Our Harassment and Aggressive Behavior Policy
Windham Textile and History Museum is committed to providing a work environment for all employees that is free from sexual harassment and other types of harassment and aggressive behavior. (Here and throughout this document “Employee” shall mean “paid staff, consultants, board members and volunteers.”) Employees are expected to con-duct themselves in a professional manner and to show respect for their co-workers, both paid and unpaid. The museum does not tolerate discriminatory, harassing, abusive or unprofessional behavior or speech on the part of employees, and will take disciplinary action up to and including termination/banning from museum grounds and events in response. Specific details of this policy are listed below.
The Windham Textile and History Museum’s commitment begins with the recognition and acknowledgment that sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment are clearly unlawful. To reinforce this commitment, the Museum has developed a policy against harassment and a reporting procedure for employees who have been subjected to or witnessed harassment or aggressive behavior. 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. Additionally, this harassment and aggressive behavior applies to rumors, email correspondence, and social media inter-actions. Windham Textile and History Museum’s property (i.e. telephones, copy ma-chines, computers, and computer applications such as‐email and Internet access) may not be used to engage in conduct that violates this policy.
The Museum’s policy against harassment covers employees and other individuals who have a relationship with Windham Textile and History Museum which enables said Museum to exercise some control over the individual’s conduct in places and activities that relate to the Museum’s work (ex-employees, volunteer staff, board members, and volunteers).
Prohibition of Sexual Harassment: Windham Textile and History Museum’s policy against sexual harassment/aggressive behavior prohibits sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual or aggressive nature, when:(1) submission to such conduct is made an express or implicit condition of em-ployment; (2) submission or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employ-ment 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 a hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment. While it is not possible to list all of the circumstances which would constitute sexual harassment and aggressive behavior, the following are some examples: (1) unwelcome sexual advances ‐‐ whether they involve physical touching or not (through oral discus-sion, email, or social media); (2) requests for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job benefits or duties such as favorable reviews, salary increases, etc.; (3) use of offensive language against an employee, volunteer staff, board member, or volunteer in oral, text, electronically, or through social media form; (4) hostile conver-sations orally, text, electronically, or through social media towards an employee; (5) coercive conversations that orally, text, electronically, or through social media that demand participation in activity towards an employee; (6) discussion of sexual or hostile situations. While such behavior, depending on the circumstances, may not be severe or pervasive enough to create a sexual situation or hostile work environment, it can none the less make co‐worker un-comfortable. Accordingly, such behavior is inappropriate and may result in disciplinary action regardless of whether it is unlawful. It is also unlawful and expressly against Windham Textile and History Museum policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of sexual or aggressive behavior or for cooperating with an investigation of a complaint of sexual or aggressive harassment.
Prohibition of Other Types of Discriminatory Harassment: It is also against Windham Textile and History Museum’s policy to engage in verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or a version toward an individual because of his or her race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or other protected category: (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 discriminatory harassment: (1) epithets, slurs, negative stereo-typing, jokes, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to race, color, gen-der, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability; and (2) written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group be-cause of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability and that is circulated in the workplace, or placed anywhere in Windham Textile and History Museum’s premises such as on an employee’s desk or work space or on Windham Textile and History Museum’s equipment or bulletin boards. Other conduct may also constitute discriminatory harassment if it falls within the definition of discriminatory harassment set forth above. It is also against Windham’s Textile and History Museum policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of discriminatory harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint of discriminatory harassment.
In addition to harassment based on discrimination, Harassment Based on Personal Dislike (i.e. Bullying) or other factors will also not be tolerated. Such behavior creates a hostile work environment. Windham Textile and History Museum is a professional organization, and all who work for it, whether as paid employees or as volunteers, are expected to act professionally. The same process as articulated regarding discriminatory harassment will apply in such cases.
Reporting of Harassment: If you believe that you have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment or other harassment by any employee, volunteer, volunteer staff, or board member of Windham Textile and History Museum, you should report the incident immediately to the Board President, member of the Executive Committee, or to the Executive Director. Possible harassment by others with whom Windham Textile and History Museum has a business relationship, including customers and vendors, should also be reported as soon as possible so that appropriate action can be taken. Windham Textile and History Museum will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of harassment as discreetly and confidentially as practicable. The investigation would generally include a private interview with the person making a report of harassment. It would also generally be necessary to discuss allegations of harassment with the accused individual and others who may have information relevant to the investigation.
The Windham Textile and History Museum’s goal is to conduct a thorough investigation, to determine whether harassment occurred, and to determine what action to take if it is determined that improper behavior occurred. Conflict resolution may be requested by either party or by the investigators. The investigation and discipline (if any) will normally be the duty of the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is unable to investigate, it will be the duty of the Board. If the Board is unable to conduct the investigation, the duty will belong to the Executive Committee or a subset thereof. The Board or Executive Committee may assume the duty if they have reason to think the responsible entity has neglected its responsibility.
If the Museum determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, there will be a three-strike system – except in the case of egregious circumstances which will result in immediate dismissal. The first two complaints against an employee, volunteer staff, board member, or volunteer will result in a verbal warning with a written copy being given to him/her and another placed into his/her confidential personnel file or volunteer record, for which access is limited to the individual, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, and the Executive Director. In addition to the warning, the offender will be subject to appropriate discipline which can include counseling and/or suspensions. Appeal can be made to the Board or to the Executive Committee. Refusing to cooperate with the investigation of the complaint is also grounds for appropriate discipline. If a third offense is investigated and verified, the offender shall be dismissed. Employees who report violations of this policy and employees who cooperate with investigations into alleged violations will not be subject to retaliation. Upon completion of each investigation, the Windham Textile and History Museum will inform the employee who made the complaint of the results of the investigation and the action taken.
Compliance with this policy is a condition of the service of each employee, volunteer staff member, volunteer, and board member. Employees are encouraged to raise any questions or concerns about this policy or about possible sexual, discriminatory or general harassment.