APPROVED: December 17, 1999
Northern Michigan University is committed to its faculty, staff and students. Sexual harassment of any member of the University community is inconsistent with the University's desire to create the best possible living, learning, and work environment, and is therefore absolutely prohibited.
Harassment on the basis of sex is discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and the Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Federal and state laws prohibit sex discrimination in employment and in the utilization of educational facilities and services. Sexual harassment is considered to be sex discrimination and is therefore illegal.
Retaliation: It is a violation of University policy to intimidate, discipline, discharge, or harass any individual because she or he has filed a complaint, instituted proceedings, assisted an investigation, or formally or informally objected to sexual harassment and/or discriminatory practices. If retaliation occurs, the incident should be reported either to the Equal Opportunity Office or Human Resources (faculty and staff) or to the Dean of Students Office (students).
Confidentiality: The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the respondent, will be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University's legal obligation or ability to investigate allegations of misconduct when brought to its attention, and to take corrective action when it is found that misconduct has occurred.
Cooperation: All members of the University community are expected to provide full and truthful cooperation to university officials during and investigation.
DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or visual communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
There are two main types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment.
Quid pro quo harassment – Quid pro quo means "this for that." This occurs when a promotion or job benefit is directly tied to an unwelcome sexual advance.
Hostile environment – This type of sexual harassment in the workplace creates an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment or situation that is unfavorable to a person's job performance.
EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
All members of the University community are expected to be familiar with the following list. Examples of behaviors which may constitute sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct include but are not limited to:
The above behaviors shall be presumed unwelcome without the complainant communicating that the behavior is unwelcome.
When a complainant has communicated, verbally or in writing, that a behavior of a sexual nature is unwelcome, any repetition of that behavior or similar behavior will be considered unwelcome and is considered sexual harassment. No additional communication should be necessary for one to understand that his/her behavior is unwelcome.
If you are not comfortable directly communicating with the individual whose behavior is unwelcome, guidance or consultation is available through the Dean Students or Equal Opportunity Office.
All students, faculty, and staff
The University will promptly investigate a complaint and, where appropriate, take prompt corrective action up to and including discharge from University employment and/or expulsion. Complaints should be reported immediately but in all cases must be reported within ninety (90) calendar days of the alleged occurrence.
A member of the University community who wishes to complain about sexual harassment by an employee or student of the University can take one of the following actions:
Each complaint alleging sexual harassment will be evaluated with reference to the pertinent circumstances. A complaint may be resolved informally after speaking with the complaining party and the alleged harasser. Other complaints may result in formal investigations, including interviews and the review of any evidence. Members of the University community are expected to cooperate fully in investigations of alleged sexual harassment by University officials.
STEP I: Informal Complaint
• the alleged harassment
• the individual(s), program(s), or department(s) involved and, if possible, state the type of relief sought.
• explain the informal complaint procedure;
• inform the complainant of other internal resources/departments and/or University policies/procedures under which the complaint may be filed; and
• conduct an informal investigation of the complaint to try to resolve it within twenty-one (21)* days of receiving the oral or written informal complaint.
Step II: Formal Complaint
• notify the respondent that a formal complaint has been filed, provide a copy of the policy and advise of confidentiality and no retaliation, and
• assign two investigators to the complaint.
STEP III: Appeal
All of the time limits specified above may be extended for good cause. If the complainant fails to respond within the time limits provided, the complaint shall be deemed to have been withdrawn. (*All dates noted are considered days when the university is in operation. Days are weekdays when the university is in operation.)
Further information about sexual harassment is available from the Equal Opportunity Office at (906) 227-2420.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY THIRD PARTIES
University students participate in NMU academic programs (examples: student teaching, internships, clinical lab practicums, conferences, student trips, etc.) with or under the supervision of persons who are not University faculty or staff. If a student believes that she or he has been sexually harassed in a University academic program by an individual who is not a University employee or student, the student should report the alleged sexual harassment to the faculty member, department head or dean responsible for that academic program or to the Equal Opportunity Office.
When performing their jobs, University faculty and staff interact with contractors, suppliers, or customers who are not University faculty, staff or students. If a University employee (including a student employee) believes that he or she has been sexually harassed within the scope of his or her employment activities by an individual who is not a University employee or student, the University employee should report the alleged sexual harassment to his or her supervisor or to the Equal Opportunity Office or to Human Resources.
Individuals who are not students or faculty and staff of the University are not subject to discipline under the University's internal processes. Nonetheless, if the University determines that a third party has sexually harassed a University student in a University academic program or a University employee within the scope of her or his employment, the University will take corrective action to ensure the work or learning environment is free from unlawful sexual harassment.
Equal Opportunity / Finance and Administration, ext. 2420
Approved by the Board of Control, December 17, 1999
Updated and approved by the President, 9/8/10
Approved by Board of Trustees, September 24, 2010