Procedure 2762

Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination


Northland Pioneer College, consistent with its commitment to provide a healthy working and learning environment for all faculty, staff and students, will not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination that violates federal or state law.

I. DEFINITIONS
  1. Sexual Harassment - Sexual Harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or student status,
    2. submission or rejection to such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals, or a student's status, or
    3. such conduct has the purpose of effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
  2. Unlawful Discrimination - Not all discrimination is unlawful. For example, discrimination based on merit such as in awarding differing grades to students based on performance is lawful. Likewise, employment discrimination based on performance, all things being equal is lawful. Unlawful discrimination is that discrimination prohibited by law such as discrimination in employment based on race, color or national origin. Likewise, discrimination based on age as defined by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or based on disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act is illegal. Generally speaking, discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion is illegal and will not be tolerated at Northland Pioneer College.
II. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
  1. Human Resources Office - The Human Resources Office shall provide educational and training programs that will assist members of the College community in understanding that sexual harassment, hazing, and unlawful discrimination will not be tolerated, and to help the College community understand and recognize discrimination and harassment in its many forms, and to inform the College community how to report harassment or unlawful discrimination when it occurs. As part of this program, the Human Resources Office shall distribute copies of this procedure to all offices at the College and shall present periodic workshops and seminars at least once a year.
  2. Other Education - Supervisors and department heads shall also help educate employees under their direction or supervision about this procedure concerning Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination. Student Services administrators shall help provide the student body information about the College's procedure concerning Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination.
III.COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
  1. Duty to Report - Any employee who feels that he or she has been sexually harassed or unlawfully discriminated against shall immediately report it to their supervisor, department head or Vice President. Any student who feels that he or she has been sexually harassed or unlawfully discriminated against shall immediately report it to any Student Services administrator or the Vice President of Learning and Student Services. In the event that the employee or student cannot report the conduct to one of these persons, or in the event that the supervisor, department head, Student Services administrator, or a Vice President is the person accused, the employee or student shall report the harassment to the Human Resources Office. In the event the Human Resources Office is involved, the report shall be to the President. In the event the President is the subject of the complaint the report shall be to the Board.
  2. Supervisor Duty to Report - Any employee, supervisor, department head or Student Services administrator who becomes aware of possible harassment of, or unlawful discrimination against, an employee or student, either as a result of having received a complaint directly from the employee or student, or from any other reliable source of information, shall immediately report the harassment to the appropriate supervisor, department head or Vice President; or in the event that the supervisor, department head or Vice President is the person accused, the supervisor shall report the harassment to the Human Resources Office. All such reports shall be in writing.
  3. Investigation - All reports of harassment or discrimination shall be investigated by Northland Pioneer College. The Vice President or Dean of the affected department, the Vice President of Learning and Student Services, or an individual appointed by the President in consultation with College Counsel shall conduct an investigation and recommend corrective action to the President. All complaints of Sexual Harassment or Unlawful Discrimination shall be promptly and thoroughly investigated. To the extent possible, a complaint will be treated as confidential; however, the College has a responsibility to all employees and students to investigate Harassment or Unlawful Discrimination charges, which may include interviewing the offenders and any possible witnesses. Following the investigation, the entity conducting the investigation shall recommend appropriate action on all violations of this procedure concerning Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination and shall file a written report of its investigation including any corrective action suggested with the President. In the event that the harassment complaint involves the President, the Board shall perform the responsibilities of the President in the matter.
  4. No Retaliation - Under no circumstances will anyone be retaliated against for making a good faith complaint concerning harassment.
IV. DISCIPLINE
  1. Corrective Action - Any employee or student who has been found to have violated this procedure concerning Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. The President or his or her designee shall impose corrective action or discipline based on the report of the investigation.
  2. Appeal - If the corrective action is covered by Procedure 2755 (Due Process: Suspension without pay or dismissal) College shall proceed accordingly. If the corrective action involves a student, Northland Pioneer College shall follow Procedure 2625. If the corrective action does not involve Procedure 2755 or a student, the individual involved may request an opportunity to present information or evidence to the President regarding the corrective action. Such a request shall be in writing and include a description of the information, why it is relevant, and whether it was previously disclosed in the process of the investigation. The President may meet with the employee, confer with the employee or others or otherwise consider the information. The President shall render his or her decision within a reasonable time. The President's decision is final. An aggrieved student complainant may grieve under Procedure 2605 any action or inaction if the college does not initiate a Student Conduct Code proceeding. The presiding authority in any proceeding brought under any Northland Pioneer College procedure may protect an alleged victim of sexual harassment from further harassment by allowing appropriate modifications to procedure upon the agreement of the College.
  3. General Duties of College Personnel and Students - In addition to the specific reporting requirements under the complaint portion of this procedure, all College employees, faculty, students and staff have a responsibility to maintain a proper learning environment at Northland Pioneer College. That responsibility includes not participating in or encouraging unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment, and when necessary to preserve a proper learning environment, reporting any unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment and cooperating in any investigation of improper conduct. A failure to fulfill the responsibility detailed in this subsection is cause for discipline up to and including expulsion or termination.
  4. False Accusations - The College recognizes that false accusations of harassment or unlawful discrimination, especially of sexual harassment, may have serious effects on innocent individuals. Any employee or student who knowingly files a false charge of harassment or unlawful discrimination or gives false information concerning a charge of harassment or unlawful discrimination shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

[Based on Policy #1541; Revised 6/06]