Policy Against Sexual Misconduct and Other Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
It is the policy of the Conservatory to maintain a work and academic environment for all members of the NEC community that is free of sexual misconduct of any kind and discriminatory actions based on race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veterans’ status, membership in uniformed services, or any other protected status. Unlawful employment discrimination and sexual misconduct by officers, managers, faculty, supervisors, employees, students, advisors, vendors, clientele, and contractors will not be tolerated.
Everyone at NEC is expected to conform to NEC’s policies and rules.
Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual misconduct or unlawful discrimination, or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a complaint of sexual misconduct or unlawful discrimination, is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.
The Conservatory will investigate complaints of violation of this policy. Persons who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, suspension, and/or expulsion.
DEFINITION OF UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
A. UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION
Unlawful discrimination is strictly prohibited by the Conservatory and will not be tolerated. Treating an employee or student differently in the terms or conditions of his or her employment or education on the basis of the employee’s or student’s race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veterans’ status, membership in uniformed services, or any other protected status constitutes unlawful discrimination.
B. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Sexual misconduct is a form of discrimination that is illegal under both federal and Massachusetts state law and is strictly prohibited by the Conservatory. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual misconduct when:
Submission to such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement or participation in Conservatory programs or activities, or is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
Rejection of such advances, requests or conduct affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement or participation in Conservatory programs or activities, or is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, academic performance, education, or participation in Conservatory programs or activities, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, work or academic environment.
CONDUCT WHICH MAY CONSTITUTE UNLAWFUL SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Sexual misconduct does not refer to words or actions of a welcome nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome and occurs in a variety of situations which share a common element: the inappropriate introduction of sexual activities or comments into the work or academic environment. Harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire in order to constitute unlawful sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes behaviors such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, rape, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, including behavior that is threatening, intimidating or coercive. Engaging in sexual conduct without mutual consent, or in situations when consent is ambiguous constitutes sexual assault.
Sexual misconduct often involves relationships of unequal power. Such situations may contain elements of coercion, such as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a condition for granting privileges or favorable treatment on the job or in the classroom. However, sexual misconduct may also involve relationships among persons of equal authority or power, such as when repeated unwelcome advances or demeaning verbal comments by a co-worker towards another co-worker unreasonably interferes with a person’s ability to perform his or her work. Sexual misconduct can also involve behavior directed to and/or by students of the Conservatory, as well as employees and non-employees of the Conservatory, in short all members of the community may become harassers or victims of misconduct.
Depending upon the circumstances and how they impact the workplace or academic environment, examples of sexual misconduct include but are not limited to such conduct as the following:
- Verbal abuse, insults, jokes, comments or innuendo of a sexual nature that include lewd, obscene or sexually suggestive displays or remarks;
- Physical contact, such as touching, hugging, kissing, patting, or pinching, that is uninvited and unwanted by the other person;
- The requests or demands for sexual favors accompanied by implicit or explicit promised rewards or threats concerning an individual’s employment status or educational status;
- Repeated unwelcome social invitations, sexual flirtations, advances, propositions or unwanted requests for sexual favors;
- Threatened, attempted, or completed physical sexual assault;
- Indecent exposure;
- Romantic involvement (even if consensual) between supervisors and subordinates that impacts the workplace and/or other individuals in areas such as assignments, advancements and benefits; or
- Romantic involvement (even if consensual) between supervisors and students they supervise that impacts the academic environment and/or other students in areas such as assignments, grades and academic benefits;
- Use of email, the Internet, or other forms of digital media to facilitate any of the above.
Responding to Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault is a traumatizing experience. NEC encourages victims of sexual assault to seek immediate medical evaluation at a local hospital emergency department where you will likely be examined by a nurse who specializes in sexual assault treatment. The collection of evidence is important, should you decide to press legal charges. Therefore, do not shower, bathe, douche, brush teeth, eat, drink, change clothing or urinate until you have reached the hospital. It is advisable to bring any clothing, bedding or towels that might contain evidence to the hospital in a paper bag. You will not be required to use this as evidence, but it is best to preserve it anyway. Evidence may be collected for up to five days.
NEC encourages employees to report acts of sexual assault to the Boston Police. The hospital staff will assist you with the reporting process. However, they will not force you to file a police report.
CONDUCT WHICH MAY CONSTITUTE UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION
Depending upon the circumstances and how they impact the workplace or academic environment, examples of unlawful discrimination could include the above-referenced examples concerning sexual misconduct, as well as the following types of conduct:
- Making decisions about a person’s employment, compensation or education based upon his or her race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veterans’ status, membership in uniformed services, or any other protected status;
- Verbal abuse, offensive innuendo or derogatory words, concerning a person’s race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veterans’ status, or any other protected status;
- An open display of objects or pictures designed to create a hostile working/learning environment based on a person’s race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veterans’ status, membership in uniformed services, or any other protected status.
EMPLOYEE, FACULTY AND STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
Each employee, faculty member, administrator and student of the Conservatory is personally responsible for ensuring that his or her conduct does not sexually harass or unlawfully discriminate against anyone in the workplace. Each employee, faculty member, administrator and student is responsible for cooperating in any investigation of alleged sexual misconduct or unlawful discrimination if requested to do so by the person conducting the investigation.
Any person who observes an incident that may constitute sexual misconduct or unlawful discrimination or who otherwise becomes aware of such an incident should immediately notify one of the investigator(s) listed below.
In the educational setting within the Conservatory, there exists latitude for a faculty member’s professional judgment in determining the appropriate content and presentation of academic material. Academic curriculum and pedagogical goals that serve legitimate and reasonable educational purposes do not, in and of themselves, constitute sexual misconduct or other unlawful discrimination. Those participating in the educational setting bear a responsibility to balance their professional academic responsibilities and academic freedoms with a consideration of the reasonable sensitivities of other participants.
Nothing contained in this policy shall be construed to limit the legitimate and reasonable academic responsibilities and academic freedoms of the Conservatory’s professional educators.