The Employee Handbook is to be used in conjunction with the following documents;
Faculty Guide – for all faculty, including adjunct and academic interns
Sterling College Driver Handbook – for any employee who drives a Sterling vehicle
Handbook for Outdoor Travel and Education – for any faculty or staff traveling with Sterling students
Advising Handbook – for any faculty or staff member who serves as a student advisor
The Student Handbook (found in spiral calendar) and the College Catalog (found on the college website) are also good sources of information and policies.
Reviewed and Revised by the 2009 Personnel Policy Committee:
Deb Clark – Comptroller
Will Wootton – President
Allison VanAkkeren – Faculty Representative
Jennifer Payne – Director Career Resource
Center Gwyn Harris – Former Director Admissions
2. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICIES
2.1. Equal Opportunity Policy 10
2.2. Accommodations for Disabilities 10-11
2.3. Harassment Policy 11-13
2. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICIES
2.1 Equal Opportunity Policy
Sterling College admits students of any race, religion, color, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the College. Sterling College will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, disability, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation in administering its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other programs administered by the College.
Sterling College is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to maintaining an environment in which employees, students, and visitors are treated equally without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Any discrimination on the basis of an individual's protected status will not be accepted or tolerated. It is our goal to provide equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants for employment, to prevent any unlawful discrimination or harassment of any individual working at or with the College. If you have any questions or believe that you may have been the victim of discrimination, please bring your concerns to the attention of the President and/or Chair of the Personnel Committee.
2.2 Accommodations for Disabilities
Sterling College will make reasonable accommodations to enable an individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her job. If you are unable, or find it difficult, to do all the functions of your job due to a disability, please contact your immediate supervisor or the Chair of the Personnel Committee, inform him/her about your disability, and discuss the type and nature of any assistance or adjustment in your duties which would enable you to perform the essential functions of your job.
We may ask for medical documentation of your disability and of possible accommoda-tions. We may also ask to speak to your physician or health care provider to help us assess the proposed accommodations and to ensure that you can safely perform the essential functions of your job with the accommodations. We may also ask you to submit to an independent medical or other appropriate examination, at our expense, to help us assess your needs.
2.3 Harassment Policy – The Diversity Committee is examining this policy and expect to have updates in the coming year (2009-2010).
We expect all employees to treat students, each other, and others with whom they have contact with dignity and respect. Harassment occurring in the College, at College-sponsored events, or in any situation where an employee is representing the College is unlawful and will not be tolerated. Harassment includes verbal or physical conduct, which may or does offend, denigrate or belittle any individual because of, or due to, race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, pictures, jokes, comments, innuendoes or any other behavior that creates an environment that is offensive and demeaning.
Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
While all types of harassment are prohibited, sexual harassment requires particular attention. The legal definition of sexual harassment is as follows:
Sexual harassment means sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
a) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests, or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions; or,
b) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive work environment.
Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment.
The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the examples below, includes other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work place environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to male or female workers.
While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment, depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
Sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not;
Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life; comment on an individual's body; comment about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess, and comment about one's sexual orientation;
Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, etc;
Leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
Inquiries into one's sexual experiences;
Discussion of one's sexual activities; and
Continuing to ask an employee to socialize on or off duty when that person has indicated s/he is not interested.
Complaints of Harassment
If anyone believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment, s/he should immediately notify (in writing or orally) their supervisor, the President, or the Chair of the Personnel Committee. If an outside resource is preferred a departmental Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer could be contacted or any member of the Vermont Department of Human Resources Employee Relations staff in Montpelier (802) 828-3454.
Because the College takes allegations of harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of harassment and where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective action as is necessary, including disciplinary action where appropriate.
Our investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances, recognizing that there are many circumstances where complete confidentiality is not possible. Our investigation typically includes at a minimum a private interview with the person filing the complaint, and then an interview with the person alleged to have committed harassment. We may also investigate the matter further by contacting witnesses or other individuals whom we believe may have additional information regarding the issues raised in the complaint. When we have completed our investigation, we will, to the extent appropriate, inform the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct of the results of that investigation.
If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by one of our employees, we will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances. Such actions may include termination from employment or such other forms of disciplinary action, as we deem appropriate under the circumstances (e.g., a warning).
In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to harassment, you may file a complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below. Those agencies are: United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, JFK Federal Building, Room 475, Boston, Massachusetts, 02203; or, in Vermont, the Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609, 802-828-3657.