Bulletin--Sexual Harassment Policy & Procedures



This policy provides a definition of sexual harassment. It specifies pre-disciplinary, pre-grievance procedures for reporting and resolving complaints of sexual harassment and recommends that an education program be initiated. Formal disciplinary and grievance procedures are already defined by existing policies, executive orders, codes, and collective bargaining contracts pertinent to university employees and students.

No individual shall be subject to reprisal for using this policy, nor shall its use preclude subsequent disciplinary or grievance measures. All units of the campus community are expected to comply with this policy.

Except as needed in processing the complaint, both the sexual harassment advisers and sexual harassment officers are required to maintain confidentiality in dealing with sexual harassment complaints.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is one person's use of university authority, rank, or position to distort a university relationship by conduct which emphasizes another person's sexuality. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature are forms of sexual harassment when the person with authority, rank, or position:

Sexual harassment is unethical and unprofessional conduct, illegal, and against San Francisco State University policy. It may occur in written, spoken, physical, and visual forms. The university will act to eliminate sexual harassment within its jurisdiction. A person with university authority, rank, or position must not use that power to create sexual pressure on someone else or on the workplace in general.

The university will evaluate each incident or alleged sexual harassment and apply appropriate remedies.

The university can dismiss employees or expel students for sexual harassment.

The university recognizes that any member of the campus community might be called upon to listen to a complaint of alleged sexual harassment. The listener should be objective and attentive, while discouraging use of names. No records should be kept, nor should promises for specific action or final decisions be made. The listener should refer the complainant to a sexual harassment adviser or to a university sexual harassment officer. Complainants may go to the sexual harassment officer without first consulting a sexual harassment adviser and may request an investigation at any time.

Sexual Harassment Advisers (SHA)

All SHA's are volunteers. The sexual harassment officers shall arrange for a course for training of advisers. People who have successfully completed the course may serve as SHA's. Advisers will be available to serve as sources of initial information to any individual who has a complaint or who needs information about sexual harassment.

The names of the advisers shall be published at the beginning of each semester. Advisers will have information about applicable laws, university policies and procedures, and options available for resolution of complaints. The advisers shall:

Discussion between complainants and sexual harassment advisers shall occur without a written complaint and without identification of the person bringing the complaint and shall not imply guilt or innocence. No written record of specific complaints or actions taken to this point in the procedures shall be kept. However, a simple tally of the number and type of complaints shall be kept and reported to the appropriate sexual harassment officer at the end of each semester.

If further action is requested by the complainant, the SHA shall refer the complainant to a sexual harassment officer (SHO) and explain the responsibilities and duties of those officers. In addition, SHA's have an obligation to notify SHO's when it appears the university should act, even if the complainant has not requested further action. The SHA is not authorized to notify either the accused or any supervisor of the accused.

Sexual Harassment Officers (SHO)

Sexual harassment officers are presidential designees and in that capacity are accountable directly to the President. The SHO's shall be the University Counsel and the Dean of Students. SHO's are empowered to hear and evaluate each complaint of alleged sexual harassment and to attempt resolution. SHO's shall observe basic standards of due process and confidentiality in all actions.

The sexual harassment officers shall pursue complaints promptly through the stages outlined below.

Any discussion, investigation, or action taken under these procedures shall not conflict with student grievance procedures, regulations governing student affairs, collective bargaining contracts, and Executive Order 419.

Pre-Formal Resolution of Complaints

The complainant may choose to enter into a pre-formal discussion or to request that the SHO conduct an investigation immediately (see Pre-Formal Investigation and Reporting below).

Pre-Formal Discussion. Pre-formal discussion or resolution does not require a written complaint. Any SHO will hear complaints, determine the remedy sought, and review options for resolution. The review shall include a discussion of applicable university policies and procedures as well as external options for resolution. The SHO(s) shall aid the complainant in identifying ways in which further harassment might be prevented. University policy requires that the SHO keep written records of all complaints. Such records need not identify complainant or alleged harasser by name nor shall they be part of any individual's official file at this stage of the procedure.

At the request of the complainant, the SHO(s) may attempt to resolve the situation by taking some or all of the following steps:

Pre-Formal Investigation and Reporting. At the request of the complainant and upon receipt of a written and signed complaint, the appropriate SHO shall initiate an investigation. If the SHO determines that circumstances so warrant, the SHO shall initiate an investigation with or without the consent of the complainant. The SHO shall notify the President, all the appropriate grievance/disciplinary officers for faculty or staff or students and the alleged harasser that an investigation is underway, and give the names of the parties involved.

The appropriate SHO shall conduct a full and impartial investigation. The investigation procedures may include a meeting(s) at which both the complainant and the alleged harasser are present. If such a meeting(s) results in a settlement, the terms of the settlement shall be put in writing and be signed by the complainant, the alleged harasser, and the SHO.

At the conclusion of the investigation or upon settlement, the appropriate SHO shall submit a written report to the President. The report shall include a description of the facts, the remedy sought by the complainant or the terms of the signed settlement, and recommendations for further action if deemed necessary by the SHO. These recommendations shall be based upon the strength of evidence against the accused, the seriousness of action(s) that led to the complaint, and the remedy sought by the complainant. If formal disciplinary action is initiated, copies of the report shall be sent to the appropriate grievance/disciplinary action officer for faculty or staff or students, as well as to the complainant and the accused.

Upon receipt of the SHO's report, the President or appropriate grievance/disciplinary action officer shall:

If either party is dissatisfied with actions taken up to this point, s/he may seek redress through existing complaint, grievance, or disciplinary procedures in student policies and regulations, collective bargaining contracts, and Executive Order 419.

Formal Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

Formal complaint, reprimand, grievance, or disciplinary procedures are governed by the policies, codes, executive orders, or contracts applicable to the bargaining unit or employment category to which the alleged harasser belongs.

Should it become necessary to invoke formal reprimand or disciplinary procedures, sexual harassment will be viewed as unprofessional conduct. Formal disciplinary procedures will be pursued by the appropriate grievance/disciplinary action officer.

Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified August 3, 1995