SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109
PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATORY CONDUCT
It is the policy of the Susquehanna Township School district that all employees should enjoy a working environment free from all forms of intimidation, hostility, offensive behavior and discrimination, including sexual harassment (hereinafter referred to individually or collectively as “discriminatory conduct”). An employee shall not be discriminated against because of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, or national origin with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment.
By way of example and not limitation, such discriminatory conduct may take the form of unwanted verbal or physical conduct, or sexual harassment. Such behavior or tolerance of such behavior on the part of an administrator, supervisor, faculty member, staff member, or other employee, is prohibited and violates the policy of the District. Such behavior or the tolerance of same may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.
Sexual discrimination and harassment lowers morale and is damaging to the work environment; it also is illegal. Therefore, the Susquehanna Township School District will treat sexual harassment like any other form of employee misconduct and it will not be tolerated.
It is illegal and against the policies of this District for any employee, male or female, to sexually discriminate against or harass another employee by:
Making acceptance of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, a condition of an employee’s continued employment;
Making submission to or rejections of such conduct the basis for employment decisions adversely affecting the employee’s employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts, or any other condition of employment or career development; or
Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment by such conduct.
Approved by the School Board – June 26, 1989
Amended by the School Board – April 13, 1992
Amended by the School Board – January 28, 2002
The District will enforce disciplinary action against any person who threatens or insinuates, either explicitly or implicitly, that an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the employee’s employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts, or any condition of employment or career development. This discipline can include dismissal.
The district recognizes that the question of whether a particular action or incident is a purely personal, social relationship without a discriminatory employment effect requires a factual determination based on all facts in each case.
The district will act positively to investigate alleged sexual discrimination or harassment claims and to effectively remedy them when an allegation is determined to be valid.
Given the nature of the type of discrimination, the District also recognizes that false accusations of sexual discrimination or harassment can have serious effects on innocent men and women. Therefore, false accusations will result in the same severe disciplinary action applicable to one found guilty of sexual harassment.
Compliant Procedure and Guideline
These regulations are intended to protect the rights of employees, administrators and the Board of Directors of the Susquehanna Township School District and to outline the procedures, which will be followed in the event that an employee of the District is charged with discriminatory conduct.
Any employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to discriminatory conduct because of his/her race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, or national origin, shall report all incidents of such conduct orally to the Superintendent within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of the incident.
The Superintendent will investigate the complaint, interview both parties to provide complainant and accused with the opportunity to discuss charges made, explore personal feelings with confidentiality and impartiality and evaluate complaints which might be irresponsible, unfounded, or involve misperceptions of fact or intent. A check of the personnel file will be made to determine evidence of prior friction between parties, and to assess work records. It is the Superintendent’s responsibility to provide oral remedies acceptable to both parties, if possible. The Superintendent will attempt to remedy the situation by reaching mutual agreement, and will notify the parties of his proposed resolution.
If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of either party at Step 1, either party may request an administrative conference within ten (10) days after the date of notification of the proposed resolution. The complainant and the accused shall each submit a detailed written statement of account to the Superintendent within ten (10) days after being notified to submit a written statement. Upon receiving such written statements, the Superintendent will inform both parties of an administrative conference. Such notice shall be made to each employee at least five (5) working days before the date of the conference and the conference shall be held within thirty (30) days after the request for an administrative conference.
During such an administrative conference, the complainant and the accused will have the right to be represented by counsel of their choice, at their expense.
Whenever the Superintendent is the complainant or the accused, the administrative conference may be by-passed and charges brought directly to the Board of Directors; or a Board member appointed by the president of the Board may be asked to conduct the conference.
Should the administrative conference be resolved in favor of the accused, no further action will be necessary and the charges and the transcript will be sealed and impounded. Release from impounding may be made only upon formal action of the Susquehanna Township School District Board of Directors or a court order or in response to any governmental agency authorized to investigate civil rights charges.
If the conference is resolved against the accused, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with district policy.
Both employees shall receive written notice of the decision rendered within five (5) days of the administrative conference. If the accused employee so requests within ten (10) days after notification of the Superintendent’s action, or, if the Superintendent determines that an accused employee should be demoted or dismissed or that the employee should be suspended without pay, then a hearing shall be scheduled before the Board of Directors no later than the next regularly scheduled meeting, provided that the scheduling protects the employee’s right to notification.
The Superintendent may temporarily stop employment until the proposed dismissal is acted upon by the Board of Directors. The payment of salary and benefits will be discontinued until action is taken by the Board of Directors; if a decision is later made in the accused employee’s favor, back pay and benefits will be provided. Recommendations for demotion if dismissal of the accused, together with a detailed statement of charges on which the proposed demotion or dismissal is based, shall be given to the employee and shall be presented to the Board in writing.
Board hearings will be conducted according to the following procedures:
Board hearings for non-tenured or non-professional employees will be conducted in public session, unless the employee requests a private hearing. The employee will have the same rights as for administrative conferences including the right to notification period of five (5) working days.
Board hearings for tenured, professional employees will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the State Code of Pennsylvania and other applicable state and federal laws, including the right of a tenured employee to notification at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing.
Any disciplinary action taken will be appropriate to the infraction involved and will include the right of an employee to reply, in writing, to any charges or discipline taken against him/her, and to include such reply in his/her personnel file.
The procedures contained in these administrative regulations are not intended to supersede or circumvent any procedures outlined in the School code for determination of competence or any procedures for redress of grievances outlined in collective bargaining agreements made with the Board of Directors.
These provisions shall not be construed so as to supercede any section(s) of the School Code of Pennsylvania or any state or federal laws regarding discipline or separation of employees; nor shall these regulations in any way be construed so as to limit the intent of other Board policies.
A person hired to fill a vacancy created as a result of staff discipline procedures will be given long-term substitute status until such time as the disciplinary procedures are completely resolved.
Any employee found to have engaged in retaliation against another employee who has registered a complaint under this policy or retaliation against any employee for assisting in the investigation of any registered compliant, will be subject to immediate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.