Sexual Harassment Policy I.F.O.C.C 2011-11-1,
ADOPTED November, 2011
Please Note: International Fellowship of Covenant Churches employers and Ministers are strongly encouraged to supplement their sexual harassment policies with equivalent broader harassment policies. These broader policies should specify that members and ministers are protected from harassment on the basis of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, handicap (disability), participation in discrimination complaint-related activities, sexual orientation, genetics, or active military or veteran status. Like the sexual harassment policy, the general harassment policy should name a harassment officer (the same or a different person than the sexual harassment officer), and provide examples of prohibited verbal and nonverbal behavior. Prohibited behavior includes slurs or other derogatory comments, objects, pictures, cartoons, or demeaning gestures connected to one’s membership in a protected group. The overall structure of the general harassment policy should parallel the structure of the sexual harassment policy (or can be combined as one policy).
Under the provisions provided herein, the Executive Commission is authorized to adopt policies and issue such rules necessary to effectuate the purposes outlining and enforcing Harassment. It is the goal of the Commission that such policies and rules assist members of the public in understanding the role, function, and process of the I.F.O.C.C. Executive Commission.
As a result of the enactment of 2011-11-1 “An Act Relative to Sexual Harassment and Training in the Ministry” the Commission is required to adopt a sexual harassment policy. This Policy Guideline is promulgated to effectuate the purposes of that chapter and provides for employers and Ministers to use. The policy contains minimum standards which may be exceeded by the employer’s and parent Ministry policy.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY OF
(The International Fellowship Of Covenant Churches)
It is the goal of International Fellowship of Covenant Churches] to promote a Ministry that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of members occurring in the Ministry or in other settings in which members may find themselves in connection with their membership duties or appointments is unlawful and will not be tolerated by this organization. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal of providing a Ministry free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with, if encountered by members.
Because International Fellowship of Covenant Churches, takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of sexual harassment and where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate.
Please note that while this policy sets forth our goals of promoting a Ministry that is free of sexual harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit our authority to discipline or take remedial action for Ministry conduct which we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of sexual harassment.
II. Definition of Sexual Harassment
In International Fellowship of Covenant Churches, the legal definition for sexual harassment is this: “sexual harassment” means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(a) Submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of membership duties or appointments or as a basis for membership duties or appointments decisions; or,
(b) Such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.
Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued membership duties or appointments constitutes sexual harassment.
The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the above examples, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work place environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female workers may also constitute sexual harassment.
While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
• Unwelcome sexual advances — whether they involve physical touching or not;
• Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life; comment on
an individual’s body, comment about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
• Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons by text or email.
• Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
• Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; and,
• Discussion of one’s sexual activities.
All members should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment, and retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated by this organization
IV. Sexual Harassment Investi
If any of our members believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, the member has the right to file a complaint with our organization. This may be done in writing or orally.
If you would like to file a complaint you may do so by contacting in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact I.F.O.C.C. Corporate Office at 352-301-7789
IV. Sexual Harassment Investigation
When we receive the complaint we will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. We will also interview the person alleged to have committed sexual harassment. When we have completed our investigation, we will, to the extent appropriate inform the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct of the results of that investigation.
If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where it is appropriate we will also impose disciplinary action.
V. Disciplinary Action
If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by one of our members, we will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances. Such action may range from counseling to termination from membership duties or appointments, and may include such other forms of disciplinary action as we deem appropriate under the circumstances.