[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of East Hanover 5-5-1994 by Ord. No. 18-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In recognition of the dignity and value of each person employed by the Township of East Hanover, this policy concerning sexual harassment is promulgated township-wide. All employees should be allowed to work in an environment free from all forms of discrimination and conduct which may be considered harassing, coercive or disruptive, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment undermines the integrity of the employment relationship, debilitates morale and interferes with work productivity and therefore will not be tolerated.
The Township of East Hanover is committed to providing a work environment where women and men can work together comfortably and productively, free from sexual harassment. Such behavior is illegal under both state and federal law and will not be tolerated in the township. This policy applies to all phases of employment, including recruiting, testing, hiring, upgrading, promotion or demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, rates of pay, benefits and selection for training, travel or municipal social events, and is applicable to all officers or employees elected or appointed by the Township of East Hanover.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- SEXUAL HARASSMENT
- Unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, written contact through obscene materials and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature when:
- A. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or is implied by a term or condition of an individual's employment.
- B. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual.
- C. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and can include:
- (1) Gender harassment: Generalized sexist remarks and behavior;
- (2) Seductive behavior: Inappropriate, unwanted, offensive physical or verbal sexual advances;
- (3) Sexual bribery: Solicitation of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior by promise of reward;
- (4) Sexual coercion: Coercion of sexual activity by threat of punishment; and
- (5) Sexual assault: Gross sexual imposition like touching, fondling, grabbing or assault.
Sexual harassment of any type, as defined in § 49-3, is prohibited. Additionally, if the unwelcomed behavior does not fit into the above categories but is the inappropriate sexualization of an otherwise nonsexual relationship, it will be considered sexual harassment.
In addition, the Township of East Hanover will take all reasonable steps to prevent or eliminate sexual harassment by nonemployees, including vendors, sales personnel or members of the public who are likely to have workplace contact with the employees.
The Township of East Hanover shall take all reasonable steps to see that this policy prohibiting sexual harassment is followed by all employees and others who have contact with employees. This prevention plan will include training sessions, ongoing monitoring of the worksite and a confidential employee survey to be conducted and evaluated every six months.
The Township Administrator is hereby appointed to administer this policy. All complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting or participating in an investigation shall be directed to the Administrator, in writing. The Administrator shall promptly investigate and attempt to resolve complaints involving violations of this policy and recommend to the Township Council the appropriate penalties to be imposed against violators. All investigations shall be conducted as confidentially as possible. (In any case where the Administrator shall be the subject of a complaint, such complaint shall be made to the Mayor and not to the Administrator.)
The Township of East Hanover shall establish training sessions for all employees regarding their rights and obligations in maintaining a worksite free of sexual harassment, and the legal options available if they are harassed, as well as in training supervisory personnel in how to keep the worksite as free from harassment as possible.
The Township Administrator and any other individuals administering the response process to sexual harassment complaints shall receive additional and continual training.
In accordance with N.J.A.C. 4A:7 et seq., Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the procedures promulgated shall include the following elements:
Confidentiality. Sexual harassment investigations and proceedings will be conducted in a manner to protect the confidentiality of the complainant, the accused harasser and all witnesses. All parties involved will be advised to maintain strict confidentiality to safeguard the privacy and reputation of all involved.
Retaliation. Any employee bringing a sexual harassment complaint or assisting in investigating such a complaint will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment or discriminated against or discharged because of the complaint. Complaints of such retaliation may be cause for disciplinary action and will be promptly investigated and the offender punished if the complaint is sustained.
Protection of parties.
All complaints will be investigated. Complainants and the alleged harasser will be kept fully abreast of the steps taken during the investigation process.
The accused harasser will have an opportunity to be heard and will be allowed to present any witnesses documentation or other evidence prior to the Township Administrator making a finding or rendering a decision as to whether probable cause exists to believe the accusation is true or false.
This policy shall not be used to intentionally bring frivolous or malicious charges against any employee.
If probable cause is found to exist, the accuser will be allowed to bring in a collective bargaining association representative and/or legal counsel.
The accused harasser shall also be entitled to the benefits of any other procedures available for such procedures available for such purposes pursuant to any existing collective bargaining or employment agreement then in effect, if said procedures are applicable.
Sanctions/remedies. Sanctions for employees found in violation of this policy will be subject to progressive discipline, when appropriate, which includes:
Any employee found to have violated this policy shall be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action, including warnings, reprimand, suspension or termination, according to the severity of the offense and with regard to prior offenses, following a complaint investigation. If such an investigation reveals that sexual harassment has occurred, the harasser may also be held legally liable for his or her actions under state and federal antidiscrimination laws or in separate legal action.
A copy of this policy shall be distributed to all officers and employees of the Township of East Hanover and posted in areas where it will be available for free review by employees and persons dealing with them.