094.1 Harassment

Created by: Dana Trebing on Feb 24 2005 12:00:00:000AM
Category: 8 - Human Resourcesl; 30 - Employee Relations/Communications
 
Originator: Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Current File: 094.1
Adoption Date: Feb 24 2005 12:00:00:000AM
Reviewed for Currency: Feb 24 2005 12:00:00:000AM
 
Replaces File: 094.1
Date of Origin: Feb 14 2000 12:00:00:000AM
 
Classification: Faculty; Personnel
 
In Archive? 0


094.1 Harassment

 

A. Background

Furman University believes that all employees and students have the right to work and study in an environment free from all forms of adverse discrimination, including any form of harassment.

 

B. Policy

Furman University will not tolerate any conduct (verbal or physical) that constitutes harassment by any administrator, faculty member, staff member, or student. Conduct that constitutes sexual harassment is covered in File 095.1. Any other form of harassment is covered by this policy.

 

C. Guidelines

1. Harassment is defined as unwelcome behavior which verbally or in a threatening manner torments, badgers, heckles or persecutes an individual where: (a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual's employment or education; (b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or (c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's professional or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment. Harassment does not refer to behavior acceptable to both parties or to the normal exchange of ideas within the academic environment, nor is it intended to discourage the introduction of unpopular or controversial relevant ideas in the classroom (See File 122.1, Professional Ethics and Responsibilities, and File 137.8, Individual Rights and Responsibilities). All persons who commit acts of harassment will be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion for students and discharge for faculty/staff. Anyone who submits a good faith complaint, either informally or formally, will be protected from retaliation. Each complaint will be investigated and the resulting action will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If the investigation determines that the complainant willfully made a false accusation, he or she will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action consistent with current university policies and procedures.

2. Students who believe that they have been harassed should refer to the procedures listed in the Administrative Policies section of the current Helmsman. Student complaints involving faculty or staff behavior will be handled using procedures modeled on the Faculty Grievance Procedures (File 153.1) or the Employee Grievance and Appeals Policy (File 833.1), as appropriate. These procedures are delineated in the Helmsman and in supporting documents available from the Affirmative Action Officer or Assistant Vice President of Human Resources. Any future changes in Files 153.1 and 833.1 shall be incorporated into the pertinent statements in the harassment policy presented in the Helmsman. No changes in that Helmsman policy shall be established which contravene those grievance procedures. Student complainants will be exempt from the time limitations imposed on reporting initial complaints as outlined in these grievance policies.

3. Faculty/staff members who believe they have been harassed by students should: (a) Tell (or write) the person that the behavior is considered offensive and ask the person to stop the behavior; or, if reluctant to speak (or write) directly to the person, consult with the Affirmative Action Officer or Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, the Chaplains, the immediate supervisor/department chair of the accused person or the Vice President for Student Life for advice or action. The faculty member or administrator will assist the complainant by recommending a method of communicating with the person involved or by referring the complainant to the Affirmative Action Officer or the Vice President for Student Life. All information will be kept as confidential as possible. (b) If the behavior in question does not cease, the faculty or staff member must report the matter to the Affirmative Action Officer or Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and the Vice President for Student Life for action. (c) If the harassment cannot be stopped through informal discussion, the complainant should initiate a formal grievance by providing a written statement of the behavior to the Vice President for Student Life for adjudication under the campus code of student conduct. This will require that the complainant be identified to the accused person and that a formal investigation take place. Disciplinary action for a formal grievance will follow current Individual Conduct Regulations on due process as outlined in the Administrative Policy section of the current Helmsman.

4. Faculty/staff members who believe they have been harassed (excluding students - see 3 above) should: (a) Tell (or write) the person that the behavior is considered offensive and ask the person to stop the behavior; or, if reluctant to speak (or write) directly to the person, consult with the Affirmative Action Officer or Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, the Chaplains, the immediate supervisor/department chair of the accused person or the Provost for advice or action. The faculty member or administrator will assist the complainant by recommending a method of communicating with the person involved or by referring the complainant to the Affirmative Action Officer or the Provost. All information will be kept as confidential as possible. (b) If the behavior in question does not cease, the faculty or staff member must report the matter to the Affirmative Action Officer or Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and, if desired to the immediate supervisor/department chair of the accused person or the Provost for action. (c) If the harassment cannot be stopped through informal discussion, the complainant should initiate a formal grievance by providing a written statement of the behavior. This will require that the complainant be identified to the accused person and that a formal investigation take place. Employees will follow the steps in the employee grievance and appeals policy (File 833.1) or faculty grievance procedures (File 153.1). Documentation of all faculty/staff complaints (informal or informal) will be kept in a confidential file by the Affirmative Action Officer. Documentation will include: complaint received, investigation/ follow-up steps taken, and indication that reasonable action was taken in response to a complaint, without wrongly accusing an innocent employee. Before any of the documentation on file regarding complaints is used to make any decision, the faculty or staff member involved will have a chance to respond through the faculty or employee grievance procedures (File 153.1 or File 833.1). If not used as part of formal procedures, informal complaints must be purged from the file after twelve (12) months.

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