Township of Stafford, NJ
Ocean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Stafford 2-15-1994 by Ord. No. 94-24. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 124-1 Purpose.

The Township of Stafford recognizes that sexual harassment is a violation of both state and federal law, and in that respect the Township of Stafford seeks to provide its employees and appointees with a work environment free of sexual harassment. Any harassment of any Township employee or appointee by any other Township employee or appointee will not be permitted, regardless of their working relationship. The Township of Stafford has an unequivocal commitment to a workplace free from sexual harassment and will enforce this commitment through the polices and procedures set forth in this chapter.

§ 124-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Consists of and includes the following acts:
(1) 
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other inappropriate or offensive verbal or physical conduct made because of a person's sex.
(2) 
Any advances which undermine the employment relationship by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
(3) 
Any advances which affect the individual's job performance.
(4) 
Any submission to such conduct that is made either explicitly or implicitly by a term or condition of an individual's employment.
(5) 
Any submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual used as the basis of decisions concerning continued employment or evaluation of such individual.
(6) 
Any open display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures in the workplace.
B. 
Examples of such conduct as set forth above, which shall constitute acts of "sexual harassment," shall include the following:
(1) 
Unwelcome sexual advances.
(2) 
Sexually graphic comments.
(3) 
Demeaning comments concerning sex and/or physical appearance.
(4) 
Unwelcome touching or any intentional contact of a sexual nature.
(5) 
Unwelcome and offensive sexually explicit humor.

§ 124-3 Duty of Administrator and department heads.

It shall be the duty of the Township Administrator and all department heads of the Township of Stafford to make it clear to all Township employees and appointees that sexual harassment is prohibited by the Township and is grounds for disciplinary action by the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and by addressing any and all complaints of inappropriate behavior.

§ 124-4 Informal complaint procedure.

A. 
Any individual who alleges sexual harassment by another Township employee or appointee shall immediately inform the Township Administrator, in writing, within 30 days of the incident. The Administrator, after receiving such complaint, shall speak informally with the alleged harasser and shall advise the alleged harasser that such behavior is unwelcome and not tolerated in the Township in an effort to correct the offending behavior and prevent retaliatory behavior. In the event that the matter cannot be resolved informally between the parties, the Township Administrator shall investigate the matter formally in accordance with § 124-5 of this chapter. In the event that the Administrator is directly involved in the complaint, the matter shall be reported to the Mayor.
B. 
Any department head who suspects acts of sexual harassment by an employee or appointee under his or her direction and/or supervision shall report the same, in writing, to the Township Administrator within 30 days of the incident. The Township Administrator shall then speak informally with the alleged harasser and the employee or appointee to whom such acts were made and make the appropriate determination as provided for in this chapter. In the event that the Administrator is directly involved in the complaint, the matter shall be reported to the Mayor.

§ 124-5 Formal complaint procedure.

A. 
An individual alleging sexual harassment shall file, in writing, a formal complaint with the Township Administrator within 60 days of the incident. The Township Administrator, upon receipt of such complaint, shall carry out a thorough investigation of the complaint, which investigation shall include, at a minimum, interviews with the complainant, the alleged harasser, and any alleged witnesses to the alleged harassment. In carrying out the investigation of the alleged incident, the Administrator shall protect the rights of both the person making the complaint and the alleged harasser. In the event that the Administrator is directly involved in the complaint, the matter shall be reported to the Mayor.
B. 
The Township Administrator, following completion of the investigation, shall make a written report to the Township Council outlining his or her findings and recommendations for action by the governing body. A factual determination is required to address the question of whether a particular perceived action is or is not sexual harassment. The Township of Stafford recognizes that a charge of sexual harassment is a serious matter and that the rights of all parties are to be protected.
C. 
The Township Council, within 30 days of receiving the written report of the Administrator, shall make a final determination as to the matter and advise all parties, in writing, of its findings and conclusions.
[Amended 7-11-1995 by Ord. No. 95-55]
D. 
In the event that either party is not satisfied with the conclusions and findings reached by the Township Council, said party may make a formal request in writing for the matter to be reviewed by an independent third-party hearing officer appointed by the governing body. The request for the matter to be reviewed by a hearing officer shall be submitted within 30 days from the date of the Township Council's determination. The Township Council shall appoint a hearing officer within 30 days from the date of the request.
[Added 7-11-1995 by Ord. No. 95-55[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection D as Subsection F.
E. 
The hearing officer shall review all determinations previously rendered in this matter and may also interview the parties and/or further investigate the matter in an effort to reach his determination. The hearing officer shall render his determination within 90 days. In the event that said party is not satisfied with the conclusions and findings of the hearing officer, said party may seek the remedies available through the Superior Court.
[Added  7-11-1995 by Ord. No. 95-55[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection D as Subsection F.
F. 
The confidentiality and privacy of all involved persons will be respected during an investigation. Such disclosure during the investigatory stage shall be permitted only when required by law.

§ 124-6 False accusations.

A false complaint, false testimony or false information provided in connection with a harassment investigation will be subject to such discipline as the Township Council determines to be appropriate, up to and including termination.

§ 124-7 Training of municipal officials and employees.

The Township shall provide mandatory training to all supervisors and department heads regarding the Township's sexual harassment policies and procedures. The Township shall make training available to all employees and appointees.

§ 124-8 Monitoring of policy.

The Township, through annual anonymous and confidential questionnaires, shall monitor the employee's or appointee's trust in the established policies and procedures of the Township concerning sexual harassment.

§ 124-9 Notice.

Notice of this policy shall be disseminated annually and shall be included in the employee manual.

§ 124-10 Violations and penalties.

A. 
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any Township employee or appointee to harass another Township employee or appointee through conduct or communication of a sexual nature as set forth in § 124-2 of this chapter.
B. 
Any individual found to have engaged in any type of harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or appointment with the Township.