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An employee or individual who either observes sexual harassment or believes herself/himself to be the object of sexual harassment may complain to the Village.
A. Reporting of Incident: All employees, officers or other persons are urged to report any suspected sexual harassment by another employee, officer, volunteer, or other person conducting business with the Village to the Department Head and the Village Clerk, except where the person is the individual accused of the harassment. In that case the complaint should be reported to the Village Clerk's designated alternate. Upon the adoption of this policy, the name of the designated person shall be posted on all official bulletin boards of the Village. The report may be made initially either orally or in writing, but reports made orally must be reduced to writing. For incidents where a victim feels that an investigation or a complaint will be reviewed with prejudice by the Village Clerk or his/her designee, the victim shall report the matter to a detective in the Village of Worth Police Department, who shall issue a report of his findings to the Village Attorney.
In addition to the methods of reporting included above, any elected official, employee, non-employee, or patron may file a sexual harassment complaint with the attorney for the Village of Worth. This complaint will be promptly reviewed and investigated privately. A written report will then be submitted to the Village Board including findings of fact and a determination of whether the complaint is founded. If the complaint is founded the Village Board shall determine the appropriate remedy. Pursuant to the protections set forth in this policy and Illinois law, no retaliation may be taken against any person who files a complaint. Complaints may also be filed with the Illinois Human Rights Department, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Justice, and other federal or state agencies.
B. Investigation of Complaint: When a complaint has been reduced to writing, the Village Clerk or the individual informed above will initiate an investigation of the suspected sexual harassment within five (5) working days of the notification. If necessary, the Village representative receiving the complaint may designate another supervisory or management employee to assist him/her in the investigation. The investigation will include an interview with the person(s) who made the initial report, the person(s) towards whom the suspected harassment was directed, and the individual(s) accused of the harassment may also be interviewed.
C. Report: The person responsible for investigating the complaint shall prepare a written report within ten (10) working days of his/her notification of the suspected harassment unless extenuating circumstances prevent him/her from doing so. The report shall include a finding that sexual harassment occurred, sexual harassment did not occur, or there is inconclusive evidence as to whether sexual harassment occurred. A copy of the report will be given to the person(s) who made the initial report, the person(s) to whom the suspected harassment was directed, and the individual(s) accused of the harassment.
D. Confidentiality of Records: Persons who report incidents of sexual harassment are encouraged to keep written notes in order to accurately record the offensive conduct. Every effort shall be made to keep all matters related to the investigation and various reports confidential. In the event of a lawsuit, however, the Village advises that records it maintains and the complainant maintains may be not considered privileged from disclosure.
E. Timeframe for Reporting Complaint: The Village encourages a prompt reporting of complaints so that rapid response and appropriate action may be takes. However, due to the sensitivity of these problems and because of the emotional toll such misconduct may have on an individual; no limited timeframe will be instituted for reporting sexual harassments complaints. Delayed reporting of complaints will not, in and of itself, preclude the Village from taking remedial action.
F. Appeals: If either party directly involved in a sexual harassment investigation is dissatisfied with the outcome or resolution, that individual has the right to appeal the decision. The dissatisfied party should submit his/her written comments in a timely manner to the Village President.
G. External Complaints: Any employee who believes they have been the subject of harassment or retaliation for complaining about harassment also has the right to file a charge of civil rights violations with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and, if substantial evidence to support the charge is found to exist, to have such an opportunity as provided by law and applicable regulations to engage in conciliation with the Village and/or to have the charge heard in a public hearing before an Administrative Law Judge of the Illinois Human Rights Commission or in a court of law, as provided by statute. For further information, you may call or write to the Illinois Department Human Rights, 100 W. Randolph Street, Room 10-100, Chicago, Illinois 60631, (312)814-6269. (Ord. 2017-41, 12-5-2017; amd. Ord. 2020-17, 6-2-2020)