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Human Resources

Board of Trustees Policy

SUBJECT:

Policy Against Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence and Retaliation and Grievance Procedure in accordance with Title IX

NUMBER:
6.17
DATE:
April 15, 2013
SUPERSEDES:
January 23, 2012

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to comply with the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et. seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the course of any federally funded educational program or activity. This policy also will articulate the scope of sex discrimination as defined in Title IX to include sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will establish a procedure for recourse, resolution and rehabilitation of all complainants and victims of all forms of sex discrimination, while protecting the due process rights for alleged perpetrators of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence.

Scope

Any case of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence involving students or employees of Montgomery County Community College, while enrolled or employed in any educational program or activity at the College.

Policy

In accordance with the provisions of Title IX, the College prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any of its educational programs and activities, to include any programs and activities sponsored by the College, conducted on or off campus, and while en route to such programs and activities, in college owned, or college sponsored transportation. Unlawful employment discrimination, sexual violence and sexual harassment by officers, managers, faculty, supervisors, employees, students, advisors, vendors, clientele, and contractors is a violation of this policy.

All complaints of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment or sexual violence, must be brought to the immediate attention of the Title IX Coordinator for the College. The Title IX Coordinator for the College is the Director of Equity and Diversity Initiatives and may be reached at College Hall on the Central Campus, by phone at 215-619-7383, or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The College has an affirmative duty pursuant to Title IX to take immediate and appropriate action once it knows, or reasonably should have known, of any act of sex discrimination, to include sexual harassment and sexual violence in any of its educational programs and activities. The College will act on any complaint of sex discrimination, to include sexual harassment and sexual violence in order to resolve such complaints promptly and equitably.

Complainants who make good faith complaints are protected from retaliation pursuant to Title IX, this policy, the College’s policy against Sexual Harassment, and the College’s Whistleblower Policy. Any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination or sexual violence, or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment sexual violence or unlawful discrimination, is a violation of this policy and Title IX.

Persons who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, suspension, expulsions and/or termination of the contractual relationship.

Definitions

Discrimination on the basis of sex is illegal under both federal and state law and is strictly prohibited by the College. Sex discrimination can be manifested by unequal access to educational programs and activities on the basis of sex, unequal treatment on the basis of sex in the course of conducting those programs and activities, or, the existence of a program or activity that has a disparate impact on participation, improperly based on the sex of the participants.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under both federal and state law and is strictly prohibited by the College. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement or participation in College programs or activities, or is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
  2. Rejection of such advances, requests or conduct affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement or participation in College programs or activities, or is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, academic performance, education, or participation in College programs or activities, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, work or academic environment.

Sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under both federal and state law and is strictly prohibited by the College. Sexual violence is defined as physical sexual acts conducted either against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, including but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

For specific information on the College’s procedures for reporting and obtaining assistance in the event of a sexual assault, please refer to the Sexual Assault Procedures link on the College’s Public Safety web page.

Employee, Faculty and Student Responsibilities

Each employee, faculty member, administrator and student of the College is personally responsible for ensuring that s/he she does not engage in conduct that violates this policy. Each employee, faculty member, administrator and student is responsible for cooperating in any investigation of alleged sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination or retaliation if requested to do so by the person conducting the investigation.

Title IX Grievance Procedure

Anyone who believes that s/he, or any other member of the College community, to be a victim of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence prohibited by this policy, whether by a supervisor, a co-worker, faculty member, student, vendor, contractor or any other person with whom s/he comes in contact at the College, in the course of any educational program or activity at the College, should report the incident directly to the Title IX Coordinator for the College. The Title IX Coordinator for the College is the Director of Equity and Diversity Initiatives and may be reached at College Hall on the Central Campus, by phone at 215-619-7383, or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Any person who receives a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination or sexual violence or retaliation from an employee or student, or who otherwise knows or has reason to believe that an employee or student has been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination or sexual violence or retaliation, is expected to report the incident promptly to the Title IX Coordinator for the College.

The Title IX Coordinator will conduct a prompt and appropriate investigation into any allegation of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence or retaliation, so as to enable a prompt and equitable response under all circumstances and in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation by the Title IX Coordinator will be completed within 15 days of receipt of the complaint unless the timeframe must be extended for good cause by the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will allow the parties to present witnesses and other evidence during the investigation. The investigation will continue whether or not the complaint also is being investigated by another agency or law enforcement unless the Title IX Coordinator’s investigation would impede law enforcement’s investigation. If the investigation is suspended during an investigation by law enforcement, the College will implement interim steps to protect the victim’s safety.

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the specific complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will immediately contact agencies and organizations to effect immediate relief, care, and support for the complainant and/or the victim in any given case including but not limited to:

  1. The closest, competent health care facility
  2. The police department and campus public safety
  3. The Student Support Referral Team (SSRT)
  4. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

As an immediate priority, care will be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant and/or victim, and to exercise all precautionary measures to prevent a repeat of the alleged incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Accordingly, interim measures such as a temporary suspension, may be implemented pending a hearing on the matter.

The Title IX Coordinator will inform the complaining victim in a case of sexual violence of the right to file a criminal complaint. In cases of allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence between students, a judicial hearing consistent with the Student Code of Conduct will be conducted following the conclusion of any investigation into the matter.

Upon completion of the investigation, any case of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence or retaliation, will be referred to the appropriate administrative division’s Vice-President for further prompt and equitable proceedings consistent with the College’s relevant workplace conduct policies, the College’s Collective Bargaining agreements, or the College’s Student Code of Conduct.

Disciplinary Action

In the event that the investigation reveals that sexual harassment, sexual violence, discrimination, retaliation or other inappropriate or unprofessional conduct (even if not unlawful) has occurred, further action will be taken, including disciplinary action, such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privileges, mandatory training or suspension, and/or immediate termination. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the College will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate the College also will impose disciplinary action. The College will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any discrimination, sexual violence, sexual harassment and/or retaliation by taking the appropriate action, which may depending upon the circumstances, including but not limited to disciplinary action, reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privilege, mandatory training or suspension, expulsion and/or immediate termination.

Confidentiality

All actions taken to investigate and resolve complaints through this procedure shall be conducted with as much privacy, discretion and confidentiality as possible without compromising the thoroughness and fairness of the investigation. All persons involved are to treat the situation with respect. To conduct a thorough investigation, the Investigator(s) may discuss the complaint with witnesses and those persons involved in or affected by the complaint, and those persons necessary to assist in the investigation or to implement appropriate disciplinary actions.

Upon completion of the investigation, the individual(s) who made the complaint and the individual(s) against whom the complaint was made will be advised of the results of the investigation in writing and, where a remedy is determined to be appropriate, to inform the parties of the steps that will be taken to remedy the situation.

Appeal

Either the Complainant or Respondent may file an appeal of any decision concerning the resolution of the Title IX Coordinator’s investigation. An appeal by either party must be made in writing to the office of the Title IX Coordinator within 15 days of receipt of the notice of resolution of the matter. The written appeal must state, in detail, the reason(s) for the appeal and shall address one or more of the following:

  • If the appeal alleges that the findings of the investigator included relevant factual errors or omitted relevant facts, the appeal shall specify each factual error and/or details of each relevant fact that was omitted from the investigation.
  • If the appeal alleges substantive procedural errors, the person appealing shall identify each instance of said substantive procedural error.
  • If the appeal alleges relevant or substantive issues or questions concerning interpretation of College policy, the person appealing shall state, in detail, the issues or questions supporting this allegation.
  • If the appeal alleges that new information or evidence exists, the appeal shall specify the reason why this information was not available or not provided to the Investigator during the course of the investigation, including the reason why the information could not have been provided on a timely basis.
  • If the appeal alleges either that action or inaction of the supervisor in response to the findings of the investigation will not prevent future violations of this policy, the person appealing will specify, in detail, the reason(s) and basis for this allegation.

No disciplinary or other action based upon the original complaint findings shall be taken against the alleged offender during the appeals process, although temporary, interim measures may remain in place. The appeal process will be conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision maker.

If proceedings are held by the Judicial Hearing Board in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and a decision is rendered, an appeal must be submitted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.

No Retaliation for Filing a Complaint of Sexual Harassment or Unlawful Discrimination

Retaliation against any individual for making a complaint of sexual harassment, discrimination or sexual violence or for assisting in the investigation of such a complaint is a violation of this policy and will not be tolerated. Any acts of retaliation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, such as but not limited to reprimand, change in work assignment, loss of privileges, mandatory training or suspension and/or immediate termination.

False Accusations

Anyone who knowingly makes a false accusation of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation will be subject to appropriate sanctions which may include, but are not limited to, written warning, demotion, transfer, suspension, dismissal, expulsion or termination.

College Investigators of Complaints of Sexual Harassment and Unlawful Employment Discrimination

In addition to the Title IX Coordinator, the following Investigators are designated as those persons who are charged with coordinating the College’s implementation of this policy, and investigating complaints of sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination or retaliation for the College. They may be contacted to initiate an investigation under the policy or to answer questions regarding this policy. The College also reserves the right to retain an outside investigator(s) to investigate complaints regarding violations of this policy.

  • Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Executive Director of Human Resources

The Complainant or the Respondent might allege that the investigator has a substantial conflict of interest that might impair his/her ability to conduct a fair and impartial investigation of the allegations. In that event, details supporting the alleged conflict of interest must be submitted, in writing, to the Office of Equity and Diversity Initiatives within 5 days of receiving notice of the identity of the investigator. A determination will be made about the existence of a conflict of interest and, if such a conflict is found to exist, an alternative investigator will be appointed as expeditiously as possible. In the event that a request is made and an alternate investigator must be appointed, any specific timeline provided for in the complaint procedure shall be suspended pending the determination and/or appointment.

State and Federal Agencies

In addition to the above, employees who believe that they may have been subjected to sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination, may file a formal complaint with government agencies set forth below. Students may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. Using the College’s complaint process does not prohibit an employee or student from filing a complaint with these agencies.

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
801 Market Street, Suite 1300
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127
(800) 669-4000

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”)

Philadelphia Regional Office
110 North 8th Street, Suite 501
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 560-2496
(215) 560-3599 TTY users only

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights

Office for Civil Rights
Philadelphia Office
U.S. Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
Telephone: (215) 656-8541
Facsimile: (215) 656-8605
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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