Effective October 1, 1995
(Revised March 19, 2007)
The following are procedures for implementation of the Policy Against Sexual Harassment at The City University of New York (hereinafter the "Policy"):
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other oral or written communications 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 or academic standing; 2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or 3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or academic environment.
- Responsibilities of the Presidents
The President of each constituent college of The City University of New York, the Senior Vice Chancellor at the Central Office, and the Dean of the Law School (hereinafter "Presidents") are responsible for overseeing compliance with the implementation of the Policy. Each President shall:
- Appoint a Sexual Harassment Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator(s) to be available to employees who wish to make complaints of sexual harassment. More than one Deputy Coordinator may be appointed at the discretion of the President. Presidents should take into account gender and ethnic balance as they appoint individuals. Further, one of the Coordinators should be a faculty member. The responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator(s) are set forth in subsection b. below.
- Appoint a Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee to be responsible for educating the college community about sexual harassment through printed materials, workshops, and the like. The responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee are set forth in subsection c. below.
- Ensure that the Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator(s) and Awareness and Intake Committee members are fully trained and equipped to carry out their responsibilities.
- Disseminate the Policy Against Sexual Harassment, including the names, titles, telephone numbers, and office locations of the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator(s) and Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee members, annually to all employees. It is recommended that such information be included in all orientation, and all handbooks and newsletters; and on the college website.
- Submit as part of the annual report on non-discrimination, a summary of the sexual harassment educational activities undertaken at the college, as well as a summary of the number of complaints filed and the general outcomes thereof.
b. Responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Coordinator and Sexual Harassment Deputy Coordinator(s)
- It is the responsibility of the President to appoint the college AA/CDO as either the Sexual Harassment Coordinator or a Sexual Harassment Deputy Coordinator. Further, a faculty member should be appointed as one of the Coordinators.
- The Sexual Harassment Coordinator is responsible, as the President’s designee, for reviewing all complaints of sexual harassment from any member of the college community, and for making efforts to resolve those complaints informally, if possible. When informal resolution is not possible, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall investigate the complaint. The Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall report to the President (and the Chief Student Affairs Officer, if the accused/complainant is a student) the results of the investigation. A Deputy Coordinator may also assume responsibility for the informal resolution or investigation of complaints, as assigned by the Sexual Harassment Coordinator. The Coordinators have an obligation to maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible.
- Submit annually as part of the report on non-discrimination, a summary of the sexual harassment educational activities undertaken at the college, as well as a summary of the number of complaints filed and the general outcomes thereof.
c. Responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee
- The Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee is responsible for educating employees about sexual harassment and its potential consequences to the University community, and for overseeing sexual harassment training.
- It is recommended that the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee consist of six to eight persons, all of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President. Further, it is strongly recommended that the Committee reflect the diversity of the college, and be composed of at least two faculty members, as well as administrators, staff, and students.
- All members of the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee shall be available to receive complaints of sexual harassment from any member of the college community, to explain the University complaint procedures, and to refer individuals and/or the complaint to the Sexual Harassment Coordinator.
- All members of the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee have an obligation to maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible.
d. Responsibilities of Supervisors
- Each dean, director, department chairperson, executive officer, administrator, or other person with supervisory responsibility (hereinafter "supervisor") is responsible within his or her area of jurisdiction for the implementation of the Policy. Supervisors must report to the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, or in his or her absence a Deputy Coordinator, any complaint of sexual harassment or any incident of sexual harassment that he or she becomes aware of or reasonably believes to exist. Having reported such complaint or incident, the supervisor should keep it confidential and not disclose it further, except as necessary during the complaint process.
- Each supervisor shall arrange for the posting, in his or her area, of the University Policy Against Sexual Harassment and the names, titles, telephone numbers, and office locations of the college Sexual Harassment Coordinator, Deputy Coordinators and Awareness and Intake Committee members. Other materials provided to a supervisor by the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee should also be posted.
e. Responsibilities of the University Community-At-Large
Members of the University community who become aware of allegations of sexual harassment should encourage the aggrieved individual to report the alleged sexual harassment to the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator or any member of the Awareness and Intake Committee.
The privacy of individuals who bring complaints of sexual harassment, who are accused of sexual harassment, or who are otherwise involved in the complaint process should be respected, and information obtained in connection with the filing, investigation, or resolution of complaints should be handled as confidentially as possible. It is not possible, however, to guarantee absolute confidentiality and no such promises should be made by the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator, Awareness and Intake Committee memberor other University employees who may be involved in the complaint process.
Any member of the University community may report allegations of sexual harassment to the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator or any member of the Awareness and Intake Committee. Employees who are covered by collective bargaining agreements may elect to use both their contractual grievance procedures, within the time limits provided in those agreements, to report allegations of sexual harassment; and to report such allegations directly to the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator or a member of the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee.Members of the University community who believe they been aggrieved under the Policy are strongly encouraged to report the allegations of sexual harassment as promptly as possible. Delay in making a complaint may make it more difficult for the college to investigate the allegations.
a. After receiving a complaint of sexual harassment, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall, in appropriate cases, make efforts to resolve the complaint informally, i.e., by an arrangement that is acceptable to the complainant, the accused, and the college. Examples of informal resolutions include, but are not limited to:
- arranging for a workshop on sexual harassment to be conducted for the unit, division, or department in which the sexual harassment is alleged to have occurred;
- having a supervisor, Sexual Harassment Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator speak to the accused regarding the allegations of sexual harassment and counsel the accused as to appropriate behavior;
- arranging for a meeting between the complainant and the accused, with a third party present, to discuss and resolve the allegations;
- having the accused write a letter of apology.
Whenever possible, an informal resolution should be acknowledged in writing and signed by the complainant. The accused should also be asked to sign such an acknowledgement.
b. If no informal resolution of a complaint is achieved, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall conduct a formal investigation of the complaint. It is recognized, however, that complaints may be resolved by mutual agreement of the complainant, the accused, and the college at any time in the process.
6. Investigations of Sexual Harassment Complaints
While the investigation of sexual harassment complaints may vary depending upon the nature of each case, it is recommended that an investigation include the following, to the extent feasible:
a. The Sexual Harassment Coordinator should interview the complainant, preferably with a Deputy Coordinator present. The complainant may bring the person to whom he or she originally brought the complaint to the interview. The complainant should be informed that an investigation is being commenced, that interviews of the accused and possibly other people shall be conducted, and that the President shall determine what action, if any, to take after the investigation is completed.
b. The Sexual Harassment Coordinator should interview the accused, preferably with a Deputy Coordinator present. The accused should be advised that a complaint of sexual harassment has been received, that an investigation has begun, which may include interviews with third parties, and that the President will determine what action, if any, to take after the investigation is completed. The accused should be advised of the nature of the allegations against him or her and be given an opportunity to respond. In addition, the accused should be advised that any sexual harassment of or other retaliation against, the complainant or others is prohibited. If such behavior is engaged in, the accused shall be subject to severe discipline, up to and including termination of employment or, if the accused is a student, permanent dismissal from the University. An accused employee who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement may consult with a union representative and have a union representative present during the interview.
c. In addition to interviews with the complainant, the accused, and those persons named by them, it should be determined whether there are others who may have relevant information regarding the events in question and whether there is documentary evidence that may be relevant to the complaint. Persons interviewed should be advised that information related to the complaint should be kept confidential and not disclosed further, except as necessary during the complaint process.
d. In the event that a complaint is anonymous, the complaint should be investigated as thoroughly as possible under the circumstances.
e. While some complaints of sexual harassment may require extensive investigation, whenever possible, the investigation of most complaints should be completed within 60 days of the receipt of the complaint.
7. Action Following Investigation of Sexual Harassment
a. Promptly following the completion of the investigation, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall report his or her findings to the President, and in the event that the accused is a student, to the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
b. Following such report, the President or his or her designee shall promptly take such action as he or she deems necessary and proper to correct the effects of or to prevent further harm to an affected party or others similarly situated, including commencing action to discipline the accused under applicable University Bylaws or collective bargaining agreements. In addition to initiating disciplinary proceedings, corrective action may include, but is not limited to, transferring a student to another class section, transferring an employee, or granting a benefit wrongfully withheld.
c. The complainant and the accused should be apprised in writing of action taken as a result of the complaint.
The President may, in extreme cases, take whatever action is appropriate to protect the college community.
9. False Complaints
In the event that the Sexual Harassment Coordinator concludes that a complainant made a complaint of sexual harassment with knowledge that the allegations were false, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall state this conclusion in his or her report. The failure to substantiate a sexual harassment complaint, however, is not in and of itself sufficient to demonstrate that a complaint was false.
a. The Sexual Harassment Coordinator shall keep the President informed regarding complaints of sexual harassment and shall provide the information necessary to prepare the annual report referenced in § II, 2, a, (last bullet).
b. Records regarding complaints of sexual harassment shall be maintained in a secure location.
a. These Procedures are applicable to all of the units and colleges of the University. The Hunter College Campus Schools may make modifications to these procedures, subject to approval by the University, as appropriate to address the special needs of their elementary and high school students.
b. These Procedures are intended to provide guidance to the Presidents for implementing the University policy against sexual harassment; these procedures do not create any rights or privileges on the part of any others.