@clinton.edu

Phone:                 (518) 562-4131

In person:           Room 224M (Moore building)

Dean of Student Affairs, John Borner, or President Ray DiPasquale, may be contacted if the Director of Human Resources is unavailable.

For a link to the College Sexual Harassment Complaint form, Harassment and Discrimination Reporting Form.

All complaints or information about suspected sexual harassment will be investigated, whether that information was reported in verbal or written form. Investigations will be conducted in a timely manner, and will be confidential to the extent possible.

Investigations will be done in accordance with the following steps:

  • Upon receipt of complaint, the Director of Human Resources, or designee, will conduct a prompt review of the allegations, and take interim actions, as appropriate.
  • If documents, emails or phone records are relevant to the allegations, take steps to obtain and preserve them.
  • Request and review all relevant documents, including electronic communications
  • Interview parties involved, including relevant witnesses.
  • Create a written documentation of the investigation including the final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s) taken.
  • Promptly notify  the  individual  who  complained  and  the  individual(s)  who  responded  of  the  final determination and implement any corrective actions identified in the written document
  • Pursue disciplinary charges against the accused employee in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements when sufficient information indicates that there are reasonable grounds to pursue disciplinary action, whether or not legal authorities pursue these charges and whether or not the employee is convicted of these charges.

We may seek consent from you prior to conducting an investigation. You may decline to consent to an investigation, and that determination will be honored unless the College's failure to act does not adequately mitigate the risk of harm to you or other members of the College community. Honoring your request may limit our ability to meaningfully investigate and pursue conduct action against an accused individual. If we determine that an investigation is required, we will notify you and take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist you.

Human Resources will also:

  • Support and assist the employee (with the employee's consent) to report the incident to the Human Resources may be obligated to report to the police the fact that an assault was reported, but the name of the reporting individual will only be provided with the reporting individual's consent, except in extenuating circumstances;
  • Not require a reporting individual to mediate directly with person accused;
  • If the accused/respondent is a student, report the incident to the Dean of Student Affairs;
  • If the reporting individual has not reported the incident to Campus Security, complete a confidential Clery Crime report form and forward it as directed on the form;
  • Disseminate, on an annual basis, information to College employees concerning this policy.
  • Ensure new employees receive sexual harassment prevention education which informs them that sexual harassment is prohibited, and which includes definitions, lists options for bystander action, and describes warning signs.

 

Any employee may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected sexual harassment. Employees who participate in any investigation will not be retaliated against.

 

 

 

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