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Policies & Regulations - Workplace Harassment and Violence Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to communicate The University of Maine’s approach to addressing workplace harassment and violence and to establish a “zero tolerance” policy for such behavior.

Policy

It is the policy of The University of Maine that acts of harassment and violence in the workplace will not be tolerated. The safety and well-being of our community is the University’s foremost concern. Neither threats of violence nor acts of violence will be tolerated at any time. Acts of violence committed by a University employee, including student employees, may serve as the basis for discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Note: Violence threatened or inflicted against employees on University property or on University business by persons not affiliated with the University should be reported to The University of Maine Department of Public Safety by calling 581-4040, or 911 if an emergency. If such an incident occurs off University property, but while the employee is on University business, it should be reported to the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. The employee should also immediately report the behavior to his or her supervisor.

Who is Covered by This Policy?

All employees of The University of Maine, including student employees, are covered by this policy. Supervisors and others in positions of authority, such as faculty members, have a responsibility to avoid behavior that might harass others in the workplace.

Harassment and assault by students are violations of The University of Maine Student Conduct Code. Such violations are investigated and adjudicated through the Office of the Dean of Students.

What is Harassment?

Harassment is unwelcome behavior that is severe, persistent and/or pervasive and has the intent or effect of interfering with a person’s educational or work performance or creates an intimidating, or offensive educational, work, or living environment. Such behavior must be severe, persistent, and/or pervasive to be defined as harassment. Questions about these terms should be directed to one of the offices listed below. Harassment includes threatening communication, which is also covered in The University of Maine Electronic Communication Policy.

Discriminatory Harassment is harassment that is based on an individual’s or group’s race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, or veterans status. Discriminatory harassment, which also includes sexual harassment, violates the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy and is investigated under the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure. This policy and procedure are available from the Office of Equal Opportunity.

What is Not Harassment?

What Are Some Examples of Harassment and Violence?

For the purposes of this policy, acts of harassment and violence are grouped into levels:

Behavior which threatens physical violence to others or which physically disrupts University operations. Such behavior may also violate state or federal law. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

How Do You File a Complaint?

The University is committed to resolving all complaints of harassment or violence, either through alternative dispute resolution or formal investigation. Due to the broad nature of this policy, different administrative offices are designated to resolve different types of complaints, as follows (also see the chart below).

What Are Some Possible Sanctions?

Those found responsible (through formal investigation) for substantiated incidents of violence or harassment will be sanctioned in accordance with usual University employee and student disciplinary procedures. The following table provides examples of likely sanctions for violations of this policy:

Level Incident Number Examples of Possible Sanctions
One First Oral or written reprimand
One Second within one year Written reprimand or suspension
Two Any Suspension or termination
Three Any Suspension or termination

Who Maintains Records of Complaints?

The Office of Human Resources at the University of Maine keeps a record of each formal complaint against an employee, including the relevant names, the nature of the case, the relevant department, the date of the complaint and its disposition.

The complete files are also kept in the offices of the relevant department heads. Supervisors who handle Level I problems should inform the Office of Human Resources. Statistical data on informally handled complaints are also collected by the Office of Human Resources.

Judicial Affairs is responsible for keeping records associated with formal complaints against students. The Dean of Students also keep records of informally handled complaints.

The Department of Public Safety maintains records of complaints filed with them, as does the Office of Equal Opportunity.

Formal case files, statistical data, and related documentation may be reviewed by government agencies and may be sought in legal proceedings.

Where Do I Go for Help?

A list of University of Maine Resources, and the type of help each provides, is available at http://www.umaine.edu/hr/policies/resource_list.html

Definition of Terms

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Contact Information

Student Handbook
5748 Memorial Union
Orono , ME 04469-5748
Phone: (207) 581-1406 | Fax: (207) 581-4215
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System