1010 Sexual Harassment Complaint by JAW3HH

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									                            ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

10.10 Sexual Harassment Complaint Processing                          Revised: January 7, 2011

1. GOVERNING REGULATION

   This procedure shall be used to support System Policy 08.01 Civil Rights Protections and
   Compliance, System Regulation 08.01.01 Civil Rights Compliance, and Texas Forest Service
   Rule 08.01.01.F1 Sexual Harassment.

2. COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

   2.1 Complaints should normally be filed with the lowest level supervisor having the
       authority to resolve a complaint; however, the complaint may be taken directly to the
       Human Resources Department. If the complainant’s immediate supervisor is the one
       accused of sexual harassment, the complainant may take the complaint to the next
       higher supervisor.

   2.2 Processing of all complaints must be completed within a fourteen (14) business day
       period from the date the complaint was filed. The Human Resources Department Head
       may extend this period if all parties involved in the complaint are notified in advance.

   2.3 If the supervisor/investigator deems that the conditions warrant, the complainant and/or
       the accused may be relocated to a work area where they do not have the ability to
       directly physically interface.

3. COMPLAINT PROCESSING

   3.1 When a complaint is received by a supervisor, he/she will contact the Human
       Resources (HR) Department Head or designee as soon as possible. The HR Department
       Head will appoint an investigator and notify the unit head. If the complaint is received
       directly by the HR Department, the HR Department Head or designee will appoint an
       investigator, and the supervisor (or higher position, if the supervisor is the one accused)
       will be notified of the nature of the complaint.

   3.2 The investigator will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint within one
       working day of receipt of the complaint. If the investigator is required to travel to a
       distant location or the complaint is received on a weekend or holiday, this initial
       discussion may take place via telephone, to be followed by a meeting in-person within
       one working day of the investigator's arrival at the complainant's location.



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  3.3 The investigator may take statements and question all employees who may have
      knowledge of the subject matter of the allegations.

  3.4 Upon completion of the investigation, but no later than twelve (12) business days from
      the receipt of the initial complaint, a written report including the complaint, the findings
      of the investigator, and any recommended action(s) will be forwarded by the HR
      Department Head to the Associate Director for Finance and Administration for review.
      The investigator must reach one of the following conclusions: (a) sexual harassment
      occurred; (b) sexual harassment did not occur; or (c) there is insufficient evidence to
      make a determination of whether sexual harassment did or did not occur. The Associate
      Director for Finance and Administration will then forward the report to the Associate
      Director of the employee who has been alleged to have committed Sexual Harassment
      unless the employee alleged is the Associate Director in which case the report will be
      forwarded to the Director.

  3.5 The Associate Director will review the report and will determine the appropriate
      action(s) to be taken. The findings and actions to be taken will be forwarded, in writing,
      to the Human Resources Department, the immediate supervisor (s) (or higher if the
      complainant's immediate supervisor is the one accused) of the complainant and the
      accused, the complainant, and the accused no later than fourteen (14) business days
      from the date of the initial complaint.

  3.6 Appeals of the actions by either the complainant or the accused, or requests for
      mediation with respect to the actions will be handled in accordance with Administrative
      Procedure 10.04 Employee Complaint and Appeal Procedures.

  3.7 Questions about the actual date of submission of any complaint or appeal shall be
      resolved by verifying objective proofs such as: certified mail with return receipt,
      internal date stamps, written records of communication of the complaint to a
      supervisor, and other credible methods of proof.

4. CLOSING COMPLAINTS

  4.1 A complaint is closed when the findings have been delivered to all parties to the
      complaint and when all actions have been taken, or after final resolution of any appeals.
      A complaint may also be closed at the request of a complainant.

  4.2 A complainant who fails to respond or act within a specified time limit, or fails to
      appear for a scheduled meeting, or otherwise fails to advance the complaint in a timely
      manner at any stage of the process, may be deemed to have abandoned the complaint.
      The HR Department Head may then declare a complaint abandoned and close the file.

  4.3 A complainant who is unable to respond or act within a specified time limit, or is unable
      to appear for a scheduled meeting, or otherwise unable to advance a complaint in a
      timely manner due to circumstances beyond his/her control may submit a written
      request to the HR Department Head for an extension of time. A verbal request for



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       extension will be accepted when circumstances make it impractical for a complainant to
       provide a written request. In such a case, the HR Department Head will confirm the
       verbal request in writing. Such a request will be approved only when the extension is
       clearly justified.

5. FOLLOWUP

  If a finding of sexual harassment is made, the investigator will follow-up with the
  complainant in order to verify that the harassing behavior has ceased. The follow-up process
  should take place approximately 30 days from the date the case was closed.

6. INVESTIGATOR QUALIFICATIONS

  All investigators appointed by the HR Department Head must have completed training in
  investigation procedures for employee complaints. Training must include any procedures
  specific to sexual harassment complaints and will be conducted by the Human Resources
  Department or an approved external training source.


             CONTACT: Human Resources Department Head, 979-458-6690.




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