Date of Issue: September 10, 2014
Revised: August 15, 2016
Please Note: College Policies and Procedures (P&P) Memorandum No. 357 replaces P&P Memorandum No. 351 - Discrimination Complaint Policy and P&P Memorandum No. 352 - Discriminatory Harassment Prevention Policy.
The purpose of the Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Policy is to create an academic and working environment free of unlawful discrimination or harassment and to identify the procedures for handling discrimination, sexual harassment, and other harassment issues, including sexual assault.
The Community College of Philadelphia does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Such behavior is inconsistent with the College’s commitment to excellence and to a community in which mutual respect is a core value as articulated in the College’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values Statements. The prohibition against unlawful discrimination and harassment applies to all levels and areas of College operations and programs, students, administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, vendors, and contractors.
The College is subject to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, Federal executive Order 11246, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and all other rules and regulations that are applicable.
Under the direction of the President, the Director, Office of Diversity and Equity shall ensure compliance with this policy. The Director, Office of Diversity and Equity, in conjunction with the College’s Vice Presidents, Deans, and all other staff in a supervisory capacity shall implement this policy. All College employees have a duty to report claims of sexual misconduct or sexual assault to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, Room M2-3, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia PA 19130, (215) 751-8039.
Discrimination/Harassment – any conduct directed toward an individual or group based upon one or more of the following categories or traits: age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to a reasonable person that it alters an individual’s employment condition, educational environment or participation in a College activity and creates intimidating, offensive or a hostile environment for employment, education, or participation in a College activity. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, repeated remarks of a demeaning nature, implied or explicit threats, slurs, innuendoes or gestures, demeaning jokes, stories, pictures, touching or other forms of physical harassment or objects or activities directed at an individual based on any of the above categories or groups.
Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Sexual Assault – includes any of the following: (a) any intentional, unconsented touching, or threat or attempt thereof, of: (i) an intimate bodily part of another person, such as a sexual organ, buttocks or breast; (ii) any bodily part of another person with a sexual organ; or (iii) any part of another person’s body with the intent of accomplishing a sexual act; (b) disrobing of another person without the other’s consent or purposeful exposure of one’s genitals to another without the other’s consent; or (c) forcing or attempting to force, another person to engage in sexual activity of any kind without their consent. Consent in sexual activity is defined in Pennsylvania in accordance with its plain and common meaning. Consent means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing through sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. Assent (an affirmative statement or action) shall not constitute consent if it is given by a person who is unable to make a reasonable judgment concerning the nature or harmfulness of the activity because of their intoxication, unconsciousness, youth, mental deficiency or incapacity, or if the assent is the product of threat or coercion. Consent to prior sexual activities does not constitute consent to future acts.
Retaliation – It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any party for participating in a discrimination/harassment investigation. Retaliation includes any adverse treatment that is reasonably likely to deter the complainant or others from filing a charge of discrimination/harassment or participating in a discrimination/harassment investigation. Retaliation can be verbal, written, graphic, electronic or physical.
Knowingly Filing False Complaints – Knowingly filing a false complaint of discrimination/harassment in retaliation is a violation of this policy. Such conduct may be pursued using the steps followed for a complaint of discrimination/harassment, and if found to have occurred, will result in disciplinary action that may include termination or expulsion.
The Community College of Philadelphia is committed to creating and maintaining a working and learning environment for all faculty, staff, and students, which is free of discriminatory or harassing conduct or communication. The College will not tolerate any conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile, threatening or offensive working or learning environment.
The College views all forms of discrimination/harassment and all attempts to commit such acts as a serious offense and will impose disciplinary action up to and including expulsion, required withdrawal, suspension or termination. The College is committed to maintaining an environment free from discrimination/harassment toward visitors. Discrimination/harassment by employees, students or contractors toward visitors will not be tolerated by the College and will be addressed by this policy.
Consensual relationships occurring between supervisors and subordinates or faculty and students can lead to circumstances which may be interpreted as sexual harassment. Consensual relationships may also be viewed as causing a hostile or offensive work environment when other staff or students believe that the person(s) involved in the relationship(s) is/are receiving favorable treatment in employment or educational decisions and actions.The College strongly discourages any sexual or romantic relationship between a faculty member and a student where the faculty member has authority, influence, or responsibility with regard to that student. Similarly, the College discourages any sexual or romantic relationship between a supervisor and a staff employee, where the supervisor has authority, influence, or responsibility with regard to that employee. Consensual relationships among faculty and students or supervisors and staff where on such authority, influence or responsibility exists are strongly discouraged.
Allegations of harassment require that the College take action to investigate and remedy the situation, if harassment has occurred. The College is legally obligated to take action to eliminate harassment that is known or should have been known to anyone in an executive, managerial or supervisory capacity. Employees in supervisory roles must report allegations of harassment to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.
These procedures apply to prohibited acts (defined above) performed by any employee (including student worker), applicant, volunteer, vendor, or contractor of the College.
Discrimination/harassment allegedly perpetrated by or between students who are not acting in the capacity of a college employee falls within the jurisdiction of the Judicial Affairs Officer. The Judicial Affairs Officer will address the complaint in accordance with procedures described in the Student Code of Conduct located in the Student Handbook. Discrimination/harassment allegedly perpetrated toward students by a college employee or third party fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Diversity and Equity and complaints of this nature will be addressed in accordance with procedures listed herein.
Any employee, faculty or student may make verbal inquiries regarding discrimination/harassment to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity. The Office of Diversity and Equity will discuss the situation with the individual and recommend steps the person may take toward resolution of the problem and/or may refer the inquirer to other appropriate resources for assistance. Any faculty or staff member may report allegations of discrimination/harassment to their immediate superior. Students may report discrimination/harassment complaints to the Office of Academic and Student Success, Dean of Students, or a faculty member who must report it to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity. Students, faculty and staff members may also report discrimination/harassment complaints directly to Simon Brown, Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.
The complaint process consists of consultations, and an informal and/or formal investigation process for acts of discrimination/harassment as described below:
Discrimination/harassment is prohibited by federal, state, and local law. In addition to the internal process described, individuals may pursue complaints directly with government agencies that deal with unlawful discrimination/harassment claims, e.g., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the U.S. Department of Education, Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, and the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission.