FILE:  GAEAA

Cf:  GAAA, GAE

Cf:  JAA, JCEA

 

PERSONNEL SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

 

It shall be the policy of the Plaquemines Parish School Board that any form of sexual harassment is expressly prohibited.  Any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment when warranted.

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED

 

Sexual harassment shall include, but not be limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

 

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;

  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

 

Sexual harassment, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to the following:

 

 

INVESTIGATION AND RECOMMENDATION

 

Employees who believe they have suffered sexual harassment, shall report such matters to the Director of Personnel, who shall be the complaint officer for sexual harassment complaints.

 

Complaints reported to a complaint officer shall be handled by the complaint officer in a timely and confidential manner.  Information arising out of an investigation of sexual harassment shall be confidential, and those individuals who are involved in the investigation shall not discuss information regarding the complaint outside the investigation.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the complaint officer to promptly investigate claims of sexual harassment and determine their validity using an informal process.  Upon receiving a complaint, the complaint officer shall confer with the person making the complaint to obtain an understanding of and a statement of the facts from the person.  Once the complaint officer has obtained a statement of the facts from the person filing the complaint, the complaint officer shall meet with the person charged with sexual harassment to obtain a response to the complaint.  The complaint officer and one other administrator designated by the Superintendent will meet with the parties involved in the complaint within five (5) working days of filing of the complaint.  Upon completion of the investigation, the complaint officer shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent along with his/her findings.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to determine what further action should be taking on a complaint of sexual harassment after receiving a report from the complaint officer.  If termination or demotion is determined by the Superintendent to be necessary, the Superintendent shall make a recommendation to the Board regarding the termination or demotion in accordance with applicable laws.

 

PROCEDURES

 

The following steps should be taken in the matter of handling a complaint about sexual harassment:

 

Step 1.

Any complaint will be presented in writing to the complaint officer.  The written complaint should include the specific nature of the harassment and corresponding dates and also include the name, address, and phone number of the complainant.  If the complaint officer determines there is ground for investigation, he/she shall conduct an investigation of the matter.

 

Step 2.

The complaint officer shall thoroughly investigate the complaint, notify the person who has been accused of harassment, and permit a response to the allegation and arrange a meeting to discuss the complaint with all concerned parties within five (5) working days after receipt of the written complaint.  The complaint officer will give a written answer to the Superintendent within ten (10) working days after the receipt of the written complaint.

 

Step 3.

The Superintendent shall render a decision as to what action, if any, shall be taken against the employee who has been accused of harassment.  He/she shall send a written decision to the complainant and the employee accused of harassment within fifteen (15) working days after the receipt of the written complaint.

 

 

Both parties shall acknowledge in writing to the Superintendent within five (5) days of the signed receipt of the Superintendent's decision that they received the decision.  Either party may request a hearing before the Board within five (5) days after the signed receipt of the Superintendent's decision.

 

 

Failure to respond to the Superintendent's decision and to request an appeal to the Board within five (5) days after signed receipt of the Superintendent's decision will automatically enforce the Superintendent's decision.

 

Step 4.

The School Board will, within thirty (30) days of receipt of appeal, conduct a hearing at which both parties will be given an opportunity to present and/or answer the complaint.  The Board will give a written answer to the complaint within fifteen (15) working days following completion of the hearing.

 

RETALIATION PROHIBITED

 

The School Board shall discipline any individual who retaliates against any person who reports alleged sexual or gender harassment or who retaliates against any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing relating to a sexual or gender harassment complaint.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment at the time of a report or any time after a report.

 

NON-HARASSMENT

 

The School Board recognizes that not every advance or consent of a sexual nature constitutes harassment.  Whether a particular action or incident is a personal, social relationship without a discriminatory employment effect requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.  Deliberate false accusations of sexual harassment can have a serious detrimental effect on innocent parties and subject the accuser to disciplinary actions.

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AS SEXUAL ABUSE OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY

 

Under certain circumstances, sexual harassment of a student may constitute sexual abuse under the Louisiana Children's Code.  In such situations, School Board personnel become mandatory reporters and shall comply with Article 609(A) of the Louisiana Children's Code and directly report the sexual abuse to the Child Protection Unit of the Louisiana Department of Social Services.  Also, activity of a criminal nature should be reported by the victim to the police.

 

DISCIPLINE

 

Any action taken pursuant to this policy shall be consistent with requirements of applicable statutes and School Board policies.  The School Board and Superintendent shall take such disciplinary action for employees and non-employee volunteers it deems necessary and appropriate, including reprimand, transfer, probation, suspension or immediate discharge to end sexual harassment and prevent its recurrence.

 

Revised:  February, 1997

Revised:  April, 2010

Adopted:  November 1, 2010

 

 

Ref:    20 USC 1681 (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)

42 USC 2000e (Civil Rights - Definitions)

29 CFR 1604.11 (Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex - Sexual Harassment)

34 CFR 100.6 et seq. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยงยง14:41, 14:42, 14:42.1, 14:43, 14:81.4, 17:81, 23:301, 23:302, 23:303, 23:332

La. Civil Code, Art. 2315

Board minutes, 3-4-91, 1-13-97

 

Plaquemines Parish School Board