Date Updated: 11/10/11
This document is intended to provide a policy and procedure to protect the rights of claimants and respondents at Clayton State University and to affirm and support an environment free of sexual harassment through the protection of these rights and the standardization of practices.
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Clayton State University is committed to a working and learning environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. No member of this environment, including faculty, staff, and students, should be subjected to sexual harassment. Each person has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including sexual harassment. Clayton State University will not condone the sexual exploitation of individuals in connection with any work, academic, extracurricular, athletic and/or programs whether these programs take place in university facilities (including off-campus sites), at a class or training program sponsored by the university at another location, or elsewhere and expects that all relationships within the university community be free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a violation of law, and thus is a basis for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, or for students, dismissal. In addition to students, faculty and staff, this policy also applies to all non-employee professionals, consultants, independent contractors and their employees and employees of contract services.
Retaliation against any member of the CSU community who has reported sexual harassment or filed a sexual harassment complaint or has cooperated in the resolution or investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is also prohibited. Any member of the CSU community engaged in retaliatory conduct is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, or for students, dismissal.
and Statutory Reference - Harassment on the basis of sex is discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.§2000e, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681. Sexual harassment most often exploits a relationship between individuals of unequal power and authority (i.e. between an employee and supervisor or between a student and a faculty member) but may also occur between students or employees of equal rank. Sexual harassment is not limited by gender of either party, or by superior/subordinate relationships. At a university, sexual harassment also constitutes unprofessional conduct which compromises the university's commitment to the pursuit of learning.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal and written comments, or physical conduct of a sexual nature may constitute sexual harassment when such conduct occurs in one or more of the following conditions:
In relation to the foregoing statements, sexually harassing behavior may include, but is not limited to, the following:
Third parties may be defined but not limited to the following:
The ultimate responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy is with the President of the university. The Senior Academic Officer, the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator and the Vice President for Student Affairs (or the persons in equivalent positions) will see that the Sexual Harassment Policy is communicated on a routine basis through the faculty, staff and student handbooks. Every student, faculty member and staff member is expected to become aware of and support this policy.
Failure of supervisors to respond to allegations or delaying an investigation of sexual harassment in a timely manner is a violation of policy and a violation of the law. Each dean, director, department/section chair, department manager, or other person with supervisory responsibility is required to report any complaint or allegation of sexual harassment to the appropriate university official.
The university is prepared to take preventive and corrective action in cases of sexual harassment; individuals who engage in such misconduct are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
All efforts will be made to respect the right to confidentiality of all parties involved in a sexual harassment charge. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed under certain laws.
If a student Complainant requests that his or her name or other identifiable information not be revealed, the University will evaluate that request in the context of its obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory educational environment for all students.
Making false or malicious allegations of sexual harassment is prohibited. Persons who make such allegations are subject to sanctions imposed by the University or charges filed. Repeated filing or frivolous allegations or complaints will be considered a malicious action. Of course, the failure to substantiate a sexual harassment charge does not automatically constitute an instance of malicious allegation.
Any member of the university community (including, staff, faculty, students, etc.) who believes he or she has observed or been the victim of sexual harassment as defined above (the Complainant) should promptly report the matter to Human Resources and/or Title IX Coordinator (678-466-4230 or HumanResources@clayton.edu).
The initial discussion between someone reporting sexual harassment or the Complainant and the appropriate university official will be handled with sensitivity and discretion. The appropriate university official will inquire into all reports of alleged sexual harassment brought to his or her attention.
During the initial meeting with the appropriate university official, a written summary of the complaint will be made and should be signed by the Complainant or person reporting an incident.
The appropriate university official will inform the alleged offender of the allegation and will provide him or her with a written summary of the Complaint and will proceed as set forth in the following section.
If a student Complainant requests confidentiality or for the University not to pursue the complaint the University will take appropriate measures to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the Complainant’s request.
When an allegation is made or a Complaint is submitted, the appropriate University official will discuss the matter with the parties promptly, will notify the appropriate Dean or Vice President of the charge, and may initiate steps he or she deems appropriate to affect an informal resolution of the Complaint acceptable to the parties within 15 calendar days of a report. If an informal resolution is reached, it will be documented in writing, approved by the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Officer or the Vice President for Student Affairs, as appropriate, and agreed to and signed by the Complainant and the Respondent. It is important to note that mediation or other forms of informal resolution will not be used to resolve sexual assault complaints.
If an informal resolution satisfactory to the Parties is not reached within 15 calendar days after an incident is reported; or if in the sole discretion of the appropriate university official, an informal resolution is not possible or appropriate; the university official will proceed with a full investigation. A report of the results of the investigation along with a recommendation for resolution of the allegation or Complaint and/or disciplinary action will be made to the appropriate vice president within 60 days of the date the investigation was initiated. When the investigation is concluded and resolution approved by the appropriate vice president, the Director of Human Resources/Title IX Officer and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs will notify the Complainant and Respondent of the results of the investigation and initiate prompt remedial or corrective action where warranted.
In the event the actions were of such an egregious nature that the individual would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the campus, immediate action may be taken. The accused individual shall be given written notice of the intention to impose the suspension or removal from campus and shall be afforded due process. This policy does not preclude anyone from pursuing a complaint, at any stage of the process, with any external agency.
Either individual shall have the right to appeal the decision to the President or his/her designee. In exercising the right of appeal to the President as provided by this procedure, a written appeal must be made within ten (10) working days after written notification of the decision which is being appealed. The President or his/her designee may receive additional information if he/she believes such information would aid in the decision. A decision will be made within a reasonable time and the appropriate university official, the Complainant, and the respondent will be notified of the decision. During the time of appeal and review, disciplinary action taken as a result of the original complaint, may be implemented and enforced..