Anti-Harassment Policy and Agreement

Purpose

  • Identify sexual harassment as a serious issue.
  • Provide an environment free from illegal harassment.
  • Provide an internal procedure for reporting allegations of illegal harassment.
  • Provide remedial measures, if needed.

Employees must review the Anti-Harassment Policy each year. Please read the policy, and check the box below to indicate your agreement. Thank you!

Policy

It is the policy of the Agency to provide a work environment that is free from illegal harassment for all employees, customers, clients, vendors, the general public, or third parties. This policy applies to all forms of illegal harassment, including harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and/or physical or mental disability. The Agency has a responsible approach of confronting the issue of sexual harassment by staff, clients, or family members, which includes a combined effort of education, practical strategies, and a strong Agency policy identifying illegal harassment in any form as a serious issue and conduct that will not be tolerated. Early reporting of any incident is essential.

Regulations

Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of the Agency’s policy as well as federal and state law. Unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual.
  • Work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcomed sexual attention. It is usually repeated behavior, however, it could be one single incident. Sexual harassment may take the form of:

  • Unwelcomed sexual advances;
  • Unwelcomed hugging, touching, or kissing;
  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Slurs, jokes, or degrading comments of a sexual nature;
  • Suggestive or lewd remarks;
  • Repeated offensive sexual flirtations or propositions;
  • The display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects; and/or
  • Repeated, unwelcomed physical contact.

Any conduct that constitutes harassment with regard to any Agency employee or applicant is prohibited.

Procedure


Responsibility

Any employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to illegal harassment, or who has knowledge of that kind of behavior, should report such conduct immediately to his/her supervisor or, if the employee would prefer, to the HR Department.

Agency Responsibilities

Because the Agency takes allegations of harassment seriously, it will promptly investigate all reports of illegal harassment. The report and the ensuing investigation will be handled in as confidential manner as possible under the circumstances.

HR will be responsible for investigating the alleged violation and taking corrective action. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the Agency will look at the situation as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, i.e., the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. The determination of the legitimacy of the particular action will be made on a case-by-base basis from the facts.

If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the Agency will take such action as it deems appropriate under the circumstances. Disciplinary action may include immediate termination. Please note that while this policy sets for the Agency’s goals of promoting a workplace that is free of illegal harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit its authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct that it deems unacceptable or inappropriate regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of illegal harassment.

The Agency will not tolerate retaliation against any employee or group for reporting alleged illegal harassment or participating in a harassment investigation.

In addition, employees should be aware that the Maine Human Rights Commission is the state agency charged with the responsibility for enforcing Maine’s anti-discrimination laws. The Commission investigates complaints of unlawful discrimination in employment, including claims involving sexual harassment. The Commission will attempt to resolve complaints to discrimination to the mutual satisfaction of those involved. An employee may contact the Maine Human Rights Commission at the fol-lowing address and telephone number.

Maine Human Rights Commission
State House Station 51, Augusta, ME  04333
207-624-6050

The Maine Human Rights Act also prohibits any employer from punishing or penalizing, or attempting to punish or penalize, any person from seeking to exercise the rights protected by the Maine Human Rights Act, for reporting a violation of the Act, or for testifying in any proceeding brought pursuant to the Act.

Each year the Agency distributes its policy reporting the illegality of sexual harassment and other illegal forms of discrimination. An employee may obtain a copy at any time, by contacting the HR. Further, all questions regarding this policy should be directed to the HR.