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(a) The City of Harrison hereby adopts a sexual harassment policy, a copy of which is set forth below.
(b) The Municipal Prosecutor is hereby appointed as the "Compliance Officer."
(c) The Director of Law is hereby directed to arrange for the distribution of this policy to all employees of the City and to arrange for the conduct of in-service training to all employees of the City with regard to this policy.
(d) Policy Statement. The City of Harrison (hereafter the "City") is committed to maintaining a professional work environment in which all employees are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere which promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical or occurring in or out of the City buildings and offices, at City-sponsored social functions or activities or elsewhere, is illegal, unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
(e) Definition of Sexual Harassment. "Sexual harassment" is defined as unwelcome and unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(1) Submission to or rejection of this conduct by an individual is used explicitly or implicitly as a factor in decisions affecting hiring, evaluation, promotion or other aspects of employment; or
(2) Conduct which substantially interferes with an individual's employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances; demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment or continued employment; repeated sexual jokes; flirtations, advances or propositions; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic verbal commentary relating to an individual's body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; coerced sexual activities; any unwanted physical contact; sexually suggestive or obscene comments or gestures,; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive or obscene objects or pictures. The above conduct is unacceptable in the work environment and while on any City-related function or activity taking place in the City of Harrison.
While consenting romantic and sexual relationships between employees is not expressly forbidden, such relationships are considered unwise due to the real or perceived power one person may have over the other which may override claims of consent raised at some later date.
(f) Reporting Procedure.
(1) Informal resolution. The City encourages individuals who believe they are being harassed to clearly and promptly notify the offender that the behavior is unwelcome. If the individual does not wish to approach the offender directly, or if the notice does not end the harassment, then the individual should immediately notify the Compliance Officer, noted below. This informal procedure is not required.
(2) Formal procedure. If an employee believes that they have been subject to sexual harassment, they shall report the incident immediately to the Municipal Prosecutor (hereafter the "Compliance Officer"). If for any reason the individual cannot, or chooses not to, notify the Compliance Officer, then the individual may notify the Mayor of the alleged harassment.
Any complaint of sexual harassment shall be reduced to writing by either the reporting individual or the individual receiving the complaint, in order to ensure an accurate record of the behavior. This written report shall remain confidential to the extent permitted by law. Prompt reporting of complaints is encouraged and necessary as it permits for a timely response and resolution of the complaint.
Upon receiving notification of the sexual harassment, the Compliance Officer, or the Mayor, shall promptly begin an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the complaint. The Compliance Officer or the Mayor may contact legal counsel for guidance or aid in the investigation, or may direct legal counsel to conduct the investigation. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigative process to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances.
Upon receipt of a complaint or other specific information regarding possible sexual harassment, the person responsible for investigation shall:
A. Promptly and confidentially notify the Department Director, the Mayor and the Law Director if these persons are not alleged to be involved in the complaint.
B. Promptly and confidentially investigate the incident(s) and surrounding circumstances by talking to, and obtaining signed statements from, witnesses or other persons having information. This should be done before contacting the alleged offender. If there is substance to the allegation, the investigation may be more productive if witness information is gathered before the alleged offender knows the investigation is underway.
C. After conducting the first interviews with witnesses, the investigator should advise the alleged offender of the complaint even if the allegations have already been disproved. If the problem is a misunderstanding, future incidents can be prevented. On the other hand, if the allegations are true, they may be admitted by the offender, with or without statements of justification or mitigation.
D. If the allegation is not proven or admitted during subsections (f)(2)A and B hereof, the investigator shall conduct further investigation until he/she has made a determination or it becomes apparent that further investigation is unlikely to lead to a reliable conclusion.
E. Throughout the investigation, a conscious effort must be made to judge the credibility of the information received. In particular, any circumstances of the information received. In particular, any circumstances which could lead to the complainant or witnesses to give false or substantially biased information must be identified, investigated or considered.
F. If the investigation confirms that a serious incident has occurred or a pattern of behavior constituting sexual harassment may have been established, the investigator shall report any findings to the Mayor in writing, with a recommendation for disciplinary action or other remedial measures. If the investigation either exonerates the alleged offender or is inconclusive, the investigator shall report those findings in writing to the Mayor.
G. After the investigation of a complaint is concluded, the Compliance Officer shall advise the complainant and alleged offender of the conclusions reached and any action taken.
(g) Discipline. Any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment shall be disciplined. Appropriate sanctions may include, but are not limited to: oral or written reprimand, referral to counseling, reassignment, suspension without pay, or termination of employment.
However, if the investigation reveals that the individual making the complaint has falsely accused another employee of sexual harassment, the complaining individual shall be subject to discipline, including but not limited to: oral or written reprimand, suspension, and termination of employment.
(h) Protection Against Retaliation. The City shall not retaliate against an individual who makes a valid report of sexual harassment, nor permit any other employee to do so. Any retaliation experienced by the reporting individual should be reported immediately to the Compliance Officer, or the Mayor. Any employee found to have retaliated against an individual reporting sexual harassment shall be subject to the appropriate disciplinary measures, including, but not limited to: written or oral reprimand, referral to counseling, suspension, or termination.
(Ord. 1-17. Passed 1-17-17.)