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Sexual Harassment Policy

Federal law provides that it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer, because of the sex of any person, to discharge without cause, to refuse to hire or otherwise to discriminate against any person with respect to any matter directly or indirectly related to employment or academic standing. Harassment of an employee on the basis of sex violates this federal law.

It is the policy of Georgia Highlands College that no member of the college community may sexually harass another. Any employee or student who violates that policy will be subject to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due-process requirements.

Definition

Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

• Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education

• Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual. Such conduct has the  purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or  educational environment.

Examples of Sexually Harassing Behavior

Behaviors that constitute an example of the first part of the definition include those that imply that the receipt of employment and educational enhancements depend on the employee’s or student’s accepting such conduct from those in positions to bestow such enhancements.

Behaviors that are examples of the second part of the definition include those that seek to require the actual submission to such conduct as the basis for employment or educational decisions. Those behaviors that are examples of the third part of the definition include such conduct as creates an employment and educational atmosphere that can detrimentally affect one’s ability to perform one’s duties.

Procedures for Handling Complaints

The following procedures are applicable to complaints against faculty or professional, non-faculty staff and shall be followed by students, classified employees and other faculty or professional, non-faculty staff in reporting incidents of sexual harassment.

Reports of inappropriate sexual conduct by a faculty member or professional, non-faculty staff should be made in writing to the academic dean or department head who is the supervisor of the faculty member or professional, non-faculty staff involved.

The academic dean or department head will immediately investigate the allegation of harassment. Failure to do so is also misconduct subject to disciplinary action.

The academic dean or department head will immediately report the complaint of harassment to one’s respective vice president with consultation from the director of human resources.

The academic dean or department head, with collaboration from the director of human resources, will conduct a complete investigation of the matter and submit a report of the investigation to the appropriate vice president of the college who in turn will recommend a disposition of the case to president.

The following procedures are applicable to complaints against classified employees and should be followed by faculty or professional non-faculty staff, students and other classified employees in reporting incidents of sexual harassment. Reports of inappropriate sexual conduct by a classified employee should be made in writing to the director of human resources. The director of human resources will investigate the allegation of harassment. Failure to do so is also misconduct subject to disciplinary action. The director of human resources will submit a report of the investigation and a recommendation for disposition to the president.

The following procedures are applicable to complaints against students and should be followed by classified employees, faculty or professional, non-faculty staff and other students in reporting incidents of sexual harassment. Reports of inappropriate sexual conduct by a student should be made in writing to the vice president for student affairs.

The vice president for student affairs, with consultation from the director of human resources, will investigate the allegation of harassment. Failure to do so is also misconduct subject to disciplinary action.

The vice president for student affairs will submit a report of the investigation and a recommendation for disposition to the president.

Note: If the employee against whom the complaint is made is the supervisor of the person making the complaint, or if any other circumstances exist in which any member of the college community prefers to report the misconduct through other channels, this can be done by contacting the president, the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for finance and administration, or the director of human resources. An investigation will be made and appropriate action  shall be taken.

Page last updated: July 29, 2013