While the Library encourages individuals who believe they are being harassed to firmly and promptly notify the offender that their behavior is unwelcome, the Library also recognizes that power and status disparities between an alleged harasser and the offended person may make such a confrontation impossible. In the event that such informal, direct communication between individuals is either ineffective or impossible, or even when such communication has occurred, the following steps should be taken to report a sexual harassment complaint.
- An employee (the "Complainant") who either observes or believes themselves to be the object of sexual harassment should deal with the incident(s) as directly and firmly as possible by clearly communicating their position to both the Complainant's supervisor and the offending employee. If reporting to the Complainant's supervisor should prove uncomfortable for any reason, or if the offender is the Complainant's supervisor, the Complainant should directly contact the Library Director.
- An employee who believes themselves to be the object of sexual harassment by a Library patron should notify their supervisor, who will take appropriate action according to the Staff Guidelines that accompany the Library Rules of Behavior.
- No one making a complaint will be retaliated against if the complaint is made in good faith even though it may ultimately not be substantiated. In addition, any witness will be protected from retaliation.
- Investigation of Complaint
When a complaint has been reduced to writing, either by the complainant or the complainant's supervisor, the appropriate person informed pursuant to paragraph A above will initiate an investigation of the suspected sexual harassment as soon as possible but in no event later than within three (3) working days of notification. If necessary, the person receiving the complaint may designate another supervisory or management employee of the opposite sex to assist in the investigation. If any of said individuals is the subject of the investigation, the investigation will be conducted by the Library Director and/or designated staff.
- Records, Confidentiality
Employees who report incidents of alleged sexual harassment are encouraged to keep written notes in order to accurately record the complained of conduct. Every effort shall be made to keep all matters related to the investigation and various reports confidential. In the event of a lawsuit, however, the Library advises that records it maintains and the complainant maintains may not be considered privileged from disclosure.
- Time Frame for Reporting Complaint
The Library encourages a prompt reporting of complaints so that rapid response and appropriate action may be taken. However, due to the sensitivity of these problems and because of the emotional toll such misconduct may have on the individual, sexual harassment complaints must be reported within thirty (30) days following the complained of conduct. Delayed reporting of complaints will not in and of itself preclude the Library from taking remedial action.
- Appeals Process
If either party directly involved in a sexual harassment investigation is dissatisfied with the outcome or resolution, that individual has the right to appeal the decision. The dissatisfied party should submit their written comments to the Executive Director within thirty (30) days of receipt of written or verbal notice that the investigation into the complaint has been completed.