[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of North Hills 12-28-1994 by L.L. No. 5-1994 (Ch. 41, Part 2, Art. III of the 1982 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Sexual harassment violates federal and state law. The Village of North Hills hereby finds that sexual harassment creates an illegal and undesirable working environment and that such activity should be prohibited and prevented. It is the policy of the Village to maintain a work environment which is free from sexual harassment and to provide for appropriate disciplinary action, including dismissal in appropriate cases, where such activity occurs.
"Sexual harassment," as used in this chapter, shall mean unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, 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 individual.
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or is creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Any of the following activities, when combined with the above conditions, shall be deemed to constitute "sexual harassment":
Unwelcome sexual advances.
Requests for sexual favors.
Other verbal and physical conduct, such as:
Offensive sexual flirtation, advances or propositions.
Unwanted hugs, touches or kisses.
Touching, patting or 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 written or verbal commentaries about an employee's body.
Sexually degrading words used to describe an employee.
Display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
Insults or degrading sexual remarks or conduct used to abuse the dignity of another person.
Threats, demands or suggestions that an employee's work status or benefits depend upon the employee's tolerance of sexual advances.
Retaliation against employees who complain about sexually offensive behavior.
"Sexual harassment" does not include compliments and conversations of a socially acceptable nature. "Sexual harassment" does include unwelcome sexual advances or propositions, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct which offends employees, harms morale or interferes with the working environment of an employee.
Sexual harassment is prohibited at all levels of employment, at all times and especially when it directly or indirectly threatens a term or condition of employment, affects an employment decision, interferes with the work performance of an employee or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Employees who believe that they have been sexually harassed may contact and so advise their supervisor, the Mayor or the Village Administrator.
The following procedure is established with respect to complaints of sexual harassment received by an officer or employee of the Village:
The employee making such complaint shall submit the same, in writing, to his or her immediate supervisor, to the Mayor or to the Village Administrator.
The person receiving such complaint shall promptly bring such complaint to the attention of the Mayor and the Village Administrator, except that if the complaint is against the Mayor or Village Administrator such person shall not be so notified of the complaint. Any immediate corrective action taken by any person receiving notice of such complaint shall be considered preliminary and not final, pending investigation and decision as provided in this section.
Within 10 working days of receipt of such complaint, the person to whom such complaint is made shall make an effort to intervene and investigate the complaint, and all facets of such investigation are to be recorded, in writing, and the results of such investigation delivered to the Mayor and Board of Trustees.
Upon a finding that an employee or employees have engaged in conduct which constitutes sexual harassment, the Village promptly will take appropriate action, including but not limited to disciplinary action appropriate under the circumstances and as may be permitted by law.
Refusal to answer questions or to cooperate during an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment may be an independent ground for employee disciplinary action.
The Village of North Hills will endeavor to protect the privacy of employees involved in a sexual harassment investigation to the extent reasonably possible. The Village shall also take appropriate action such that employees who file complaints of sexual harassment are protected from illegal retaliatory actions. All persons involved in any such complaint or investigation shall be treated with dignity.
The Village Administrator will provide each employee annually with a copy of this chapter of the Village Code.
The Village Administrator will provide a copy of this chapter of the Village Code to each new employee within one month of such employee's date of hire.
The Village Administrator will ensure that notice of the Village's sexual harassment policy is posted in conspicuous places in Village workplaces.
Each department supervisor is responsible for prevention of sexual harassment and for promotion and enforcement of the Village's sexual harassment policy. Supervisory or managerial employees who receive a complaint of sexual harassment occurring in the workplace shall promptly report such complaint to the Mayor and the Village Administrator (except if the complaint is with respect to conduct alleged to have been engaged in by the Mayor or Village Administrator, such report shall not be made to that official) so an immediate investigation and appropriate action may be undertaken. Supervisory and managerial employees shall take such immediate corrective action as may be necessary, pending investigation and disposition of a complaint.
Each department supervisor is responsible for identifying and reporting to the Board of Trustees problem areas in interpreting or applying policy guidelines and reporting any complaints of sexual harassment and the manner in which they were remedied or otherwise disposed of.
Each employee is expected to support and enforce the Village's sexual harassment policy in terms of acceptable employment practices and behavior in the workplace setting. All employees who witness or become aware of instances of sexual harassment will immediately report the incident(s) to their supervisor or the Mayor or the Village Administrator. In addition, each employee is expected to refrain from sexual harassment of others.
Sexual harassment violates federal and state law. Refusal to comply with the Village's sexual harassment policy will result in disciplinary action, possibly including dismissal, in addition to any other penalties which may be provided by law.