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STATEMENT ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND OTHER PROHIBITED TYPES OF HARASSMENT

The purpose of this statement is to define sexual harassment and other types of harassment prohibited by law, communicate the policy of the National Academies and ensure that violations are remedied fully. This statement applies to all employees of the National Academies at all locations, committee members, contractors, vendors and sponsors.

STATEMENT

The National Academies are committed to maintaining a workplace that is free of instances of harassment covered by this policy statement. We expect managers, supervisors, employees, volunteers, academy members and others engaged in the work of the National Academies to understand the responsibility that we have to all employees, volunteers and academy members to maintain a work environment free of harassment and intimidation. We all share the institutional responsibility to not commit harassing acts, to not tolerate or ignore those of others and to avoid knowingly placing others in situations where they may be harassed.

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

For the purposes of this statement, other types of harassment prohibited by law include any verbal or physical conduct directed at an individual because of the individual's race, ancestry, creed, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition , marital status, family responsibilities, genetic information, political affiliation, personal appearance, matriculation, military status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Compliance with this statement is required in all settings and locations at the National Academies in which work is performed including study committee meetings, workshops, academy members' meetings, conferences and other activities involving employees, volunteers, members, stakeholders, sponsors, and vendors. All incidents of sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual conduct must be reported regardless of their seriousness.

REPORTING PROCEDURES
Employees
If an employee believes that he or she has witnessed or been subjected to sexual harassment or any other form of harassment covered by this policy, the employee should:
  • If comfortable doing so, feel free to make their unease and/or disapproval directly and immediately known to the harasser; and
  • Report the incident to the Office of Human Resources.
Supervisors/ Managers
Supervisors and managers must deal expeditiously and fairly with allegations of harassment within their departments, whether or not there has been a written or formal complaint. Supervisors must:
  • Act promptly and report the incident to the Office of Human Resources.
  • Supervisors who knowingly allow or tolerate sexual harassment are in violation of this statement and subject to discipline.
Academy Members/Volunteers
Academy members and volunteers are urged to report any incident of harassment by:
  • Filing a complaint with the Office of Human Resources under the Resolution Procedures section of this statement, or
  • Reporting the incident to an employee involved in the activity in which the member or volunteer is participating, who will then file a complaint with the Office of Human Resources.
Employee Relationship Manager, Office of Human Resources
The Employee Relationship Manager, of the Office of Human Resources is responsible for:
  • Ensuring that both the employee filing the complaint and the individual accused of engaging in the harassment are aware of the seriousness of a harassment complaint;
  • Explaining the National Academies' position as it relates to harassment and investigation procedures to all involved in the investigation;
  • Exploring means of resolving harassment complaints and
  • Arranging for an investigation of the alleged harassment and making recommendations for remedial actions as appropriate.
RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
All incidents of harassment covered by this policy should be reported. To initiate an investigation into an alleged violation of this statement, employees may file a harassment complaint with the Office of Human Resources. Complaints should be filed as soon as possible after an incident of alleged harassment. The Office of Human Resources will investigate the alleged violation.

To ensure the prompt and thorough investigation of the alleged harassment complaint, the complainant should provide as much of the following information as is possible:
  • Name, department, and role of the person or persons allegedly causing the harassment;
  • Description of the incident(s), including the dates, locations and the presence of any witnesses;
  • Alleged effect, if any, of the incident(s) on the employee's job title, salary, benefits, promotional opportunities or other terms or conditions of employment;
  • Names of other employees, if any, who might have been subject to the same or similar harassment;
  • Steps the employee has taken to try to stop the harassment and
  • Any other information the employee believes to be relevant to the harassment complaint.
DISCIPLINE
Employees who violate this statement are subject to appropriate discipline. If an investigation results in a finding that this statement has been violated by an employee, disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment could occur.

CONFIDENTIALITY
All inquiries, complaints, and investigations are treated confidentially. Information is revealed strictly on a need to know basis. Information contained in a complaint is kept confidential. All individuals involved in the investigation are advised that retaliation against an employee who has made a complaint is a violation of this statement and applicable law. Other steps as appropriate may be taken to protect the employee from the potential for further harassment during an investigation. No record of a complaint is kept in the employee's personnel file.

All information pertaining to a sexual harassment complaint or investigation is maintained by the Employee Relationship Manager in secure files. The Employee Relationship Manager is responsible for explaining the procedures for handling information related to sexual harassment complaints and investigations to all of the individuals involved in an investigation of a complaint.

OTHER AVAILABLE PROCEDURES AND ADMINISTRATION
At any time, an employee may exercise his or her legal prerogative of filing a formal complaint with the relevant federal government agencies, the D.C. Office of Human Rights, or both. Nothing in the procedures summarized above precludes or diminishes the right of formal complaint.