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Unlawful Harassment

I. Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment

A. Harassment Prohibited

It is the policy of Macomb Community College to maintain an academic and work environment free of harassment based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital status, pregnancy, height or weight (hereinafter "unlawful harassment"). Harassment based on these characteristics diminishes individual dignity, impedes equal employment and educational opportunity and is contrary to the standards and goals of the College. Harassment based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital status, pregnancy, height or weight will not be tolerated at Macomb Community College.

An employee or student of Macomb Community College shall not harass an employee or student of the College, an applicant for employment or enrollment at the College, a person employed on the premises of the College under an independent contract for services or a participant in a College-sponsored program on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital status, pregnancy, height or weight. This Policy and the law prohibit harassment on the basis of these characteristics. This Policy and the law also prohibit retaliation for having brought a complaint of harassment, having opposed harassment and/or for having participated in the complaint or investigation procedure.

B. Unlawful Harassment Defined

1. Sexual Harassment

For purposes of this Policy, the term "sexual harassment" means:

(a) unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical acts of a sexual nature when (i) it is explicitly or implicitly suggested that submission to or rejection of the acts will be a factor in academic or employment decisions, evaluations or status, including participation in College-sponsored activities, or (ii) they are used as a factor for employment or academic decisions; or 

(b) unwelcome verbal or physical acts that are based on sex that are so severe and pervasive that they objectively either (i) have the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or (ii) create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment. 

2. Racial and Other Types of Unlawful Harassment

The College prohibits verbal or physical acts based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital status, pregnancy, height or weight that are so severe and pervasive that they objectively either (i) unreasonably interfere with an individual's work or academic performance, or (ii) create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning or working environment. 

3. Totality of the Circumstances

Not every act that might be offensive to an individual will be considered harassment and/or a violation of this Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment. In determining whether an act or series of acts constitutes harassment, the totality of the circumstances that pertain to a given incident, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location and duration, and relationship to course content will be closely reviewed in context, with due consideration given to the protection of individual rights, including speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Although repeated incidents generally create stronger evidence of prohibited harassment, a serious incident, even if isolated, can be sufficient.

C. Persons and Settings Covered

Unlawful harassment by an employee or student of Macomb Community College of an employee or student of the College, an applicant for employment at the College, a person employed on the premises of the College under an independent contract for services, or a person participating in or attending a College-sponsored program is unacceptable whether it takes place on or off a campus. This prohibition against acts of unlawful harassment by employees or students shall not be construed to be a condonation of harassment committed by vendors, independent contractors, or visitors to a campus. 

II. Complaint Procedure

Any person who feels she or he has been subjected to unlawful harassment, is aware of conduct prohibited under the College's Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment, or feels that she or he has been retaliated against for complaining about, opposing, or participating in the complaint or investigation procedure should promptly file a complaint pursuant to the College’s Civil Rights Complaint Procedure.

V. Retaliation Prohibited 

Retaliation against an individual who in good faith reports, objects to or provides information in an investigation about behavior that may violate the College's Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment are against the law, violates the College's Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment and will not be tolerated. Individuals who believe they have been retaliated against for reporting, objecting to or providing information about behavior that may violate the College's Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Harassment should report such retaliation in a manner consistent with the College's Civil Rights Complaint Procedure.

VI. Confidentiality

The College recognizes the importance of confidentiality. The College will respect, and all involved parties are expected to also respect, the confidentiality and privacy of individuals reporting or accused of prohibited harassment to the extent reasonably possible. Complaints of harassment, as well as all notes, statements and written conclusions of any harassment investigation are confidential and must not be publicly disclosed. Examples of situations where confidentiality cannot be maintained include circumstances when the College is required by law or contract to disclose information (such as in response to legal process) and when disclosure is required by the College's interests in protecting the rights of others. Individuals found to have violated the confidentiality of this process may be subject to discipline up to and including discharge or expulsion or other appropriate action.

Approved by the Board of Trustees
Macomb Community College
August 15, 1994
Revised March 21, 2018