Sexual Harassment Policy

Prohibition on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace

I. Introduction

The BAC is committed to fostering a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. The BAC believes that each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that prohibits sexual harassment and other unlawful discrimination. To further these goals, the BAC has adopted this policy for the Prohibition on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace (the "policy"). Compliance with this policy is a condition of each employee's employment. Employees are encouraged to raise any questions or concerns about this policy or about possible discriminatory harassment with the Director of Human Resources.

This policy covers employees and other individuals who have a working relationship with the BAC (e.g. directors, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, etc.). This policy applies to all work-related settings and activities, whether inside or outside the workplace, and includes business trips and business-related social events.

The BAC's property (e.g. telephones, copy machines, facsimile machines, computers, and computer applications such as e-mail and Internet access) may not be used to engage in conduct that violates this policy.

Employees who believe that they have been subjected to or witnessed conduct in violation of this policy should follow the reporting procedure described in Part V below. Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as described in Part VI below.

II. Prohibition on Discrimination

The BAC strictly prohibits verbal or physical conduct (intentional or non-intentional) that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or any other factor protected by law that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment; (2) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or (3) otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Depending on the circumstances, the following conduct may constitute unlawful discrimination: (1) epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, jokes, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to race, color, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability; and (2) written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group because of race, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability and that is circulated in the workplace, or placed anywhere on BAC premises, including, but not limited to, an employee's desk or workspace or on the BAC's equipment or property. The BAC may determine, in its sole discretion, that other conduct not specifically outlined above constitutes discrimination in violation of this policy.

III. Prohibition on Sexual Harassment

The BAC's policy against sexual harassment prohibits sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature, when: (1) submission to such conduct is made an express or implicit condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual who submits to or rejects such conduct; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment.

The BAC's policy against sexual harassment covers employees and other individuals who have a working relationship with the BAC (e.g. directors, officers, contractors, vendors, volunteers, etc.). This policy applies to all work-related settings and activities, whether inside or outside the workplace, and includes business trips and business-related social events.

While it is not possible to list all of the conduct which would constitute sexual harassment, the following are examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment depending on the circumstances: (1) physical contact, such as touching, hugging, kissing, or punching, which is uninvited and unwanted; (2) unwelcome sexual advances whether they involve physical touching or not; (3) requests for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, increased benefits, or continued employment; (4) use of sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life; (5) sexually oriented comments on an individual's body, (6) comments or discussion about an individual's sexual activities, deficiencies, or prowess; (7) displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; (8) unwelcome leering, whistling, or deliberate brushing against the body in a suggestive manner; (9) sexual gestures or sexually suggestive comments; or (10) inquiries into one's sexual experiences.

The list above is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide examples of conduct which could constitute sexual harassment, depending upon the circumstances.

Even if the BAC determines that reported behavior is not severe or pervasive enough to create a sexually hostile work environment, it can nonetheless make co-workers uncomfortable and be inappropriate in the workplace. Accordingly, an employee who engages in behavior in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action as described in Part VI of this policy.

IV. Prohibition on Retaliation

The BAC strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual for making a complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint of discriminatory harassment. Any violations of the prohibition on retaliation should be immediately reported to your supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources. In the case where the report is against the Director of Human Resources, notify the VP for Finance and Administration. Any individual found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as described in Part IV of this policy.

V. Reporting and Investigation of Harassment and Discrimination

If an employee has experienced or witnessed discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, by any employee of the BAC, the incident should be reported immediately to the relevant supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources. In a case where the allegation of harassment is against the Director of Human Resources, notify the VP for Finance and Administration. Harassment or discrimination by others with whom the BAC has a working relationship, including directors, officers, contractors, vendors, or volunteers should also be reported as soon as possible so that appropriate action can be taken.

The BAC will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of discrimination or harassment as discretely and confidentially as practicable. The investigation will generally include a private interview with the person making a report. It would also generally be necessary to discuss the report with person(s) reported to have engaged in prohibited conduct and with others who may have information relevant to the investigation. The BAC may also review relevant information related to a report, including, but not limited to documents, e-mails, text messages, videos, photographs, or other relevant information. The BAC's goal is to conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether prohibited conduct occurred, and to determine what action to take in response to a report. The BAC reserves the right to modify this policy as it as it deems necessary and appropriate in response to a report of conduct prohibited by this policy, and to take immediate action in response to a report including, but not limited to, paid or unpaid suspension and dismissal from employment.

Upon completion of the investigation, the BAC will generally inform the employee who made the report of the results of the investigation.

VI. Disciplinary Action in Response to a Report of Harassment or Workplace Violence

If the BAC determines that a violation of its prohibitions on harassment, workplace violence, or retaliation has occurred, it will take appropriate disciplinary action against the offending party, which may include, but is not limited to, counseling, written or verbal warnings, suspension, and termination of employment.

VII. State and Federal Remedies

In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with either or both of the government agencies set forth below. Using the BAC's complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC—300 days; MCAD—300 days).

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

475 John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
1.800.669.4000 TTY 1.800.669.6820

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)

Boston Office:
One Ashburton Place
Sixth Floor, Room 601
Boston, MA 02108
617.994.6000

Springfield Office:
436 Dwight Street
Second Floor, Room 220
Springfield, MA 01103
413.739.2145

To obtain information provided by our state local law enforcement agency concerning registered sex offenders:

Boston Police Department
650 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02116-6199
617.343.4250

Mass.gov Public Safety

Support Groups

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
RAD—Rape Aggression Defense