Harassment Policy

Harassment Policy

General Policy Statement

Saint Augustine's University [“The University”] will not tolerate any unlawful harassment of its employees. Types of unlawful harassment covered by this policy include harassment against an individual because of that person’s race, sex, religion, color or national origin, age, disability, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law. The policy applies to harassment by any of the University’s employees as well as any non-employees present in the University’s workplace such as contractors, vendors, and/or suppliers, interacting with the University’s employees in connection with their work. Such prohibited harassment can arise from a broad range of physical or verbal behavior, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Physical or mental abuse;
  • Insults, jokes, slurs, comments based on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color or national origin, age, disability, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law;
  • Display of suggestive, offensive or discrimination–oriented pictures or materials.

Accordingly, the University will not tolerate harassment within its organization, including all of the University’s facilities and departments. As outlined below, the University takes seriously any harassment claim and specifically prohibits any supervisor or any other University employee from unlawful harassment.

The University welcomes any questions and comments from employees regarding the harassment policy outlined below.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a specific form of illegal harassment that requires more explanation. The University bases its definition of sexual harassment on information provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to EEOC guidelines, sexual harassment includes, but is not necessarily limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct explicitly or implicitly affects 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; or
  • Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or man.
  • The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, and a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non- employee.
  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
  • The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.

Complaint Procedure

Complaint Procedure

It is the shared obligation of all employees to report any and all incidents of suspected harassment to the University management. Any employee who believes he or she has been subjected to unlawful harassment or believes he/she has witnessed one or more incidents of unlawful harassment should immediately report the incident(s) to his or her supervisor, or alternatively, to his or her Department Chair, Division Dean, Area Vice President, the Provost, or the Director of Human Resources.

If the employee feels that any one of these individuals is involved in the alleged harassment in any way, or believes that for some other reason anyone of these individuals cannot be approached, then the employee should report his or her claim to any of the other individuals listed.

The University encourages reporting of such acts as they happen. All reports of unlawful harassment will be investigated promptly. Supervisors who fail to effectuate this policy or fail to investigate conduct of allegations of the type, which are prohibited by this policy, will be subject to disciplinary action.

The University will promptly investigate all reported harassment claims. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, an interview of the employee lodging the complaint and the alleged harasser and any witnesses involved. In all cases, the employee who reports unlawful harassment will be advised of the results of the investigation. To the greatest extent possible, the University will attempt to maintain the confidentiality of any harassment investigation. The University will take reasonable measures to keep the reporting and investigation of harassment claims as confidential as possible under the circumstances.

If an employee believes that a reported harassment incident is not being timely or adequately addressed, the employee should bring his/her concerns to the attention of the President.

Disciplinary Measures

Disciplinary Measures

If the University’s investigation leads to a determination that illegal harassment has occurred or is occurring, the University will initiate prompt corrective action reasonably calculated immediately to end the harassment and in accordance with the University’s disciplinary procedure. Such corrective action may include, but is not necessarily limited to, disciplinary action against any employee engaged in harassing behavior, up to and including termination of employment.

Protection Against Retaliation

Protection Against Retaliation

Every employee is entitled to report potential incidents of harassment without reprisal. No employee who in good faith reports or participates in the investigation of harassment will suffer any retaliatory action. Therefore, if in response to an employee’s report of suspected harassment, a supervisor or other employee retaliates or threatens to retaliate against the employee or his or her job, the affected employee should promptly report the incident(s) to his or her supervisor or, alternatively, to his or her Department Chair, Division Dean, Area Vice President, the Provost, or the Director of Human Resources.

Any questions regarding the University Harassment Policy should be addressed to the Human Resources Department.