SEXUAL AND OTHER PROHIBITED HARASSMENT
Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination
The Congregation strives to maintain an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and other inappropriate behavior, where members treat each other with respect, dignity and courtesy. The Congregation does not tolerate harassment of its members, whether engaged in by our members, or any non-members who conduct business, worship or socialize with us. Harassment by The Congregation’s members of members, vendors, suppliers, and other persons who conduct business, worship or socialize with The Congregation is also prohibited. Any form of harassment based on an individual’s race, religion, color, gender, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran status or other legally protected status, including but not limited to harassment that violates federal, state, or local law, is a violation of this policy. Behavior does not need to violate the law in order to constitute a violation of this policy. This policy applies on The Congregation premises and in all other Congregation-related settings.
Prohibited Sexual Harassment
For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature (verbal or physical) when this conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s enjoyment of the facilities and activities sponsored by The Congregation and the ordinary relationships enjoyed by The Congregation’s members, which intentionally or unintentionally creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
- Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- Unwanted and unwelcome sexual pressure, attention, invitation, requests or advances; Demands for sexual favors;
- Leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters;
- Sexual propositions, jokes, flirtations, innuendo, or discussions of sexual activity (whether in conversation or through electronic or other means);
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, including but not limited to graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body and sexually degrading words used to describe an individual;
- Inappropriate touching or other physical contact, including but not limited to hugging, patting, pinching or brushing against another’s body.
Other Prohibited Unlawful Harassment
As noted, this policy also prohibits behavior that harasses a member on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, gender, creed, national origin, age, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected status. Forms of such harassment can include (but are not limited to) physical, verbal and non-verbal behavior that harasses or unreasonably disrupts or interferes with an member’s enjoyment of The Congregation or its functions, or in any way creates or contributes to an intimidating, hostile, or offensive religious or social environment. This behavior includes, by way of example only, epithets, slurs, off-color jokes, and threats, as well as posters, cartoons, e-mails or drawings that are insulting, degrading, derogatory, or ridiculing of one based on his or her race, color, religion, gender, creed, national origin, age, citizenship status, marital status, disability, veteran status or other legally protected category.
If you feel that you are being or have been subjected to inappropriate sexual behavior or other inappropriate behavior prohibited by this policy:
• You are encouraged to ask the offender to stop engaging in the objectionable behavior, as this is sometimes effective in putting a stop to such behavior.
• In addition (or instead of speaking directly with the offender, if such informal requests are ineffective or impractical under the circumstances or if you do not feel comfortable speaking directly with the offender) you should promptly contact an executive officer of the congregation, or the Rabbi, immediately and discuss your complaint or concern. If that person is not available, or you believe it would be inappropriate to contact that person, you should contact any member of the Board of Directors .
Any member who observes or has reason to believe that another member has been or is being harassed or otherwise treated in a manner inconsistent with this policy, or simply has questions or concerns about what constitutes harassing or other inappropriate behavior under this policy, should promptly report such questions or concerns in accordance with the above complaint reporting procedure.
The Congregation encourages all members to report inappropriate behavior promptly and before the behavior escalates or becomes severe or pervasive. Prompt reporting can help us to respond quickly and prevent the behavior from escalating and also help us to take corrective action to minimize the harm to individuals and to minimize the disruption to our religious or social environment and to The Congregation’s business, or worship or social activities. All complaints of harassment that are reported as described above will be handled in a confidential manner, subject to the need to investigate and take corrective action in an effective manner.
Investigations and Corrective Action
The Congregation will endeavor to conduct a prompt investigation and immediate action involving inappropriate sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior that may be in violation of this policy. Investigations and temporary or immediate corrective action may be implemented by any two Members of the Executive Board or one member and the Rabbi, and shall be conducted in a confidential manner, subject to the need to investigate and take corrective action in an effective manner. Discussions will be held with the member and suggestions made as to how to alleviate the offensive behavior. If after this, there is still need for greater action, the matter will be referred to the Board of Directors who may choose to act with a vote for sanction, up to and including the termination of membership or the right to attend Congregational activities.
It is also a violation of this policy to retaliate in any way against anyone who in good faith complains of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior that may be in violation of this policy or who in good faith participates in an investigation of such behavior, even if sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the complaint. Complaints of retaliation (actual, threatened or feared) also should be made promptly in accordance with the above complaint reporting procedure. Anyone who engages in such retaliatory behavior will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including termination of membership.