DHA(LOCAL) - EMPLOYEE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT: SEXUAL HARASSMENT/SEXUAL ABUSE

Employee-to-Employee

Employees shall not engage in conduct constituting sexual harassment of other employees. [See DHA(EXHIBIT)]

Employees who believe they have been sexually harassed by other employees are encouraged to come forward with complaints.

ESC officials or their agents shall investigate promptly all allegations of sexual harassment of employees by other employees, and officials shall take prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against employees found to have engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment of employees.

Complaint Procedure

For the purpose of the following complaint process, "days" mean calendar days.

An employee who believes he or she has been or is being subjected to any form of sexual harassment shall bring the matter to the attention of his or her immediate supervisor or another employee designated by the Executive Director. No procedure or step in this policy shall have the effect of requiring the employee alleging harassment to present the matter to a person who is the subject of the complaint.

Level One

The employee shall request a conference with the Executive Director or designee by submitting the complaint in writing or by requesting a conference. If the complaint is made orally, the Executive Director or designee receiving the complaint shall reduce it to writing.

The Executive Director or designee shall hold the conference as soon as possible but in any event within seven days after the receipt of the complaint. The Executive Director or designee shall ordinarily have seven days following the conference within which to investigate and respond. The employee shall be informed if extenuating circumstances delay the investigation.

Level Two

If the outcome at Level One is not to the employee's satisfaction or if the time for a response has expired, the employee may present the complaint to the Board. The Executive Director shall place the matter on the agenda for the next regular Board meeting. [See BE(LOCAL)]

The Executive Director or designee shall provide the Board with copies of the employee's original complaint, the response at Level One, and any written documentation previously submitted by the employee and the administration.

The Level Two proceeding before the Board shall be recorded by audiotape. The presiding officer shall allow a reasonable time for presentation of the complaint. The Board shall consider the grievance and shall request a response from the administration.

Closed Meeting

The Board may hear the allegation of sexual harassment in closed meeting, if posted in accordance with law, unless an open hearing is requested in writing by the employee or Board member against whom the complaint or charge is brought.

Harassment of Students and Others

Employees shall not engage in conduct constituting sexual harassment or sexual abuse of students or sexual harassment of others with whom the employee interacts within the scope of the employee's assigned duties. Sexual harassment includes any welcome or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal (oral or written), physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature. [See DHA(LEGAL)] Romantic relationships between ESC employees and students constitute unprofessional conduct and are prohibited.

Reporting / Investigation

Information about sexual harassment or sexual abuse of a student that may reasonably be characterized as known or suspected child abuse or neglect shall be reported to appropriate authorities, as required by law. [See ED(LEGAL)] Employees who have reason to believe that a student is being sexually harassed or sexually abused by an ESC employee shall report their suspicion to their immediate supervisor or another employee designated by the Executive Director. All allegations of sexual harassment or sexual abuse of students by employees shall be reported to parents and investigated.

In considering and investigating allegations that an employee has sexually harassed or sexually abused a student, the investigation shall proceed from the presumption that the employee's conduct was unwelcome.

Sanctions Against Employees

Sanctions against employees for violation of this policy may include an oral or written warning, transfer, demotion, termination of employment, or other sanction deemed appropriate by the Executive Director or designee.

Protection of Complainant

No employee shall be subjected to adverse employment action in retaliation for any good faith report under this policy. To the fullest extent practical, all reports of sexual harassment shall be kept confidential.

Region XIV Education Service Center

DHA(LOCAL)-ESCB

UPDATE 10

DATE ISSUED: 7/5/2006