Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy Implementing Statement | December 2020
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which is illegal under state and federal law, and is also prohibited by the College’s Nondiscrimination Policy. The College recognizes that sexual harassment undermines the integrity of employer-employee and student-faculty-staff relationships, and interferes with the right of all members of the College community to work and learn in an environment free from harassment. Such conduct will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment may be described as:
Any unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education,
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual, or
3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment.
Examples of sexual harassment
Sexual harassment may be verbal, visual or physical. It may be overt or implicit and may, but need not, have tangible adverse effects on the victim’s employment or learning experience. Conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- sexual flirtation, touching, advances or propositions
- verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- pressure to engage in sexual activity
- graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or appearance
- use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual
- display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures or photographs
- sexual jokes
- stereotypic comments based upon gender
- threats, demands or suggestions that retention of one’s employment or educational status is contingent upon toleration of or acquiescence in sexual advances.
Faculty, Employees, and Students covered by statement
The perpetrator of sexual harassment, like the victim of such conduct, may be a man or a woman. Sexual harassment may involve individuals of the same or opposite sex and, in the College environment may involve an employee and a student, an employee and another employee or a student and another student. Harassment in any of these relationships is a violation of the College’s policy.
Because of the power relationship between faculty and student, and between supervisor and subordinate employee, freedom of choice may be compromised in such relationships. Accordingly, this policy holds that where a faculty member or professional staff member has responsibility for a student through teaching, advising, supervision or other obligation, romantic or sexual liaisons between such persons shall be deemed a violation of this policy. Romantic or sexual liaisons between supervisors and subordinate employees, while not prohibited, are strongly discouraged.
It should be noted, additionally, that retaliation against a person, for complaining or being associated in any way with the resolution of a complaint of sexual harassment, also violates College policy.
What to do if you are the victim of sexual harassment
- Employees may report incidents of sexual harassment to the Dean of the area of the College in which the individual is employed, the CSCU System Office Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator, or the Chief Executive Officer of the College. Leah Glende is the CSCU System Office Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Section 504/Title II/ADA/Age Act Coordinator. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org., and her telephone number is (860) 723-0727. Lisa Dresdner is the Chief Executive Officer of the College. Her office is located in Kinney Hall, Room K703B, and the telephone number is (203) 575-8004.
- Students may report incidents of sexual harassment to the Dean of Student Services or to such other College official as the Chief Executive Officer may have designated. The Dean of Student Services is Sarah Gager. Her office is located at Kinney Hall, Room K509A, and the telephone number is (203) 575-8086. Nothing shall prevent students from speaking to a College counselor about their concerns. However, such communication is not a substitute for filing a complaint of sexual harassment with an appropriate College designee.
- A claim that an employee of a third-party contractor has engaged in sexual harassment on College premises or in connection with the performance of the third-party contract should be reported immediately to either the Interim Dean of Administration or to the Chief Executive Officer for appropriate follow-up action. The Interim Dean of Administration is Dana Elm. Her office is located at Kinney Hall, Room K706B, and the telephone number is (203) 596-2153
- All complaints of sexual harassment may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is Angelo Simoni, CSCU Title IX Coordinator – CSU System Office. His telephone number is (860) 723-0165.
Complaints may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at (617) 289-0111 or 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921 (Rev 9/28/20)
If complainant is under the age of eighteen (18) the CSCU BOR Policy Regarding Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a Child must be followed.
It is the responsibility of the College official who receives the complaint to notify the Title IX Coordinator and to keep him/her informed throughout the process. Depending on the nature of the complaint and the desires of the complainant, the official to whom the complaint has been made may attempt to resolve the complaint informally. Any informal resolution of a complaint must be approved by the College Chief Executive Officer. No person shall be forced to pursue informal avenues of resolution before filing a formal complaint of sexual harassment. If informal resolution is not possible or appropriate, a written complaint should be filed in accordance with the existing Discrimination Complaint Process for employees or Student Grievance Procedure for students. The grievant and respondent will be notified of the outcome.
All complaints of sexual harassment shall be taken seriously. It is expected that complaints will be made in good faith. However, frivolous or vexatious complaints can cause irremediable damage to the reputation of an accused person, even though he or she is subsequently vindicated. Therefore, any person who files a false complaint of sexual harassment shall himself or herself be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination if an employee, or expulsion if a student.
The rights of complainants and alleged harassers will be respected and, to the extent possible, the confidentiality of all parties will be protected. However, complete anonymity cannot be assured. Complainants are protected from retaliation of any kind.
In addition to invoking the appropriate grievance procedure, an employee may file a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in Hartford, CT., and/or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Regional Office in Boston, MA. within 180 calendar days of when the alleged harassment occurred. The statute of limitations for all harassment and discrimination claims arising under Connecticut law is 300 days effective October 1, 2019.
A student may also file a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education Regional Office in Boston, MA. at (617) 289-0111 or 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921 (Rev 9/28/20)
This document will be included in the Employees’ Policy and Procedures Manual, and placed in the College’s Weekly Bulletin, as well as available on the NVCC website. Notice of the College’s policy against sexual harassment also shall be given to any independent contractor with whom the College has a business relatpdiv>
Lisa Dresdner, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Naugatuck Valley Community College