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SECTION 800 - PERSONNEL

SECTION 800 - HUMAN RESOURCES

 

802.18             SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

POLICY

 

Sexually harassing behavior, like other forms of discrimination prohibited by law, is prohibited at Georgia Perimeter College in accordance with University System of Georgia policy and the law.

 

I.          SEXUALLY HARASSING BEHAVIOR

 

A.        For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment may be defined as follows:

 

            1.         Sexual conduct of any nature which is unwelcome and not freely or mutually agreeable to both parties; or,

 

            2.         Communications of a sexual nature, whether verbal, written or pictorial, which are unwelcome and made with the intent to intimidate the person(s) receiving such communication; or,

 

            3.         Solicitation of sexual conduct of any nature, when submission to or rejection of such conduct is intended to be the basis for implicitly imposing adverse or favorable terms and conditions employment or academic standing.

 

 

B.         Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment when:

 

            1.         Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or a condition of an individual's employment; or,

 

            2.         Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting an individual; or,

 

            3.         Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.  (Board of Regents’ Policy Manual, Section 802.18; BR Minutes, 1980-81, pp. 237-38).

           

II.        INFORMAL PROCEDURES

 

            Problems, questions, and grievances may be brought to and discussed with any individual at the next supervisory level (above the level of the person being complained of), or the Affirmative Action Officer.  Some College officials or faculty members are particularly well-informed and well-placed to help with problems of sexual harassment.  These officers may be especially useful in advising and aiding a person's own efforts to resolve a problem.

 

            1.         Students may seek the help of a faculty member, Dean of Academic Services, Department Chair, Student Affairs Advisor, Dean or Director of Student Affairs, or Affirmative Action Officer.

 

            2.         Clerical and Classified Personnel may consult the appropriate Provost, Dean of Academic Services, Department Chair, Department Director, or Affirmative Action Officer.

 

            3.         Faculty members may see the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Dean of Academic Services, or Affirmative Action Officer.

 

            Any of the above-named officers may be prepared to offer information informally or to refer the complainant to a good source of information.  Throughout the advising process, information will ordinarily be held by these officers in confidence until the initiating individual agrees that a third party or parties must be informed to facilitate a solution.  Information on the formal complaint procedures may be obtained from the Affirmative Action Officer.

 

            Anyone with an inquiry, complaint, or concern is welcome to bring another member of the Georgia Perimeter College faculty or staff to discussions with a designated officer.

 

            No person will be reprimanded or discriminated against in any way for initiating an inquiry or complaint in good faith.  It is also the College's policy to protect the rights of any person against whom a complaint is lodged.

 

            Once an inquiry or complaint is brought forward, every effort will be made to resolve the problem within a reasonable period of time.  It should be emphasized that merely discussing a complaint with one of these officers does not commit one to making a formal charge.

 

III.       FORMAL PROCEDURES

 

            Anyone who believes himself-herself to be the object of sexual harassment may choose, either initially or after having sought a resolution through one of the officers described above, to bring a complaint through the College's formal procedures, with the possible outcome of disciplinary action against the accused.  Those procedures are described below.

 

            1.         Written or formal charges of sexual harassment may be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer of Georgia Perimeter College.  The written charges must be brought by sworn affidavit and signed by the complainant; the complaint may be shown to the accused.

 

            2.         Formal charges should be brought within a reasonable time (usually thirty (30) working days) of the occurrence of the alleged act which is the subject of the complaint.

 

            3.         The Affirmative Action Officer will make a preliminary investigation of the written charges to make a determination as to the possibility of an informal resolution.

 

            4.         The Affirmative Action Officer may consult with complainant, the person named in the complaint and others, if appropriate, in order to ascertain the facts and views of both parties.

 

            5.         The Affirmative Action Officer may request affidavits from the person named in the complaint and all other parties and witnesses.

 

            6.         The Affirmative Action Officer will report his/her findings to the President of Georgia Perimeter College and to the parties, along with recommendation, if any, regarding informal resolution.

 

            7.         Any written requests for a hearing shall be made to the President within ten (10) days of the Affirmative Action Officer's report.

 

            8.         The President shall appoint a Chairperson and two (2) members of the Committee of Review shall be selected in the following manner:

 

                        a.         The complainant may select one (1) committee member; and,

 

                        b.         The person named in the complaint may select one (1) committee                                                          member.

           

            9.         Only full-time, permanent employees may serve on the Committee of Review.  The Committee of Review may include representation from the faculty, the staff, or a combination of both provided, however, that in the event the person charged in the complaint is a faculty member, the Committee shall be composed only of faculty members and selected in compliance with the By-Laws of the Board of Regents (Article VI (B) 8d).

 

            l0.        The Committee of Review will thoroughly investigate the written charge of sexual harassment and conduct the hearing.  The parties shall be informed of the date of the hearing at least three (3) days prior to said date by certified mail, return receipt requested.  Said accused faculty member shall be given notice pursuant to Section 803.12 of the Board of Regents’ Policy Manual and other relevant sections of the Board of Regents’ Policy Manual and College statutes.

 

            11.       The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to procedures established by the Committee of Review and in compliance with this Policy.

 

            12.       The Committee will present its findings or confidential information to the President for further action within ten (10) working days of the conclusion of the hearing.

 

            13.       The President shall render a final decision in the matter and notify the parties involved within a reasonable period of time.

 

            14.       At each step, the College's procedures seek to protect, insofar as possible, the privacy of individuals involved in a complaint.  Both in fact-finding and in the final disposition of a complaint, every effort will be made to carry out procedures confidentially insofar as it does not interfere with the College's legal obligation or ability to investigate allegations of misconduct when brought to its attention, and to take corrective action when it is found that misconduct has occurred.

 

            l5.        Prompt reporting is strongly urged, as it is often difficult to trace the facts of an incident or incidents long after they have occurred.  Ordinarily, formal complaints must be brought within thirty days of the incident(s).

 

            16.       Use of these internal procedures does not foreclose subsequent legal action.  Complainants may wish to obtain legal advice as they consider the courses of action open to them.  However, the proceedings are not those of a court of law and the presence of legal counsel is not permitted during the proceedings.  The strict rules of legal evidence shall not apply.  Complainants may wish to have at discussions of the complaint another member of the College faculty or staff.

 

            17.       A permanent, written record of the formal complaint process and its outcome shall be retained by the Affirmative Action Officer.

 

            18.       Throughout the complaint process, every effort will be made to protect the complainant from reprisals and to protect the accused from irresponsible complaints.

 

IV.       PENALTIES

 

            Any person who is found in violation of this policy shall be subject to dismissal or other sanctions, (Board of Regents’ Policy Manual, Section 802.18; BR Minutes, 1980-81, pp. 237-238 and Section 803.11; BR Minutes, 1974-75, pp. 304-313; 1982-83, p. 23).

 

V.        APPEALS

 

            Any appeals of the final decision of the President shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article IX of the By-Laws of the Board of Regents.

 

Revised 1/08/91

Revised 11/01:  “DeKalb College” changed to “Georgia Perimeter College”; “Vice President for Academic Affairs” changed to “Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs”