[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Kenilworth 2-15-1995 as Ord. No. 95-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Personnel policies — See Ch. 37.
It is the policy of the Borough of Kenilworth to maintain a work environment free from all forms of harassment and to insist that all employees be treated with dignity, respect and courtesy. Any comments or conduct relating to a person's race, religion, age, ethnic background or sex which fail to respect the dignity and feelings of the individual are unacceptable. This policy includes comments or conduct of a sexual nature, where such behavior tends to threaten or offend a fellow employee.
The Borough of Kenilworth adopts the following definition of sexual harassment:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment.
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals.
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Any of the following activities, when combined with the above conditions, is sexual harassment:
Unwelcome sexual advances.
Requests for sexual favors.
Other verbal and physical conduct, such as:
Offensive sexual flirtations, advances or propositions.
Unwanted hugs, touches, kisses.
Touching, patting, pinching.
Subtle pressure or requests for sexual activity.
Forced sexual relations.
Verbal abuse of a sexual nature.
Sexually suggestive remarks or innuendos.
Persistent remarks about another person's clothing, body or sexual activities.
Graphic verbal commentaries about an employee's body.
Sexually degrading words used to describe employees.
Display in the work place of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
Insults or degrading sexual remarks or conduct used to abuse the dignity of another employee.
Threats, demands or suggestions that employees' work status depends on their tolerance of sexual advances.
The Borough of Kenilworth prohibits sexual harassment at all levels of employment at all times, and especially whenever it directly or indirectly threatens a term or condition of employment, affects an employment decision, interferes with any employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
No person filing a complaint under this policy and procedure and no person who legitimately assists another in prosecution of any such complaint shall be subjected to retribution or retaliation of any kind for doing so.
Due to the serious and private nature of any allegation of sexual harassment, false accusations of sexual harassment may result in the same level of punishment as that which might be applied to one who engages in such behavior.
Any employee who believes that he or she has been sexually harassed in violation of this chapter may file a written complaint with the Borough Clerk within 10 business days of the event. The Borough Clerk shall immediately forward a copy of the complaint to the Mayor and Council.
The Borough Clerk shall cause a complete and thorough investigation of the allegations within 14 days after receipt of the written complaint. Any such investigation shall be conducted in such a manner so as to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the privacy rights of all persons involved, including witnesses.
The Borough Clerk shall, based on the information obtained during the investigation, make a written recommendation to the Mayor and Council, providing the accused employee with a copy of the same, as to the nature and extent of the disciplinary action to be taken, if any, which may include, but not be limited to:
Any employee who is found to be in violation of this chapter may appeal any such finding to the Mayor and Council by notifying the Mayor and Council, in writing, of his or her intention to appeal within 10 days after receipt of the Borough Clerk's written recommendation for disciplinary action. The Mayor and Council shall schedule a hearing date and notify all interested parties, including the Borough Clerk. At the hearing, each party shall have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony. The Mayor and Council shall render a written decision within 14 days of the close of the proofs.
If the validity of a complaint filed pursuant to this chapter cannot be determined, no disciplinary action shall be taken. However, immediate and appropriate action will be taken to assure that all parties are reacquainted with the provisions of this chapter so as to prevent alleged violations in the future.