Harrassment Policy and Reporting Procedure


Holy Family University is committed to providing all members of the community, including employees, faculty, and students, with an environment free from explicit and implicit coercive behavior used to control, influence, or affect the well-being of any member of the University community. Holy Family University will not tolerate any behavior that constitutes harassment or bullying based on a person’s sex, race, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, or disability. Each employee, faculty member, student, vendor, and private contractor, male or female, regardless of campus location, is required to comply with this policy. Harassment of any individual is inappropriate, unacceptable, and grounds for disciplinary action up to and including employment termination and may also lead to personal legal and financial liability. Allowing harassing conduct may be deemed to be the fostering of a hostile environment and will result in appropriate disciplinary action as well.

Sexual harassment is illegal under Section 703 of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1976. Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual attention, sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature whenever: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or a condition of an individual’s employment or grade; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual’s employment or academic record; or such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment.

Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: unwanted and unnecessary physical conduct such as pinching, patting, or touching; brushing against one’s body; subtle pressure for sexual activity; uninvited or persistent notes, phone calls, or pressure for dates; threatening adverse employment or education action if sexual favors are not granted; promising preferential treatment in return for sexual favors; making unwelcome physical contact; making use of unwelcome offensive, sexually explicit, or sexually suggestive objects or materials; and condoning or encouraging such conduct by or directed to any employee, faculty member, or student. Such conduct may also constitute harassment if based on the person’s race, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, or disability.

Any employee, faculty member, or student who believes he or she has been or is being subjected to harassment (or has witnessed or has knowledge thereof) by any individual affiliated with Holy Family University has the right to initiate a complaint. Anyone accused of harassment has the right to defend himself or herself. Holy Family University will investigate every allegation in a timely manner while making efforts to maintain the confidentiality of both the accuser and the accused to the extent possible and to resolve the dispute in a timely manner while respecting right to due process, including the right of the accused to be informed of the identity of the accuser at the earliest appropriate point in the process.

Any employee, faculty member, or student who believes he or she is being harassed should report this immediately to any of the following members of the harassment investigative team: Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Executive Director of Newtown & Institutional Research, Public Safety Director or Disabilities Services Counselor. Team members will conduct each investigation in an impartial manner and will include impartial decision-makers. Written notice will be provided to the parties of the outcome of the complaint and the basis of the decision.

Individuals are encouraged to use the above reporting procedure to report all harassment claims so that Holy Family University will be aware of the situation, make a timely confidential investigation, and take appropriate corrective action.

Individuals who are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation may choose to file an appeal using the appropriate problem-solving procedure: see Holy Family University's Policy Manual Volume V, section 5.9 for employees and Volume IV, section 4.12 for faculty. Students should refer to the Student Handbook or University Catalogs. The appeal will be conducted in a timely and an impartial manner, including an impartial decision-maker. Confidentiality is guaranteed to the extent possible with regard to filing the appeal, the investigation and disposition.

Retaliatory conduct against any individual who has filed a complaint of harassment or an appeal, reported witnessing harassment, participated in the harassment complaint process, or been the subject of an investigation will not be tolerated and will be grounds for discipline up to and including termination of employment or expulsion. Further, complainants and witnesses will be disciplined for filing false complaints or providing false testimony during an investigation.

The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources (Room 209, Holy Family Hall) has been designated as the University’s Section 504 Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator and the Public Safety Director (CC106) has been designated as the University's Deputy IX Coordinator. As such, these individuals will address sexual and disability discrimination, including harassment concerns.

Holy Family University affirms the dignity of the human person and respects the rights of all our community. It is each person's responsibility to report harassing or retaliatory conduct as soon as he/she believes it exists.