Harassment Policy

PCOM is committed to providing a work and learning environment free from sexual harassment in any form. It is the policy of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to provide a safe, healthy, and comfortable work environment for employees, faculty, and students.

To this extent, any form of harassment, including sexual harassment or hazing, will not be tolerated. Anyone who harasses or solicits favors (including sexual favors) from an unwilling subordinate in return for promotions, increased wages, continuance of the job, better grades, position or status, or any similar promise will be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Likewise, unwelcome sexual propositions may also constitute sexual harassment and will not be tolerated. PCOM is committed to maintaining an environment conducive to learning and working.


Purpose

To eliminate harassment from the college.

Scope

The purpose of this section is to define and explain the nature of harassment and appropriate corrective measures.

Definition of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and usually falls under one of three categories:

  1. Verbal: Sexual/suggestive comments, threats, insults, jokes about gender-specific traits, sexual propositions;
  2. Non-Verbal: Making suggestive or insulting noises, obscene gestures, whistling, leering; and
  3. Physical: Touching, pinching, and brushing body, coercing sexual intercourse, assault.

Prohibited behavior

Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual's continued employment or student status, or;
  2. Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual or;
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Examples of sexual harassment

  1. Physical assault
  2. Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation;
  3. Direct propositions of a sexual nature;
  4. A pattern of conduct (not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course if one is involved) intended to discomfort or humiliate, or both that includes one or more of the following: Comments of a sexual nature, or sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;
  5. A pattern of conduct that would discomfort and/or humiliate a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed which includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following: Unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person's body, remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body, or remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience.

Corrective measures

If possible, directly inform the sexual harasser that such conduct is unwelcome and must stop.

Employees or faculty who are subject to or observe any form of sexual harassment should report the incident to their supervisor immediately. If the harassment is by the supervisor, the employee should contact the Human Resources Director. The complaint will be investigated, and if it is substantiated, disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including discharge. Students who are subject to or observe any form of sexual harassment should report this incident to the Human Resources Director describing the actions or words.

A report of sexual or other harassment will be treated seriously, and a thorough and prompt investigation will be conducted. An individual who files a complaint will be treated fairly and courteously at all times. In filing a complaint, the individual will be requested to provide a written statement of all relevant facts, including the names of witnesses or other individuals known by the complaining person to have been harassed.

The following procedure will be followed:

  1. Informal Procedure
    1. Determine with the Human Resources Director if the matter can be resolved satisfactorily by:
      1. The complainant deciding to handle the situation her/himself by asking the offender to stop the behavior, or
      2. The Human Resources Director can intervene to stop the behavior by reprimanding the offender, without any formal disciplinary action.
  2. Formal Procedure
    1. If an informal resolution is not possible or if you decide to pursue the matter formally, the following procedure will be followed:
      1. The Human Resources Director will promptly interview the complainant, the accused harasser, and any witnesses.