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Oceanside USD |  AR  4119.11  Personnel

Sexual Harassment   

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Definitions

Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made against another person of the same or opposite sex in the work or educational setting when: (Education Code 212.5; 5 CCR 4916)

1. Submission to the conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual's employment.

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by the individual is used as the basis for an employment decision affecting him/her.

3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual's work or has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, pervasive, or objectively offensive so as to create a hostile or abusive working environment or to limit the individual's ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity.

4. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the other individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting him/her regarding benefits, services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the district.

Other examples of actions that might constitute sexual harassment, whether committed by a supervisor, a co-worker, or a non-employee, in the work or educational setting, include, but are not limited to:

1. Unwelcome verbal conduct such as sexual flirtations or propositions; graphic comments about an individual's body; overly personal conversations or pressure for sexual activity; sexual jokes or stories; unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, innuendoes, derogatory comments, sexually degrading descriptions, or the spreading of sexual rumors

2. Unwelcome visual conduct such as drawings, pictures, graffiti, or gestures; sexually explicit emails; displaying sexually suggestive objects

3. Unwelcome physical conduct such as massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking, or brushing the body; touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way; cornering, blocking, leaning over, or impeding normal movements

Prohibited sexual harassment may also include any act of retaliation against an individual who reports a violation of the district's sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint.

Training

Every two years, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that supervisory employees receive at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment. All newly hired or promoted supervisory employees shall receive training within six months of their assumption of the supervisory position. (Government Code 12950.1)

The district's training and education program for supervisory employees shall include information and practical guidance regarding the federal and state laws on the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of sexual harassment, and the remedies available to the victims of sexual harassment in employment. The training shall also include all of the content specified in 2 CCR 7288.0 and practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. (Government Code 12950.1; 2 CCR 7288.0)

In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that all employees receive periodic training regarding the district's sexual harassment policy, particularly the procedures for filing complaints and employees' duty to use the district's complaint procedures.

Procedures for Filing Complaints

1. Any employee or applicant who believes he/she has been harassed by an employee or agent of the district or believes he/she has witnessed sexual harassment by an employee or agent of the district should promptly report in writing the facts of the incident(s) and the name of the alleged harasser(s) to a designated complaint officer pursuant to this administrative regulation. For employees, complaint officers include the employee's immediate supervisor or the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources. If the complaint involves the immediate supervisor, the employee should file the complaint with the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources.

2. Employees who wish to file a sexual harassment complaint pursuant to this administrative regulation and procedures may complete and submit a Sexual Harassment Complaint Form, available from the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources.

3. All complaints made under this administrative regulation shall be forwarded to the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources by immediate supervisors who receive such complaints. However, if the complaint involves the Associate Superintendent -Human Resources, the complaint shall be filed directly with the Superintendent. The Associate Superintendent - Human Resources shall maintain a log of complaints received, providing each with a code number and date stamp.

4. If the Superintendent is a party to the complaint, then the complaint should be filed with the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources, and the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources would report the complaint to the Board of Education.

5. If a member of the Board is a party to the complaint, then the complaint should be filed with the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources, and the Superintendent would report the complaint to the Board of Education.

Under items (4) and (5) above, if the complaint is made, the Superintendent or Board will designate an external investigator consulting with legal counsel, if necessary.

Investigative Procedures

1. All parties, specifically including complainants and witnesses, will be promptly and fully informed of their rights pursuant to this administrative regulation, including the fact that the complainant and witnesses will not be retaliated against in any aspect of their employment or enrollment due to their participation in the filing of a complaint or reporting of sexual harassment. Employees will be informed of their right to file a complaint with the appropriate administrative agency. The accused shall also be fully notified of such rights pursuant to this administrative regulation at the earliest appropriate time.

2. All investigations of complaints will be handled promptly in a serious and sensitive manner, and in as confidential a manner as possible.

3. The Associate Superintendent - Human Resources will be responsible, as the Superintendent's designee, to investigate all sexual harassment complaints against employees or agents and may appoint "designees" to assist in the handling of such complaints. Persons appointed as designees shall not conduct an investigation until they have received training in evaluating complaints of sexual harassment.

4. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration should be given to the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the sexual advances, the relationships between the parties involved, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

5. The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of any other methods deemed pertinent by the investigator.

6. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the Associate Superintendent - Human Resources, or designee, shall make a written report upon completion of the investigation of findings whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, giving consideration to the record as a whole and the totality of circumstances, including the nature of sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. The Associate Superintendent - Human Resources will then take and/or authorize appropriate action. Prior to completing an investigation, the district may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the complainant, students, and employees. Copies of the written report containing findings of the investigator shall be given to the complainant and the accused harasser.

7. If either the complainant or respondent is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation, they may appeal in writing to the Superintendent within 10 working days of receipt of the investigation report.

8. If either the complainant or respondent is dissatisfied with the Superintendent's decision, they may appeal in writing to the Board within 10 working days of receipt of the decision.

9. Appropriate action will be taken to resolve the problem and to remedy any loss suffered by the complainant as a direct result of the harassment.

10. Complainants and witnesses will be protected from further harassment and from retaliation.

Notifications

A copy of the Board policy and this administrative regulation shall: (Education Code 231.5)

1. Be displayed in a prominent location in the main administrative building, district office, or other area of the school where notices of district rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct are posted

2. Be provided to each faculty member, all members of the administrative staff, and all members of the support staff at the beginning of the first quarter or semester of the school year or whenever a new employee is hired

(cf. 4112.9/4212.9/4312.9 - Employee Notifications)

3. Appear in any school or district publication that sets forth the school's or district's comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of conduct

All employees shall receive either a copy of information sheets prepared by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or a copy of district information sheets that contain, at a minimum, components on: (Government Code 12950)

1. The illegality of sexual harassment

2. The definition of sexual harassment under applicable state and federal law

3. A description of sexual harassment, with examples

4. The district's complaint process available to the employee

(cf. 4031 - Complaints Concerning Discrimination in Employment)

5. The legal remedies and complaint process available through DFEH and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

6. Directions on how to contact DFEH and the EEOC

7. The protection against retaliation provided by 2 CCR 7287.8 for opposing harassment prohibited by law or for filing a complaint with or otherwise participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by DFEH and the EEOC

In addition, the district shall post, in a prominent and accessible location, DFEH's poster on discrimination in employment and the illegality of sexual harassment. (Government Code 12950)

Reporting to Outside Agencies

1. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Employees who have been sexually harassed may have the right to file complaints with federal regulatory agencies. Time limits for filing complaints with the federal regulatory agencies vary. The employee should check directly with this agency for specific instructions for filing a complaint:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

401 "B" Street, Suite 1550

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 557-7235

2. State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Employees who have been sexually harassed may have the right to file complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Time limits for filing complaints with DFEH should be checked with the agency.

Department of Fair Employment and Housing

110 West "C" Street, Suite 1702

San Diego, CA 92101-3901

(619) 645-2681

Regulation OCEANSIDE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: August 10, 2010 Oceanside, California