As adopted by the Hepburn Library of Madrid Board of Trustees, December 2020.
The Hepburn Library of Madrid (HLM) is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. HLM has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment, and all employees are required to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the workplace. This Policy is one component of HLM’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment.
Sexual harassment is against the law. All employees have a legal right to a workplace free from sexual harassment, and employees can enforce this right by filing a complaint internally with HLM, or with a government agency or in court under federal, state or local antidiscrimination laws.
- HLM Policy applies to all trustees, employees, applicants for employment, interns, whether paid or unpaid, library patrons, contractors and persons conducting business with HLM.
- Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Any employee or individual covered by this policy who engages in sexual harassment or retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Retaliation Prohibition: No person covered by this Policy shall be subject to adverse employment action including being discharged, disciplined, discriminated against, or otherwise subject to adverse employment action because the employee reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. HLM has a zero-tolerance policy for such retaliation against anyone who, in good faith complains or provides information about suspected sexual harassment. Any employee of HLM who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment investigation will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any employee, paid or unpaid intern, or non-employee working in the workplace who believes they have been subject to such retaliation should inform a supervisor, manager, or the HLM Director. Any employee, paid or unpaid intern or non-employee who believes they have been a victim of such retaliation may also seek compensation in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
- Sexual harassment is offensive, is a violation of our policies, is unlawful, and subjects HLM to liability for harm to victims of sexual harassment. Harassers may also be individually subject to liability. Employees of every level who engage in sexual harassment, including managers and supervisors who engage in sexual harassment or who knowingly allow such behavior to continue, will be penalized for such misconduct.
- HLM will conduct a prompt, thorough and confidential investigation that ensures due process for all parties, whenever management receives a complaint about sexual harassment, or otherwise knows of possible sexual harassment occurring. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever sexual harassment is found to have occurred. All employees, including managers and supervisors, are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of sexual harassment.
- All employees are encouraged to report any harassment or behaviors that violate this policy. HLM will provide all employees a complaint form for employees to report harassment and file complaints.
- Managers and supervisors are required to report any complaint that they receive, or any harassment that they observe to [person or office designated].
- This policy applies to all employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees and all must follow and uphold this policy. This policy must be posted prominently in all work locations and be provided to employees upon hiring.
Library Employee/Patron Relationship
Hepburn Library of Madrid is committed to ensuring an environment where all HLM library patrons are free of sexual harassment. The Board views sexual harassment of patrons by library employees as an abuse of authority and, therefore, such harassment will not be tolerated. Likewise, sexual harassment of library employees by patrons will not be tolerated. See examples of sexual harassment below.
Any patron who suspects that she or he has encountered sexual harassment should report the incident to the Director as soon as possible. Any employee who witnesses or has knowledge of sexual harassment by a library employee against a patron shall immediately report it to the Director. Any employee who is being sexually harassed by a patron shall immediately report this to the Director.
What Is “Sexual Harassment”?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
- Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
A sexually harassing hostile work environment consists of words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.
Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This is also called “quid pro quo” harassment.
Any employee who feels harassed should complain so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be addressed under this policy.
Examples of sexual harassment
The following describes some of the types of acts that may be unlawful sexual harassment and that are strictly prohibited:
- Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as:
- Touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employees’ body;
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
- Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:
- Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the victim’s job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
- Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment.
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as:
- Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender, such as:
- Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;
- Sabotaging an individual’s work;
- Bullying, yelling, name-calling.
Who can be a target of sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. New York Law protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees, including independent contractors, and those employed by companies contracting to provide services in the workplace. A perpetrator of sexual harassment can be a superior, a subordinate, a coworker or anyone in the workplace including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, library patron, client, customer or visitor.
Where can sexual harassment occur?
Unlawful sexual harassment is not limited to the physical workplace itself. It can occur while employees are traveling for business or at employer sponsored events or parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises or not during work hours.
What is “Retaliation”?
Unlawful retaliation can be any action that would keep a worker from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim. Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation.
Such retaliation is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. The New York State Human Rights Law protects any individual who has engaged in “protected activity.” Protected activity occurs when a person has:
- filed a complaint of sexual harassment, either internally or with any anti-discrimination agency;
- testified or assisted in a proceeding involving sexual harassment under the Human Rights Law or other anti-discrimination law;
- opposed sexual harassment by making a verbal or informal complaint to management, or by simply informing a supervisor or manager of harassment;
- complained that another employee has been sexually harassed; or
- encouraged a fellow employee to report harassment.
- Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Anti-Harassment Policy
- Circulation and Interlibrary Loans Policy
- Citizen’s Request for Review of Library Materials
- Community Meeting Room Policy
- Conflict of Interest Policy – Officers, Board Members and Employees
- Cost of Services Policy
- Disaster Policy
- Display and Exhibits Policy
- Employee Handbook
- Freedom to Read Statement
- Interlibrary NCLS/Due North Loans Policy
- Internet, WiFi, and Computer Use Policy
- Links from the Library’s Website
- Materials and Monetary Donations Policy
- Materials Selection/Acquisitions Development Policy
- Operation Policy
- Patron Behavior Policy
- Patron Confidentiality Policy
- Programming and Event Policy
- Public Employer Health Emergency Plan for Hepburn Library of Madrid
- Public Notice Bulletin Board Policy
- Public Relations Policy
- Sexual Harassment Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Strategic and Long Range Plan for Hepburn Library of Madrid
- Tobacco Use Policy
- Volunteer Policy
- Whistleblower and Ethical Behavior Policy