[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley 9-28-1993 as L.L. No. 7-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Village of Spring Valley Policy to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace."
The Village of Spring Valley hereby declares that it is the policy of the village to fully protect and safeguard the rights and opportunities of all people to seek, obtain and hold employment without fear of sexual harassment or discrimination due to sex in the workplace. It is the intent of the Village of Spring Valley, by this declaration, to provide an environment free of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it is the policy of the Village of Spring Valley to prohibit any elected or appointed official, department head or employee, whether male or female, from sexually harassing another employee, elected or appointed official or department head by making unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or 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;
When submission to or rejection of such conduct is made the basis for employment decision affecting such individual; or
Where such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
"Sexual harassment" does not refer to behavior or occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, fails to respect the rights of others or lowers morale, thereby interfering with work effectiveness. Sexual harassment may take different forms. One (1) specific form is the demand for sexual favors. Other forms of harassment may include:
Verbal: sexual innuendos, sexual slurs, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, threats, the asking of intimate questions.
Nonverbal: sexually suggestive objects or sexually explicit photographs or literature, commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling or obscene gestures.
Physical: unwanted physical contact, including touching, fondling, jostling, pinching, brushing the body, coerced sexual intercourse, or assault.
Sexual harassment may be overt or subtle. Some behavior which is appropriate in a social setting may not be appropriate in the workplace. But, whatever form it may take, verbal, nonverbal or physical, sexual harassment can be insulting and demeaning to the recipient and cannot be tolerated in the workplace. Sexual harassment by any employee, elected or appointed official or department head will not be tolerated. All persons are expected to comply with this policy and appropriate measures to ensure that such conduct does not occur.
Any alleged violation of this policy shall be brought to the attention of an enforcement officer, who shall investigate, and, if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, elected or appointed official or department head who violates this policy prohibiting sexual harassment.
Based on the seriousness of the offense, such disciplinary action may include a verbal or written reprimand, suspension or termination.
Any employee, elected or appointed official or department head who believes that he/she has been the subject of sexual harassment should report the alleged act immediately to either of two (2) enforcement officers [one (1) male, one (1) female], who shall hereafter be appointed by the Village Board to receive and investigate complaints and interview witnesses and who either shall compromise the matter with the approval of the complainant or refer the same to the Mayor and the Village Board for further action.
All complaints will be handled in a timely and confidential manner. In no event will information concerning a complaint be released to third parties or to anyone who is not involved with the investigation. The purpose of this provision is to protect the confidentiality of the employee, elected or appointed official or department head who files a complaint, to encourage the reporting of any incidents of sexual harassment and to protect the reputation of any person wrongfully charged with sexual harassment.
Investigation of a complaint will normally include conferring with the parties involved and any named or apparent witnesses. All parties shall be guaranteed an impartial and fair hearing and shall be protected from coercion, intimidation, retaliation, interference or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation.
If the investigation reveals that the complaint is valid, prompt action designed to stop the harassment and to prevent its recurrence will be taken.