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SMCAA is committed to an environment free from all unlawful harassment.

The Agency has developed this policy to ensure that all its employees and volunteers can work in and clients can visit an environment free from all unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment, and retaliation.

These policies apply to all SMCAA applicants and employees, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees or by someone not directly connected to the Agency (e.g., an outside vendor, volunteer, client, etc.). Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings, and business-related social events.

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state, and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, “sexual harassment” is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual;
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with your work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment can be physical and psychological in nature. An aggregation of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered on its own would not be harassing.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognizes two types of sexual harassment: 1.) quid pro quo and 2.) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that:

- Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment
- Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means.

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