The College is committed to providing a workplace free of sexual harassment as well as harassment based on such factors as race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, medical condition, marital status, disability or veteran status by any person, student, applicant, vendor, or contractor. Harassment includes verbal, physical and visual conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile working environment that interferes with work performance. Examples of sexual harassment include sexual advances, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic credit or interferes with a person’s performance. Racial slurs, ethnic jokes, obscene gestures, posting of offensive statements, posters or cartoons; or other similar conduct based on race are examples of prohibited racial harassment.
B. Forbidden Grounds For Discrimination
Discrimination is forbidden. The College strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate discrimination against any employee or applicant. Access to ACC’s programs and activities shall not be limited based on race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, political affiliation or disability.
C. Prohibited Actions
It is the policy of the College that any practice or behavior that constitutes such harassment or discrimination is strictly forbidden and may be subject to disciplinary action. Special attention shall be placed on the prevention of sexual and racial harassment, and on the prevention of abuse of positions of authority. Employees may not supervise or participate in the hiring of or any personnel decision concerning anyone with whom they have a sexual relationship.
D. Notification Of Rights And Remedies
Employees, students, and applicants shall be given copies of this policy and a written description of how to make inquiries or file complaints on this topic, including how to communicate with the administrator designated by the College President to coordinate compliance with this policy and anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended and Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, as amended. Copies of this policy and instructions for contacting the compliance Officer shall be prominently posted throughout the College.
E. Complaints Of Harassment Or Discrimination
A person who feels that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against in College-related activities on a basis forbidden by law or policy should promptly report the situation to the designated Affirmative Action Officer, or alternatively to a counselor, supervisor or administrator, who shall report the complaint in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer.
Each complaint filed shall be taken seriously and investigated promptly, impartially, and with due respect for confidentiality. Employees are expected to fully cooperate with any internal investigation. The President shall specify an internal appeals process, and a written description of it shall be provided to all parties to a complaint.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, retaliation is prohibited for filing a complaint, for bringing possibly-inappropriate conduct to the College's attention, or for assisting in a complaint investigation.
F. Consequences Of Violations
Any employee or student, regardless of gender or race, found to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy (or by rules adopted by the President in furtherance of the goals of this policy) shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Also, any person or business found in violation of these rules may be forbidden from entering College property or conducting business with the College.
The Austin Community College Board of Trustees adopted this policy on September 9, 1996 to replace previous Board policies VIII-7 and VIII-10. It was amended on August 2, 1999, November 1, 1999, and May 5, 2003.