DIAA(LOCAL) - FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION: SEX AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Note: This policy addresses employee complaints of sex and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and retaliation. For legally referenced material relating to this subject matter, see DAA(LEGAL). For sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and retaliation targeting students, see FFDA.

Definitions

Solely for purposes of this policy, the term "employee" includes former employees, applicants for employment, and unpaid interns.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

The College District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against any employee on the basis of sex or gender. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of College District policy.

Discrimination

Discrimination against an employee is defined as conduct directed at an employee on the basis of sex or gender that adversely affects the employee's employment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination defined as unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; sexually motivated physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct; or other conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to the conduct is either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an employee's employment, or when submission to or rejection of the conduct is the basis for an employment action affecting the employee; or
  2. The conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol or due to an intellectual or other disability.

Examples

Examples of sexual harassment may include sexual advances; touching intimate body parts; coercing or forcing a sexual act on another; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; offensive or derogatory language directed at another person's gender identity; and other sexually motivated conduct, communication, or contact.

Retaliation

The College District prohibits retaliation against an employee who makes a claim alleging to have experienced discrimination or harassment, or another employee who, in good faith, makes a report, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in an investigation.

An employee who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, participates in prohibited conduct, or refuses to cooperate with a College District investigation regarding harassment or discrimination is subject to appropriate discipline up to and including termination.

Examples

Examples of retaliation may include termination, refusal to hire, demotion, and denial of promotion. Retaliation may also include threats, unjustified negative evaluations, unjustified negative references, or increased surveillance.

Prohibited Conduct

In this policy, the term "prohibited conduct" includes discrimination, harassment, and retaliation as defined by this policy, even if the behavior does not rise to the level of unlawful conduct.

Reporting Procedures

Reporting by Alleged Victim

An employee who believes that he or she has experienced prohibited conduct may report the alleged acts to his or her immediate supervisor, to the Title IX coordinator, or to the College President or designee. Additionally, the employee may report electronically through the College District's website.

A report against the College President may be made directly to the Board. If a report is made directly to the Board, the Board shall appoint an appropriate person to conduct an investigation.

Reporting by Other Employees

Any employee who believes that another employee has experienced prohibited conduct shall immediately report the alleged acts to the Title IX coordinator. Additionally, the employee may report to the College President or designee.

A report against the College President must also be made directly to the Board. If a report is made directly to the Board, the Board shall appoint an appropriate person to conduct an investigation.

Exceptions

Disclosure at Event

A person who received the information solely from a disclosure at a sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking public awareness event sponsored by a postsecondary educational institution or by an employee organization affiliated with the institution is not required to report the prohibited conduct.

Employee Subject to Confidentiality Rules

Absent the employee's consent, a person who holds a professional license requiring confidentiality, such as a counselor, or who is supervised by such a person shall only be required to disclose the type of incident reported. The person may not disclose information that would violate the employee's expectation of privacy.

Definition of College District Officials

Title IX Coordinator

For the purposes of this policy, College District officials are the Title IX coordinator and the College President.

Reports of discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, may be directed to the Title IX coordinator. The College District designates the following person to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended:

Other Anti-discrimination Laws

The College President or designee shall serve as coordinator for purposes of College District compliance with all other antidiscrimination laws.

Timely Reporting

Reports of prohibited conduct shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act. A failure to promptly report may impair the College District's ability to investigate and address the prohibited conduct.

Investigation of the Report

The College District may request, but shall not insist upon, a written report. If a report is made orally, the College District official shall reduce the report to written form.

Upon receipt or notice of a report, the College District official shall determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute prohibited conduct as defined by this policy. If so, the College District official shall immediately authorize or undertake an investigation, regardless of whether a criminal or regulatory investigation regarding the same or similar allegations is pending.

If the College District official determines that the allegations, if proven, would not constitute prohibited conduct as defined by this policy but may constitute a violation of other College District rules or regulations, the College District official shall refer the complaint for consideration under the appropriate policy.

If appropriate, the College District shall promptly take interim action calculated to prevent prohibited conduct during the course of an investigation.

The investigation may be conducted by the College District official or a designee or by a third party designated by the College District, such as an attorney. When appropriate, the supervisor shall be involved in or informed of the investigation.

The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the person making the report, the person against whom the report is filed, and others with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the allegations. The investigation may also include analysis of other information or documents related to the allegations.

Concluding the Investigation

Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten College District business days from the date of the report; however, the investigator shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

The investigator shall prepare a written report of the investigation. The report shall be filed with the College District official overseeing the investigation.

College District Action

If the results of an investigation indicate that prohibited conduct occurred, the College District shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct.

The College District may take action based on the results of an investigation, even if the conduct did not rise to the level of prohibited or unlawful conduct.

Confidentiality

To the greatest extent possible, the College District shall respect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom a report is filed, and witnesses. However, limited or full disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation and comply with applicable law.

Appeal

A party who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal through the applicable grievance policy beginning at the appropriate level. [See DGBA(LOCAL) for employees, FLD(LOCAL) for students, and GB(LOCAL) for community members]

The party may have a right to file a complaint with appropriate state or federal agencies in accordance with state and federal law.

Records Retention

Retention of records shall be in accordance with the College District's records retention procedures. [See CIA]

Access to Policy, Procedures, and Related Materials

Information regarding this policy and any accompanying procedures, as well as relevant educational and resource materials concerning the topics discussed in this policy, shall be distributed annually to College District employees and students in compliance with law and in a manner calculated to provide easy access and wide distribution, such as through electronic distribution and inclusion in the employee and student handbooks and other major College District publications. Information regarding the policy, procedures, and related materials shall also be prominently published on the College District's website, taking into account applicable legal requirements. Copies of the policy and procedures shall be readily available at the College District's administrative offices and shall be distributed to an employee who makes a report.

Weatherford College

DIAA(LOCAL)-X

UPDATE 37

DATE ISSUED: 12/5/2019