To provide a campus environment free from sexual harassment, Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) has established this policy to facilitate reporting of sexual harassment and to ensure that allegations are promptly and thoroughly investigated.
Scope and Applicability
This policy outlines the steps for reporting and investigating sexual harassment and any appropriate action that may be taken. It applies to all College employees. Related College policies include SFCC Policy 4-7 Faculty-Student Relationships, SFCC Policy 4-9 SFCC Discrimination and Harassment, SFCC Policy 4-50 Employee Sexual Violence, Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking, and SFCC Policy 5-1 Art Displays and Artistic Expression.
SFCC is committed to maintaining a community in which students, faculty, staff and administration are free to work and study without being subjected to sexual harassment. Such behavior subverts the mission of all involved. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex and is, therefore, prohibited on campus and in programs and activities sponsored by the College.
- Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
- Sexual Harassment is defined as a form of unlawful sex discrimination that is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or unwelcome conduct directed at a person because of their sex or gender. It can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome when the person toward whom it is directed does not request or invite the conduct and views it as offensive and undesirable. Types of sexual harassment include Quid Pro Quo Harassment and Hostile Environment Harassment: a. Quid Pro Quo Harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which is made an explicit or implicit condition of participation in a College program or activity or College employment or an employment decision. b. Hostile Environment Harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual conduct is so severe or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational or employment environment. c. Conduct of a sexual nature may include, but is not limited to: i. Verbal or physical sexual advances; i. Touching of a sexual nature; ii. Graffiti of a sexual nature; iii. Sexual gestures; iv. Sexual or “dirty” jokes; v. Comments regarding physical or personality characteristics of a sexual nature; and, vi. Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and written materials (SFCC Policy 5-1 Art Displays and Artistic Expression). d. For the definition of sexual harassment under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, please refer to SFCC Policy 4-50 Employee Policy on Sexual Violence, Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking regarding situations involving employees. Allegations of sexual harassment that do not fall under this policy’s definition because they do not constitute prohibited conduct as defined in this section may constitute violations of other College policies.
- SFCC has established procedures to facilitate reporting of sexual harassment and to ensure that allegations are promptly and thoroughly investigated.
- If an individual believes that they have been sexually harassed or has observed a situation that they believes violates this policy, the situation must be reported to the department manager/supervisor, Office of Human Resources or any member of management as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days following the most recent incident.
- If a student employee believes that they are being harassed by an SFCC employee, that student should immediately contact the Office of Human Resources and the Student Affairs Officer. Students who are not student employees should immediately contact the Student Affairs Officer (SFCC Policy 2-22 Student Sexual Harassment).
- The College will take appropriate action if a non-employee worker, such as a vendor, contract worker, or consultant, is the subject of harassment or is accused of harassment. Incidents must be reported to the Office of Human Resources immediately, but not later than 90 days following the incident.
- Responsibility of Supervisors
- Supervisors have the following responsibilities:
- Know and follow the policy on sexual harassment;
- Model behavior that complies with this policy;
- Be alert to potential instances of harassment;
- Immediately notify the Office of Human Resources and the next higher-level manager when sexual harassment is observed or when it is reported;
- Cooperate with the Office of Human Resources in any investigation and in implementing remedial measures; and
- Be alert to any behavior that could constitute retaliation and report any observed instances to Human Resources.
- Supervisors who fail to promptly report and support appropriate action in response to actual or alleged incidents of harassment may also be subject to discipline (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).
- Supervisors have the following responsibilities:
- Retaliation Prohibited
- Retaliation against an individual for filing an allegation of sexual harassment in good faith, participating in an investigation of sexual harassment, or opposing discriminatory practices is strictly prohibited.
- Any employee who either directly or indirectly retaliates against another employee engaged in this process may be subject to discipline up to, and including, termination of employment (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).
- Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action
- An employee who violates this policy may be subject to corrective action or disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of employment (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).
- The discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the situation.
- In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the totality of the circumstances will be considered, including the frequency of the discriminatory conduct; its severity; and whether it is physically threatening, humiliating, or pervasive to the environment.
- When the College determines that a hostile environment exists, it shall take action to stop the harassment and ensure it does not happen again.
- In some cases, a single incident (such as sexual assault) may be so severe as to create a hostile environment.
- Such incidents may include injury to persons or property or conduct threatening injury to persons or property.
- In other cases, the conduct at issue is offensive, but not sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to constitute a hostile work or learning environment. In such cases, the College generally takes action to stop the offending behavior in an effort to promote a respectful environment and avoid the possibility that a hostile environment will develop.
- It is a violation of this policy for anyone to knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, make false accusations of sexual harassment.
- Failure to prove a claim of sexual harassment is not equivalent to a false allegation.
- Disciplinary action may be imposed on individuals who knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, make false accusations of sexual harassment (SFCC Policy 2-2 Student Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action, SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).
Statement of Accountability and Responsibility
The President, through the Vice President for Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness and the Chief Human Resources Officer, shall be responsible for enforcing human resources policies and procedures. The Office of Human Resources shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention, and remediation.
SFCC Governing Board approved: 1/10/2008
Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 4/21/2015
Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 1/25/2023