|SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND RELATED UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
BASED ON POLICY NUMBER AND TITLE
|TTC POLICY 8-2-0 SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND RELATED UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT|
The Trident Technical College Policy 8-2-0 on Sexual Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct seeks to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust which is essential to the work of the College. All members of the college community must become familiar with the policy and work together to ensure a positive climate for the work of the college.
The following procedures are established to help faculty, staff and students deal fairly and promptly with allegations of sexual harassment and to provide educational programs to raise awareness and influence behavior.
II ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A. College Community Members
Any member of the college community who believes that this policy has been violated may make a complaint. The well-being of the college depends on every member being knowledgeable about the policy, being conscious of his or her own behavior, and avoiding intentionally dishonest or malicious complaints, and refusing to retaliate against another member of the College who has filed a complaint.
B. Contact Persons
The President has designated a number of contact persons at each campus to advise individuals with regard to behaviors that may violate Policy 8-2-0. These persons are available to help individuals better understand the processes related to formal and informal complaints. Contact people may participate in informal resolution processes and/or may refer individuals to other contact persons. The names of the contact persons at each campus are posted at the following locations: libraries, selected bulletin boards on all campuses and offices of deans, directors and vice presidents, or you may view the list at this link Sexual Harassment Contact Persons.
In some cases, a student with a sexual harassment complaint may approach an employee who is not a contact person. In those cases, the employee should refer the student to a contact person and notify that contact person of the nature of the complaint.
C. Policy Coordinator
The Human Resources Director or his/her designee is responsible for maintaining records on all complaints, ensuring appropriate disciplinary actions, and for coordinating the institutionís responses to formal complaints. This individual will also prepare annual reports on the nature and outcome of complaints at the institution, which are the basis of Trident reports to be used for information, planning and assessment of progress toward elimination of sexual harassment.
In cases in which the alleged offender is an employee, the President, in consultation with the appropriate vice president, will name investigators after a formal sexual harassment complaint has been received by the Policy Coordinator or designee. If the President is involved in a complaint, the Chair of the Area Commission or an outside investigator designated by the Chair will have these responsibilities.
E. Vice President of Student Services
In cases in which the alleged offender is a student, the Vice President of Student Services will be notified of a complaint by the policy coordinator. The Vice President will name investigators and receive their reports and findings if the complaint is formal. If the investigators find that a violation of the policy has occurred and the Vice President concurs, he/she will take the appropriate disciplinary
action after consulting with the policy coordinator or his/her designee.
A number of designated employees are trained to gather information as part of the response to a formal complaint.
Students or employees should file complaints in a timely manner to ensure that investigations can be accurate and thorough. A complaint should be filed no later than 90 days after it occurred.
The college will handle the matter as confidentially as possible. When a complainant chooses informal resolution, the contact person will inform the policy coordinator or his/her designee of the concern and the resolution processes to be used.
When a formal written complaint is filed, the alleged offender, the President, the appropriate vice president and the policy coordinator or his/her designee will be informed. Others who may have a legitimate need to know (such as a supervisor) will be informed on a case-by-case basis.
V. INFORMAL COMPLAINT
The complainant will meet with a contact person to describe the behavior that is offensive.
The complainant and the contact person will then discuss and consider a number of options that might resolve the situation, including but not limited to:
A. preparing a letter to the alleged offender, which describes the offensive behavior and requests that it cease;
B. setting up a meeting between the contact person and the alleged offender to talk about the offensive behavior;
C. preparing the complainant to meet with the alleged offender regarding the offensive behavior;
D. offering options to end the offensive behavior or resolve the complainantís concern about the offensive behavior.
Before making any recommendations or taking any actions, the contact person will notify the policy coordinator or his/her designee of the nature of the complaint and the proposed resolution processes to be used. The policy coordinator or his/her designee will notify the President and Vice President, if appropriate, to determine if college action is required. The policy coordinator or his/her designee will retain the only copy of all documentation produced in the informal complaint process.
At any time during the informal complaint process, if the informal complaint resolution is not satisfactory to the complainant, she or he may choose to file a formal complaint.
VI. FORMAL COMPLAINT
The formal complaint process must at all times comport with due process. The complainant will meet with a contact person who will receive the formal complaint.
The complainant must provide a signed and dated statement including a description of the alleged offensive behavior and the requested action. The contact person will encourage the complainant to complete the Sexual Harassment Complaint Form.
The complainant will be advised that the alleged offender will receive a copy of the complaint.
The contact person will forward the complaint to the policy coordinator or his/her designee.
The policy coordinator or his/her designee will send a copy of the written complaint to the alleged offender with a letter informing the alleged offender that an investigation has begun and directing the alleged offender not to engage in any retaliatory behavior against the complainant. A copy of Policy 8-2-0 and Procedure 8-2-1 will also be included. The alleged offender will be advised that he or she will have an opportunity to provide a response.
The letter to the alleged offender shall either be hand-delivered or sent via certified mail to the alleged offenderís mailing address in an envelope conspicuously marked "Confidential".
Copies of the letter and complaint will be sent to the complainant, the President, and supervisors as appropriate.
VII. INVESTIGATION UNDER FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCESS
The President, in consultation with the policy coordinator or his/her designee and the alleged offenderís appropriate vice president, will appoint two investigators, generally one male and one female and at least one investigator will be of the same race as the alleged offender. The complainant and/or the alleged offender may object to the selection of the investigators if either believes there is demonstrable or perceived bias on the part of either investigator. Any such objections must be raised within three (3) working days of receipt of notice of the investigation. However, the President has final authority in the appointment of investigators.
The investigation will be conducted as promptly as possible without compromising thoroughness. The investigators will meet separately with the complainant and the alleged offender. The investigators will request information about the alleged incident(s) and will seek information from individuals who might know about the incident(s) or other information helpful to the investigation.
If in the course of the investigation other allegations surface against the individual being investigated, which may themselves constitute sexual harassment or related unprofessional conduct, the investigators shall inform the policy coordinator or his/her designee and the alleged offender of these allegations, in writing, and the individual will be given an opportunity to respond to these allegations before the investigators submit their report and statement of findings. The investigators shall take notes on meetings they have with principals and witnesses. If principals and/or witnesses elect to have counsel present at the meetings, the College reserves the right to have counsel present also.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigators will send a copy of their findings and investigative report to the policy coordinator or his/her designee before submitting the final report to the President. If the President determines that the final report is thorough and complete, he/she will disband the investigative team and forward the report to the policy coordinator or his/her designee. After the report and findings are accepted, the policy coordinator or his/her designee will send a copy of the report and findings to the complainant, the alleged offender, and the appropriate supervisors.
If the President finds the report to be incomplete or does not concur with the findings, she or he may send the report back for further investigation or may appoint new investigators.
If there is no finding of sexual harassment or related unprofessional conduct, the President will send letters to the alleged offender and the complainant informing them of the results of the investigation. No materials pertaining to the complaint will be placed in the personnel or student file in such an instance. The policy coordinator or his/her designee will retain the only record of the formal complaint.
If there is a finding of sexual harassment or related unprofessional conduct, the report will be forwarded to the President who will send the report to the supervisor of the offender. The supervisor in consultation with the policy coordinator or his/her designee and appropriate vice president will discuss appropriate disciplinary action. The policy coordinator or his/her designee will send the offender a letter outlining the discipline being contemplated. If the offender is a student, the Vice President of Student Services will initiate appropriate disciplinary procedures in accordance with the Student Code.
The complainant will be informed in writing of the conclusions of the case and documentation of the case and a record of the disciplinary action taken will be placed in the offenderís file.
In instances when an individual may choose not to make either a formal or informal complaint, but the institution may choose to follow-up on a concern with either an informal process or a formal complaint, the College expressly reserves the right to follow-up all allegations of sexual harassment through either a informal or a formal complaint.
Retaliation against anyone who reports or who is believed to have reported sexual harassing behaviors is prohibited. Likewise, retaliation against an individual who is a witness to or otherwise is involved in an informal sexual harassment complaint or a formal investigatory or disciplinary proceeding is also prohibited. Retaliation is considered a serious violation of the policy and will be punished to the fullest extent possible and independent of whether a charge of sexual harassment is ultimately substantiated. Encouraging others to retaliate is also a serious violation of this policy.
In developing an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, the College will provide educational programs that will work toward the elimination of offensive behavior.
In addition to these programs, the institution will:
A. make available to all employees and students copies of Policy 8-2-0 and this procedure for implementation of the policy;
B. periodically distribute materials that define harassment and explain the rights and responsibilities of individuals under the policy;
C. provide students, faculty and staff with information and learning experiences to heighten awareness of the issues and of the collegeís expectations;
D. establish and train a group of employees who can be initial contacts and provide informal support for people who believe the policy has been violated, assist and advise on the decisions to be made by those who believe the policy has been violated, participate as appropriate in informal resolution processes and educate others about the issues;
E. train potential investigators who will be part of the response to formal complaints.
The College will continue to support, monitor, and revise the educational programs as we work toward the goals of eliminating sexual harassment and related unprofessional conduct and enhancing mutual trust and respect.
ADDITIONAL RELATED POLICY AND PROCEDURES LIST
Updated September 1, 1999
Updated August 25, 2010