Town of Greenwich, NY
Washington County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenwich 3-10-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Defense and indemnification — See Ch. 15.
Officers and employees — See Ch. 47.
Personnel policies — See Ch. 54.
Sexual harassment is defined, following the Equal Opportunity Commission guidelines, as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit condition of employment; or
Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the person rejection or submitting to the conduct; or
The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interference with an affected person's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to the following examples:
Requests for sexual favors, accompanied by implied threats concerning one's job, performance, evaluation or promotion.
Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
Verbal harassment or abuse.
Unnecessary touching or patting; pinching.
Leering at a person's body.
Constant brushing against a person's body.
Displaying lewd photographs or drawings.
Employees are not only responsible for refraining from sexually harassing conduct, but are also responsible for promptly reporting incidents of sexual harassment to which they are subjected or of which they become aware.
Any employee who has been a target of sexual harassment should contact his/her supervisor immediately. If the employee prefers he/she may directly contact the Town Supervisor.
The Town places the responsibility on the employee's supervisor to report to the Town Supervisor any incident involving unwarranted verbal or physical sexual advances, sexually derogatory or inflammatory words, gestures or other language or any other act that may constitute sexual harassment as described above that has been directed toward any employee.
All information will be held in strictest confidence (except as needed for the investigation). All complaints will be thoroughly investigated and a determination made on a timely basis.
By law, all employees are protected against retaliation as a result of their willingness to come forward with a report of sexual harassment.
Normal disciplinary channels regarding employees will be applied if warranted.
All employees in a position of supervision within the Town of Greenwich are charged with the responsibility of taking prompt appropriate action upon receiving a sexual harassment claim. Taking appropriate action must be twofold:
Proper notification to the Town Supervisor when a possible sexual harassment incident is reported. An employee's supervisor is responsible for notifying the Town Supervisor of the problem and current status. In all cases the Town Supervisor must advise the employee's supervisor, if he or she has not reported the incident to the Town Supervisor, that a sexual harassment incident has been reported in the department. If that supervisor has any known conflict or involvement regarding the alleged incident then the Town Supervisor need not notify such supervisor.
Proper investigation and remedy of the incident.
Once the claim is made either in writing or verbally to a supervisor or to the Town Supervisor, he or she must obtain information about the alleged harassment from the victim. The supervisor or Town Supervisor must ask for detailed facts about when the alleged incident occurred, including what was said, what action occurred, and what conduct the alleged victim considers inappropriate. The supervisor or Town Supervisor must get a list of all witnesses or those who have knowledge of the incident.
Upon obtaining the information from the alleged victim an investigation must begin with guidance of the Town Supervisor. The person conducting the investigation must interview all purported witnesses or those who may have knowledge of the incident. This investigation process must be documented as it proceeds. Immediate and appropriate corrective action must be taken where necessary to protect both the victim and to discipline the harasser. The corrective action shall reflect the severity of the conduct. The documentation of the investigation process must be segregated from both employees' personnel files, unless it is concluded that the harassment occurred and discipline is imposed. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the time period from report of the incident to imposition of the discipline shall not exceed 30 days.
The victim shall be reassured that no retaliation will be permitted and to contact the supervisor or the Town Supervisor if similar incidents reoccur. The victim need not be informed of the nature of the discipline imposed, except he/she must be informed that the matter has been investigated, that appropriate action has been taken and the employer expects that it will not occur again.
It is the responsibility of all who have been notified of the sexual harassment incident to conduct a follow-up inquiry to ensure the harassment has not resumed and the victim has not suffered any retaliation by the harasser.