Sexual harassment training2a

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  • 1. 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3 SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING
  • 2. WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT? For many people, “sexual harassment” is an emotionally charged topic, loaded with confusion and uncertainty. This is unfortunate, because sexual harassment can be readily understood. But what really is and is not sexual harassment?
  • 3. WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT? • Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination. It is defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. • Disrespectful or offensive behavior by faculty, staff or students is inappropriate and, in some cases, may be an abuse of authority. The involved parties can be men or women, supervisors, subordinates or peers. • We all suffer when abusive and demeaning behavior is experienced in our workplaces and classrooms. To eliminate sexual harassment, we need to understand it.
  • 4. SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS A BEHAVIOR Sexual harassment is a behavior, and adults are responsible for their own behavior and its consequences. We each have the responsibility to treat others with respect. If you stay aware of your responsibility and assert your rights to a respectful educational and work environment, you will have taken and important step toward eliminating sexual harassment in the Howard County Junior College District (HCJCD).
  • 5. THE LAW The law describes two different forms of sexual harassment: Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment
  • 6. QUID PRO QUO Quid Pro Quo is Latin for "this for that" or "something for something" and refers to an exchange. In this case, the exchange is between supervisors and subordinates or between faculty and students, where one is asked to provide sexual favors in exchange for something else, such as grades, favorable treatment in work assignments, recommendations, pay or promotion.
  • 7. HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT A hostile work environment is one in which unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, offensive or disruptive work or academic environment for some members of the campus community. Examples of this conduct may include sexually explicit talk or emails, sexually provocative images, comments on physical attributes or inappropriate touching.
  • 8. DEFINITIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT The definitions of sexual harassment seem fairly simple. However, we find ourselves interacting with people of widely different backgrounds and values on campus. Each of us perceives and interprets the world based on our experiences and values, so we may interpret words and behavior very differently from others. Different social, cultural and gender standards can lead to very different understandings. What is harmless joking to one person may be grossly offensive to another.
  • 9. UNWELCOMENESS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Sexual harassment takes a wide variety of forms, some mild and others severe. The behavior may range from a harmful joke to physical assault. Whether a particular behavior is defined as sexual harassment depends largely on whether the behavior is UNWELCOME to the target. Unwelcome behavior is just that; it is behavior that is not welcome, not solicited and not wanted by the offended person. While you may perceive your behavior to be friendly and harmless, a co-worker or student may find the behavior offensive, so it is important to think before you act in a way that could be reasonably perceived as sexually offensive. Most adults who pause to think about it can distinguish between what might be perceived as welcome and unwelcome behavior, especially if they think carefully about how others might react.
  • 10. UNWELCOMENESS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? How can you know in advance if a behavior is unwelcome? Here are some general guidelines to avoid committing unwelcome behavior: • respect the people around you, • think before acting, • imagine how other people might be feeling, • be sensitive to diverse perspectives, • exercise common courtesy, and • think twice before making a joke (any joke).
  • 11. UNWELCOMENESS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Some questions to ask yourself are: • how would I feel if I were in the position of the recipient? • would my spouse, parent, child, sibling or friend like to be treated this way? • would I like my behavior published in the organization newsletter? • could my behavior offend or hurt other members of the work group? • could someone misinterpret my behavior as intentionally harmful or harassing? If you are unsure if something might be welcome, don’t do it. There is no risk in not doing something.
  • 12. INTENT VS. IMPACT It is important to understand that intent is not relevant in determining whether or not a behavior is sexual harassment. All that matters is the impact of the behavior on the work or school environment, or the offended individual. Regardless of the intent, the behavior will be judged on its impact. This fact is critically important. The statement, "I didn't mean anything by it," is not a valid defense of harassing behavior. It is the impact of the behavior, not the intent, that matters with regard to sexual harassment.
  • 13. A MATTER OF RESPECT Sexually harassing behavior shows great disrespect. Nobody is likely to harass someone he or she respects, either accidentally or deliberately. Despite some claims of over-sensitivity, most adults understand the meaning of harassment, just as they know the meaning of teasing. An attitude of consideration and respect toward all those with whom we come in contact will go a long way toward creating an atmosphere that excludes sexual harassment.
  • 14. A MATTER OF RESPECT HUMOR - A RISKY BEHAVIOR? Most of us love a good laugh. Humor can relieve tension and energize, but teasing and sarcasm are high-risk ways of communicating. Does this mean that all fun is out of order on campus? Absolutely not, but if the fun is at the expense of another person or persons, it is risky. "It was just a joke" is not an excuse for sexual harassment. Before taking any risks, make certain that your behavior, whether in person, by phone or via email, is welcome. A careless mistake may become very costly to the respect others have for you and to your financial and job security or student status.
  • 15. TYPES OF HARASSMENT Sexual harassment does not occur just between a male boss and a female subordinate. Sexual harassment may occur in a variety of circumstances: • between peers, • by a subordinate toward a supervisor, • by women against men, • between members of the same sex - men can harass men; women can harass women, • by a third party, such as a vendor, against a member of the campus community
  • 16. RETALIATION • Retaliation against an employee or student after he or she has complained about harassment or participated in an investigation of harassment (or threatening to retaliate if he or she complains or participates in an investigation) is unlawful and can lead to serious consequences, including termination.
  • 17. CONFIDENTIALITY • If you report an incident of sexual harassment, or ask for help on a question of sexual harassment, you are entitled to confidentiality within certain limits. • When an investigation is conducted, those involved will need to be interviewed. Confidentiality will be protected where possible. Some people may "need to know." In such cases these people will be asked to keep matters confidential where possible.
  • 18. RESPONSIBILITIES OF INDIVIDUALS ON CAMPUS Persons who consider the behavior of others unwelcome need to take reasonable steps to stop the behavior. Students and staff may find it difficult, under certain circumstances, to speak up; however, the HCJCD encourages everyone to take action against harassment in our institution. Where the behavior is relatively mild, this may mean directly asking the offender to stop, or asking someone in authority (such as a Dean, a Vice President, or the Director of Human Resources) for help. If the behavior is severe, more immediate and assertive action is required and grievance policies are explained in the Employee Handbook. Individuals who deal with the public or with personnel from other organizations must always ensure that their own behavior is acceptable. They are strongly encouraged to report incidents of unwelcome behavior by others, and to act responsibly when dealing with unwelcome conduct.
  • 19. THE COSTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT Sexual harassment is highly disruptive and unpleasant for all parties involved, and it is also very costly in many ways. Everyone in the workplace feels its negative effects, and the immediate parties involved may suffer severe losses, including: • Financial losses, • Loss of physical health, • Loss of emotional well being, • Loss of time and productivity, • Job, academic and career damage.
  • 20. WHAT IF YOU EXPERIENCE SEXUAL HARASSMENT? Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace or educational environment. The HCJCD has policies to enable everyone on campus to work and learn in an environment free of harassment. Here are some additional guidelines should you encounter harassment: • 1. Consider firmly, clearly and directly telling the harasser to stop. • 2. If the behavior continues, document the conversation or offending behavior. • 3. Follow HCJCD’s Sexual Harassment Policy 1.2 in the Employee Handbook. Remember that you have a responsibility to take advantage of whatever resources and procedures your employer provides to protect yourself and your environment from unlawful harassment.
  • 21. IF IN DOUBT, DO NOT DO IT!! • District policy 1.2 should be reviewed at least annually. • Remember, sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the HCJCD!
  • 22. QUESTIONS?