[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Westampton 8-8-1995 by Ord. No. 12-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the policy of Westampton Township to maintain a working environment that is free from discrimination, including sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. No employee, either male or female, should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical. No employee should be subjected to a hostile or offensive working environment created by sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, that is personally offensive, that lowers morale and that, therefore, interferes with our work effectiveness.
Each supervisor has a responsibility to maintain a workplace free of sexual harassment. This duty includes discussing this policy with all employees and assuring them that they are not to endure insulting, degrading or exploitive sexual treatment.
It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee of Westampton Township to harass another employee through conduct or communications of a sexual nature or because of that employee's gender. It shall also be a violation of the policy for any supervisor who is aware that sexual harassment is taking place to fail to promptly report the matter to the Clerk/Administrator.
[Amended 9-21-992 by Ord. No. 10-1992]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A. Unwelcome sexual advance, requests for sexual favors and other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by any employee when:
- (1) Submission to sexual harassment is made, whether explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment.
- (2) Submission to or rejection of sexual harassment by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual.
- (3) Sexual harassment has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
- B. "Sexual harassment" may include but is not limited to the following:
- (1) Unwelcome sexual advances, such as offensive sexual flirtations, repeated requests for dates or love letters after rejection of overtures.
- (2) Discussing sexual activities.
- (3) Pressure or coercion for sexual activity.
- (4) Repeated remarks to a person, with a sexual or demeaning implication.
- (5) Unwelcome intentional touching, such as patting, pinching or brushing against another's body.
- (6) Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one's evaluation, raise, promotion, etc.
- (7) Displaying nude or pornographic pictures, lewd or vulgar cartoons, etc.
- (8) Practical jokes about gender-specific traits.
- C. "Sexual harassment" may also consist of intimidating, abusive or hostile behavior of a nonsexual nature toward an employee because of his/her gender. Verbal abuse and hostility that is not sexual in character but is directed solely at females because they are female, or males because they are male, for example, is likewise a violation of this policy on the same level as harassment of a sexual nature.
- D. "Sexual harassment" can also take the form of offensive conduct by nonemployees, such as vendors, outside contractors, etc., against employees in the workplace.
[Amended 9-21-1992 by Ord. No. 10-1992]
Because of the nature and seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace, the receipt of complaints, investigation and recommendation for disciplinary action, if necessary, shall be the responsibility of the Clerk/Administrator.
Reporting violations. Any person who feels he/she is the victim of sexual harassment as defined herein may file a complaint directly with the Clerk/Administrator. If any supervisory personnel receives a complaint regarding sexual harassment, or becomes aware of instances of sexual harassment, he/she shall promptly report the incident to the Clerk/Administrator. There is no chain of command in relation to sexual harassment complaints.
The Clerk/Administrator shall promptly commence an investigation of the allegations of sexual harassment, which may include interviews and written statements from the victim, the alleged harasser and any witnesses. The Clerk/Administrator may request the assistance of counsel, other supervisory personnel or outside sources in conducting the investigation. Confidentiality shall be maintained throughout the investigation process.
A written report of the investigation shall be prepared by the Clerk/Administrator within three days of the conclusion of the investigation, with a copy sent to the victim and alleged harasser.
If the allegations of sexual harassment are found to be meritorious, the Clerk/Administrator shall immediately institute remedial and/or corrective action, which may include counseling, change in work assignments or disciplinary action up to and including termination. Any disciplinary action shall be consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements. The victim of sexual harassment shall be informed of the nature of any disciplinary action taken.
The Clerk/Administrator may monitor future conduct of the parties involved in order to reasonably ensure that the remedial action taken has been effective in stopping the harassment and that no retaliation has occurred.
Appeal. If any individual is aggrieved with the investigation, findings and/or remedies pursuant to this policy, he/she may assert any right of appeal contained in the applicable collective bargaining agreements, file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights or pursue any other civil remedy.
Notifications. This policy will be distributed to all employees of the township. Every employee shall be required to certify that he/she has received a copy of this policy.
Employee responsibility. It is the duty of all employees, including supervisory personnel, to be familiar with this policy. More importantly, each employee has a stake in preventing sexual harassment and thus shares responsibility with the Clerk/Administrator in eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace. Employees who feel victimized by sexual harassment are encouraged to come forward with complaints. Employees should also inform their coworkers or supervisor in no uncertain terms that conduct is offensive and unwelcome. Often, disputes arise only because of misconceptions and insensitivity, which can be corrected simply through communication. If self-help remedies do not resolve the dispute, report the matter promptly. All employees have responsibility to cooperate fully with the investigation of sexual harassment. Any retaliatory conduct or recurrence of the offensive behavior should be reported immediately to the Clerk/Administrator.