Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

Effective Date:

October 9, 2018

Supersedes:

Sexual Harassment Policy

Policy Review Date:

1 year

Issuing Authority:

Research Foundation President

Responsible Party:

Vice President for Human Resources

Contact Information:

518.434.7080

HRA@rfsuny.org

Reason for Policy

The Sexual Harassment policy is established to ensure a work environment that is free of Sexual Harassment, which is a form of workplace discrimination. The Research Foundation ("RF") does not tolerate any form of Sexual Harassment. All employees are required to work in a manner that prevents Sexual Harassment in the workplace. This policy is one component of the RF’s commitment to a discrimination-free workplace environment.

Statement of Policy

This policy applies to all employees, applicants for employment, paid or unpaid interns, contractors, students, those with RF responsibilities or those who carry out business in the name of the RF, and persons conducting business with the RF.

The RF does not tolerate Sexual Harassment. Sexual Harassment is unlawful, contrary to our values, and is a form of employee misconduct. Any employee or individual covered by this policy who is found to have engaged in Sexual Harassment or Retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

RF Board Members, employees (including managers and supervisors), and those with RF responsibilities, who engage in Sexual Harassment or knowingly allow such behavior to continue, will be penalized pursuant to the RF’s Progressive Discipline Policy.

The RF will conduct a prompt, thorough, and confidential investigation that ensures due process for all parties whenever a complaint is received alleging Sexual Harassment, or if it is otherwise known that possible Sexual Harassment is occurring. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever Sexual Harassment is found to have occurred. RF Board Members, employees, and those with RF responsibilities, are required to cooperate with an internal investigation of Sexual Harassment, and must be empowered to do so without fear of retaliation.

Employees are encouraged to report any harassment or behaviors that violate this policy. Allegations or reports of Sexual Harassment, or other activities that may involve Improper Conduct or violations of RF policies may be reported to your supervisor, manager, your RF campus human resources office ("RF Campus HR"), your campus diversity office, your RF Operations Manager or Deputy Operations Manager, the RF Central Human Resources Office ("RF Central HR"), the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Internal Audit, the Office of Compliance Services, or anonymously through the RF’s Ethics Hotline.

Managers and supervisors are required to report any complaint that they receive, or any harassment that they observe, to the Operations Manager, RF Central HR or their RF Campus HR.

Retaliation is prohibited. No person covered by this Policy shall be subject to any adverse employment action including being discharged from employment, disciplined, or discriminated against because the employee reports an incident of Sexual Harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a Sexual Harassment complaint. The RF will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who complains or provides information about suspected Sexual Harassment. Any employee, paid or unpaid intern, student, or Non-Employee who believes they have been subjected to such retaliation should inform a supervisor, manager, Operations Manager, RF Central HR or RF Campus HR. The Retaliation provisions in this Policy, however, are not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment.

To the extent this policy conflicts with other RF policies and procedures, this policy governs with respect to complaints of Sexual Harassment as defined by this policy (subject to the applicable exceptions set forth herein). Other allegations of wrongdoing are governed by the RF’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy. Fraud & Whistleblower Policy, Non Harassment in the Workplace Policy, Resolving Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints Procedure, Solving Problems in the Workplace Policy, and the Progressive Discipline Policy.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

Preventing Sexual Harassment is everyone’s responsibility. The RF cannot prevent or remedy Sexual Harassment unless it knows about it. Any employee, paid or unpaid intern, student, or nonemployee who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute Sexual Harassment is encouraged to report such behavior to a manager, supervisor, or their RF Campus HR. If the employee does not feel comfortable discussing his or her concerns with their manager, supervisor or RF Campus HR, or has already done so and the discrimination or retaliation persists, the employee should contact RF Central HR, the Vice President for Human Resources, or the Chief Compliance Officer. Employees may also utilize the RF’s Ethics Hotline to anonymously report Sexual Harassment or other misconduct.

Reports of Sexual Harassment may be made verbally or in writing. A form for submission of a written complaint is linked to this Policy ("Complaint Form"), and all employees are encouraged, but not required, to use the Complaint Form to submit a written complaint of Sexual Harassment. Employees who are reporting Sexual Harassment on behalf of other employees should note that it is on another employee’s behalf.

Employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the New York State Division of Human Rights or in New York State Supreme Court, with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or with a local agency, such as the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Remedies may include, but are not limited to, monetary damages, attorneys’ fees, civil fines, and other equitable relief.

All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected Sexual Harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior, or for any reason suspect that Sexual Harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected Sexual Harassment to their Operations Manager, RF Central HR or RF Campus HR. Verbal allegations are serious and deserve the same treatment as those submitted in writing. Supervisors and Managers who receive a verbal allegation or report of Sexual Harassment are required to report the allegation.

Supervisors and managers must notify RF Campus HR or RF Central HR if any of the individuals involved are funded by a National Science Foundation ("NSF") grant or cooperative agreement.

In addition to being subject to discipline for engaging in sexually harassing conduct, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected Sexual Harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing Sexual Harassment to continue. Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any Retaliation.

Allegations of Sexual Assault

Immediately report allegations or complaints of Sexual Assault to local law enforcement and then to the Office of Compliance Services at RF Central Office. The Office of Compliance Services will investigate allegations of Sexual Assault pursuant to the RF Fraud and Whistleblower Policy. Complaints of Sexual Assault should not be handled by Employee Relations or RF Campus HR personnel at campus locations, and if made aware of such complaints, Employee Relations or RF Campus HR employees should immediately notify the Central Office Compliance Office for investigation.

Complaint and Investigation of Sexual Harassment

All complaints or information about suspected Sexual Harassment involving RF Board Members, employees, and those with RF responsibilities will be investigated, whether reported in verbal or written form. Investigations of any complaint, information, or knowledge of suspected Sexual Harassment will be prompt and thorough. The RF will protect the confidentiality of the harassment complaint and investigation to the extent possible. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses, and alleged harassers will be accorded due process to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation. RF Board Members, employees, and those with RF responsibilities, may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected Sexual Harassment. Employees who participate in any investigation will not be retaliated against.

Where there is a discrimination, harassment, or Retaliation complaint against an individual who is a Non-Employee, or where there is more than one employer involved, the RF may, at its discretion, refer the complaint to the appropriate employer for review/investigation.

Investigations involving RF employees, Board Members and others with RF responsibilities may vary from case to case, but should include the following steps:

Training

All employees at all operating locations must complete Sexual Harassment training annually and new hires must complete Sexual Harassment training as soon as possible after hire.

Responsibilities

The following table outlines the responsibilities for compliance with this Policy:

Responsible Party

Responsibility

Operations Manager

Responsible for ensuring that all RF employees and their supervisors are informed of the policy on Sexual Harassment. The OM is responsible for notifying RF Central HR of Sexual Harassment complaints.

Campus President or Designee

Overall responsibility and authority for their location's affirmative action efforts regarding Sexual Harassment.

All Employees

Report incidents of Sexual Harassment to a manager, supervisor, RF Central HR, RF Campus HR, or other appropriate contact as outlined in the "Reporting Sexual Harassment" section above.

Supervisors and Managers

Report complaints of Sexual Harassment, observations of any sexually harassing behavior, or suspicions that Sexual Harassment is occurring to RF Central HR, RF Campus HR, or other appropriate contact as outlined in the "Reporting Sexual Harassment" section above. Notify RF campus HR or RF Central HR if any of the individuals involved are funded by an NSF award.

RF Campus Human Resources Office

Daily responsibility and authority for the location's efforts regarding Sexual Harassment. Notify Central Office of complaints of Sexual Harassment. Assist in investigating complaints of Sexual Harassment involving RF employees or others with RF responsibilities. Notify RF Central HR if any individuals are funded by an NSF award. Notify local law enforcement and the Office of Compliance Services at Central Office of allegations involving Sexual Assault.

Human Resources at Central Office

Ensure that each operating location is complying with the requirements described in this policy. Provide guidance in conducting investigations.

Central Office of Compliance Services

Assist in conducting investigations of Sexual Harassment received through the RF’s Ethics Hotline. Investigate allegations of Sexual Assault pursuant to Fraud and Whistleblower Policy.

Definitions

Improper Conduct- A deliberate act or failure to act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized benefit or misleading an RF representative, government official, vendor or other entity doing business with the RF. Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to:

Related Information

Equal Employment Opportunity and Antidiscrimination Policy

Fraud & Whistleblower Policy

Non Harassment in the Workplace Policy

Resolving Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints Procedure

Solving Problems in the Workplace Policy

Progressive Discipline Policy

Forms

Complaint Form

Change History

Date

Summary of Change

October 9, 2018

Updated policy to include detailed information on Sexual Harassment, retaliation and complaint procedure pursuant to NYS requirements that became effective October 9, 2018.

 

 

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