Please Enter a Search Term

Sexual Harassment

  

Principle:

Sexual harassment is a violation of human rights. Memorial University recognizes its ethical and legal responsibility to provide a workplace and learning environment that is free of sexual harassment. Students and members of faculty and staff at Memorial have the right to work and study in an environment that is free from sexual harassment. The University will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.

The University supports normal social relationships, freedoms of expression and the rights of academic staff to academic freedom. Power differences exist, implicit or explicit, between or among students, faculty and staff. Where one person has power or authority over another, implicit or explicit, there is potential for sexual harassment issues to arise.

 

Purpose:

To protect the safety and security of members of the University community by establishing a framework which aims:

  1. to prevent sexual harassment through education;
  2. to mitigate the effects of sexual harassment; and,
  3. to identify methods for the resolution of complaints of sexual harassment which may arise at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
 

Scope:

All members of the University community.

This Policy and accompanying University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints do not restrict the right of individuals to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, make use of the Criminal Code of Canada or the appropriate collective agreements or take legal action. Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment and is covered by this policy. However, in cases of alleged sexual assault, individuals will be advised to contact the appropriate Legal Authorities immediately. In addition, the Sexual Harassment Advisor is available to provide support, advice and guidance.

 

Definitions:

Academic Administrators - President, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, Executive Directors, Academic Directors, Deans or any other academic administrator not covered by a collective agreement or the University Staff Handbook for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees.

Advisor - Sexual Harassment Advisor.

Complainant - a Member of the University community or Non University person who considers himself or herself to have been subjected to sexual harassment, as defined by this policy, and who has chosen to file a formal complaint against a member of the university community in accordance with this policy.

Day(s) - a day, other than a Saturday or Sunday, statutory holiday, or other day on which the University is not open for administrative business.

Legal Authorities - the legal entities, external to the university community, who have the responsibility and jurisdiction to uphold and enforce the law including the Criminal Code of Canada (i.e. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary).

Mediation (Alternative dispute resolution) - an assisted negotiation; a process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates a collaborative, controlled discussion between and with the informed consent of a complainant and respondent in a setting that is deemed as safe as possible, with the goal of achieving an effective resolution. It is a non-disciplinary means of resolution, designed to address complaints of sexual harassment.

Members of the University community - Any person who teaches, conducts research, studies or works at or under the auspices of the University and includes, without limitation:

  • full- or part-time academic staff members;
  • full-time, part-time, continuing, temporary, contract and administrative staff members;
  • all students;
  • clinical faculty;
  • adjunct faculty in their capacity as researchers or co-supervisors of students;
  • per course instructors, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and associates; and
  • any other persons while they are acting on behalf of or at the request of the University.

Students and employees include former students and employees raising allegations of sexual harassment which occurred while they were still members of the University if those alleged incidents occurred within the time limits set out in this Policy.

Non University person - includes but is not limited to volunteers, contractors, their employees and agents, vendors of goods and services and their employees and agents, visitors to the University.

President - shall mean the President of Memorial University or his or her delegate.

Sexual Harassment - Comments or conduct of a sexual nature and/or abusive conduct based on gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation directed at an individual or group of individuals by a person or persons of the same or opposite sex, who knows or ought reasonably to know that such comments or conduct is unwelcome and/or unwanted.

Comments or conduct constitute sexual harassment when:

a. submission to such comments or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, academic status, academic accreditation, or
b. submission to or rejection of such comments or conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment, or for academic performance, status or accreditation decisions affecting such individual, or
c. such comments or conduct interferes with, or adversely affects, directly or indirectly, an individual's work or academic environment or performance, or
d. such comments or conduct calls attention to the gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation of an individual or individuals in a manner that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work/study environment).

Sexual Harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • unwelcome sexual invitations or requests;
  • demands for sexual favours;
  • unnecessary touching or patting of a person's body;
  • leering at a person's body;
  • unwelcome and repeated innuendos or taunting about a person's gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation;
  • unwelcome remarks or verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
  • visual displays of sexual images perceived to be degrading or offensive;
  • unwelcome remarks or verbal abuse based on gender, gender identity, sex (including pregnancy and breast feeding) or sexual orientation which are demeaning or degrading;
  • threats of a sexual nature;
  • sexual assault and;
  • any other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment may occur during a single incident, or a series of single incidents. Whether or not a single incident constitutes sexual harassment will depend on the nature and type of incident(s).

Sexual harassment may occur between individuals of the same sex or between the sexes.

Sexual harassment may occur in the course of work or study or participation in University-sponsored organizations, activities and programs, whether they occur on-campus or off-campus. Under this Policy any inappropriate social interactions in the course of study or work may be considered as sexual harassment whether it happens on campus or away from campus. Examples of off-campus settings, include, but are not limited to, field trips, athletic team road trips, conferences or training events, and work or study-related social functions whether or not they are official University functions.

Sexual Harassment is contrary to the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act, 2010, and may be contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Respondent - a Member of the University community or a Non University person as defined in this Policy whose alleged comments or conduct is the subject of a complaint and against whom a formal written complaint of sexual harassment has been made under the provisions of this Policy.

Retaliation - any threat of reprisal or any attempt to intimidate and/or any adverse behaviour or action, taken against a member of the University community or Non University person, by a member of the University community in response to the initial member:

  • having invoked this Policy;
  • having participated or cooperated in any investigation under this Policy; or
  • having been associated with a member of the University community or Non University person who has invoked this Policy or participated in these procedures.
 

Policy:

1.0 Responsibilities and Duties

1.1 All members of the University community, and in particular those in academic or administrative authority, shall:

a. know what constitutes sexual harassment;
b. familiarize themselves with and be aware of this Policy and its related University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints;
c. encourage an environment which is free of sexual harassment;
d. inform students, staff and colleagues about the Policy and its related University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints; and
e. consult with the Advisor to obtain advice and guidance regarding possible concerns of sexual harassment and refer individuals to the Advisor.

1.2 Sexual harassment by any member of the University community or a Non University person is prohibited.

1.3 Any member of the University community or Non University person as defined in this Policy may make a complaint of sexual harassment against a Member of the University community or against a Non University person as defined in this Policy.

2.0 Power Differences

2.1 Anyone in a sexual relationship with a person where a power differential exists is advised that, if a complaint of sexual harassment is subsequently filed, the power differential may be construed against them. When power differentials exist amongst or between members of the university, those holding positions of authority must respect the power with which they are entrusted. An inappropriate sexual relationship may create a negative work or study environment for others and give rise to a complaint under this Policy.

3.0 Conflict of Interest
3.1 Members of the University community are subject to and must comply with the University's Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures and should also refer to the conflict of interest provisions and relevant clauses in the appropriate collective agreement, University Staff Handbook for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees or other applicable documents.

4.0 Jurisdiction

4.1 Non-University persons who have concerns about sexual harassment at Memorial University of Newfoundland or at a University-related event may express their concerns to the Advisor. This Policy and its related University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints may be used where a non-University person as defined in this Policy makes a complaint against a member of the University community.

4.2 A concern of sexual harassment against a Non University person should be reported to the Sexual Harassment Advisor.

a. The Sexual Harassment Advisor may deal with the concern in consultation with the complainant, where appropriate.

b. Where a formal complaint has been made against a Non University person, the Advisor will determine, in consultation with the complainant, the appropriate steps to be taken.

c. Sexual harassment by a Non University person may result in suspension of privileges, such as access to campus or any other action deemed necessary.

5.0 Confidentiality

5.1 All complaints shall be handled with confidentiality. Members of the Sexual Harassment Board and mediator, as well as the Sexual Harassment Investigators and the Advisor and all who may be involved in the complaint process are to maintain confidentiality, particularly within the work, study or living area in question.

5.2 Confidentiality may not apply to persons subject to extra-University judicial processes, or where disclosure is permitted by law, or where the health, safety and security of a person or persons is a concern. 

6.0 Process

6.1 There are two processes for addressing a sexual harassment concern or complaint. The processes as outlined in the University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints can be availed of by any Member of the University community or Non University person who considers himself or herself to have been subjected to sexual harassment as defined in this Policy. An individual making allegations may choose to proceed with either an informal or a formal process.

i. Informal Process

• Consultation

ii. Formal Process

• Mediation
• Investigation

6.2 When an informal process fails or is not deemed appropriate by the complainant, the complainant may proceed with the filing of a formal complaint under the formal process and request mediation or formal investigation.

6.3 If a complainant wishes to file a formal complaint, it shall be filed within twelve (12) calendar months of the incident. Events prior to the twelve (12) month period can be referenced if the incident(s) is relevant and part of a series of incidents that form a pattern of harassment.

7.0 Records and Retention

7.1 All records will be handled in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the University Privacy Policy and other privacy legislation applicable to the University.

7.2 Informal Process

The Advisor keeps a non-identifying account of the nature of the concern, any advice given and any outcome achieved. This information is retained for statistical purposes.

7.3 Formal Process

Record retention relating to the formal complaint process is collected and retained in accordance with the University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints.

 8.0 Appeals

Complainants and respondents have the right to appeal or grieve in accordance with the following:

8.1 In the case of students, if the matter has been referred to the Complaints Officer by the Sexual Harassment Advisor under the Offences section of the Student Code of Conduct, appeals shall be dealt with in accordance with the Appeals section of the Student Code of Conduct.

8.2 In the case of students, if the matter has been dealt with under this Policy, the appeal shall be directed to the Board of Regents by notice, in writing, delivered to the Secretary of the Board of Regents within fifteen (15) days of the President's notification of the action to be taken.

8.3 In the case of non-bargaining staff members, who wish to appeal, appeals shall be filed in accordance with Level IV of the Complaint and Appeal Procedures as outlined in the University Staff Handbook for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees.

8.4 In the case of members of the University who are union members, the respondent has the right to file a grievance regarding the discipline and the decision of the President under the terms of the applicable collective agreement where these apply. The complainant may have the right to file a grievance regarding the President's finding as to whether sexual harassment has occurred or not under the terms of the applicable collective agreement.

8.5 In the case of Academic Administrators who are not members of a bargaining unit the appeal shall be directed to the Board of Regents by notice, in writing, delivered to the Secretary of the Board of Regents within fifteen (15) days of the President's notification of the action to be taken.

9.0 Frivolous or Vexatious Complaints

9.1 Frivolous, vexatious and/or malicious complaints may constitute grounds for disciplinary action against the complainant.

9.2 Any imposed discipline related to frivolous, vexatious and/or malicious complaints will be taken in accordance with the University Staff Handbook for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees, Student Code of Conduct, applicable collective agreements or, for individuals not covered by one of the above, contractual provisions.

10.0 Retaliation

10.1 No person shall retaliate against another for bringing forward a concern or complaint of sexual harassment or for being involved in the process. The University considers retaliation at any stage to be a serious offence because it may prevent potential complainants, witnesses, administrators or others from coming forward with concerns or complaints of sexual harassment. A breach of confidentiality by any individual with respect to a concern or complaint may also constitute retaliation.

10.2 Any imposed discipline related to retaliation will be taken in accordance with the University Staff Handbook for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees, Student Code of Conduct, applicable collective agreements or, for individuals not covered by one of the above, contractual provisions.

11.0 Role of Sexual Harassment Advisor

11.1 The Advisor has the primary responsibility for the implementation of the Sexual Harassment Policy and its related University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints and plays a key role in educating the University community. He or she shall maintain neutrality, and be as accessible as possible to the University community, having high visibility on the University campuses. The Advisor reports to the President and works in collaboration with the Sexual Harassment Board.

12.0 Role of Sexual Harassment Board

12.1 The Sexual Harassment Board, in collaboration with the Advisor, oversees the implementation of and reviews the University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints. The Board is representative of the identified University constituency groups as stated in the Terms of Reference for the Sexual Harassment Board.

NOTE:

The University also has University-Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment - Concerns and Complaints which outline the procedures for sexual harassment concerns and complaints.

The University -Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Concerns and Complaints is a companion document to this Policy and should be read in conjunction with this Policy.

 

Related Documents:

Sexual Harassment Office

Sexual Harassment Complaint Form - #1

Acknowledgement of Notice of Advice To Members of Bargaining Units - Form #2

Request for Investigation - Form #3

Release of Information - Form #4

Privacy Policy

Respectful Workplace Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

Employee Assistance Program Policy

Code of Student Conduct

 

Procedures

Title: Sexual Harassment
Category : General Approval Date: 2010-12-09
Effective Date : 2010-12-09 Review Date: 2014-12-09
Authority:
President, through the Sexual Harassment Advisor.
Sponsor:
General Counsel
Contact:

Sexual Harassment Office, 709-864-2015.

Previous Versions:
No previous versions