165.29  DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT, INCLUDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
   (a)   Policy
      (1)   The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a consistent effort in maintaining a work environment free of discrimination, and to prohibit harassment of any kind of and by its employees and applicants due to race, color, religion, sex, including sexual harassment, national origin, disability, age (40 years or older) or veteran status. In furtherance of the City's goal to create an environment for all City employees and visitors, which is fair and free from discrimination and harassment and of sexual coercion, the City hereby adopts a discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment policy and procedures as the basis for employee education and complaint resolution. Such policy shall fully comply with applicable Federal and State laws, rules, regulations and guidelines in the area of non- discrimination and harassment in employment. Discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment shall not be tolerated and are prohibited.
      (2)   Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination in violation of this policy and Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act os 1964 (as amended) and Ohio R.C. 4112.
   (b)   Definition.  "Sexual harassment" means any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
      (1)   Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of employment or participation in any other City activity;
      (2)   Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making personnel decisions affecting that individual; or
      (3)   Such sex based conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
   (c)   Types of Sexual Harassment.  Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following types of behavior:
      (1)   Sexually oriented verbal kidding or use of nicknames, insults or explicit remarks of a sexual nature;
      (2)   Physical contact(s) such as pinching, touching, kissing or brushing against another's body;
      (3)   Sexual advance(s) with the threat of punishment for non-compliance or with promise of a reward for compliance; or
      (4)   Physical assault(s) of a sexual nature.
   (d)   Procedure.  The procedures outlined below are designed to provide flexibility in dealing with the wide range of incidents, which fall under the term "sexual harassment." They are intended to be responsive to the particular situation at hand and are formal or informal as the allegations under review dictate.
      (1)   Any employee or applicant who believes that they have been discriminated against or subjected to harassment, including sexual harassment, should advise the offending individual that the action is not welcome and to stop;
      (2)   Any individual who is seeking information concerning discrimination or harassment or the complaint procedures should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO) or the appropriate department head, who will informally provide information and options available;
      (3)   Should any individual(s) wish to discuss a potential discrimination or harassment situation, they may go directly to the EEO, a department head or the Safety Service- Director (SSD). Initial discussions shall not make reference to the name of any accused person unless the complainant is ready to file a formal written complaint and proceed with an investigation;
      (4)   Should any individual(s) wish to file a discrimination or harassment complaint, the allegations must be submitted in writing to the EEO, who will initially discuss the matter with the complainant to ascertain, as fully as possible, the validity of the charges and the scope of the problem. Until this occurs, the matter will not be discussed with anyone other than the complainant. A complaint form is available in the Equal Employment Opportunity Office;
      (5)   Once the complaint has been filed, the EEO will:
         A.   Consult with the complainant(s);
         B.   Consult with the respondents(s);
         C.   Discuss with the appropriate person(s) identified by the complainants(s) and respondent(s) who may have knowledge of the situation and may be of assistance in establishing the facts; and
         D.   Prepare an investigative report within 30 days of receipt of the written complaint. The complaint will be submitted to the SSD for administrative decision within seven calendar days upon receipt by the SSD. A copy of the administrative action will be provided to the complainants(s), respondent(s), Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, department head and Administrative Legal Counsel.
         E.   The investigative authority of the EEO shall extend to all City employees regardless of elected office, reporting authority or supervisor, except for Step 6.
         F.   In complaints involving employees of elected officials and appointees such as Auditor, Municipal Judge(s), Clerk of Courts, Law Director or Clerk of Council, the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer's investigative authority and reporting shall apply as in division (d)(5)A. through F.
      (6)   A.   If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the administrative action by the SSD, they may appeal such in writing to the Mayor.
         B.   The appeal must be filed within seven calendar days of receipt of the Safety- Service Director's decision. The Mayor will review the appeal and respond, in writing, to all parties (respondent, complainant, the EEO and SSD) concerning the Mayor's disposition of the appeal. This must be done within ten calendar days after receiving the appeal.
      (7)   If a sexual harassment complaint involves the Mayor, SSD, or EEO or any elected official, the City's Administrative Legal Counsel will substitute for the involved City official according to the time frame and procedure outlined in division (d)(5)A. through F. of this policy.
   (e)   Investigative and Reporting.  The City's Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall act as the administrative coordinator of the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures set forth herein. The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall report directly to the Safety Service Director in this position and shall have the following responsibilities:
      (1)   Investigate and respond to complaints regarding the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures.
      (2)   Schedule and coordinate training sessions for staff and other segments of the community, as necessary.
      (3)   Provide information and referrals to individuals and groups requesting assistance such as the Employment Assistance Program (EAP), peer counseling, sensitivity training, and support group identification.
   (f)   Principles. In the investigating of complaints of sexual harassment, the following principles will be adhered to:
      (1)   Each complaint will be handled on an individual, case by case basis.
      (2)   The investigation will be conducted as fairly and expeditiously as possible.
      (3)   In investigating complaints of sexual harassment, confidentiality will be accorded the utmost respect for both the complainant(s) and respondent(s).
      (4)   An individual bringing forth a complaint of sexual harassment will not suffer any type of retaliation regardless of the outcome of the complaint.
      (5)   The complaint will be resolved in a manner, which is consistent with this policy and also fair and equitable to all parties concerned.
   (g)   Consensual Relationships. Dating relationships between city employees, or between supervisors and staff, are not illegal but may be unwise. Such consensual relationships may unfairly exploit power differences, violate the respect and trust given someone in authority and may subtly, and even inadvertently, pressure those in the more vulnerable position. Mutual consent relationships will not automatically provide immunity if a complaint of sexual harassment is filed.
   (h)   Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee.
      (1)   Membership.
         A.   Membership is intended to reflect the representation of the city staff.
         B.   Volunteers are encouraged.
         C.   The Mayor shall make appointments.
         D.   The Equal Employment Opportunity Officer shall serve as the chairperson.
         E.   Each Department Head will be asked to recommend one member from each of the following departments:
            1.   Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Chairperson
            2.   Auditor
            3.   Law Director
            4.   Municipal Judge(s)
            5.   Police
            6.   Fire
            7.   Health
            8.   Engineering
            9.   Building/Community Development
            10.   Communications
            11.   Streets
            12.   Parks and Recreation
            13.   Wastewater Plant, Water Pumping/Water Distribution
            14.   Utility, Sanitation
            15.   Administrative Legal Counsel - ex officio
      (2)   Charge.  The Charge to the City's E.E.O. Advisory Committee is to:
         A.   Review the city's E.E.O. and Affirmative Action policies;
         B.   Review the annual E.E.O./A.A. reports;
         C.   Produce advisory opinions at the charge of the Mayor; and
         D.   Other duties as assigned by the Mayor.
   (i)   Third Party Harassment. Third party harassment may occur when individuals are negatively affected by sexual harassment directed toward another person.
   (j)   Retaliatory Actions.  Attempts to take retaliatory action against the individuals involved or to influence the normal conduct of the grievance process will be considered a serious offense and is subject to disciplinary and/or other action.
   (k)   Disciplinary Actions. Appropriate sanctions will be imposed on individuals who were found to have engaged in sexual harassment or false allegations. Examples of possible sanctions are expulsion, warning letters in the individual's personnel file impacting upon salary, work assignment, promotion and contract renewal or job termination.
   (l)   False Allegations.  Any City employee, agent or visitor who knowingly or maliciously files a false allegation of sexual harassment is subject to disciplinary and/or other action(s).
   (m)   EEOC and Time Limitations.  City employees are encouraged to utilize this policy, prior to the filing of a complaint with an outside agency as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A complaint of sexual harassment must be filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the most recent incident. Individuals seeking to file with the EEOC may contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for contact information.
(Ord. 2001-190.  Passed 11-5-01 ; Ord. 2006-179.  Passed 12-18-06 .)