Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

Effective Date:

November 1, 2019


Sexual Harassment Policy dated April 2, 2019

Policy Review Date:

To be reviewed every 1 year from effective date

Issuing Authority:

Research Foundation President

Policy Owner:

Vice President for Human Resources

Contact Information:


Reason for Policy

The Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy is established to ensure a safe, inclusive, and respectful work environment that is free of Sexual Harassment, and to provide a means to address such misconduct. The Research Foundation ("RF") does not tolerate any form of Sexual Harassment and all employees are required to conduct their 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, those who carry out business in the name of the RF, and third-parties conducting business with the RF.

The RF does not tolerate Sexual Harassment. Sexual Harassment is a form of unlawful workplace discrimination and employee misconduct, and is contrary to our values. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever Sexual Harassment is found to have occurred. RF Board Members, employees, and those with RF responsibilities (collectively "RF employees and representatives"), are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of Sexual Harassment, and should be empowered to do so without fear of retaliation.

Retaliation is unlawful and 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 review or investigation of a Sexual Harassment complaint.This protection from Retaliation is not intended to prohibit supervisors from taking action, including disciplinary action, in the usual scope of their duties and based on legitimate performance related or other non-retaliatory factors. The Retaliation provisions in this Policy are not intended to protect persons making intentionally false complaints of Sexual Harassment and any party who brings such an intentionally false complaint may be subject to disciplinary action.

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 pursuant to the RF’s Progressive Discipline Policy.

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, Resolving Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints Procedure, and the Progressive Discipline Policy.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

The RF encourages all RF employees and representatives, applicants for employment, paid or unpaid interns, contractors, students, and third-parties conducting business with the RF to report any occurrences of Sexual Harassment or Retaliation. 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, RF campus human resources office ("RF Campus HR"), campus diversity office, 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.

Individuals should not report suspected or actual Sexual Harassment to any individual suspected of engaging in that conduct, even if that person is identified as an avenue for reporting a complaint. For example, an employee who suspects their supervisor has engaged in a violation of RF Policy should not report their suspicions to their supervisor but should instead report through one of the other channels identified above.

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 RF supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about alleged Sexual Harassment, or Retaliation (whether verbal or in writing), observe what may be sexually harassing behavior, or for any reason suspect that Sexual Harassment or Retaliation is occurring, are required to report such suspected Sexual Harassment or Retaliation to their Operations Manager or designee, RF Central HR, RF Office of the General Counsel, or RF Campus HR.The RF will enforce disciplinary actions against supervisory and managerial personnel who fail to report or who knowingly allow Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, or other misconduct covered by this Policy to continue.

Supervisors and managers must also notify RF Campus HR or RF Central HR if a Principal Investigator ("PI") or Co-Principal Investigator ("Co-PI") is accused of violating this Policy and the PI or Co-PI is working under a National Science Foundation ("NSF") funded grant or cooperative agreement.

Complaints of Sexual Harassment will be investigated pursuant to the procedure outlined below. OM’s, Deputy OM’s, managers, or supervisors who become aware of suspected or improper conduct must not:

Incidents Involving an Immediate Threat to Health and Safety or Facilities or Sexual Assault

RF employees and representatives experiencing or witnessing an incident that poses an immediate threat to an individual's health or safety, or to RF or campus facilities should immediately contact local law enforcement.

The Office of Compliance Services will investigate allegations of Sexual Assault involving RF employees or representatives as defined by and reported under this Policy pursuant to the RF Fraud and Whistleblower Policy. Complaints of Sexual Assault involving RF employees or representatives should not be handled by Employee Relations, RF Campus HR, or the campus diversity office and if Employee Relations, RF Campus HR, or campus diversity office employees are made aware of such complaints or otherwise suspect a Sexual Assault has occurred, they must immediately notify their Operations Manager or the Office of Compliance Services at RF Central Office.

Operations Managers, supervisors, and managers have an affirmative duty to immediately report allegations of Sexual Assault involving RF employees or representatives to the Office of Compliance Services.

Investigation of Sexual Harassment Allegations

Whenever a complaint is received alleging Sexual Harassment involving RF employees and representatives, whether reported in verbal or written form or if it is otherwise known that possible Sexual Harassment is occurring, the RF will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation in accordance with the procedure outlined below. The RF will protect the confidentiality of the harassment complaint and investigation to the extent possible under the circumstances.

All RF employees and representatives involved, including complainants, witnesses, and alleged harassers will be accorded the right to a fair and impartial investigation. RF employees, and representatives may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of alleged Sexual Harassment. Retaliation against anyone who participates in any investigation is prohibited.

Where there is a Sexual 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 and Representatives will generally be performed by one of the following: RF campus HR, campus diversity office, the RF Central HR, the Office of Internal Audit, or the Office of Compliance Services. Investigations may vary from case to case, but the office responsible for the investigation should take the following steps:


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


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

Responsible Party


Operations Managers, Deputy Operations Managers

Ensure compliance with this policy. Ensure that all RF employees are informed of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and have completed the required annual training.

Campus President or Designee

Overall responsibility and authority for their location's efforts to comply with the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.

All Employees

All employees are required to conduct their work in a manner that prevents Sexual Harassment in the workplace. Report incidents of Sexual Harassment in accordance with 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 in accordance with the "Reporting Sexual Harassment" section above.

RF Campus Human Resources Office

Ensure compliance with this Policy. Daily responsibility and authority for the location's efforts regarding Sexual Harassment prevention and compliance with this Policy. Notify Central Office of Sexual Harassment complaints. Assist in investigating Sexual Harassment complaints involving RF employees or representatives.

RF Central HR

Maintain corporate policy. Provide guidance on all aspects of the policy including conducting investigations. Provide a training solution for all employees and supervisors at all locations.

Central Office of Compliance Services

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


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

Resolving Workplace Concerns Procedure

Progressive Discipline Policy

National Science Foundation Requirements Regarding Findings of Sexual Harassment


Complaint Form

Change History


Summary of Change

January 7, 2020

Updated policy to reflect recent amendments to New York Human Rights Law.

April 2, 2019

Updated policy to streamline and make consistent with other related policies and procedures.

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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