Sexual And Other Forms of Harassment Policy

Last Updated Date

The Woodridge Public Library is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.  In keeping with this commitment, the Library will not tolerate discrimination against or harassment of Library employees by anyone, including any supervisor, co- worker, vendor, customer, contractor, or other regular visitor of the Library.  Violation of this policy shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status such as race, color, national origin, citizenship status, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, military or veteran  status, genetic information, order of protection status, or any other category protected by applicable law.  The Library will not tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

The conduct forbidden by this policy specifically includes, but is not limited to: (a) epithets, slurs, negative stereotypes or intimidating acts that are based on a person’s protected status; and (b) written or graphic material circulated within or posted within the workplace that shows hostility toward a person because of protected status.

Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when made to an employee when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment;
  2. Submission to or refusal to engage in such conduct is used as the basis for any employment 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.

Sexual harassment, as defined above, may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Uninvited sex-oriented verbal “kidding” or demeaning sexual innuendoes, leers, gestures, teasing, sexually explicit or obscene jokes, remarks or questions of a sexual nature;
  2. Graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or body;
  3. Displaying sexually explicit objects, photographs, writings, or drawings;
  4. Unwelcome touching, such as patting, pinching or constant brushing against another’s body; or
  5. Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement of another employee, whether or not such suggestion or demand is accompanied by implicit or explicit threats concerning one’s employment status or similar personal concerns.

Even if two or more employees are engaging in consensual conduct, such conduct could constitute harassment against another employee who witnesses or overhears the conduct.

All Library employees are responsible to help ensure that harassment does not occur and is not tolerated.  An employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual or other types of harassment, or who has witnessed harassment, should immediately submit a complaint to his or her supervisor, or the Human Resources Department.  If a manager or supervisor receives a complaint of harassment or discrimination directly from an employee, or becomes aware of such conduct, the complaint or conduct shall be immediately reported to the Human Resources Department.

The Human Resources Department shall promptly investigate all complaints and make all reasonable efforts to resolve the matter informally.  These efforts may include, but are not limited to, convening conferences with the complainant and/or the accused harasser/discriminator to discuss the complaint and the results of the investigation. If the complainant or the accused is not satisfied with the disposition of the investigation, he or she may submit in writing an appeal to the Manager of Human Resources or the Library Director, who will review the investigation report and make a final decision. At the Manager of Human Resources’ or Library Director’s option, she or her designee may conduct further investigation, if necessary.

The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the accused, will be respected consistent with Library’s legal obligations and with the necessity to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action when this conduct has occurred.

A substantiated complaint against an employee will subject the employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. If an investigation results in a finding that the complainant falsely accused another of harassment or discrimination knowingly and in bad faith or in a malicious manner, the complainant will be subject to appropriate discipline, including the possibility of discharge.

Reporting harassment or discrimination or participating in an investigation will not reflect adversely upon an individual’s status or affect future employment. Any form of retaliation against an employee who reports harassment or discrimination or participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited by  the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois State Officials and Employees Act, the Illinois Whistleblower Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Library policy.  Any employee who retaliates against another for exercising his or her rights under this policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

The purpose of this policy is to establish prompt, thorough and effective procedures for responding to every complaint and incident so that problems can be identified and remedied internally. However, an employee has the right to contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about filing a formal complaint. An IDHR complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged incident(s) unless it is a continuing offense. A complaint with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days.

Contact Information:

Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)

  • Chicago: 312-814-6200 TTY: 866-740-3953
  • Springfield: 217-785-5100; TTY: 866-740-3953

Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

  • Chicago: 312-814-6269; TTY: 312-814-4760
  • Springfield: 217-785-4350; TTY: 217-557-1500

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

  • Chicago: 800-669-4000; TTY: 800-869-8001

Re-approved by the Woodridge Public Library Board of Trustees 1/19/2022

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