In recent years, the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace has been brought into the national spotlight, bringing with it renewed awareness about the serious and unacceptable nature of these actions and the severe consequences that follow.
- The term “sexual harassment” may mean different things to different people, depending on your life experience.
- Certain conduct may seem acceptable or have seemed acceptable in the past. That does not mean it is acceptable to the people we work with or serve as customers.
- The purpose of this training manual is to set forth a common understanding about what is and what is not acceptable in our workplace.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
- New York State has long been committed to ensuring that all individuals have an equal opportunity to enjoy a fair, safe and productive work environment.
- Laws and policies help ensure that diversity is respected and that everyone can enjoy the privileges of working in New York State.
- Preventing sexual harassment is critical to Maverick Concerts’ continued success. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
- This means any harassing behavior will be investigated and the perpetrator or perpetrators will be told to stop.
- It also means that disciplinary action may be taken, if appropriate. If the behavior is sufficiently serious, disciplinary action may include termination.
- Repeated behavior, especially after an employee has been told to stop, is particularly serious and will be dealt with accordingly.
- This training manual will help you better understand what is considered sexual harassment.
- It will also show you how to report sexual harassment in our workplace, as well as your options for reporting workplace sexual harassment to external state and federal agencies that enforce anti-discrimination laws.
- These reports will be taken seriously and promptly investigated, with effective remedial action taken where appropriate.
What is Sexual Harassment?
- Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and local law.
- Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender.
- Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
- Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
There are two main types of sexual harassment
- A hostile environment on the basis of sex may be created by any action previously described, in addition to unwanted words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation, physical actions or violence, either of a sexual nature or not of a sexual nature, directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex.
- Hostile environment sexual harassment includes:
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic.
- This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace.
- This also includes sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, such as:
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
- Physical acts of a sexual nature (including, but not limited to, touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, kissing, hugging, brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employee’s body)
- Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;
- Sabotaging an individual’s work;
- Bullying, yelling, name-calling. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment
- This occurs when a person in authority trades, or tries to trade, job benefits for sexual favors.
- Quid pro quo is a legal term meaning a trade.
- This type of harassment occurs between an employee and someone with authority, like a supervisor, who has the ability to grant or withhold job benefits.
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment includes:
- Offering or granting better working conditions or opportunities in exchange for a sexual relationship
- Threatening adverse working conditions (like demotions, shift alterations or work location changes) or denial of opportunities if a sexual relationship is refused
- Using pressure, threats or physical acts to force a sexual relationship or retaliating for refusing to engage in a sexual relationship.
Who Can Be the Target of Sexual Harassment?
- Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender.
- New York Law protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees, including independent contractors, and those employed by companies contracting to provide services in the workplace
Who Can Be the Perpetuator of Sexual Harassment?
- The perpetrator of sexual harassment can be anyone in the workplace:
- The harasser can be a coworker of the recipient
- The harasser can be a supervisor or manager
- The harasser can be any third-party, including: a non-employee, intern, vendor, building security, client, customer or visitor.
Where Can Workplace Sexual Harassment Occur?
Harassment can occur whenever and wherever employees are fulfilling their work responsibilities, including in the field, at any employer-sponsored event, trainings, conferences open to the public and office parties:
- Employee interactions during non-work hours, such as at a hotel while traveling or at events after work can have an impact in the workplace.
- Locations off site and off-hour activities can be considered extensions of the work environment.
- Employees can be the target of sexual harassment through calls, texts, email and social media.
- Harassing behavior that in any way affects the work environment is rightly the concern of management.
- Sex stereotyping occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people’s ideas or perceptions about how individuals of either sex should act or look.
- Harassing a person because that person does not conform to gender stereotypes as to “appropriate” looks, speech, personality, or lifestyle is sexual harassment.
- Harassment because someone is performing a job that is usually performed, or was performed in the past, mostly by persons of a different sex, is sex discrimination.
Any employee who has engaged in “protected activity” is protected by law from being retaliated against because of that “protected activity.”
- “Protected activities” with regard to harassment include:
- Making a complaint to a supervisor, manager or another person designated by your employer to receive complaints about harassment
- Making a report of suspected harassment, even if you are not the target of the harassment
- Filing a formal complaint about harassment
- Opposing discrimination
- Assisting another employee who is complaining of harassment o Providing information during a workplace investigation of harassment, or testifying in connection with a complaint of harassment filed with a government agency or in court
What is Retaliation?
- Retaliation is any action taken to alter an employee’s terms and conditions of employment (such as a demotion or harmful work schedule or location change) because that individual engaged in any of the above protected activities. Such individuals should expect to be free from any negative actions by supervisors, managers or the employer motivated by these protected activities.
- Retaliation can be any such adverse action taken by the employer against the employee, that could have the effect of discouraging a reasonable worker from making a complaint about harassment or discrimination.
- The negative action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace, and may occur after the end of employment, such as an unwarranted negative reference.
What is Not Retaliation?
- A negative employment action is not retaliatory merely because it occurs after the employee engages in protected activity.
- Employees continue to be subject to all job requirements and disciplinary rules after having engaged in such activity.
The Supervisor’s Responsibility
Supervisors and managers are held to a high standard of behavior. This is because:
- They are placed in a position of authority by the employer and must not abuse that authority.
- Their actions can create liability for the employer without the employer having any opportunity to correct the harassment.
- They are required to report any harassment that is reported to them or which they observe.
- They are responsible for any harassment or discrimination that they should have known of with reasonable care and attention to the workplace for which they are responsible.
- They are expected to model appropriate workplace behavior.
- Supervisors must report any harassment that they observe or know of, even if no one is objecting to the harassment.
- If a supervisor or manager receives a report of harassment, or is otherwise aware of harassment, it must be promptly reported to the employer, without exception,
- Even if the supervisor or manager thinks the conduct is trivial
- Even if the harassed individual asks that it not be reported
- Supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue.
- Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.
What Should I Do If I Am Harassed?
We cannot stop harassment in the workplace unless management knows about the harassment. It is everyone’s responsibility. You are encouraged to report harassment to a supervisor, manager or another person designated by your employer to receive complaints so the employer can take action. Behavior does not need to be a violation of law in order to be in violation of Maverick Concerts’ policy. The Maverick Concerts Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy can be viewed here https://maverickconcerts.org/sexual-harrassment-policy/
Instructions and the Maverick Concerts Complain Form to report harassment and file complaints is at:
If you are more comfortable reporting verbally or in another manner, we are still required to follow the sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the claims.
- If you believe that you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you are encouraged to complete the Complaint Form and submit it to:
- David Gubits, Vice President – Maverick Concerts Board of Directors
- You may also make reports verbally.
- Once you submit this form or otherwise report harassment, our organization must follow its sexual harassment prevention policy and investigate any claims.
- You should report any behavior you experience or know about that is inappropriate, as described in this training, without worrying about whether or not if it is unlawful harassment
- Individuals who report or experience harassment should cooperate with management so a full and fair investigation can be conducted and any necessary corrective action can be taken.
- If you report harassment to a manager or supervisor and receive an inappropriate response, such as being told to “just ignore it,” you may take your complaint to the next level as outlined in our policy under “Legal Protections And External Remedies.”
- Finally, if you are not sure you want to pursue a complaint at the time of potential harassment, document the incident to ensure it stays fresh in your mind
What Should I Do If I Witness Sexual Harassment?
Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of sexual harassment should report it to a supervisor, manager or designee.
- It can be uncomfortable and scary, but it is important to tell coworkers “that’s not okay” when you are uncomfortable about harassment happening in front of you.
- It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for reporting suspected sexual harassment or assisting in any investigation.
Investigation and Corrective Action
- Anyone who engages in sexual harassment or retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Maverick Concerts will investigate all reports of harassment, whether information was reported in verbal or written form.
- An investigation of any complaint should be commenced immediately and completed as soon as possible.
- The investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible.
- Any employee may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected sexual harassment.
- It is illegal for employees who participate in any investigation to be retaliated against.
Maverick Concerts also has a duty to take appropriate steps to ensure that harassment will not occur in the future. Here is how we will investigate claims.
- David Gubits, Vice President of the Board of Directors will conduct an immediate review of the allegations, and take any interim actions, as appropriate
- Relevant documents, emails or phone records will be requested, preserved and obtained.
- Interviews will be conducted with parties involved and witnesses
- Investigation is documented as outlined in the sexual harassment policy
- The individual who complained and the individual(s) accused of sexual harassment are notified of final determination and that appropriate administrative action has been taken.
Additional Protections and Remedies
In addition to what we’ve already outlined, employees may also choose to pursue outside legal remedies as suggested below. New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR)
- A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with DHR or in New York State Supreme Court.
- Complaints may be filed with DHR any time within one year of the alleged sexual harassment. You do not need to have an attorney to file.
- If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the Human Rights Law, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment.
- An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a Human Rights Law complaint in state court.
- For more information, visit: dhr.ny.gov.
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the alleged sexual harassment. You do not need to have an attorney to file.
- A complaint must be filed with the EEOC before you can file in federal court.
- For more information, visit: eeoc.gov
- NOTE: If an individual files an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will automatically file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court. Local Protections
- Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination.
- You should contact the county, city or town in which you live to find out if such a law exists.
- Harassment may constitute a crime if it involves things like physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts. You should also contact the local police department.
Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination.
- You should contact the county, city or town in which you live to find out if such a law exists
- Harassment may constitute a crime if it involves things like forcible physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts. You should call 911 if this occurs.
Other Types of Workplace Harassment
Workplace harassment can be based on other things and is not just about gender or inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
- Any harassment or discrimination based on a protected characteristic is prohibited in the workplace and may lead to disciplinary action against the perpetrator.
- Protected characteristics include age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, marital status, domestic violence victim status, gender identity and criminal history.
- Much of the information presented in this training applies to all types of workplace harassment.
- Upon review of this manual, all employees should understand:
- How to recognize harassment as inappropriate workplace behavior
- The nature of sexual harassment
- That harassment because of any protected characteristic is prohibited
- The reasons why workplace harassment is employment discrimination
- That all harassment should be reported
- That supervisors and managers have a special responsibility to report harassment.
- With this knowledge, all employees can achieve appropriate workplace behavior, avoid disciplinary action, know their rights and feel secure that they are entitled to and can work in an atmosphere of respect for all people.
- Find the Complaint Form [https://maverickconcerts.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Combat-Harassment-Complaint-Form.pdf].
- For additional information, visit: www.ny.gov/programs/combating-sexualharassmentworkplace