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(A) Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, being 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. and is prohibited under the township’s anti-harassment policy. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), SEXUAL HARASSMENT is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature ... when ... submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions ... or such conduct has the purpose or effect of ... creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.”
(B) Sexual harassment occurs when unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:
(1) Is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment;
(2) Is used as a basis for an employment decision; and
(3) Unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment.
(C) Sexual harassment may take different forms. The following examples of sexual harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:
(1) Verbal sexual harassment includes innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats; requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome;
(2) Nonverbal sexual harassment includes the distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters, notes, facsimiles, e-mails, photos, text messages, tweets and internet postings; or other forms of communication that are sexual in nature and offensive; and
(3) Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling and forced sexual intercourse or assault.
(D) Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, noncoercive interactions between employees that are appropriate in the workplace and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment.
(E) Consensual romantic or sexual relationships.
(1) The township strongly discourages romantic or sexual relationships between a manager or other supervisory employee and his or her staff (an employee who reports directly or indirectly to that person) because such relationships tend to create compromising conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts. In addition, such a relationship may give rise to the perception by others that there is favoritism or bias in employment decisions affecting the staff employee. Moreover, given the uneven balance of power within such relationships, consent by the staff member is suspect and may be viewed by others, or at a later date by the staff member, as having been given as the result of coercion or intimidation. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias, favoritism, intimidation, coercion or exploitation undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy work environment. If there is such a relationship, the parties need to be aware that one or both may be moved to a different department or other actions may be taken.
(2) If any employee of the township enters into a consensual relationship that is romantic or sexual in nature with a member of his or her staff (an employee who reports directly or indirectly to him or her), or if one of the parties is in a supervisory capacity in the same department in which the other party works, the parties must notify an appropriate township officer. Because of potential issues regarding quid pro quo harassment, the township has made reporting mandatory. This requirement does not apply to employees who do not work in the same department or to parties where neither one supervises or otherwise manages responsibilities over the other.
(3) Once the relationship is made known to the township, the township will review the situation in light of all the facts (reporting relationship between the parties, effect on co-workers, job titles of the parties and the like) and will determine whether one or both parties need to be moved to another job or department. If it is determined that one party must be moved, and there are jobs in other departments available for both, the parties may decide who will be the one to apply for a new position. If the parties cannot amicably come to a decision, or the party is not chosen for the position to which he or she applied, the Supervisor will decide which party will be moved. That decision will be based on which move will be least disruptive to the organization as a whole. If no other jobs are available for either party, the parties will be given the option of terminating their relationship or resigning.
(Board and Administrative Policies Manual, § 9.5)