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Personnel and Office Policies and Procedures
Sections: Basic | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Miscellaneous

SECTION 9

GENERAL NON-HARRASSMENT POLICY

Section 9.1 Purpose: It is the policy of the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC) to maintain a work environment free of intimidation, insult, and harassment based upon race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry or disability. The NCRPC is also opposed to any employee being harassed on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry or disability by a board member, public member, vendor, client or customer. To insure that this policy is strictly adhered to, the NCRPC will not tolerate the harassment of any of its employees, and will take immediate disciplinary action if such behavior should occur.

Section 9.2 Definition: Harassment on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry or disability is a form of discrimination and is an "unlawful employment practice" under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It is illegal when it is part of a manager's or supervisor's decision to hire or fire someone; when it is used to make other employment decisions such as pay, promotion, or job assignment; when it interferes with the employee's work performance; or when it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

For clarification purposes, sexual harassment is defined as:

1. The threat or insinuation by one employee or group of employees or by anyone representing one of those categories named in Section 9.1, either explicitly or implicitly, that his/her refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect his/her employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts or any other condition of employment or career development; or

2. The subjecting of an employee(s) by another employee(s) to unsolicited and unwelcomed sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical, so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Section 9.3 Policy: The NCRPC's policy on harassment is as follows.

1. No employee, whether supervisory or non-supervisory, may harass another employee.

2. Any employee who believes that they are the victim of harassment shall immediately report the incident(s) in the manner prescribed in Section 9.4.

3. All complaints involving claims or harassment shall be promptly and confidentially (as practical) investigated. The employee filing the complaint shall be advised of the results of the investigation.

4. Any employee, supervisory or non-supervisory, found to have engaged in harassment of another employee will be disciplined, up to and including discharge. When appropriate, the employee filing the complaint will be encouraged to file criminal charges against the harasser.

Section 9.4 Complaint Procedure: Any employee who feels he/she is being subjected to harassment should immediately contact one of the persons listed below with who the employee feels the most comfortable. Complaints may be made orally or in writing to:

1. The employee's immediate supervisor;

2. The Executive Director; or

3. The Chairman of the NCRPC Executive Committee.

The employee should be prepared to provide the following information:

1. Employee's name and position title.

2. The name of the person or persons committing the harassment.

3. The date(s) and approximate time(s) of the harassment.

4. The specific nature of the harassment, how long it has gone on, and any employment action (demotion, failure to promote, dismissal, refusal to hire, transfer, etc.) taken against him/her as a result of the harassment, or any other threats made against him/her as a result of the harassment.

5. Witnesses to the harassment, if any.

6. Whether he/she has previously reported such harassment and, if so, when and to whom.

After receiving a harassment complaint, the recipient of the complaint shall assist the employee filing the complaint with documenting the incident in writing and the employee shall affix their signature attesting to the accuracy and truthfulness of the complaint. All information disclosed in the complaint procedure will be held in strictest confidence and will only be disclosed on a need-to-know basis in order to investigate and resolve the matter.

Section 9.5 Review of a Harassment Complaint: It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Director to coordinate the investigation and review of harassment complaints. The Executive Director may delegate the investigation to the appropriate NCRPC employee. If the Executive Director is the subject of the complaint, the Chairman shall coordinate the investigation of the complaint. The following procedures shall apply to the receipt, review, and handling of such complaints.

1. The person to whom the complaint is made shall immediately present it to the Executive Director.

2. An investigation into the alleged incident shall be promptly started.

3. The investigator shall make and keep a written record of the investigation, including notes of verbal responses made to the investigator by the person complaining of harassment, witnesses interviewed during the investigation, the person against whom the complaint of harassment was made, and any other person contacted by the investigator in connection with the investigation.

4. The investigator shall notify the employee accused of the harassment as promptly as possible of the complaint and the severity of the allegations (immediate notification is not necessary if such notification would jeopardize the investigation.)

5. The employee accused of the harassment shall be given appropriate opportunity to refute the allegation and present information and/or witnesses on his/her behalf.

6. Based upon the investigation report, the Executive Director shall determine whether the conduct of the person against whom a complaint of harassment has been made constitutes harassment. In making that determination, the Executive Director shall look at the record as a whole and at the totality of circumstances, including the nature of the conduct in question, the context in which the conduct, if any, occurred. The determination of whether harassment occurred will be made on a case-by-case basis.

7. If the Executive Director determines that the complaint of harassment is founded, he/she shall take immediate and appropriate disciplinary action against the employee guilty of harassment.

8. The disciplinary action shall be consistent with the nature and severity of the offense, whether a supervisory relationship exists, and any other factors the Executive Director believes fair and efficient administration of the NCRPC, including the effect of the offense on employee morale, public perception of the offense, and the light in which it casts the NCRPC. The disciplinary action may include demotion and/or suspension, dismissal, warning or reprimand. A determination of the level of disciplinary action shall also be made on a case-by-case basis.

9. If the Executive Director determines that the complaint of harassment is unfounded, he/she shall notify the employee accused of harassment on the determination and advise that no disciplinary action is warranted.

10. The employee making the complaint shall be notified of the results of the investigation and the discipline, if any, to be administered.

11. If the Executive Director determines after reviewing the investigation report that the complaint was intentionally falsified by the employee filing the complaint, the Executive Director shall take immediate and appropriate disciplinary action against said employee.

Section 9.6 Appeal of the Decision: Within ten (10) working days of the postmark of the written notification to the employee of the Executive Director's decision, the complaint or respondent may make a written request for a final review of the record by the NCRPC Executive Committee.

The NCRPC Executive Committee, in response to a timely appeal, will either:

1. Review the record and provide a final decision within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the appeal, or

2. Schedule an executive session with the appealing party to hear his/her appeal within ten (10) days following the receipt of the appeal.

1. The meeting date can be scheduled on any date, convenient to all parties, with mutual consent (including beyond the ten (10) day period).

2. A final decision will be made by the NCRPC Executive Committee within five (5) days following such meeting.

3. Copies of the decision shall be sent to the complainant and respondent by registered mail, return receipt requested, and a copy will be given to the Executive Director.

Section 9.7 Records of Harassment Complaint: All records, except those affected by Kansas Open Records Act, concerning a harassment complaint shall be confidential and kept in a separate locked file. Access shall be only with the Executive Director's approval to parties who have a direct and relevant need to know.



Updated 12/6/11
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