• Freedom from Harassment and Discrimination


  • Commitment to a Bully-Free/Harassment-Free/Discrimination-Free Environment

    Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is committed to maintaining a respectful working and learning environment with a zero tolerance policy regarding all forms of bullying, harassment and discrimination. It is against College policy for any manager, supervisor, faculty, staff, student or vendor/contractor to engage in bullying, harassment or discrimination of any member of the College community based on but not limited to race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation. The College shall comply with all local, state and federal laws with regard to non-bullying, non-discrimination and non-harassment.

    It is the responsibility of every member of the College community to ensure that this policy is strictly enforced. The College is responsible for taking reasonable action to maintain work and learning environments free of conduct that causes or reasonably could be considered to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

    Compliance

    The Mt. Hood Community College District Board of Education is committed to maintaining both a working and learning environment free of harassment for all persons. MHCC complies with federal, state and local regulations governing non-discrimination. This brochure is intended to clarify inappropriate professional behavior and promote understanding of what constitutes harassment under MHCC’s Board Policy 1100: Equal Opportunity: Culture of Respect.

    Definitions and Key Concepts

    Discrimination

    Discrimination is defined as treating one person unfairly or differently over another unrelated to that person’s ability or potential. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal laws protect people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and age. In addition, local and state laws prohibit discrimination based on marital status, sexual orientation, family relationships, expunged juvenile record and injured worker status. Discrimination based on these factors violates the College’s principles. In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the College considers students, employees and applicants on the basis of individual merit.

    Unlawful Harassment

    Harassment is a type of unlawful discrimination. It is any type of repeated, unwelcome conduct based on a person’s membership in a protected class that either has the purpose or the effect of:

    • Creating a hostile or offensive environment
    • Interfering with the student’s education
    • Interfering with a person’s ability to perform his or her job duties

    This can Include:

    • Derogatory comments, jokes, epithets or slurs
    • Threats against persons in a protected class
    • Visual harassment, such as displaying derogatory or offensive posters, cards, cartoons, graffiti or drawings; mimicking a behavior or trait; making offensive gestures; displaying derogatory or offensive symbols such as a noose or a swastika

    Bullying

    Bullying is repeated inappropriate behavior, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.

    • Purposely undermining someone
    • Manipulation of an individual’s reputation
    • Intimidation
    • Physical abuse or threats of abuse

    Sexual Harassment

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or sexually directed remarks or behavior constitute illegal sexual harassment when (i) submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or (ii) submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individuals; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, education or participation in College activities or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Examples of behavior that may constitute sexual harassment under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines:

    • Verbal harassment or abuse
    • Display of sexually offensive photographs, drawings or graffiti
    • Subtle pressure for sexual activity
    • Sexist remarks about clothing, body or sexual activities
    • Unnecessary touching
    • Leering or staring at another’s body
    • Demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning work, grades, promotions or tenure
    • Sexual assault, up to and including rape

    Scenarios

    Examples have been taken from source materials on situations in educational institutions.
    Scenario 1: One of my department members propositioned me for sexual favors. Even though I told the person that I am not interested, the propositions continue.
    Scenario 2: Some people refuse to stop making crude and tasteless racial jokes when I am around. They recently told one joke that embarrassed and humiliated me. I’m sick of their type of humor.
    Scenario 3: I went to see my instructor about a grade I received on a paper. After discussing different ways of developing a college report, the instructor told me there was another way to get a better grade – “spend time” together off site. I became frightened and didn’t know what to do.
    Scenario 4: My co-worker keeps making advances, even resorting to physical contact, which is upsetting me.
    Scenario 5: I make no secret of my sexual orientation. I do not impose my sexual orientation on others, but it seems to cause all kinds of insults from my colleagues.
    Scenario 6: I am aware my age is considerably greater than that of other students in the class. But the instructor refers to me repeatedly for an example from the “senior citizen.” I resent that attempt at humor.

    Retaliation

    No one at the College may reprimand, discriminate or otherwise retaliate against an individual who initiates an inquiry or complaint in good faith, nor against other individuals who share information related to the complaint.

    Objective Unreasonableness

    A person’s subjective belief that behavior is offensive,
    intimidating or hostile does not make that behavior
    unlawful harassment. The behavior must also be objectively unreasonable.

    Academic Freedom

    Expression occurring in an academic, educational or research context does not constitute unlawful harassment unless it satisfies the above definition and it is targeted at a specific person or persons, is abusive and serves no legitimate academic purpose.

    These are some things you can do:

    • Be firm and resist unwanted attention, bullying or harassing actions/comments – tell the person to stop the behavior
    • Do not accept bullying or harassment as “the way things are” or as a joking matter
    • Report it

    Taking action — who to tell

    At MHCC, we are committed to an environment free of bullying or harassment.

    When you feel you have been bullied or harassed, take immediate action. Directly tell the person what actions and words are intimidating, hostile or offensive. You may stop the bullying or harassing behavior simply by telling the person to stop.

    If you are hesitant to confront the bully or harasser, remember there are people at MHCC with whom you can discuss your situation and clarify what constitutes bullying or harassment and the steps you can take to stop it.

    Employees are encouraged to talk with their immediate supervisor, Human Resources, administrator, or Affirmative Action Officer or his/her designee. Students are encouraged to talk with any administrator or faculty member.

    These resolution procedures are in place to help you through the process. Immediately tell someone who can help, such as any of those listed above. Often, issues of bullying or harassment can be handled at the informal level.

    If an acceptable solution cannot be reached informally, formal complaint procedures are available. These procedures are available by emailing TitleIX@mhcc.edu and at the Human Resources office in AC 2270.

    Every attempt will be made to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. These conversations do not pre-empt other formal or informal channels available within the College. If an allegation is so serious that it obligates the College to act, there will be an administrative response which may include a formal investigation.

    You can be assured it is MHCC’s goal to protect your rights, the rights of others and to maintain the welfare of all in the MHCC community.

    MHCC offers these advantages:

    The district comprises an area of about 950 square miles with a population of more than 270,000. MHCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and is approved as a veterans training institution by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Human Resources
    Office 503-491-7200
    Fax 503-491-7257
    Email hr@mhcc.edu
    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.