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(A) (1) An employee who either observes sexual harassment or believes himself or herself to be the object of sexual harassment should deal with the incident(s) as directly and firmly as possible by clearly communicating his or her position to the offending employee, and his or her immediate supervisor.
(2) It is not necessary for sexual harassment to be directed at the person making the report.
(B) Any employee may report conduct which is believed to be sexual harassment, including the following.
(1) Electronic/direct communication. If there is sexual harassing behavior in the workplace, the harassed employee should directly and clearly express his or her objection that the conduct is unwelcome and request that the offending behavior stop. The initial message may be verbal. If subsequent messages are needed, they should be put in writing in a note or a memo.
(2) Contact with supervisory personnel.
(a) At the same time direct communication is undertaken, or in the event the employee feels threatened or intimidated by the situation, the problem must be promptly reported to the immediate supervisor of the person making the report, a department head, a Director of Human Resources, an Ethics Officer, the Village Manager or Administrator, or the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality.
(b) The employee experiencing what she or he believes to be sexual harassment must not assume that the employer is aware of the conduct. If there are no witnesses and the victim fails to notify a supervisor or other responsible officer, the municipality will not be presumed to have knowledge of the harassment.
(3) Resolution outside municipality.
(a) The purpose of this policy is to establish prompt, thorough and effective procedures for responding to every report and incident so that problems can be identified and remedied by the municipality. However, all municipal employees have the right to contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for information regarding filing a formal complaint with those entities.
(b) An IDHR complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged incident(s) unless it is a continuing offense. A complaint with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days.
(C) Documentation of any incident may be submitted with any report (what was said or done, the date, the time, and the place), including, but not limited to, written records such as letters, notes, memos, and telephone messages.
(D) All allegations, including anonymous reports, will be accepted and investigated regardless of how the matter comes to the attention of the municipality. However, because of the serious implications of sexual harassment charges, the difficulties associated with their investigation, and the questions of credibility involved, the claimant’s willing cooperation is a vital component of an effective inquiry and an appropriate outcome.
(Ord. 18-O-1, passed 1-2-2018)