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RCTC /

MnSCU

Board Policies on
Non-discrimination
and Sexual Violence
presented by
Francisco Gonzalez
Regional Diversity Trainer and Investigato
Introduction
 Present an overview of RCTC’s
policies on harassment, discrimination
and sexual violence

 How to identify and deal with


workplace harassment and
discrimination
Topics of Discussion
 MnSCU Board of Trustees Policies:
http://www.mnscu.edu/board/policy/index.html

 No person shall be discriminated against in the


terms and conditions of employment, personnel
practices, or access to and participation in,
programs, services, and activities with regard to
race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national
origin, disability, marital status, status with
regard to public assistance, sexual
orientation…..
1B.1 NONDISCRIMINATION

 RACIAL DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
 Subpart A. Racial discrimination
 Subpart B. Racial harassment

 SEX DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT AND


VIOLENCE
 Subpart A. Sex discrimination
 Subpart B. Sexual harassment

 SEXUAL ORIENTATION
DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
 Subpart A. Sexual orientation discrimination
 Subpart B. Sexual orientation harassment
DISABILITY
DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT

 Subpart A. Disability discrimination


 Subpart B. Disability harassment

 1B.3 Sexual Violence Policy


 Subpart A. Sexual violence
 Subpart B. Sexual assault
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
(definitions)

Racial discrimination
 Conduct

 directed at an individual because of his/her race,

color, or national origin or that of his/her spouse


 and that subjects the individual to different

treatment
 interferes with or limit the ability of the individual

to participate in, or benefit from, the services,


activities, or privileges provided by the system or
colleges and universities
 adversely affects the individual's employment or

education.
definition
Racial discrimination

 Conduct
 directed at an individual because of his/her race,
color, or national origin or that of his/her spouse
 and that subjects the individual to different
treatment
 interferes with or limit the ability of the individual
to participate in, or benefit from, the services,
activities, or privileges provided by the system or
colleges and universities
 adversely affects the individual's employment or
education.
definition
Racial harassment

 form of race discrimination


 defined as verbal or physical conduct
 directed at an individual because of his/her
race, color, or national origin or that of
his/her spouse
 sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent
 purpose or effect of creating a hostile work
or educational environment.
definition
Racially hostile environment

 an environment on campus that, through


harassing conduct (e.g., physical, verbal,
graphic, or written), becomes sufficiently
severe, pervasive or persistent so as to
interfere with or limit the ability of an
individual to participate in or benefit from the
services, activities or privileges provided by
the College
Severe, Pervasive or Persistent
Standard
 To determine whether a racially hostile environment
exists, it must be determined if the racial
harassment is severe, pervasive or persistent. In
doing this, the College will examine the context,
nature, scope, frequency, duration, and
location of racial incidents, as well as the identity,
number, and relationships of the persons involved.
Examples of discrimination based
on race, color and/or national origin
 denying raises, benefits, promotions, or performance
evaluations
 preventing any person from using College facilities or
services
 denying a person access to any educational program
 fostering an environment that is unwelcoming or
hostile
 telling racist jokes
 displaying ethnic caricatures
 making disparaging remarks about cultural practices
SEX DISCRIMINATION,
HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE
Subpart A. Sex discrimination
 Conduct

 directed at an individual because of his/her

gender or that of his/her spouse


 subjects the individual to different treatment

 interferes with or limit the ability of the individual


to participate in, or benefit from, the services,
activities, or privileges provided by the system or
colleges and universities or otherwise adversely
affects the individual's employment or education.
Sexual harassment
Subpart B. Sexual harassment
 unwelcome sexual advances, requests for

sexual favors, sexually motivated physical


conduct, and other verbal or physical
conduct of a sexual nature
Sexual harassment takes
one of two forms:
 Quid Pro Quo Harassment: when submission to
or rejection of sexual conduct is used as the basis
for making employment decisions, such as
promotions, pay increases, hiring and firing; or

 Hostile Environment Harassment: sexual


conduct that has the purpose or effect of
unreasonably interfering with an employee's work
performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or
offensive working environment.
Determining When Sexual
Conduct Is Unwelcome
Did the employee indicate, by her/his
conduct, that the sexual advances or
conduct were unwelcome?

 Notice of the unwelcome conduct may be


explicit or implicit.
 Take account of the totality of
circumstances
Ways to evaluate the “totality
of circumstances” --
 Whether the employee contemporaneously
complained about the conduct;

 If no complaint was made, the reason the


employee did not come forward, i.e., fear of
retaliation;

 Whether the employee's conduct was


consistent or inconsistent with the claim that
the sexual conduct was unwelcome; and

 Whether the individual initiated the conduct.


Determining When Sexual
Conduct Is Unwelcome
(cont.)
 The "totality of the circumstances" will be evaluated
such as:
 Whether the employee contemporaneously
complained about the conduct;
 If no complaint was made, the reason the employee
did not come forward, i.e., fear of retaliation;
 Whether the employee's conduct was consistent or
inconsistent with the claim that the sexual conduct
was unwelcome; and
 Whether the individual initiated the conduct
Determining Whether The
Conduct Is Sexual
"Sexual" is broadly interpreted by the courts.
Not necessarily graphic or egregious conduct.

Romantic gestures, e.g., asking somebody out


on a date, will be considered "sexual" conduct
under the law.

Same-sex harassment is unlawful; it does not


need to involve allegations of gay or lesbian
conduct.
Determining Whether A Work
Environment Is Hostile
 Intent is irrelevant. Harassing conduct has the
"purpose or effect" of interfering with an employee,
even if the harasser meant no harm. "I’m just
joking" or "I didn’t mean anything by it" are not
adequate excuses.

 The conduct must be sufficiently severe or


pervasive so as to alter the conditions of the
employee's employment. Trivial or merely
annoying conduct will not sufficiently alter an
employee's working conditions. Hypersensitive
employees will not automatically be entitled to
relief.
Determining Whether A Work
Environment Is Hostile (cont.)
 A pattern of offensive conduct is generally
required. Unless severe, a single incident or
isolated incidents of sexual conduct or remarks
will not be sufficient to show environmental
harassment.
 The conduct will be evaluated from the objective
viewpoint of a reasonable person facing the same
conditions.
 For example, a workplace in which sexual slurs,
displays of pinups and other offensive conduct are
commonplace can still be a hostile environment
even if many employees deem it to be harmless
or insignificant
SEXUAL ORIENTATION
DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
Subpart A. Sexual orientation discrimination
 conduct

 directed at an individual because of his/her sexual

orientation and t
 subjects the individual to different treatment by

 interfere with or limit the ability of the individual to


participate in, or benefit from, the services,
activities, or privileges provided by College, or
 otherwise adversely affects the individual's

employment or education.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION
DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
(cont.)
 Subpart B. Sexual orientation
harassment
 verbal or physical conduct
 directed at an individual because of his/her
sexual orientation
 severe, pervasive or persistent so as to
have the purpose or effect of creating a
hostile work or educational environment.
DISABILITY
DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
Subpart A. Disability discrimination
 conduct

 directed at an individual because of his/her

mental/physical disability or that of his/her spouse


and that
 subjects the individual to different treatment by

agents or employees without legitimate non-


discriminatory reason
 interfere with or limit the ability of the individual to

participate in, or benefit from, the services,


activities, or privileges provided by College or
otherwise adversely affects the individual's
employment or education
DISABILITY
DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT
(cont.)
Subpart B. Disability harassment
 verbal or physical conduct

 directed at an individual because of his/her

mental/physical disability or that of his/her


spouse
 sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent

so as to have the purpose or effect of


creating a hostile work or educational
environment
1B.3 Sexual Violence Policy
 Sexual violence is an intolerable intrusion
into the most personal and private rights of
an individual, and is prohibited at Minnesota
State Colleges and Universities.

 Acts of sexual violence may also constitute


violations of criminal or civil law, or other
Board Policies that may require separate
proceedings.
Subpart A. Sexual violence

 Sexual violence includes a continuum of


conduct that includes sexual assault, and
non-forcible sex acts, as well as aiding acts
of sexual violence.
Subpart B. Sexual assault.

“Sexual assault” means an actual,


attempted, or threatened sexual act with
another person without that person’s
consent. Sexual assault is often a criminal
act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota
law, as well as form the basis for discipline
under Minnesota State Colleges and
Universities student conduct codes and
employee disciplinary standards
Sexual assault includes but is
not limited to
1. Involvement without consent in any sexual
act in which there is force, expressed or
implied, or use of duress or deception upon
the victim.

Forced sexual intercourse is included in this


definition, as are the acts commonly
referred to as “date rape” or “acquaintance
rape
Sexual assault includes but is
not limited to (cont.)
2. Involvement in any sexual act when the
victim is unable to give consent.
3. The intentional touching or coercing,
forcing, or attempting to coerce or force
another to touch an unwilling person’s
intimate parts
4. Offensive sexual behavior that is directed
at another such as indecent exposure or
voyeurism
Overlap/Continuum of conduct

Sexual DiscriminationSexual
Harassment Sexual Assault
Preventing Workplace Sexual
Harassment:
 The Litmus Tests
 If you have any question about whether your
comments, compliments, jokes or conduct
will be considered unwelcome, don't do it. If
you need help drawing a line for workplace
comments or conduct, use any of our three
"litmus tests."
Litmus Test #1
 Would you say the same thing or allow
such a comment to be said to a loved one
of whom you feel especially protective,
e.g., a daughter, son, niece, nephew,
sister or brother? If you wouldn't want
such a comment said to that person, then
don't say it and don't allow it to be said to
others.
Litmus Test #2
 Would you make the same comment or act
in the same manner if your spouse/partner
and the other person's spouse/partner were
present? If not, don't say it and don't allow
it to occur.
Litmus Test #3

 Would you want to read about your


comments or conduct on the front page of
the Rochester Post-Bulletin? If that is a
distasteful thought, then do not make the
comment or engage in the conduct.
Preventing Workplace Sexual
Harassment (cont.)
 Wait For The Return Arrow
 The law does not prohibit you from asking a
co-worker out on a date one time. However,
if the person you ask declines without
indicating that he or she is interested in
going out another time, then don't ask
again. Wait for the person to return Cupid's
arrow by asking you out socially.
 Compliments Don't Include Body Parts
It is perfectly acceptable to compliment co-
workers if the remarks have no sexual
component. "That is a nice tie" or "Those are
nice earrings" are appropriate comments and
do not constitute sexual harassment.
However, by including body parts in the
compliment, you introduce a sexual element
in the comment. "You have great legs"
objectifies the person's body and should be
avoided.
 "I Was Just Joking" Is No Excuse
The law on sexual harassment clearly states that an
individual's sexual conduct that has the purpose or
effect of unreasonably interfering with an
employee's work performance or creates a hostile
environment can be found to be unlawful. Everyone
understands that deliberately creating a hostile
environment would be unlawful. However, many
people don't understand that intent is irrelevant —
merely creating the effect is sufficient. "I didn't
mean to do anything. I was just joking around."
These are common excuses, but they are not ways
to escape liability.
 A Co-Worker Is A Co-Worker
Many employees make the mistake of
believing co-workers are their friends based
on "friendly" interaction in the workplace
and, therefore, often unwittingly step over
the line of acceptable behavior. Unless you
truly have a relationship outside of work,
then a co-worker is a co-worker, not a
friend.
 Do Not Fish Off Your Own Pier
Numerous issues are raised when
supervisors date subordinates. Under the
best of circumstances, you create morale,
credibility and supervisory problems. The
worst case scenario is exposure to sexual
harassment complaints and possible liability.
There are many fish in the sea, just don’t
fish off your own pier.
1B.1 Complaint Procedure
 Provides process for individuals to pursue
allegations of discrimination or harassment
 Stops unwanted behavior
 Resolve disputes between parties, if
possible
 Fact finding
 Corrective or remedial action
 Sanction individual for violating MnSCU’s
Non-discriminatory policy as deemed
necessary
Responsibility for
Managing/Administering
Process
 DESIGNATED OFFICER (Investigator/HR director)
- Designated by the President of an institution with
primary responsibility for investigating complaints of
discrimination/harassment

 DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY
- Designated by the President to review investigative
reports
- Senior level administrator, such as Vice President
or Dean
- Determines whether policies have been violated
- Determines action
FAQ’s re: filing a complaint
 Information about filing a complaint (form to
complete, etc.) can be obtained at the HR
office
 Union Reps are allowed to be present during
questioning of witnesses
 Complaints are CONFIDENTIAL
 Retaliation for filing a complaint will not be
tolerated
 If in doubt about conduct, contact the HR
office or Investigator
Questions? More Information?

Francisco J. Gonzalez
Regional Diversity
Director/Investigator/Trainer
South Central Technical College
1920 Lee Blvd.
North Mankato, MN 56003
Phone: 507-389-7388
Francisco.Gonzalez@southcentral.edu
Thank you!