Power Based Violence Policies

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence  (updated on March 9, 2017)

Bias, Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment


BIAS, BULLYING, DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT POLICIES

Bias Reporting Form

Issued By: Human Resources
Effective Date: August 01, 2014

This section includes:

  • Bias Incident Policy
  • Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, General Harassment/Bullying and Workplace Violence Policy

Related: See the section of this CSS Student Handbook:  Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policies 

BIAS INCIDENT POLICY

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

It is the goal of the College of St. Scholastica as a Catholic Benedictine community to nurture an environment that actively acknowledges and values diversity and is free from racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice, or discriminatory harassment. Informed by our Catholic Benedictine heritage and its values of community, hospitality, respect, stewardship and love of learning, we are compelled to be open to diverse points of view and to encourage respectful dissent while engaging in intellectual discourse. However, respectful intellectual discourse does not include bias-related conduct that assaults the dignity and worth of the individual. Protected freedom of expression ends when bias-related hate, intimidation, hostility or discriminatory harassment begins.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

Bias Incident

A Bias Incident is defined as single or multiple acts of verbal, written, electronic or physical expressions of disrespectful bias, hate, intimidation, or hostility against an individual or group or their property because of the individual or group's actual or perceived status of being in a federally protected class. Such classes include race, color, religion/religious creed, gender, gender identity/expression, age, ethnicity, national origin, disability, veteran-status, marital status or sexual orientation. Expressions may be in the form of language, words, signs, symbols, threats, or actions that could potentially cause alarm or fear in others or that endanger the health, safety and welfare of members of the campus community. To be considered within this definition, the words or conduct must be objectively offensive to a reasonable person.

Discriminatory Harassment

A Bias Incident in which a person or group in a protected class also experience harassing behavior may rise to the level of Discriminatory Harassment, which federal law prohibits in educational institutions by federal law. Discriminatory Harassment is based on an individual's protected characteristic(s). Discriminatory harassment is defined, for purposes of this policy, as words or conduct that degrades or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual because of his or her protected characteristic(s) and which:

• Has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual's work, living or learning environment

• Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, living or learning environment ("hostile environment")

• Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment, living or learning opportunities.

While all incidents of discriminatory harassment are also bias incidents, a bias incident only become discriminatory harassment if the above criteria are met. Discriminatory harassment may occur in situations where there is a power differential between the parties (between any persons on campus or between any persons at any campus activities), or where the persons share the same status (i.e., student-student, faculty-faculty, staff-staff). It may occur between members of the same or opposite sex.

All forms of discriminatory harassment are prohibited and may include, but are not limited to, the following conduct:

• Verbal abuse, offensive innuendo or derogatory words or slurs, stereotyping, threats, intimidation, epithets or comments based upon or motivated by the person's protected class status;

• Making decisions about a person's employment, compensation, academic progression, admission or other determination impacting their education or employment that is based upon or motivated by the person's protected class status;

• Written or graphic materials or objects, pictures, or other media placed on or circulated within College premises (walls, bulletin boards, computer terminals, vehicles, email, text messages, etc.) that show hostility or aversion toward an individual or group or which create a hostile working/learning environment based on or motivated by a person's protected class status.

• Failure to provide religious or disability related accommodation as may be required under applicable law.

• Sexual Harassment, including unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment may be non-sexual conduct provided the behavior is unwelcome and based on sex or gender identity/gender expression. Sexual Harassment and sex discrimination will be addressed in accordance with the Gender-Based & Sexual Misconduct/Violence policy (Staff and Faculty Handbook or Student Handbook).

Bias Incidents/Discriminatory Harassment of a Criminal Nature:

Particular crimes, if perpetrated because of certain characteristics of the victim (as defined in the law) trigger heightened penalties. Included crimes are criminal damage to property, and assault. Bias incidents that rise to the level of criminal behavior will automatically be referred to campus and local authorities and are not covered in the "procedures" section of this policy.

Conduct and Free Speech:

Nothing in this policy should be construed as an abrogation of freedom of expression as established in the Student Code of Conduct. This policy is designed to prevent and address incidents of actual or suspected bias related to the protected classes listed in the definition above. The policy is not meant to address other kinds of interpersonal conflicts or the everyday interpersonal frictions and irritations we all experience. However, persons will be held responsible for the impact of their expression on others if it induces fear, feelings of intimidation, hatred or hostility. The conduct or expressions underlying some bias incidents might be protected speech, but still violate the College of St. Scholastica's commitment to inclusivity, diversity and civility.

REPORTING

Bias Report Form

Employees or students may report incidents in person, but are encouraged to use the on-line Bias Incident Report form at https://www2.css.edu/app/programs/diversity/biasReporting. This on-line reporting process is only available to the St. Scholastica community, so campus community members will be required to log in with their CSS user name. Campus community members may choose to remain anonymous by making such selection when completing the report, although anonymous reports may greatly limit the ability of the college to address the issue. The identity of campus community members who select "anonymous" when filling out the report will not be disclosed to authorities who view the report, except in the rare instance when it is determined that a crime may have been committed.

INDIVIDUALS COVERED UNDER THIS POLICY

This policy applies to all members of the college community including students, employees (including all staff and faculty) as well as independent contractors, vendors, volunteers who perform work for the College, alumni, and guests or visitors of the College. All employees (faculty and staff) and students who have knowledge of a suspected bias incident or discriminatory harassment are required to report the incident, and all are similarly required to participate in any investigation or interview process if requested.

PROCEDURE

1. If the report includes information that is specific enough to identify the identity of those involved in the incident, or includes enough information such that determining the identity of those involved is at least a possibility, the Director of Inclusive Excellence in the Department of Human Resources will conduct an investigation.

2. Investigations may include interviewing and taking statements from witnesses or others who may have knowledge of the incident. A report including accompanying evidence will be compiled and submitted to the Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer.

3. For all incidents investigated, the Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer will make a determination with regard to whether it is more likely than not that a bias incident or discriminatory harassment as defined by this policy in fact occurred. When incidents involve employees, any disciplinary measures will be in accordance with the staff and faculty handbook policies. Sanctions rising to the level of discriminatory harassment may include termination of employment.

4. When incidents involve student conduct toward other students, the CDO will consult with the Vice President of Student Affairs or Dean of Students and the Student Judicial proceedings will be followed.

5. In matters of Bias Incidents that do not rise to the level of discriminatory harassment, any student experiencing the actual or suspected bias-related incident has the option of requesting non-binding mediation services from the Department of Diversity and Inclusion in Student Affairs in an effort to resolve the matter. Similarly, employees may also request non-binding mediation services from the Department of Human Resources for bias incidents that are not determined under this process to constitute discriminatory harassment.

6. If the matter is resolved at non-binding mediation, the matter will be considered closed without any further proceedings. A determination that resolution of the matter has successfully occurred will require agreement from the victim that he/she experienced sufficient resolution and is willing to close the matter.

7. In addition to reporting the actual or suspected incident, persons experiencing or witnessing actual or suspected bias-motivated incidents are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from a campus counselor for the purpose of supporting them.

NO RETALIATION

The College of St. Scholastica strictly prohibits any retaliation against any individual for reporting, providing information, exercising one's rights or responsibilities under this policy, or otherwise being involved in the process of responding to, investigating, or addressing allegations of bias or discriminatory harassment. Therefore, any retaliation, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any such individual will be addressed in the most serious way by the College and treated as a separate complaint and investigation under this policy. Anyone who is aware of possible retaliation or has other concerns regarding the response to a report of bias or discriminatory harassment should report such concerns to the Department of Human Resources, which shall take appropriate actions to address such conduct in a prompt and equitable manner.

On-line forms to report retaliation will be available soon.

Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, General Harassment/Bullying and Workplace Violence Policy

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The College of St. Scholastica is committed to fostering an environment of mutual respect among its students, staff and faculty, as well as others who participate in the College's programs and activities. As part of this commitment, the College seeks to protect the rights of all members of the College community and any other persons participating in college programs or having dealings with the College, and prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender/sex (including pregnancy), gender identity/expression, race, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability or handicap, age, genetics, marital status, veteran status and any other category protected by law ("protected class status").
Discrimination and harassment based on an individual's participation in a protected activity (such as reporting alleged discrimination or harassment) and/or retaliation against any individual who raises a good faith report under this policy is strictly prohibited.

The College further prohibits general harassment/bullying behavior as defined by this policy against any person regardless of whether or not they are a member of a protected class.

Incidents of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and all other forms of gender-based or sexual misconduct/violence, should be reported in accordance with the Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct/Violence Policy.

It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, students, vendors, contractors, alumni and guests of the College to contribute to an environment free of discrimination, harassment, bullying and violence and to promptly report any such incidences to appropriate authorities as dictated by this policy.

1. PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND REPORTING

A. Unlawful discrimination is unfavorable, unfair or inequitable treatment of a person or a "class" of people based on protected characteristic(s) such as gender/sex (including pregnancy), gender identity/expression, race, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability or handicap, age, genetics, marital status, veteran status or any other category protected by law.

Examples of unlawful discrimination include:

• Conscious or subconscious consideration of an applicant's protected status as a negative factor in deciding whether to offer the applicant a job interview
• Giving consideration to an individual's protected status in deciding whether to offer an employee a promotion
• Requiring that members of protected classes meet higher standards for advancement or promotion than employees who are not in protected classes
• Denying a student the opportunity to participate in an educational activity because of his or her protected characteristic(s).

B. Discriminatory harassment is harassment based on an individual's protected characteristic(s). Discriminatory harassment is defined, for purposes of this policy, as words or conduct that degrades or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual because of his or her protected characteristic(s) and which:

• Has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual's work, living or learning environment
• Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, living or learning environment ("hostile environment")
• Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment, living or learning opportunities.

Discriminatory harassment may occur in situations where there is a power differential between the parties (between any persons on campus or between any persons at any campus activities), or where the persons share the same status (i.e., student-student, faculty-faculty, staff-staff). It may occur between members of the same or opposite sex.

All forms of discriminatory harassment are prohibited and may include, but are not limited to, the following conduct:

• Verbal abuse, offensive innuendo or derogatory words or slurs, stereotyping, threats, intimidation, epithets or comments based upon or motivated by the person's protected class status;

• Making decisions about a person's employment, compensation, academic progression, admission or other determination impacting their education or employment based upon or motivated by the person's protected class status;

• Written or graphic materials or objects, pictures, or other media placed on or circulated within College premises (walls, bulletin boards, computer terminals, vehicles, email, text messages, etc.) that show hostility or aversion toward an individual or group or which create a hostile working/learning environment based on or motivated by a person's protected class status.

• Failure to provide religious or disability related accommodation as may be required under applicable law.

Reporting Discrimination or Discriminatory Harassment

Bias Report Form

Reports may be made anonymously, although anonymous reporting greatly limits the ability of the college to remediate the issue. Reports may also be made verbally or in person.

Allegations of discrimination or discriminatory harassment involving employee conduct toward other employees or student conduct toward employees should be reported to Patricia Pratt-Cook, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer. Allegations involving student conduct toward other students should be reported to Nam Provost, Director of Inclusive Excellence. Employees or students may also use the Bias Incident Policy to report matters of discriminatory harassment if they choose, which offers an anonymous reporting option, although anonymous reporting greatly limits the ability of the college to remediate the issue.

C. Sexual Harassment is a form of unlawful sex discrimination and is governed by the Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct/Violence policy in this handbook.

D. General Harassment/Bullying is harassment or bullying behavior that is not motivated by an individual's protected characteristics, but which degrades or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual which:

• Has the intent or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual's work, living or learning environment
• Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, living or learning environment ("hostile environment")
• Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment, living or learning opportunities.
• Has the purpose of causing another person to experience a reasonable fear that he or she will experience unauthorized social exclusion, humiliation, intimidation or the unlawful use of physical force

The College of St. Scholastica considers the following types of behavior to be examples of general harassment or bullying:

• Has the purpose of causing another person to experience a reasonable fear that he or she will experience unauthorized social exclusion, humiliation, intimidation or the unlawful use of physical force
• Unwelcome physical contact or isolation that places someone in fear or apprehension of immediate harm.
• A pattern of behavior where an individual willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows another in his/her course of daily activities in such a way that the person's actions can reasonably be found to interfere with another person's ability to perform his or her regular duties or cause that person to feel frightened, intimidated, harassed, threatened or molested.
• Invasion of privacy or unauthorized taking and use of facts, information, and/or property not in the public domain that a reasonable person would desire to keep from the public eye.
• Intimidation through written or physical conduct directed toward an individual or individuals that unreasonably interferes with his/their full participation in the College community or that is intended to create or may be reasonably determined to have created a threatening or hostile environment.
• Spreading malicious rumors or gossip about another person
• Manipulating the workload of another person in a manner designed to cause that person to fail to perform his or her legitimate functions;
• Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family; persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; remarks that would be viewed by others in the community as abusive and offensive; use of nicknames after being warned that the nickname is considered by the victim to be offensive; constant criticism on matters unrelated to a person's job performance or description or on matters that cannot be documented;
• Engaging in social or cyber-bullying via mail, email, text message, phone, or voicemail; deliberately interfering with mail, email, text messages, phone, voicemail or other communication

Reporting General harassment/bullying
General harassment/bullying when involving student conduct toward other students should be reported to Megan Perry-Spears, Dean of Students. General harassment/bullying when involving employee conduct toward other employees or student conduct toward employees should be referred to Patricia Pratt-Cook, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer.

E. Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is unjust or callous use of force or power which has the likelihood of causing hurt, fear, injury or death. Workplace violence is prohibited and violators are subject to the disciplinary action which may include sanctions and/or dismissal. Workplace violence includes but is not limited to other prohibited activities under this policy such as bullying and harassment, intimidation, fear, threats, hostile acts, or acts of violence toward an individual or group. Workplace violence also includes physical or gesture bullying, such as pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault, or threat of physical assault; damage to a person's work area or property, non-verbal threatening gestures such as approaching another person with fists clinched or with one or more other fighting gestures, or any gestures which could reasonably be interpreted as threatening.

Reporting Workplace Violence
Non-emergency cases of workplace violence should be reported to Patricia Pratt-Cook, Vice President of Human Resources. In cases where there exists immediate threat of physical harm to any person or property, campus community members should contact the Duluth Police Department at 911 and Campus Security.

II. PROCEDURES
All reports of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, general harassment/bullying, and workplace violence will be investigated promptly, and in as impartial and confidential manner as possible. Discriminatory harassment that falls within the scope of the Bias Incident Policy will be investigated pursuant to that policy. Allegations of sex discrimination should be reported and will be investigated pursuant to the Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct/Violence policy.

Investigations may include interviews with the individual making the charges, the accused, and appropriate witnesses. Investigations may include interviews with the individual making the charges, the accused, and appropriate witnesses. In some circumstances it may be desirable to remove one or more of the employees involved from the workplace or to remove a student from the classroom or residence hall environment during the investigation. Such a step may be seen as the best way to protect the interests of everyone involved. In this event, their absence from the workplace or the College environment should not be interpreted as meaning he or she is guilty of any wrongdoing.

Whenever a charge of harassment, threat, violence, etc., is considered by the College Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and/or the Dean of Students sufficient to warrant investigation beyond the initial complaint, the next step will be to inform the accused that the charge has been lodged, and the accused will at that time be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The accused will always have the right to bring a support person to any proceeding the accused attends.
It should be the intention of every member of the community to maintain a working and learning environment free of harassment and violence. Therefore, no retaliatory action may be taken, at any point in the process, against any individual because he or she makes a good-faith complaint against any member of the community. In addition, those who harass or threaten a participant (a witness, the investigator, the complainant or the accused) after a complaint has been made will be subject to appropriate sanctions.

FALSE ACCUSATIONS
False accusations can have serious effects on innocent men and women. Accordingly, accusations which are not made in good faith may also be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination or expulsion. Discipline, if any, will be determined on a case-by-case basis after a review of relevant information.

SANCTIONS
The College has the discretion to apply any sanction or combination of sanctions to eliminate any unlawful conduct or violation of this policy and remedy the impact of any harassment or threats. Examples include but are not limited to:

• counseling the offender;
• transferring the offender to another position (if applicable);
• placing the offender on probation, with a warning of suspension or discharge for continuing or recurring offenses;
• placing the offender on suspension with or without pay;
• terminating the employment of the offender.

All documentation regarding any incident will be kept on file in the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer's office. The College will assist the victim with reporting the incident to the appropriate police department if he/she wishes to do so. Other resources available:

• MN Office of Justice, Crime Victims' Unit - 1-800-247-0390
• CSS Employee Assistance - HealthPartners Employee Assistance Program - 1-866-326-7194.
• Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) 218-726-1442 (sexual assault cases)