MOREHOUSE GENERAL HOSPITAL
Policies and Procedures
SUBJECT: SEXUAL HARASSMENT
DEPARTMENT: HUMAN RESOURCES
REVIEW INTERVAL: 12 Months
APPROVER(S): CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Morehouse General Hospital strives to maintain a workplace that fosters mutual employee respect and promotes harmonious, productive working relationships. Morehouse General Hospital is committed to providing a workplace free from any form of harassment or intimidation.
This represents the organizational policy of Morehouse General Hospital concerning sexual harassment. This policy applies to all Morehouse General Hospital employees and anyone doing business with the hospital. This includes applicants, customers, contingent workers, suppliers, and vendors. Morehouse General Hospital strictly prohibits and does not tolerate any act or conduct that creates the potential for unlawful harassment of any kind.
Any questions concerning the context or content of this policy should be discussed with your Department Head or Human Resources.
It is the belief of the Morehouse General Hospital that its employees are the primary means by which the goals and objectives of the hospital will be met. All employees of the hospital must understand its position on harassment and receive a minimum of one hour of education and training on preventing sexual harassment during each full calendar year of his or her public employment. MGH Administrator shall require department heads, supervisors and any persons designated by the hospital to accept or investigate a complaint of sexual harassment in the hospital to receive additional education and training. The education and training required for all employees may be received in person or via the internet through training and education materials approved by MGH Administrator.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when the conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment or the holding of office, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment and shall not be tolerated.
Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace are prohibited by federal law through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and by state law through La. R.S. 23:301 et seq. These laws prohibit both quid pro quo harassment, which arises when consent to sexual demands is made an express or implied condition of employment, and hostile work environment harassment, which arises when the workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to
alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and created an abusive working environment.
Sexual harassment may be defined as unsolicited, offensive behavior that inappropriately asserts sexuality over employees including but not limited to the following:
a) Verbal: innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks and threats; requests for any type of sexual favor (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome.
b) Non-Verbal: the distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters, notes, facsimiles, e-mails, photos, text messages, tweets and Internet postings; or other forms of communication that are sexual in nature and offensive.
c) Physical: unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, fondling, and forced sexual intercourse or assault.
Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, non-coercive interactions between employees, including men and women, that are appropriate in the workplace and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace shall not be tolerated and Morehouse General Hospital will take appropriate action to end any such harassment and/or prevent the recurrence of any such misconduct.
If a person’s behavior makes an employee uncomfortable, the employee should feel free to immediately advise the person that, in the employee’s opinion, the behavior is inappropriate, and that the employee would like it stopped.
Any employee of the hospital may file a complaint of sexual harassment. Any employee who believes he or she has been subjected to unlawful sexual harassment or has been retaliated against for reporting such activities or assisting in a related investigation of such activities, must report the alleged act immediately or as soon as possible to their department head. Supervisors or managers who receive reports or observe harassing conduct must immediately report it to the Human Resources Department.
It is not necessary for an employee to complain to an offending department head or supervisor in order to report sexual harassment. If, for whatever reason, the employee does not feel that the persons named in this paragraph are suitable person(s) to whom to report the incident, the employee should immediately contact Human Resources. Employees are not required to approach the person who is harassing against them.
Whether or not a particular incident is sexual harassment requires a complete factual investigation, and the hospital will conduct such investigations on all complaints in a manner so as not to cause any serious effect on innocent employees who either file a complaint and/or may be the subject of a filed complaint. In all instances, a prompt and thorough investigation will take place, giving careful consideration to protect the rights and dignity of all persons involved.
It is mandatory that all parties (alleged sexual harasser and the alleged victim) to an allegation of sexual harassment participate in the investigation of the incident, and cooperation in the investigation of claims of harassment is an express element of each employee’s employment with Morehouse General Hospital. Morehouse General Hospital will take those steps it feels necessary to resolve the problem, which may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension, or termination.
Morehouse General Hospital will investigate by gathering information, in as confidential a manner as possible, given the need to investigate the complaint, from all concerned parties, and it will not retaliate against any employee as a result of reports of alleged harassment or cooperation with any investigation. Morehouse General Hospital may consult its legal representative for assistance in determining whether conduct that has occurred does in fact constitute sexual harassment. The hospital may also make subsequent inquiries from time to time to ensure offensive conduct does not resume and/or that the subject of such harassment has not suffered any retaliation. Morehouse General Hospital prohibits retaliation of any kind against employees, who, in good faith, reports an incident of suspected harassment or assist in investigating such complaints. The supervisor, or other person to whom the complaint was made, will work to establish mutually agreed upon safeguards against retaliation while attempting to mediate any sexual harassment complaint.
Any employee, manager, or supervisor found by Morehouse General Hospital to have unlawfully sexually harassed, or unlawfully retaliated against, another employee will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including termination. If any employee, manager, or supervisor is found by the hospital to have intentionally made a false allegation of sexual harassment, that individual will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including termination.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation by Morehouse General Hospital, a complainant may pursue a claim under state and/ or federal law.
All employees, including elect officials are required to annually attest through signature verification on a sign in sheet that they have read the Morehouse General Hospital’s Ethics policy.
Related Policy: Complaint Procedure Policy.