Sexual Harassment Policy

Cherry Hill Seminary, Inc., does not tolerate sexual, racial, religious or ethnic harassment of any kind. In compliance with Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, (42 United State Code Section 2000C et seq.), it is a violation for any employee or student, male or female, to sexually harass another student or employee. Cherry Hill Seminary is committed to providing a workplace free from this unlawful conduct. Every faculty member, mentor, and administrator is responsible for promptly responding to, or reporting any complaint or suspected acts of sexual harassment.

What is “sexual harassment?”

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when;

(1) Submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment and grade evaluation; or
(2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a component of the basis for employment or grading decisions affecting that individual: or
(3) The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or scholastic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or scholastic environment.

It is unlawful for an individual or organization to retaliate against an employee or student for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of sexual harassment.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following, when such acts or behavior come with one of the above definitions:

∙ Either explicitly or implicitly conditioning any term of employment or student progress on the provision of sexual favors;
∙ Unwanted touching or grabbing a sexual part of an employee’s or student’s body;
∙ Touching or grabbing any part of a student’s or employee’s body after that person has indicated, or it is known, that such physical contact was unwelcome;
∙ Continuing to ask a student or employee to socialize on or off-duty when that person has indicated s/he is not interested;
∙ Displaying or transmitting sexually suggestive pictures, objects, cartoons, or posters if it is known or should be known that the behavior is unwelcome;
∙ Continuing to write sexually suggestive notes or letters if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
∙ Referring to or calling a person a sexualized name if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
∙ Regularly telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language in the presence of a person if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
∙ Retaliation of any kind for having filed or supported a complaint of sexual harassment (e.g. ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint, adversely altering the person’s duties or work environment, etc.);
∙ Derogatory or provoking remarks about or relating to a person’s sex or sexual orientation;
∙ Harassing acts or behavior directed against a person on the basis of his or her sex or sexual orientation;
∙ Off-duty conduct which falls within the above definition and affects the work environment.

In the event Cherry Hill Seminary receives a complaint of sexual harassment, or otherwise has reason to believe that sexual harassment is occurring, we will take all necessary steps to ensure that the matter is promptly investigated and addressed. We are committed, as required by law, to take action if we learn of potential sexual harassment, even if the aggrieved student or employee does not wish to formally file a complaint.

Every staff member is responsible for promptly responding to, or reporting, any complaint or suspected acts of sexual harassment. Staff members should report to: Candace Kant, Academic Dean (who is designated to receive such complaints or reports), or to Holli Emore, Executive Director. Failure by a staff member to appropriately report or address such sexual harassment complaints or suspected acts shall be considered to be in violation of this policy.

Care will be taken to protect the identity of the person with the complaint and of the accused party or parties, except as may be reasonably necessary to successfully complete the investigation. It shall be a violation of this policy for an employee or student who learns of the investigation or complaint to take any retaliatory action which affects the working or study environment of any person involved in this investigation.

If the allegation of sexual harassment is found to be credible, this organization will take appropriate corrective action. The organization will inform the complaining person and the accused person of the results of the investigation and what actions will be taken to ensure that the harassment will cease and that no retaliation will occur. Any employee, supervisor, or agent who has been found by the employer to have harassed another employee will be subject to sanctions appropriate to the circumstances, ranging from a verbal warning up to and including dismissal.

If the allegation is not found to be credible, the person with the complaint and the accused person shall be so informed, with appropriate instruction provided to each, including the right of the complainant to contact any of the state or federal agencies identified in this policy notice.

Any student or employee who believes that s/he has been the target of sexual harassment, or who believes s/he has been subjected to retaliation for having brought or supported a complaint of harassment, is encouraged to directly inform the offending person or persons that such conduct is offensive and must stop. If the person does not wish to communicate directly with the alleged harasser or harassers, or if direct communication has been ineffective, then the person with the complaint is encouraged to report the situation as soon as possible to one of the contacts given above, or to her or his supervisor at Cherry Hill Seminary. It is helpful to an investigation if the student or employee keeps a diary of events and the names of people who witnessed or were told of the harassment, if possible

If the complainant is dissatisfied with Cherry Hill Seminary’s action, or is otherwise interested in doing so, s/he may file a complaint by writing or calling any of the following state or federal agencies:

1. South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, 2611 Forest Drive, Post Office Box 4490, Columbia, S.C. 29240, 803-737-7800, Fax: 803-253-4191. Complaints should be filed within 300 days of the adverse action.

2. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1 Congress Street. Boston, MA 02114, tel:
(617) 565-3200 (voice), (617) 565-3204 (TDL)). Complaints must be filed within 300 days of the adverse action.

Each of these agencies can conduct impartial investigations, facilitate conciliation, and if it finds that there is probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe sexual harassment occurred, it may take the case to court. Although employees are encouraged to file their complaint of sexual harassment through this employer’s complaint procedure, an employee is not required to do so before filing a charge with these agencies.

In addition, a complainant also has the right to hire a private attorney and to pursue a private legal action in state court within 3 or 6 years, depending on the type of claims raised.

A copy of this policy will be provided to every employee, and extra copies will be available in the Cherry Hill Seminary’s administrative office at P.O. Box 212804, Columbia, SC 29221, or at www.cherryhillseminary.org.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided for persons with disabilities who need assistance in filing or pursuing a complaint of harassment, upon advance request.

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