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Sexual Harassment Prevention

Training for TCOE Employees

Goals of Training

 Define Sexual Harassment

 Criteria for Sexual Harassment
 Types of Prohibited Behaviors/Conduct

 TCOE Policy
 What To Do If You Are Being Sexually
What is Sexual Harassment?

 Sexual harassment is a form of gender

Conduct Constituting Sexual
Harassment Can Be…
 Male to female
 Female to male
 Male to male
 Female to female
 Supervisor to employee
 Employee to supervisor
 Employee to employee
Title VII

discrimination in
Education Code 212.5 defines
Sexual Harassment as….
 Unwelcome advances, requests for sexual
favors, and other verbal, visual or physical
conduct of a sexual nature, made by someone
from or in the work or educational setting
under the following conditions:

 Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly

made a term or condition of an individual’s
employment status or progress
Education Code 212.5
 Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct
by the individual is used as a basis for
employment or academic decisions
affecting the individual.

 The conduct has the purpose of, or effect of,

having a negative impact upon the
individual’s work or of creating an
intimidating, hostile or offensive work
Two Types of Sexual Harassment

 Quid Pro Quo

 Occurs when an employee is subjected to
unwelcome sexual advances or requests for
sexual favors by the supervisor as a
condition for hiring, promotion, or continued
Two Types of Sexual Harassment

 Hostile Work Environment

 Conduct or a sexually oriented environment
which is offensive to a “reasonable person”
of the same gender as the individual
subjected to the harassing conduct.
Hostile Work Environment is the most
prevalent form of Sexual Harassment

 Conduct reasonably interferes with work

 Generally involves a course of conduct
rather than a single incident
An isolated incident does not usually
create a hostile environment.

 The conduct must be “severe, persistent,

or pervasive” to constitute a hostile

 The impact of the conduct and how it is

perceived by the person receiving the
conduct is also important.

 Mere acquiescence or failure to complain

does not mean the conduct was
 The victim defines what is welcome.
What Factors Contribute to a Sexually
Hostile Environment?
 The frequency of the unwelcome
 The severity of the conduct;
 Whether the conduct was physically
threatening or humiliating, or a mere
utterance that was offensive;
 Whether the conduct unreasonably
interfered with work performance;
What Factors Contribute to a Sexually
Hostile Environment?
 The effect on the employee’s
psychological well-being; and
 Whether the harasser was a supervisor.
Types of Sexual Harassment

 Sex-Based Harassment
 Allegations that an employee has been harassed
because of his/her sex even though the harassing
conduct is not sexual in nature.

 Example: Female employee physically threatened by

male employee. This may include physical conduct such
as touching, assault, and impeding or blocking movement.

 Example: Gay bashing

Types of Sexual Harassment

 Bystander Harassment
 A bystander witnesses the sexual
harassment and becomes fearful or
What Are Behaviors that Are
Considered Forms of Harassment?
 Unwanted Sexual Advances
 Continuing to express sexual interest after being
informed or otherwise made aware that the interest
is unwelcome.
 Favors
 Offering favors or employment benefits, such as
promotions, favorable performance evaluations,
favorable assigned duties, recommendations,
reclassifications, etc., in exchange for sexual
Other Prohibited Behaviors

 Reprisals
 Making reprisals, threats of reprisals, or implied
threats of reprisals following a negative response to
sexual advances.
 For example: either threatening to withhold or actually
withholding support for an appointment, promotion, or
change of assignment, or suggesting that a poor
performance appraisal will be given
Other Prohibited Behavior

 Visual Conduct
 Leering, sexual gestures, display of sexually
suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons,
posters, drawings or graffiti, magazines,
sexual toys or objects or other material,
sending sexually explicit email messages.
Other Prohibited Behavior

 Verbal or Written Abuse

 Making or using derogatory comments,
slurs, jokes or epithets, sexual innuendos,
comments about appearance or body,
personal questions (e.g. about sex life),
persistent invitations or verbal sexual
advances or propositions.
Other Prohibited Behaviors

 Physical Contact
 Any offensive or uninvited touching,
brushing against, or impeding or blocking
Employees May be Held
Personally Liable for Their Own
Action or Inaction.
Failure to Report Harassment
Retaliation by Harasser
Discipline up to termination if foundguilty of harassment
If the harasser is sued by the employee, the harasser could
be held liable for economic and non-economic damages to
the person who was harassed
Is it Really Sexual Harassment?
 Is this verbal or physical behavior of a sexual
 Is this conduct offensive to the person(s) who
witnessed it?
 Is this behavior being initiated by only one of
the parties that has power over the other?
 Does the employee have to tolerate the
conduct in order to keep his/her job?
 Does the conduct make the employee’s job
Behaviors that Contribute to a
Hostile Environment
 Unfulfilled threats to impose a sexual quid pro
 Discussing sexual activities;
 Telling off-color jokes of a sexual nature;
 Unnecessary touching;
 Commenting on physical attributes;
 Using demeaning or inappropriate terms, such
as “babe,” “stud,” “honey,” “sweetheart,” etc.;
Behaviors that Contribute to a
Hostile Environment
 Displaying sexually suggestive pictures;
 Using indecent gestures;
 Engaging in physical contact;
 Granting job favors to those who
participate in consensual sexual activity;
 Using crude and offensive language.
The Office is Deemed to “Know”
About Harassment if…
 An employee files a complaint.
 An employee witnesses the harassment.
 It is important that a witness tell their supervisor
immediately about what they have observed.
 The Office would have found out about the
harassment through “reasonable diligent
inquiry,” or where it is widespread, openly
practiced, or well-known to staff.
The Office Takes the Following Steps to Protect
Our Employees from Sexual Harassment

 Written Policies that prohibit harassment

and outline a prompt, responsive
complaint procedure.
 Training provided for staff.
 Prompt and thorough investigations.
 Appropriate consequences if allegations
of harassment are substantiated.
What do I do if I experience
sexual harassment?
 Identify the behavior or environmental factor
which is unwelcome/unwanted.
 Report the harassment to your supervisor, or if
the harasser is your supervisor, to the
Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources.
What will Happen after I Report
the Harassment?
 The Office will conduct a thorough
investigation. The victim, alleged harasser
and any witnesses will be interviewed.
 The Office will determine whether sexual
harassment has taken place. If it is
determined sexual harassment has taken
place, the employee will be disciplined, up
to and including termination, if warranted.
What will Happen after I Report
the Harassment?

 The harassing behavior will stop.

 If it does not stop, inform your
supervisor or the Assistant
Superintendent, Human Resources.
 Retaliation for reporting harassment is
against the law. You should not
experience any retaliatory behavior. If
you do, immediately inform your
supervisor or the Assistant
Superintendent, Human Resources.
If the Harassing Behavior
Persists, What Should I Do?
 Immediately report that the conduct is
continuing to your supervisor and the
Assistant Superintendent, Human
What to Do If I Observe a Prohibited
Behavior as a Witness?
 Ask the victim if he/she felt harassed (remember it
is how the victim perceived the behavior).
 If you know the person who exhibited the
prohibited behavior advise him/her of your
 Assist the victim in reporting the situation, if
necessary. If the victim does not want to report
the incident, you report what you saw to your
 Document the situation in case of future
If You Are the Alleged Harasser
 The act of harassment, by itself, is an unlawful act.
 The harasser can be held personally liable for
 A victim may be entitled to damages even though no
employment opportunity has been denied and there
is no actual loss of pay or benefits.
 Take the complaint seriously.
 Be aware that sexual harassment may result in
disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
Use This Form to Report Sexual
Use This Form to Report Sexual Harassment
Initial Report of Sexual Harassment

On _______________________, I talked with _________________________________

(date) (employee/participant)

about a problem with _________________________________________ who:

(alleged harasser)

_____ Made remarks with sexual connotations to ______________________.

_____ Made derogatory comments to ________________________________.

_____ Told sexual jokes/stories to ___________________________________.

_____ Made sexual slurs to ________________________________________.

_____ Touched ____________________________in an unwelcome manner.

_____ Interfered with movement of _________________________________.

_____ Moved into an uncomfortable proximity with ___________________.

_____ Displayed derogatory sexual material to ________________________.

_____ Made sexually suggestive remarks/actions to ____________________.

_____ Withheld or promised benefits for exchange of sexual behavior

to ________________________________________________________.

_____ Spread rumors of a sexual nature

_____ Displayed sexually suggestive objects

_____ Other:_____________________________________________________


How this came to my attention:____________________________________________




TCOE will take all reasonable
steps to prevent harassment
from occurring.
If an employee experiences
harassment, TCOE will…
 Fully inform a complainant of his/her
rights to secure those rights.
 Fully and effectively investigate the
 Take steps to prevent further harassment
or retaliation for making a complaint.
Superintendent Policies and
Administrative Regulations