June 24, 2017

Harassment Of Employees


Policy: Harassment Of Employees

The Hartford School District is committed to providing all employees a safe and supportive work
environment in which all members of the school community are treated with respect. Harassment is
a form of unlawful discrimination, as well as disrespectful behavior, which will not be tolerated.
The Hartford School District shall provide employees a work environment free of unwelcome
sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct, or
communications constituting harassment as defined and otherwise prohibited by state and federal
law.

Definitions:

School Community: Includes but is not limited to all students, school employees, contractors,
unpaid volunteers, work study students, interns, student teachers, and visitors.
Employee: For purposes of this policy, employee means any person who may be permitted,
required or directed by the school district, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to
perform services.
Adverse Action: Includes any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment such as diminishment
of grades, suspension, expulsion, change in educational conditions, loss of privileges or benefits or
other unwarranted disciplinary action in the case of students and any form of intimidation, reprisal
or harassment such as suspension, termination, change in working conditions, loss of privileges or
benefits or other disciplinary action in the case of employees.
Harassment: Harassment means unlawful harassment and constitutes a form of discrimination. It
is verbal or physical conduct based on an employee’s race, religion creed, color, national origin,
marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, ancestry, place of
birth or disability which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s
work or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Sexual Harassment: Is a form of sex discrimination and means unwelcome sexual advances,
requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition
of an individual's employment; or
b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a component of
the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's
work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working
environment.
Examples:
Harassment can include any unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct which offends,
denigrates, or belittles an individual because of an employee’s race, religion, creed, color,
national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity age, ancestry, place of
birth or disability. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, unsolicited derogatory
remarks, jokes, demeaning comments or behavior, slurs, mimicking, name calling, graffiti,
innuendo, gestures, physical contact, stalking, threatening, bullying, extorting or the display
or circulation of written materials or pictures.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, unwelcome
touching, crude jokes or pictures, discussions of sexual experiences, teasing related to
sexual characteristics, pressure for sexual activity whether written, verbal or through
physical gestures, display or sending of pornographic pictures or objects, obscene graffiti,
and spreading rumors related to a person's alleged sexual activities.

Racial and Color Harassment:
Racial or color harassment can include unwelcome
verbal, written or physical conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s race or color
such as nicknames emphasizing stereotypes, racial slurs, comments on manner of speaking,
and negative references to racial customs.

Creed Harassment: Harassment on the basis of creed includes unwelcome verbal, written
or physical conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s religion or creed such as
derogatory comments regarding surnames, religious tradition, or religious clothing, or
religious slurs or graffiti.

National Origin Harassment:
Harassment on the basis of national origin includes
unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s
national origin such as negative comments regarding surnames, manner of speaking,
customs, language or ethnic slurs.

Marital Status Harassment:
Harassment on the basis of marital status includes
unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s
marital status, such as comments regarding pregnancy or being an unwed mother or father.

Sexual Orientation Harassment: Harassment on the basis of sexual orientation includes
unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at the characteristics of a person’s
sexual orientation such as negative name calling and imitating mannerisms.

Gender Identity Harassment:
Harassment on the basis of gender identity includes
unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at an individual’s actual or
perceived gender identity, or gender-related characteristics intrinsically related to an
individual’s gender or gender identity, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.

Disability Harassment:
Harassment on the basis of a person’s disabling mental or
physical condition includes any unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at
the characteristics of a person’s disabling condition such as imitating manner of speech or
movement, or interference with necessary equipment. Harassment includes, but is not
limited to, examples cited in this policy.

Reporting :

By Employees: It is the express policy of the Hartford School District to encourage employee
targets of harassment and employees who have first-hand knowledge of such harassment to report
such claims. Employees who witness or are targets of harassment are encouraged to report the
incident(s) immediately to their immediate supervisor or another administrator who is not the
subject of the complaint as may be appropriate under the circumstances. Targets of harassment are
encouraged to directly inform the person engaging in the harassing conduct or communication that
such conduct or communication is offensive and must stop.

Privacy: Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate
and act on investigative results.

Retaliation:

There will be no adverse action taken against a person for making a complaint of harassment when
the complainant honestly believes harassment has occurred or is occurring, or for participating in or
cooperating with an investigation. Any individual who retaliates against any employee or student,
who reports, testifies, assists or participates in an investigation or hearing relating to a harassment
complaint will be subject to discipline by the School District.

Administrative Responsibility and Action :

Reporting: An employee who receives a complaint of harassment shall promptly inform the
Principal (or designee) or another administrator who is not the subject of the complaint.

Investigation: The School District is responsible for acting on any information regarding
harassment of which it is aware. The Superintendent shall provide for a thorough, prompt
investigation of the incident; the investigation and written report shall be completed in a timely
fashion in accordance with school procedures after a report or complaint, formal or informal,
written or oral, has been received. No person who is the subject of a complaint shall conduct such
an investigation.

Final Action on Complaint: The School District shall take disciplinary or remedial action as
appropriate in order to ensure that further harassment does not occur. Such action may include, but
is not limited to, education, training, counseling, transfer, suspension and/or expulsion of a student
and education, training, counseling, transfer, suspension and/or termination of an employee.

False Complaint: Any person who knowingly makes a false accusation regarding harassment will
be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge of employees, or suspension and
expulsion of students.

Appeal: A person judged to be in violation of this policy and subjected to action under it may
appeal the determination and/or the action taken in accordance with procedures adopted under
this policy. The procedures shall be consistent with the provisions of any applicable collective
bargaining agreement.
Dissemination: The Superintendent shall use all reasonable means to inform students, employees,
and the community that the District will not tolerate harassment. A copy of this policy shall be

provided to students, staff and parents each year and shall be included in the appropriate materials
that are disseminated to the school and community.

Training: The Superintendent shall develop age-appropriate methods of discussing the meaning
and substance of this policy with staff and students in order to help prevent harassment. Training
may be implemented in the context of employee professional development and the school
curriculum to develop broad awareness and understanding among all members of the school
community.

State and Federal Discrimination Enforcement Agencies: A complainant who is dissatisfied
with this employer’s action, or is otherwise interested in doing so, may file a complaint by writing
any of the following state or federal agencies.

Vermont Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Unit, 109 State Street,
Montpelier VT 05609. Tel: 802-828-3171.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1 Congress Street, Boston MA 02114.
Tel: 617-565-3200.

Te Warned:
March 1,005
Date Adopted:
April 12, 2005
Date Revisd:
August 11, 2009
Legal Reference(s):9 V.S.A. §§4502 et seq. (Public accommodations)
16 V.S.A. 11(a)(26) (Definitions)
21 V.S.A. §§495 et seq. (Unlawful employment practice, sexual harassment)
42 U.S.C. §§2000e et seq. (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
29 C.F.R. 1604.11 (Equal Opportunity Employment Commission)
Cross Reference: Harassment of Students
Board Commitment to Non-Discrimination